Photo credits: FBI Files
On August 4, 1964, the decomposed bodies of three civil rights staffers were discovered on a property outside Philadelphia, Mississippi.
On June 21, 1964, their abductions drew widespread notice across the nation. They were recovered in an earthen dam, in a shallow grave. Both Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner (two young white men) hailed from the state of New York. In 1964, the two arrived in the deeply divided state of Mississippi to assist the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in organizing civil rights initiatives.
James Chaney, a local African American guy who had joined CORE in 1963, was the third deceased party identified. The three young men’s disappearance sparked an extensive FBI investigation known as MIBURN, short for “Mississippi Burning.” The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) finally indicted 19 defendants on December 4, 1964.
One of the indicted men was a Mississippi sheriff’s deputy named Cecil Price. Their indictments contained federal charges of violating Schwerner, Goodman, and Chaney’s civil rights. The accused could only be charged with civil rights offenses by DOJ prosecutors in order to grant the federal government jurisdiction over the case.
The men went on trial in Jackson, Mississippi. The trials opened approximately 36 months of court battles. Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court supported the U.S. government’s indictments. U.S. District Judge William Cox, an outspoken proponent of segregation, presided over the trial.
However, the racist judge ended up handling the case the way he was supposed to. That is because he was feeling the heat – on full blast from federal authorities. Judge Cox also worried about getting stripped of his judicial authority. A white-only jury convicted seven of the men guilty on October 27, 1967, notably Price and KKK Imperial Wizard Bowers. The jury failed to agree on three cases, setting nine defendants free.
Since no one had previously been found guilty in Mississippi for acts committed against a civil rights staffer, the mixed verdict was heralded by the U.S. media (as well as politically correct sycophants who soaked up the press on their activist soapboxes) as a significant victory in America’s fight against race-based violence. Countless victims have died at the hands of the Klan and other all-white domestic terror groups.
At the time of the Mississippi murders, angry white mobs were hell bent on wreaking havoc on Blacks or people from any race who were willing to help them.