I Want Justice, Too

Photos by Kate Medley
Family photos courtesy of Thomas Moore
Additional reporting by Natalie Irby and Thabi Moyo
(Click on photos to enlarge)

Finding James Ford Seale Alive: A Timeline
See full JFP Dee-Moore archive here.

The Jackson Free Press teamed with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. to follow an Army vet and Mississippi native on his journey back home, looking for justice for his little brother who was killed by the Klan in 1964. This is his story.

Charles Moore hitchhiked often. Growing up in the 1950s and '60s in rural Southwest Mississippi, near the lethargic town of Meadville, the young black man had not enjoyed the amenities that many white teenagers had. His mama, Mazie, had never owned a car. They did not have running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, gas, a TV; they lived in a three-room shotgun house out in Franklin County, about 32 miles east of Natchez, where he shared a room with his brother, Thomas, one year older. You could see the daylight through the wooden slats.

Mazie slept in the other room and spent much of her free time in the tiny, damp kitchen, cooking biscuits and fatback, butterbeans, fried chicken and her famous potato salad. The boys picked blackberries and huckleberries for her jellies; they had hogs and chickens for meat and eggs. She would make a big batch of pickled pork sausages at one time; her boys dug them out of a big Mason jar with their fingers. The mother may have bought many of their groceries on her $20 credit account at Hollinger Grocery Store, but she always put three meals a day, home-cooked, on their small table for her boys.

Most days, Tom and Nub, as most everybody called Charles, took biscuits and fatback in greasy paper bags for lunch, first at the small black school in Meadville, which didn't have running water, either, and after 1963 at the Lillie May Bryant School, which was the consolidated black school for all of Franklin County. There they sat together most days and ate their biscuits.

"You seeing one, you seeing two," Thomas Moore says now. "We were poor, but we had everything we needed." He remembers his mother buying each of them five pairs of pants each school year, a few shirts and a new pair of shoes. "It was up to us to keep them clean." Nub, the neater one of the two, did a better job, pressing his clothes with a smoothing iron heated by the fire, polishing his shoes. It paid off—he was voted Best Dressed, as well as Most Intelligent, of his senior class. He was also president of his freshman, sophomore and senior classes (defeating Thomas for the post in the 12th grade; his big brother, in the same grade, became his vice president).

Mazie had a strong work ethic. People had thought her husband, Charlie, had lots of money; he had, after all, graduated high school and then worked as a logger. But he also had a gambling problem. When he died on March 27, 1948, at age 50, he didn't leave the family much to live on; they had to rely on welfare—$12 a month—and the $10 a month she made cleaning the house of the local welfare director, a white man. She also took in white folks' laundry that she and the boys would scrub in iron wash pots filled with scalding hot water.

But, somehow, it was enough. "We had a good Christmas always," Thomas says. "We'd each get six apples, six oranges, a paper-cap pistol. During the county fair, we'd get $5 for the whole week." To get to work or to visit their cousins and friends in nearby Bude, or to go to Natchez, the brothers would hitch rides, mostly from white folks who could afford cars.

Mazie made about $300 a year, but it was supplemented by money her two sons brought in plowing gardens for their Uncle Joe Buckles (bringing him $75 to $100 a day for five to 10 fields, then taking home about $2.50 each) and moving sand for the new golf course for whites in Franklin County.

They believed in working hard so they could have more someday; both boys dreamed of building their mama a brick house with running water and electric lights. Her goal was to send them both to college so they could have their piece of the American dream.

"She taught us how to be somebody," Thomas says of his mother, who only completed the sixth grade. "She taught us our ABCs and multiplication tables before we went to school. She was proud of her two boys."

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER
When we first meet Thomas, he is standing in the spot where his brother was last seen alive by anyone but Klansmen. It is July 8, 2005, and large, but sporadic raindrops are starting to drop on Main Street in Meadville as Hurricane Dennis starts to threaten the Gulf Coast. The street is peaceful on a Friday afternoon, except for the thunder claps that sound like gunshots.

"This is where we always hitchhiked from,"says Thomas, now a hulking, muscular man of 62, who has lived in Colorado Springs with his wife, Mae, and son, Jeffrey, since he retired from the Army in 1994 after 30 years of service. We are standing across Main from Napa Auto Supply, in front of the old Dillon's service station.

Thomas says that, in those days, hitchhiking wasn't considered scary; they had to do it to get around. But they did have a plan in case something went wrong: one would sit in the back seat, the other in the front. If a ride turned dangerous, one could grab the steering wheel, the other could choke the driver from behind. Or, if they were riding in the back of a pick-up truck, they planned to jump out into water as they went over a bridge.

