Martin Luther King assassinated by US Govt: King Family civil trial verdict

Updated in 2016: here.

Coretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the widest possible audience.” – King Family Press Conference, Dec. 9, 1999.

Dr. King’s 2-minute message to you:

Dr. Martin Luther King’s family and personal friend/attorney, William F. Pepper, won a civil trial that found US government agencies guilty of assassination/wrongful death. The 1999 trial, King Family versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators, is the only trial ever conducted on the assassination of Dr. King. The King Center fully documents the case, with full trial transcript (to more fully explain the following summary of evidence, here is the best article I’ve found).

The overwhelming evidence of US government complicity found valid by the jury includes:

  • US 111th Military Intelligence Group were at Dr. King’s location during the assassination.
  • 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day.
  • Usual Memphis Police special body guards were advised they “weren’t needed” on the day of the assassination.
  • Regular and constant police protection for Dr. King was removed from protecting Dr. King an hour before the assassination.
  • Military Intelligence set-up photographers on the roof of a fire station with clear view to Dr. King’s balcony.
  • Dr. King’s room was changed from a secure 1st-floor room to an exposed balcony room.
  • Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper.
  • Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting.
  • The rifle Mr. Ray delivered was not matched to the bullet that killed Dr. King, and was not sighted to accurately shoot.

Also, the FBI acted to cause Dr. King’s death by suicide. The FBI illegally spied on Dr. King, used data in attempt to split leadership, and sent Dr. King a letter promising to expose alleged sexual misconduct. This was part of the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO program.

Please read the above evidence twice to be clear on its overwhelming power.

The King family’s attempts for a criminal trial were always denied by state and federal government. Claimed suspect, James Ray, said that his government-appointed attorney told him to sign a guilty plea to prevent the death penalty and threatened arrests of his father and brother as co-conspirators for his only part in the assassination plot: delivering a rifle. Mr. Ray produced a letter from his attorney stating the promise that Mr. Ray would receive a trial. When Mr. Ray discovered that he was solely blamed for Dr. King’s assassination and would never receive a trial, Mr. Ray’s subsequent recants of his guilty plea and requests for trial were denied.

The US government also denied the King family’s requests for independent investigation of the assassination, despite the overwhelming evidence produced at the 1999 civil trial. Dr. King’s wife, Coretta, spent more than twice the number of years she was married to Martin working to get a criminal trial for her husband’s assassination.

Importantly, the US government has never presented any evidence subject to challenge that substantiates their claim that Mr. Ray assassinated Dr. King.

The King family believes the government’s motivation to murder Dr. King was to prevent his imminent camp-in/Occupy at Washington, D.C. until the Vietnam War was ended and those resources directed to end poverty and invest in US hard and soft infrastructure. 

US corporate media did not cover the civil trial, interview the King family, and textbooks omit this information. This is crucial evidence of a controlled corporate media rejecting coverage of a game-changing story. Journalist and author, James Douglass:

“I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial’s second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, ‘Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson’s trial was the trial of the century. Clinton’s trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who’s here?’ ”

For comparison, please consider the media coverage of O.J. Simpson’s trials:

“Media coverage of the Simpson trial, which began in January 1995, was unlike any other. Over two thousand reporters covered the trial, and 80 miles of cable was required to allow nineteen television stations to cover the trial live to 91 percent of the American viewing audience. When the verdict was finally read on October 3, 1995, some 142 million people listened or watched. It seemed the nation stood still, divided along racial lines as to the defendant’s guilt or innocence. During and after the trial, over eighty books were published about the event by most everyone involved in the Simpson case.”

Coretta Scott King was certain of the evidence after 30 years of consideration from the 1968 assassination to the 1999 trial:

“For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination.” — Coretta Scott King.

The US Department of Justice issued a report in 2000 that explained their claimed investigation into their own possible guilt in the assassination. They concluded that they found no evidence to warrant further investigation. Dr. King’s son issued the following statement rebuking the “self-study” rather than independent investigation:

“We learned only hours before the Justice Department press conference that they were releasing the report of their results of their ‘limited investigation,’ which covered only two areas of new evidence concerning the assassination of Dr. King. We had requested that we be given a copy of the report a few days in advance so that we might have had the opportunity to review it in detail. Since that courtesy was not extended to us, we are only able at this time to state the following:

1. We initially requested that a comprehensive investigation be conducted by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, independent of the government, because we do not believe that, in such a politically-sensitive matter, the government is capable of investigating itself.

