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Klandestine: How a Klan Lawyer and a Checkbook Journalist Helped James Earl Ray Cover Up His Crime

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At 6:01 pm on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired from an elevated and concealed position. Yet unanswered questions surround the circumstances of his demise, and many still wonder whether justice was served. After all, only one man, an escaped convict from Missouri named J At 6:01 pm on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired from an elevated and concealed position. Yet unanswered questions surround the circumstances of his demise, and many still wonder whether justice was served. After all, only one man, an escaped convict from Missouri named James Earl Ray, was punished for the crime. On the surface, Ray did not fit the caricature of a hangdog racist thirsty for blood. Media coverage has often portrayed him as hapless and apolitical, someone who must have been paid by clandestine forces. It’s a narrative that Ray himself put in motion upon his June 1968 arrest in London, then continued from jail until his death in 1998. In 1999, Dr. King’s own family declared Ray an innocent man.   After his arrest, Ray forged a publishing partnership with two very strange bedfellows: a slick Klan lawyer named Arthur J. Hanes, the de facto “Klonsel” for the United Klans of America, and checkbook journalist William Bradford Huie, the darling of Look magazine and a longtime menace of the KKK. Despite polar opposite views on race, Hanes and Huie found common cause in the world of conspiracy. Together, they thought they could make Memphis the new Dallas.   Relying on novel primary source discoveries gathered over an eight-year period, including a trove of newly released documents and dusty files, Klandestine takes readers deep inside Ray’s Memphis jail cell and Alabama’s violent Klaverns. Told through Hanes and Huie’s key perspectives, it shows how a legacy of unpunished racial killings provided the perfect exigency to sell a lucrative conspiracy to a suspicious and outraged nation.


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At 6:01 pm on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired from an elevated and concealed position. Yet unanswered questions surround the circumstances of his demise, and many still wonder whether justice was served. After all, only one man, an escaped convict from Missouri named J At 6:01 pm on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by a single bullet fired from an elevated and concealed position. Yet unanswered questions surround the circumstances of his demise, and many still wonder whether justice was served. After all, only one man, an escaped convict from Missouri named James Earl Ray, was punished for the crime. On the surface, Ray did not fit the caricature of a hangdog racist thirsty for blood. Media coverage has often portrayed him as hapless and apolitical, someone who must have been paid by clandestine forces. It’s a narrative that Ray himself put in motion upon his June 1968 arrest in London, then continued from jail until his death in 1998. In 1999, Dr. King’s own family declared Ray an innocent man.   After his arrest, Ray forged a publishing partnership with two very strange bedfellows: a slick Klan lawyer named Arthur J. Hanes, the de facto “Klonsel” for the United Klans of America, and checkbook journalist William Bradford Huie, the darling of Look magazine and a longtime menace of the KKK. Despite polar opposite views on race, Hanes and Huie found common cause in the world of conspiracy. Together, they thought they could make Memphis the new Dallas.   Relying on novel primary source discoveries gathered over an eight-year period, including a trove of newly released documents and dusty files, Klandestine takes readers deep inside Ray’s Memphis jail cell and Alabama’s violent Klaverns. Told through Hanes and Huie’s key perspectives, it shows how a legacy of unpunished racial killings provided the perfect exigency to sell a lucrative conspiracy to a suspicious and outraged nation.

53 review for Klandestine: How a Klan Lawyer and a Checkbook Journalist Helped James Earl Ray Cover Up His Crime

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darcee Kraus

    I won this novel in the First Read giveaway! I was very excited to receive and found it to be both informative and thrilling. I was not even sure if I would be all that interested, I love learning things but don't always enjoy following along and delving into the subject. Pate McMichael did a wonderful job and I have already passed it along to another soon to be fan. I won this novel in the First Read giveaway! I was very excited to receive and found it to be both informative and thrilling. I was not even sure if I would be all that interested, I love learning things but don't always enjoy following along and delving into the subject. Pate McMichael did a wonderful job and I have already passed it along to another soon to be fan.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chad Montabon

    A good read. Not as much as I'd hoped about the escapes, who was on the porch or other conspiratorial angles, but some good information about Raoul and how Ray made it to England. A good read. Not as much as I'd hoped about the escapes, who was on the porch or other conspiratorial angles, but some good information about Raoul and how Ray made it to England.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jess B

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

  5. 5 out of 5

    April Haugen

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mar

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul J

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dionte Washington

  9. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melanie McMichael

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steve

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jodydeaton

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kme_17

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janet

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marlene Smith

  17. 4 out of 5

    James Lynam

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jay Dougherty

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Russo

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lizbeth

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  22. 4 out of 5

    Callan Latimer

  23. 4 out of 5

    John

  24. 5 out of 5

    Walter Scharrer

  25. 5 out of 5

    Pate McMichael

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Cole Marie Mckinnon

  30. 5 out of 5

    Donna Schubert

  31. 5 out of 5

    Vykki

  32. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  33. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  34. 4 out of 5

    Tammy Pooser

  35. 5 out of 5

    Donna Wetzel

  36. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

  37. 5 out of 5

    Cait Wall

  38. 4 out of 5

    Melitta Cross

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kim Myers

  40. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Carnes

  41. 4 out of 5

    DC547

  42. 4 out of 5

    Randall Christopher

  43. 4 out of 5

    Shana M. Garrity

  44. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  45. 5 out of 5

    Patty Todaro

  46. 5 out of 5

    Pam

  47. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Bingham

  48. 4 out of 5

    Marie

  49. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Barkhouse

  50. 5 out of 5

    Kara

  51. 5 out of 5

    Connor

  52. 4 out of 5

    Joy Yerkie

  53. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Bawelkiewicz

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