The boys didn't have this plan because they sensed real danger from local whites, however. They hadn't even really heard about the Civil Rights Movement. They had to eat at the back of the Meadville Café, sit upstairs in the movie theater. Their people couldn't vote, and they studied from a history book with a rebel flag on the cover. But segregation was what they grew up knowing. "All our political knowledge was very limited. We didn't have TV; we didn't even get the Natchez Democrat," Thomas says.

Her sons didn't fear white men, but Mazie always knew there could be trouble. They may not have heard about Freedom Rides, but all mothers of black boys knew about the Emmett Till case up in Money, Miss., in 1955 where a Chicago mama lost her 14-year-old boy after he supposedly whistled at a white man's wife.

"Don't you be out there messing around with them white women," Mazie would tell Tom and Nub.

"She had a protective mentality," Thomas remembers.

So did Thomas. Because Nub was more studious and a bit smaller, the older brother always watched out for the young one. "Charles Moore would have made a Ph.D," he says. "I was the fighter; I protected him at school."

The boys liked it that way. They both played football at Lillie Bryant; Tom intentionally flunked out a year, he says now, in order to play football long enough to try to get a college scholarship. That meant that the brothers went to senior year together.

But, as no scholarship was in the offing, Tom decided to wait a year to go to college, and work in New Orleans instead, so that Nub could go ahead and to go Alcorn State, up in Lorman.

On his application, Charles said he wanted to be a schoolteacher: "I like helping people to learn," he typed.

He had recently read Margaret Walker Alexander's "For My People," Charles Darwin's "Origin of a Species" and John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." The latter was his favorite: "It had so much to do with the struggle of an individual in his development, and struggle impressed me greatly," he wrote on his application.

So in the fall of 1963, Nub went to Alcorn—and, very shortly thereafter, Tom was drafted into the Army and reported to Fort Polk in Louisiana for training.

CONDUCT UNBECOMING
At Alcorn, Charles' grades were erratic—the first year, his transcript shows, he made a B in zoology and an F in algebra. He was enjoying his new social life—and learning to speak up for himself in the world. He had an A in "student adjustment."

His second semester there, though, he spoke too loudly. After Charles joined a student protest about the poor quality of the cafeteria food, Alcorn President J.D. Boyd suspended him for "conduct on the campus unbecoming a student." By all accounts, that was his only brush ever with politics.

Charles went back home and seemed to go a bit adrift, coming back to eat home cooking and hang out with his cousins in Bude. The night of May 1, 1964, he told Mazie he was going over there with cousin Evis Bell to a party. He planned to stay the night at Evis' house.

The next day, Mazie passed the hitching spot in front of Dillon's gas station—the spot across from today's Napa Auto—and saw Charles trying to thumb. He was there with fellow Lillie Bryant alum Henry Dee, a dapper 19-year-old with a James-Brown-esque conk, who had moved to Chicago and was back home visiting.

Mazie had gotten a ride to the doctor and figured she would pick them up when she came back by there. That Saturday was the last time Mazie saw her boy alive.

Fellow Klansmen would later tell the FBI that when James Ford Seale, a 29-year-old truck driver from Meadville, drove by in his Volkswagen and saw the two boys, he got in his head that they were "part of the agitation that was going on in Mississippi, especially since one of them had recently come down from Chicago." He told the man driving with him, reportedly Charles Marcus Edwards, who worked at International Paper in Natchez, to get out of the car and follow him in his pick-up; he went back to the boys, who did not thumb him for a ride. He pulled over anyway and told them to get into the car, that he was a Federal Revenue agent. As he started driving west on Highway 84, toward Natchez, the boys became suspicious, and one asked him to pull over.

"(The boy) was told by James Seale that he could not as there were some more agents that he wanted the two Negroes to talk to," a Klansman later told the FBI. Seale reportedly used his walkie-talkie, official like, to call the men in the pickup truck to tell them he had two Negroes he wanted them to talk to. He then turned off 84 into the Homochitto National Forest. When he stopped, Charles and Henry got out just as the pickup pulled up. Seale got out with his carbine in his hand "and got the drop on the two Negroes."

The Klansmen—all members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, very active in and around Natchez then—tied the two boys to a tree and began severely beating them both with bean sticks.

"KLANSMAN, I WANT YOU"
After meeting Thomas Moore in Meadville, we drive the route the VW would have followed to take his brother and his friend into Homochitto. FBI records do not show exactly where the boys were taken, so we pick a spot in the woods thick with oaks, pines and low dead bushes recently burned. The raindrops, few and far between, seem as big as quarters. The cicadas are providing a dramatic soundtrack.

After we park, Thomas walks ahead of us, carrying a long, thin tree limb with four stems of leaves shooting off one end. It's probably 7 feet long. At first, I think he's carrying it as a walking stick, but then he walks up to a tree.