2. The type of independent investigation we sought was denied by the federal government. But in our view, it was carried out, in a Memphis courtroom, during a month-long trial by a jury of 12 American citizens who had no interest other than ascertaining the truth. (Kings v. Jowers)

3. After hearing and reviewing the extensive testimony and evidence, which had never before been tested under oath in a court of law, it took the Memphis jury only one (1) hour to find that a conspiracy to kill Dr. King did exist. Most significantly, this conspiracy involved agents of the governments of the City of Memphis, the state of Tennessee and the United States of America. The overwhelming weight of the evidence also indicated that James Earl Ray was not the triggerman and, in fact, was an unknowing patsy.

4. We stand by that verdict and have no doubt that the truth about this terrible event has finally been revealed.

5. We urge all interested Americans to read the transcript of the trial on the King Center website and consider the evidence, so they can form their own unbiased conclusions.

Although we cooperated fully with this limited investigation, we never really expected that the government report would be any more objective than that which has resulted from any previous official investigation.”

Let’s summarize: Under US Civil Law, covert US government agencies were found guilty of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King was the leading figure of the Civil Rights Movement, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and widely recognized as one of the world’s greatest speakers for what it means to be human. The family’s conclusion as to motive was to prevent Dr. King from ending the Vietnam War because the government wanted to continue its ongoing illegal covert and overt military operations to control foreign governments and their resources.

It is therefore a factual statement that under US Civil Law, the US government assassinated Dr. King.

People of sufficient intellectual integrity and moral courage to apply critical thinking skills will embrace the trial evidence and testimony, jury conclusion, and King family analysis as appropriate and helpful information in seeking the facts.

People who at least temporarily reject challenging information out of fear might say something like, “The government killed Dr. King? That’s a crazy conspiracy theory!”

Let’s consider that statement.

When someone says that a body of evidence is “crazy,” or a “conspiracy theory” (meaning an irrational claim easily refuted by the evidence) that’s a claim. With a claim comes a burden of proof. In this case, the person would have to demonstrate command of the facts to explain and prove why the evidence from the civil trial is somehow “crazy” and refute the evidence.

If the person can do this, it would be tremendously helpful in understanding the facts. However, we know from our experience that such statements almost always have zero factual support, and that the person making such a claim literally doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

We also know from our experience, a person making such a statement is really voicing an emotional reaction something closer to, “The government killed Dr. King? Ok, I read and understood the paragraphs about the trial and evidence. I read Mrs. King’s and her son’s statement. I haven’t invested the time to verify how valid that information is. I’m not stupid, but because the implications of what that means is so disturbing, I’m going to deny anything about it could possibly be true as my first response. If I’m going to continue being in denial and refuse to discuss the evidence, I’ll attack the messenger.”

We also need to consider the lack of coverage by US corporate media of this compelling evidence, trial verdict, and King family testimony from over 30 years’ analysis of the facts. Recall the evidence of US corporate media reporting being infiltrated by CIA agents to propagandize Americans’ access to information. This included the Director of the CIA’s admission to Congress that they have over 400 agents working in corporate media to make the US public believe what the CIA wants them to believe.

In 2006, George Washington University used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the US military’s “Information Operations Roadmap.” This formerly secret and approved document details present US government strategies to generate propaganda, and then attack Internet alternative media that provides dangerous facts and discussion. The military promoted the term, “Fight the net.”

Although I won’t enter the burden of proof here, you may know that there are similar and related bodies of evidence that the US government assassinated other American leaders. The 1975 Senate Church Committee disclosed that the US government initiated and helped assassination attempts on multiple foreign heads of state.

If we were discussing how the population of some other nation could employ critical thinking skills to understand current events from anytime in history, we would certainly understand the importance to anticipate disinformation from government, danger of controlled media, and assassination as a political weapon.

