MLK Assassination

Will Williams

Introduction W/W/W/W/H

Thursday, April 4, 1968 is a day to remembered by Americans, especially those who supported the Civil Rights movement. On this day Doctor King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee at the Lorraine Motel. It is said that he was killed by James Earl Ray. From witnesses, people have came to the conclusion that Ray sniped King from a near by apartment he was staying at. Even though there is no true reasoning behind why Ray killed King, it is said that Ray wanted to be a famous criminal and believed he was too smart to get caught.

Media Input

There were many different ways the media portrayed this event. I do not think anyone downplayed it, this was simply a tragic event. King was a great man, he was even won a Noble Peace Prize. One idea that lingered around though was that the U.S. government simply set all of this up and used Ray as a scapegoat, a lot of people surprisingly supported this, including Kings family. Another idea was that Loyd Jowers, the government and the mafia planned Kings assassination. Jowers publicly talked about this, even appeared on ABC's Prime Time Live. This idea has to be somewhat supported because a judge did find Jowers and "others" responsible for the death and were fined $100.
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One of the most prominent biases you can see in this situation is the bias of who was involved. It seems to me that no matter what people believe the government was involved. But what changes is who was also involved with the government. Many people do not believe Ray could have done it alone, he was not smart enough and did not have enough money. Two things the government could have helped him with.


The most obvious type of criticism I see is historical. This event was such a big turning point, some people believe King was one of the greatest Americans to ever live. Even though Ray confessed to the crime, he rapidly changed his mind just 3 days later. This means people will come up with their own stories and what they believe what happened. No one will truly know what happened, and that is sad for history and the family of King.

Personal Thoughts

Obviously I was not around the time of this incident, so I did not know as much as someone who would of experienced it. At first thought I always believed it was some form of hate or race crime. I always thought that a racist man killed King, merely on the facts of what he stood for. After learning and reading more through doing this project my mind has shifted. I believe that Ray did kill him, but I believe he had assistance. Whether that assistance was from the government, which I surely pray it was not, or another source, there is no doubt he did not act alone.