"This is a stick similar to a bean stick, the same size. People used bean sticks to stake beans, string beans, butterbeans, to stake tomatoes," Thomas Moore says. He starts swinging it like a baseball bat into the tree, with the force of all his 210 pounds.

Whack, whack, whack. The blows, which leave welts on the trunk of the Magnolia tree he picked, sound like a basketball thunking hard on a court. "These sticks had a lot of flexibility for beating someone tied to a tree," Thomas adds.

"Imagine a person, tied to a tree, a rope tied around their waist," he says between whacks. "They were trying to get them to confess to something that had no value." Whack. "They did confess to stop the bleeding." By now, all the leaves are gone, and the stick is at least a foot shorter.

As they unleashed all their strength on the boys, the Klansmen told Charles and Henry they knew they were Black Muslims trying to start an insurrection. They wanted to know who was leading the "Negro problems" in Franklin County. One of them finally told them the name of a black preacher in Roxie, to get them to stop.

When the Klansmen tired of swinging, the young men were hanging there by the waist, nearly lifeless, covered with blood. The Klansmen then had to decide what to do with them. According to FBI files, Seale's father Clyde, of Meadville, got to a telephone and called another son, Jack Seale, over in Natchez.

"KIWU!" Clyde said. The word "Kiwu" stands for "Klansman, I want you" in the KKK handbook.

Jack Seale reportedly responded to the cry for help by getting his buddy Ernest Parker, then a Natchez businessman, to bring his red Ford car to the forest and help load up the two men, who were nearly dead. They put Charles and Henry on a plastic tarp to keep bloodstains from getting into the trunk. They then drove some 100 miles to the Ole River—the Mississippi backwater near Tallulah, La., six miles from Vicksburg—to a boat landing belonging to Parker, according to FBI files.

There they took the men out into the water in a boat owned by Ernest Parker and his brother Lee, tied one of them to an old Jeep block and the other to a weighted chain, and pushed them overboard. They talked about shooting them first, being that they were still breathing, but "Seale replied that he did not want to shoot them because it would have gotten blood all over the boat," according to an FBI informant.

The bodies of Charles Moore and Henry Dee would not be found for over two months. As the families worried, rumor had it that they had run off somewhere. Meanwhile, in the white community, at least the white Klan community, word spread about the murders, with one tale being that Dee had "peeped" at Edwards' wife. The men involved started to get nervous because they worried that the bodies would float to the surface somehow. James Seale, in particular, told buddies that he was scared because he had put the tape on the men's wrists; he worried that his fingerprints would turn up, according to FBI reports.

On July 12 and 13, Navy divers looking for the bodies of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner found the torsos of Charles and Henry; they were identified by personal effects including a belt buckle that Thomas Moore had given his brother.

ANYWHERE IN GLORY
It is dusk by the time we get to the cemetery back behind Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church where Charles Moore used to be a substitute Sunday School teacher. It is on a dirt road near Kirby, right off Seale Road N.W., across a cattle guard, encircled by a barb-wire fence. The rain has stopped, the sky is pinkish-gray, and the cicadas have followed us.

Thomas is quiet as he strides to the back right corner of the cemetery. He slows down as he approaches his family plot; his shoulders slump as he bends over graves that are starting to cave in a bit to look at his brother's tombstone. Its condition takes him back, and he seems surprised at an inscription he hasn't read in years. It is handwritten into a block of concrete, like a child scrawling their initials into a wet sidewalk. The word "born" is crumbling away:

Cherlie Eddie Moor
B______ Aug. 10, 1944
Beried July 1964
Darling, we will miss you
Anywhere in Glory Is All Right

It is the only time we will see Thomas seem embarrassed. "I got to get a new tombstone," he says, adding, "A local guy did this. He didn't spell his name right." The grave is surrounded by family names: Moore, Buckles, Cameron; his mother and father lie at the head of Charles' grave.

Standing under a huge oak tree, Thomas describes coming home from camp after his commander tells him that part of his brother's body has been found. Once he got here, no one would say anything about the murder. No one.

The body was interred at West Funeral Home in Natchez, the black one. The service was small with some community people, relatives, a few classmates. Mazie asked Thomas to wear his khaki Army uniform, and to walk in front of the casket as it was moved in and out of the church.

"It was sad," Thomas says. "Didn't nobody talk about the murder. The preacher didn't talk or say anything about the violent act, or anything like that."

That day began many years of sadness and pain for the Moore family. "When I walked out of this cemetery, that's when the anger started building," Thomas says. He remembers wanting to take his 30-30 Winchester, hunt down the Klansmen and exact revenge. But his mother told him no, that he needed to go make somebody out of himself instead. He would survive, she said.