Failure to do so would appropriately elicit the label attributed to the first dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin. Such people who believe what their government tells them when the history and present have overwhelming objective evidence to explain, document, and prove that the government is typical of so many other historical self-serving oligarchies are:

“Useful idiots.”

To the extent the United States today is any different from all other nations and all other times is up to your exercise of critical thinking skills.

And that said, objective, measurable, and independently verifiable facts easily explain, document, and prove US history of:

An obvious question: What does the 99.99% of humanity do to end these viciously psychopathic assassinations of our best people, end lie-started Wars of Aggression, end bankster looting, and genuinely have opportunity to create a bright future for all Earth’s inhabitants?

An obvious answer: We tell the truth/facts, arrest obvious criminals, and have media broadcast our true condition so we may begin. I explain here:

2015 Winning Time: 3 phases to 99.99%’s victory over .01% criminal psychopaths

Bill Pepper, King family friend and attorney, explaining the assassination (start at 7:35 to avoid a glitch; 100 minutes):

Dr. King’s 47-minute speech to Stanford University, 1967:

Note: has blocked public access to my articles on their site (and from other whistleblowers). Some links in current articles are therefore now blocked. If you’d like to search for those articles other sites may have republished, use words from the article title within the blocked link. I’ll update as “hobby time” allows; including updating my earliest work from 2009 to 2011 (my blocked author pages: here, here).

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  • Robert Barsocchini

    Excellent summary and links. Wonder if Selma movie will mention this. FBI’s own files day they tried to get MLK to commit suicide and “destroy” him.

  • edwardrynearson

    Audio of NPR’s “Morning Edition” coverage of the 1999 Trial in Memphis at it’s conclusion @

    • Carl_Herman

      I just listened to this “coverage;” thank you, edward, and invite all interested in verifying government propaganda to also listen.

      NPR lies in commission and omission in their report to obfuscate the overwhelming factual evidence that the US government assassinated Dr. King. The propaganda is a beautiful example of how the 99.99% are played on all important issues.

      • Southernfink

        Kudo’s to you Carl — a truly brilliant article ~!

  • Carrol Aery

    did you know i don’t give a fuck?????????

    • Carl_Herman

      Awesome to share to help people choose if this topic is important to them or not; thank you, Carrol. Btw, choose wisely what you support and do not: you’ll have exactly what you work for.

    • joseph.murph

      Obviously you represent the stupid. I bet your mother and father are sister and brother. You sound like a product of inbreeding. You toothless cannibal.

    • Korz53

      God’s Judgment coming to all sinners.

    • Frederick Mcghee

      Bitch kill your self

      • John Schimon

        Look how quick you are to stoop to her level. You could just as easily not say anything.

  • joseph.murph

    I can’t believe this didn’t make main stream news. I believe there would be an outbreak if the community were made aware. I will neverntrust our government again. Shame on you bastards.

    • Carl_Herman

      “Mainstream” – corporate media exists to block such news, joseph.murph. They are propagandists to protect the .01% empire-crimes centered in war and what is used for money.

      There will be an outbreak; just keep moving forward.

      • Can

        The same media that tells you that the government owe to spend trillions on military industries because of 45 Americans were killed by foreign terrorists while equivalent thousands are killed by poverty, domestic terrorists, and lack of reasonable gun control.

      • Can

        Martin Luther King went beyond justice for blacks and started to see the bigger issue and that is why he met the qualifications for assassination, just like the Kennedy’s brothers, and the lone gunman theory is not the only similarity.

        The people who are really secretly in charge of America, are the same ones behind the corporate media, giant industries etc…they are all borderless aristocratic families who silently control the levers of power in the western world… The U.S might have won its independence, but these families have not relented, when U.S sold a fake war in Iraq, was it a surprise that Tony Blair of U.K made his country join the war without popular support?! Think about it, that was the only significant western country to join that fiasco. The Bushes, The Cheneys, The Blairs, The Howards (the latter labeled as racist by the U.N towards his treatments of aboriginals in Australia)……etc etc, these families do not distinguish borders between their respective countries, passport is irrelevant to them. Passports are just used to herd their respective sheeps…They will let you protest, but as long as your protest is fruitless then they will just sit back, you have to pass certain threshold of posing risk before they take you out.

