Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974 by 23 year-old Marcus Wayne Chenault as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church during a Sunday service. He wounded three people, two of them —Mrs. King and Deacon Edward Boykin, 69—fatally.
According to the New York Times, Chenault “told the police that his mission was to kill the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., but he shot Mrs. King instead because she was close to him”.
Interestingly, Alberta King’s life was taken only a few months before James Earl Ray’s evidentiary hearing to determine whether or not he would be granted a new trial.
The FBI maintained wiretaps on the King Family and the SCLC for some time after MLK Jr.’s assassination. With mounting evidence of the government’s involvement in the killing, the guilty parties had plenty of reason to be fearful of one of MLK Jr.’s parents going public, or possibly speaking in Ray’s defense.