Still, Thomas regrets the code of silence about the murders that developed between him and his mother and family members starting in July 1964. "People didn't talk about it at all. It was fear, shock; they didn't want to get involved maybe," he says. They also knew how unlikely it was to get justice for the murders of two black men by a gang of white ones.

"I drank a little then"—he doesn't now at all—"and I was trying to get drunk a lot. Mama would sit on the porch crying, saying, "I wish he'd walk through that door." I knew it was going to be the death of her."

The mother who "thought she had raised two ideal boys," as Thomas says now, would live another 12 years, though, get her driver's license, drive a truck Thomas helped her buy, keep cooking and going to church and cleaning houses. But she did die young, in her sleep on April 30, 1977. She was 65.

"I remember Mama crying, but we never talked about it," Thomas says. "Maybe the two of us should have talked."

Instead, Thomas went out into the world with his sweetheart from Roxie by his side, became a command sergeant major, spent 30 years in the U.S. Army, went to Korea, Vietnam, was respected, successful, a good father, then a counselor of troubled kids as a civilian—all far from the state where his brother was simply plucked off the map, no one seeming to care.

"I had a great Army career; I did it all," he says.

Along the way, Thomas picked up two bachelor's degrees, one in social science and another in social work. On his second degree, he had "Charles Eddie Moore" inscribed on it instead of his own name.

"I dedicated it to him," Thomas says as the cicadas sing.

'A STORY NEVER TOLD'
The truth is, a few people did care about the murders of Henry Dee and Charles Moore—and tried to get justice for their deaths.

"Dee-Moore was a major case for the FBI," says Bill Williams, who was an FBI agent brought to Natchez in 1964 to help deal with the growing rifts between the KKK—or "Kluckers," as the FBI called them—and the civil rights workers starting to show up in greater numbers. "The case was barely open when I got there."

"Natchez had actually become a focal point for racial, anti-civil rights activity for the state and would be for several years," says Williams by phone from Oregon, where he is now retired and talks to student groups about the history of the KKK in America. "Our main focus was to stop the violence."

Williams remembers "huge activity" in Franklin County, and calls the race wars in the area "a story never told." Along with FBI agent and Natchez native Clarence Prospere, Williams worked for several years to try to keep Natchez from exploding into an all-out race war. He remembers Police Chief J.T. Robinson putting the city under martial law for two weeks to try to keep the peace. "That little experience took a lot out of us," he says now.

At any given time then, there were upward of 100 FBI agents in and around Natchez, Williams says. A good number of them were trying to crack the Dee-Moore case, even as national media crowded into Neshoba due to the disappearance of the three civil rights workers, two of them white. "Dahmer and Neshoba County cases got the headlines."
(Vernon Dahmer was the Hattiesburg businessman killed by the Klan in 1966 for his civil rights work.)

The FBI investigation of the Dee-Moore case yielded more than 1,000 pages of files, including informant accounts. About a month after the men's torsos were found in the river, a Klan informant started filling the FBI in on what happened that night; they then searched the Mississippi River again working with U.S. Navy divers in the vicinity of Davis Island. A Nov. 3, 1964, FBI memorandum reported: "On 10/31/64, a skull, some bones, two shirts and large pieces of metal were found in the same area by Navy divers." Then on Nov. 2, divers recovered a Jeep engine block and two small steel wheels tied together with a chain.

"The chain on the engine block and the chain on the other items each had a loop sufficiently large enough to go around a body," Agent R. H. Jevons wrote.

The FBI then turned over what seemed to be a wealth of evidence to then-District Attorney Lenox Forman in Natchez, who promised to put it before the grand jury. On Nov. 6, the FBI and local authorities arrested James Ford Seale, 29, and Charles Marcus Edwards, 31, both of Meadville, for "willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with malice aforethought killing the two Negroes on or about May 2, 1964," as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote in a letter to Bill Moyers, then special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson, the same day.

Both men confessed to the crime, according to the FBI, with Edwards admitting that he had been to Klan meetings. Another informant told the FBI that Seale and his wife ran a "Rod and Gun Club" in Natchez in Meadville that was a front for the KKK.

"The arrests of Edwards and Seale resulted from extensive FBI investigation," Hoover concluded. "This is another example of the FBI's close cooperation with Mississippi authorities in bringing to justice individuals responsible for racial violence in Mississippi." The two men were released on a $5,000 bond each, with a hearing set for Jan. 11, 1965.

Hoover's declaration of justice was premature, however. A Jan. 12, 1965, FBI memo stated that the D.A. had discussed the case with Franklin County Sheriff Wayne Hutto, Assistant Attorney General Garland Lyle, and Mississippi Highway Patrol Investigators Charles Snodgrass and Gwyn Cole, and had then decided to drop the charges against Seale and Edwards.