    • BarleySinger

      I can. In Feb of 2000 we moved to Australia (I was recruited for a senior I.T. position). My how the news here on the Aussie SBS & ABC are different than in the USA. Even the biased commercial stations here are more honest than US news is. The ‘history’ in a lot of documentaries shown on TV here is quite different to (when it touches on the USA) what one normally gets in the USA on the same topics..

    • Dee Jay

      I found out through Pinterest

  • Maenad

    Thank you for this brilliant post. No, as well informed as I try to be, I don’t recall this trial whatsoever, and yes, I remember exactly where I was when the OJ verdict came through, despite trying to ignore the whole spectacle, there was no escape.

    Never in my life have I heard expressed more of this type of response to truth on any issue.
    . . .OK, I read and understood the evidence and statements. I haven’t invested the time to verify how valid that information is. I’m not stupid, but because the implications of what that means is so disturbing, I’m going to deny anything about it could possibly be true and attack the messenger. . .

  • MooTieFighter

    I know today is not a day we are suppose to discuss facts. It is a day we discuss feelings and portions of history that makes us feel good on the inside, but for those (like me) that prefer facts over fiction, here we go:

    1. His name wasn’t Martin Luther. It was Michael. It was decided Martin Luther had a more prominent ring to it, so he went by that. He never legally changed his name. To this day, he lived and died as Michael King.

    2. While working on his dissertation for his doctoral degree at Boston University, he heavily plagiarized from another author who had done research on a subject similar to King’s. As academic committee later found that over half of King’s work was plagiarized, yet would not revoke his doctrine. King was dead by this time, and the committee ruled that revoking the title would serve no purpose. It was also discovered that King’s famous I HAVE A DREAM speech was also not his own. He stole it from a sermon by Archibald Carey,a popular black preacher in the 1950’s.

    3. King was under FBI surveillance for several years (until he died) due to his ties with communist organizations throughout the country. King accepted money from the organizations to fund his movements. In return, King had to appoint communist leaders to run certain districts of his SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), who then could project their communist ideas to larger audiences. A federal judge in the 60’s ruled that the FBI files on King links to communism to remain top-secret until 2027. Senator Jesse Helms appealed to the Supreme Court in 1983 to release the files, so the correct bill in the Senate to create the Martin Luther King Federal Holiday could be abolished. He was denied.

    4. One of King’s closest friends, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, wrote a book in 1989 in which he talked about King’s obsession with white prostitutes. King would often use church donations to have drunken sex parties, where he would hire two to three white prostitutes, occasionally beating them brutally. This has also been reported by the FBI agents who monitored King. King was married with four children.

    Martin Luther King Day. A day when this country will come to a screeching halt so we can have parades and memorials to honor this man, a man that most of the world views as a saint for his role in the civil rights movement. No other public holiday in the United States honors a single individual. Of all the great leaders in our Nation’s history-none of them have their own holiday. All of our great war heroes share Memorial Day. All of our great presidents share President’s Day. Yet king — a man who was a phony, a cheater, a traitor, and a sexual degenerate gets a day of his own.

    5. There is a reason his records are sealed until 2027, it’s not going to be flattering.


    Abernathy, Ralph David. And the Walls Came Tumbling Down.
    New York: Harper & Row, 1989. ISBN 0-06-016192-2 (pp. 470-473).

    Dyson, Michael Eric. I May Not Get There With You.
    New York: The Free Press, 2000. ISBN 0-684-86776-1.

    Frady, Marshall. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    New York: Penguin, 2002. ISBN 0-670-88231-3.

    Garrow, David J. Bearing the Cross.
    New York: William Morrow, 1986. ISBN 0-688-04794-7.

    Miller, Keith D. Voice of Deliverance: The Language of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Its Sources.
    New York: The Free Press, 1992. ISBN 0-02-921521-8 (pp. 146-147).

    Pepper, William F. Orders to Kill.
    New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995. ISBN 0-7867-0253-2.

    Radin, Charles A. “Panel Confirms Plagiarism by King at BU.”
    The Boston Globe. 11 October 1991 (p. 1).

    • Aron Dough

      MOOTIE… I think it’s well known that no one is perfect. I fail to see how any of these take away from the impact that MLK had on the lives of millions of people and non of that certainly warranted his assassination. Let’s break this stuff down.