Forman said that the case was "greatly prejudiced" toward the defendants because they "put out the story" in Meadville that, after their arrest, they had been "brutally mistreated" and denied medication by the Mississippi State Highway Patrol. Forman called the stories "dilatory tactics," but believed that such accusations would cause the charges to be dismissed at the initial hearing. He said that if more evidence were developed, he would present the case to the grand jury later, possibly as soon as August 1965.

That never happened. Edwards, Seale and other Klansmen continued living their lives in the Natchez area, many to their deaths. Some, however, are still alive.

'I WANT JUSTICE, TOO'
Thomas Moore did not spend the last 41 years looking for justice. He followed Mazie's suggestion and didn't stir up trouble for more than 30 years.

His campaign began in December 1998 after he heard that James Byrd had been dragged to his death in Jasper, Texas. From Colorado, he wrote a letter to District Attorney Ronnie Harper asking him to look into his brother's murder. He agreed. Media around the country, including Newsday, "20-20" and Jerry Mitchell of The Clarion-Ledger, began to poke around the case again. In particular, Mitchell's Jan. 14, 2000, report that the murders occurred on federal land spurred the FBI to take a fresh look. "I'm just thrilled to death. I'm going home to tell my son," Thomas told Mitchell then.

But, again, justice was delayed. Despite a small spate of media reports, the case again languished, taking a backseat to more high-profile cases such as the Neshoba murders. Talking to the media at the Killen trial last month, Rita Schwerner Bender, the wife of Klan victim Michael Schwerner, pointed out that the bodies of two black men were found in the Mississippi River during the search for her husband in 1964—but it attracted little attention, and still doesn't. "You're here, you're interested in this trial as the most important trial of the Civil Rights Movement because two of the men are white," she said outside the courthouse. "You're still doing what was done in 1964."

When Thomas came back this month, he was in for a surprise. He had read media reports, and been told directly by reporters, that only one of the primary suspects in the murders was still alive: Charles Marcus Edwards. But while in Natchez, we learned—he from community people and from D.A. Harper; the JFP team from a former Klansman we interviewed—that the other primary suspect, James Ford Seale, is also still alive and lives in Roxie, near the intersection of Highways of 84/98 and 33 in a Winnebago-type trailer on land believed to belong to his brother.

This came as a shock to Moore when he confirmed the news on July 9, albeit a welcome shock. "When we left Colorado," he said this week in the JFP offices, "we had a plan as to what we wanted to do. But when we entered Franklin County and found out that James Ford Seale was still alive, it sprang out like a tree. It gave me more energy to go out in the community and talk to people."

And talk he did. We watched Thomas tell his brother's story to anyone who would listen: a white forest ranger at Homochitto National Forest; workers at bars where we recapped long days of reporting; friends and family he hadn't seen in years; strangers on the street black and white; and the audience of the Charles Evers radio show, as our crew all crammed into the tiny studio in West Jackson in between visits to Franklin County.

"Everything I've touched, everyone I've talked to, has given me encouragement," Thomas said.

One of the more touching exchanges took place on a porch on Maple Street, near downtown Natchez on a humid Sunday afternoon.

TIMING JUST RIGHT
To get to the home of Henry Hezekiah Dee's big sister, you go north on Canal Street from downtown, drive past the Natchez Democrat office, turn right on Madison, make a quick left on Maple. Mrs. Mary Byrd, who was 25 when her brother was killed, lives down the street a piece under a huge Magnolia tree. We gather on her front porch for her first meeting with the brother of Charles Moore.

Mrs. Byrd, a delicate woman of 63 with bright red fingernails, seems rather surprised at the sudden attention to her brother's case; in the 41 years since the murders, she has never been approached by the media or an investigator or a civil rights leader, other than some attorney in Georgia she remembers wanting her to travel over there years back to talk about it. She couldn't afford it.

As Thomas describes what he remembers about her little brother—that he was very dapper dresser with dark, smooth skin, hair processed straight and "tied back like a woman's" when it needed a re-conk—Mrs. Byrd nods and smiles a lot. When Thomas mentions that a lot of white people, then, didn't want justice in the case, she responds, "That's the way they are, some of them."

Mrs. Byrd says she is happy that something might finally be done about the case. "It's better for it to come on out. Better to come out, than stay in." She says she had followed the Killen trial in the newspapers. "That man was in that wheelchair," she says, "but they carried him on up in there," she says as her neighbors gather on their porches, watching to see what is up on Mrs. Byrd's porch.

Henry Dee's sister shrugs when she is asked why she thinks no one—including the daily newspaper two-tenths of a mile from her front door—has ever tried to talk to her about her brother's death. "They don't never say nothing," she says. "It makes you feel bad. They never, never say nothing. They�re right down there (she pointed); you can see the back side of the building; the front is on Canal. They ain't said a word."

Actually, the daily newspaper has mentioned the case over the years, but sparingly and with little detail. Looking through bound stacks of old papers in their archive room, we examine the editorial space on the day after the FBI announced it was re-opening the case in 2000. The column was entitled, "Start off your day with good thoughts," and said nothing about the case.

However, thanks to Thomas Moore's efforts, that is changing. The paper got wind of his visit and ran a long front-page story about him last Sunday, July 17, accompanied by a powerful editorial: "But the timing may be just right now to find convictions, especially in the Dee and Moore case. "Communities have changed in the years since those tragic deaths. People who might once have been afraid to come forward with information may be longing to find justice, too. We urge anyone who might have more information to come forward now. Time is running out."

THE SHADOW OF DEATH
Probably the best news Thomas heard during his trip home came while he was sitting in U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton's office in Jackson. After Thomas and filmmaker David Ridgen, who also documented Thomas' journey, called Lampton to inquire about the status of the case, he got on the phone to the FBI headquarters in Washington. By the time Thomas arrived at his office on Wednesday, July 13, he had great news.

Lampton told Thomas he would lead an effort to re-investigate the case, as well as that of 37-year-old Wharlest Jackson, killed by a bomb in Natchez after being promoted into a "whites-only" job. He said the case still had federal jurisdiction even though the men did not die in the forest, being that the Klansmen started the job there.

�He told me that when this big trial (Oliver Diaz bribery trial) ended, he would form this team of the agencies involved. He wants to satisfy me, and he wants to satisfy himself that if there is anything he can do, he would do it," Thomas says in the 930 Blues Café later that night after leaving the Evers show. "I believe the man. I believe him."

It doesn't hurt that it turned out that Lampton and Thomas were members of the same U.S. Army unit, the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry, when they were training to go to the Persian Gulf. Lampton was a colonel. "He respected my rank as a command sergeant major," Thomas says. "He knows the authority and power my commission invested in me. It's kind of like old soldiers taking care of each other. He's a fine gentleman."

Bolstered by Lampton's pledge, Thomas decides to return to Franklin County to leave his mark before boarding a plane back home to Colorado Springs on July 17. Sunday morning, he shows up at Roxie First Baptist Church dressed in a new gray suit to talk to his people. Before the service, he tells Rev. Carl Johnson that he called one of the main suspects and left a message on his voicemail:I jus "t want you to be able to tell me face to face, man to man, on neutral ground, how and why your name is listed all over these reports."

(Reached at his home, Edwards refused to talk to the Jackson Free Press.)

Rev. Johnson introduces Thomas to the congregation as light peeks in through blue, pink and yellow stained-glass windows. "I saw the heaviness on his own heart as he came and talked with me on the outside before the service. And I want him to feel the relief we feel and how we get relief through the grace of God," Johnson says.

Thomas steps up: "Now, you may ask, 'well, why are you doing it now? Why are you coming back to seek justice?'" he says. "I served this country for 30 years and 15 days. ... I have the right to be here. Because I am going to hold Franklin County and the state of Mississippi accountable for the deaths of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Dee. And I have no fear. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I have no fear."

"Amen!" "Amen, brother!" "Amen."

Thomas calls for the community to rise up with him, to do what the Philadelphia Coalition did: "If they can do it in Neshoba County, they can do it here."


After the service, Thomas and several men—including his nephew Michael Webster, Finnis Weathersby and Mac Littleton—take two signs and erect them on the side of the road in front of Seale's and Edwards' homes. After they pound the first—"In Memory of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore ... Rest In Peace and JUSTICE"—into the ground in front of Seale's house, the men put their hands on top of each other's, huddle style, and Webster says a prayer.

Thomas Moore then talks directly to his brother: "I spoke at the church you were baptized in. It kind of brings it all together. Rest in peace, my brother. I will fight for justice until the day I die. I want you to know that, OK?"

In front of Edwards' house on Rand Lane S.W. near Meadville, Thomas speaks to Charles once again: "Rest in peace, brother. We'll see you on the higher ground."