      1. Who cares.. I don’t even know why that is worth mentioning. Many public personalities change their names, legally or not, to appeal to a wider audience. I’m not even going to create a list because I think most people of thinking understand this.

      2. While I do agree this hurts the area of integrity, it is a small matter in the grand scheme of things. I think if there was an exhaustive study of how many college students plagerize, the results would probably be eye opening. It was a bad attempt to cover up for a lack of ideas.. it was a human thing to do. Also to the I have a dream speech. Perhaps he had permission.. also I don’t see anything wrong with agreeing with that message and using that on a much wider stage. It was a strong message that has lasted the test of time. Part of that is attributed to Who gave the speech and not soley it’s contents. I am sure that pastor was happy to hear that message go out to so many people.

      3. Who cares again? The ideas of communism do not equal evil. To this day there are tons of prominent people who believe in those ideals and while they do not put the name of communism to it, that is what they believe or even preach. It’s a distribution of wealth and a want for everyone to contribute equally. While it doesn’t go along with the general American thinking of a free market democracy, it isn’t not an intermittently evil ideology to believe in. Anyone who thinks that being a communist means that they agree with everything done in a Stalin lead USSR, or subsequent bad communist countries, are naive.

      4. So the guy liked to have sex. So? If he did beat the girls, that would be the only piece of damning information that you have given. Can that be proven? As to him having sex with hookers, if so then he had a vice. We do not know if he had agreements with his wife in place and I don’t know that any of this negatively impacted his ability to be a good father.

      Many “great” world leaders have had their fair share of skeletons in the closet. We are don’t have MLK day to focus on those skeletons. We celebrate the day to honor his life and his huge achievements. Name another great american who deserves his own day who doesn’t have any baggage?

      Also there are other people who have their own day, so you are dead wrong there. Ever heard of Columbus day? Do you think that Columbus is a person who deserves more praise than MLK? If we want to throw dirt at an individual who has his own day, then I look forward to you presenting facts about Christopher Columbus.

    • Carl_Herman

      May your own life be told in your own tongue, Moo.

    • Kevin S.

      Points 1-4 that Moo made are plagiarized from this snopes article… In which they found each of those points false.


  • Still_Mr_Canuck
    • Carl_Herman

      Yes, wowzers because snopes does nothing to address the overwhelming evidence documented here from the trial.

      • BarleySinger

        Snopes is a bad source for lots of topics. You see the folks on that web site are a part of an ideological social movement. They embrace a form of “supposed skepticism” where a person claims to be a skepic, but violates the definition of the term by going in with entrenched and unshakable ideas. So they “already knows the answers” and no amount of evidence can sway them, ie “true believers” and “confirmation bias”.

    • Ucantmakethisup

      When Snopes or factcheck (owned by cnn/comcast) states “unproven” then you know that it’s true.
      Snopes is owned by a very liberal couple getting a good income from the liberal masses.

      If it’s political I do not believe either site…if it states “unproven” then it’s probably true.
      I have read issues on both sites that go around in circles not to actually answer a question.

      We need to think outside the box..

  • Neil

    He was killed by the American establishment, he had become an effective champion of socialist causes and they could not tolerate that. If he had stuck with parochial civil rights issues they wouldn’t have killed him, but he became a very vocal and successful opponent of the American government itself, not just of the racists.

  • william paine

    And Corpomedia is putting on such shows as: “The Search for James Earl Ray” Martin Luther Kings’ killer. I do not like being called stupid. Are you a moron?

  • zombie funk

    Nothing surprises me with this crooked government and the wealthy powers that be.

  • KB

    gotta love WHITE AMERICA right ? *said no one ever* hating my own government more and more. its sad black ppl cnt have anything positive n this country our ancestors were dragged to. then the government tells us to get off the street and b something, when we try they tear us down and jail us then call us thugs, hoodlums and deviants. i love how this was kept underwraps and how they didn’t wanna admit their fault. thegovernment has it out for black ppl, always has. but what i cnt understand is why. why hate someone bcuz of their color AFTER bringing them here n the first place. black slaves made this country what it is. billions of dollars that still remains in some pockets…except our OWN.