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Links to the JFP's slate of stories about the Dee-Moore murders:
July 20, 2005 - I Want Justice, Too
July 27, 2005 - A Dream Deferred
Oct. 26, 2005 - Editor's Note: Damned If We Don't
Oct. 26, 2005 Evolution of a Man
Oct. 26, 2005 - Dear Meadville: Thomas Moore Tries to Wake Up His Hometown
Oct. 26, 2005 - Daddy, Get Up
Oct. 27, 2005 - Franklin County Advocate Editorial and Thomas Moore Response
Dec. 7, 2005 - Just Rewards

Also: Read the JFP team's coverage of and blog about the Edgar Ray Killen trial here. The JFP's JusticeBlog (an archive of civil-rights-related coverage) is available here.

___________

Photos, from top:

1. Family photo of Charles Moore.

2. Family photo of Charles and Thomas Moore, standing in front of Thomas' first car he got while working in New Orleans right after high school. He brought it home and let a friend drive it, who blew out the engine. He now wishes he had figured how to get it fixed and let his brother drive it while he was at Army training; if so, perhaps Charles wouldn't have been hitchhiking on May 2, 1964.

3. The crumbling tombstone of Charles Moore.

4. Klansmen beat Charles Moore and Henry Dee nearly to death in Homochitto National Forest, then drove them to the Mississippi River and sank their bodies while they were still breathing.

5. Thomas Moore prays at Roxie First Baptist Church on Sunday, July 17, before asking the congregation to join his quest for justice.

6. Thomas Moore (left) joined Charles Evers in his radio studio Wednesday, July 13, to call for justice for his brother's death.

7. Mrs. Mary Byrd, Henry Dee's older sister, had never been approached by the media. She lives near downtown Natchez, two-tenths of a mile from the daily newspaper office.

8. Thomas Moore and several men from First Roxie, including his nephew Michael Webster, erect a sign in front of where suspect James Ford Seale is believed to live. They pray once the sign is erected.

_____________

The Jackson Free Press got involved with the Charles Moore/Henry Dee case weeks before the Edgar Ray Killen trial, after David Ridgen, a documentarian for Canadian Broadcasting Corp., asked how we were covering the Killen trial. We both wanted to look at cases that had not been prosecuted, and Ridgen had been researching and coordinating documentary production for the CBC on the Dee/Moore case since August 2004. We agreed to work together to investigate the story and follow Thomas Moore's journey for justice. The JFP started researching this case during the Edgar Ray Killen trial and, subsequently, joined David and Thomas Moore in Meadville starting on July 8 to report on Thomas' visit to the Meadville-Natchez area and to Jackson, as well as do independent reporting in the area. Thomas left Mississippi to return to Colorado Springs on July 18. David's documentary will air on CBC in the near future.

JFP Reporting Team on the Dee-Moore case:

JFP editor Donna Ladd led our team that followed Thomas Moore on his quest for justice, and wrote the cover story this issue. The Neshoba County native graduated from Mississippi State and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

Kate Medley is a Jackson native who graduated from the University of Montana. She worked as a photojournalist for two years before recently beginning a Master's in Southern Studies at Ole Miss. She photographed the cover and cover story.

Jackson native Natalie Irby is a graduate of Jackson Prep and Ole Miss. She is a researcher and writer on civil rights issues and helped report the case of Henry Dee and Charles Moore this issue. She now divides her time between Nashville and Jackson.

Photo intern Thabi Moyo graduated from Howard University in 2004. She is an aspiring filmmaker and lives in Madison. She grew up in Jackson. As part of the Dee-Moore reporting team, Thabi taped interviews about the case for CBC television.

Special thanks to David Ridgen of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. who helped faciliate Thomas Moore's visit back to Mississippi, driving with him from Colorado Springs to Mississippi to document his journey. We salute him for helping a diverse group of native Mississippians tell our own stories.

(Originally published July 20, 2005; this story was originally posted at 9 a.m. on July 20, 2005, but moved to the top of the Web site on Jan. 24, 2007, after it was announced that the feds had charged James Ford Seale. Any use of material from this story must be directly attributed to the Jackson Free Press.)

Previous Comments

ID
78586
Comment

This was an AWESOME article! Another example of Mississippi turning...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-19T22:13:50-06:00
ID
78587
Comment

Damn good article, Donna. Nice work! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-19T23:30:16-06:00
ID
78588
Comment

Donna, is there any way I could work with Thomas to get Charles a new headstone? I've set many because I have participated in several headstone dedications. Since Thomas is so far away, I would like to volunteer to do this. Maybe there are JFP-ers out there who would like to help with the purchase? I spent my summers in west Lincoln county and east Franklin county as a child. I know this area and would like to help Thomas and his family with this.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T08:42:12-06:00
ID
78589
Comment

Steph, I got tears reading your post. I will call Thomas now and tell him that our readers would like to take up a collection for a new headstone. What an amazing idea and a lovely step. In fact, we might even get started passing the hat tonight at the M.A.P. Coalition gathering. I did tell Thomas, though, standing at the gravesite that it's a beautiful headstone despite the mistakes and condition. It needs to go in a museum somewhere. Kate got a great photo of it that's not in the paper today, but Thabi is putting up a gallery of Kate's photos, so it will be in there. I'll post a link as soon as the gallery is live.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-20T10:42:54-06:00
ID
78590
Comment

Donna, I will be at the M.A.P. gathering tonight. I want to meet Kamikaze and the other M.A.P. officers and let him know that my offer to assist with a conceptual plan/info packet for the studio/artists' center is solid.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T10:59:23-06:00
ID
78591
Comment

I just talked to Thomas, Steph, and he said he would be honored for the young people of Mississippi to take up a collection for a monument to his brother. He said he would e-mail you directly about it at the address you have linked there. Let's definitely get started passting the hat tonight at Hal & Mal's. I think it's a beautiful step. We should also think of a way of honoring Henry Dee in a similar way. Thomas, David, Kate and I went looking for his grave, but did not find it, yet (although we were promptly lost on dirt roads for an hour getting back!). So I'll give you details on his gravesite when I have them. Also, Thomas is looking for people here in Mississippi who would like to join is coalition list. He's going to set up an e-mail list so he can stay in touch with everyone about developments and such. Perhaps we should set up a way for people to sign up online -- or at least do a similar petition as we did calling for the prosecution of Edgar Ray Killen last fall. Let me talk to the JFP tech gods about doing that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-20T11:00:56-06:00
ID
78592
Comment

I will give some money to this, too. Let me know where to send it. I will also help in other ways but I can't give public details. Great story. I had heard of the murders before but didn't know any details.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-20T12:49:14-06:00
ID
78593
Comment

Thank you for doing this research, thank you for the eloquent coverage of the story, (You did GOOD, Donna) and I'm looking forward to the pictures. Also praying for more action from the law, and thrilled that some action may be imminent in more places than one. Anybody else see the Jerry Mitchell piece about the guns in the Goodman, Chaney & Schwerner case?

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-20T13:29:06-06:00
ID
78594
Comment

Donna, anyone wanting to donate can email me through the link here, and I will reply with my address. I would like to keep a record of the donors for Thomas' sake. They could also donate through you and JFP. In the meantime, I will begin doing pricing research on monument companies in the Brookhaven area. It'd be cool to get any details as to Henry Dees' gravesite location. I love dirt road ridin' and have been doing it in that area my whole life. Maybe I could find it.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T14:02:46-06:00
ID
78595
Comment

Thanks, Steph. I wonder if there is a way to set up an account so the checks could be made out to a fund. How does that work? And all the donors should get receipts. You might pick up one of those little receipt books for tonight for any cash we pull in that someone wants a receipt for. A black-owned monument company might be nice, and there could be someone Thomas knows on that front. I'll definitely get you guys talking directly about this. Mrs. Byrd said Henry is buried in Hunt Cemetary. I plan to look for it next time I go to the area; however, go for it meantime and keep us posted.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-20T14:09:25-06:00
ID
78596
Comment

The school in this story reminded me of my little elementary school, Hinze - where we had no running water or cafeteria and the bathrooms were on the outside. We brought our sacked lunches and ate outside. I still love my little school that is still standing to this day. I even go by and walk the ground sometimes just to rejoice over old times. Sometimes I even find some of my boyhood friends there doing the same thing. The mother in this story was an outstanding woman. I don't remember getting this many pairs of pants, apples or oranges. Perhaps it was because there were 10 or more of us. There was a similar school in or near Philadelphia, Mississippi. I think it was near Mt. Zion. I went to Neshoba County in 1979 to investigate the title or deed to that school. The land deed records weren't clear and had so many missing portions that I eventually gave up in my effort to help the rightful owners repossess that land and building. In my pursuit of this, I visited the home of Bud Cole and his wife. I took a good look at Mr. Cole and could see the physical injuries he suffered to his head and limbs that dreadful evening at the hands of the Klan. He still was unafraid and willing to help me. Needless to say, this encounter had a grave effect on me. I realized how lucky I was not to be born earlier, and that I had an obligation to take advantage of a new day that only great suffering, sacrifuce and pain had brought about. Most of all, I realized that my opportunity was a direct result of great physical and mental pain of so many who never personally gained a single thing.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-20T14:16:06-06:00
ID
78597
Comment

Steph, do you have a PayPal account? That would be an easy way to donate and keep track of who donated.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-20T14:17:49-06:00
ID
78598
Comment

Actually, I do have a PayPal account. It's been dormant for awhile, but it's still there. It is listed under the same email address link shown here.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T14:40:42-06:00
ID
78599
Comment

Will do on the receipt book, Donna. :-)

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T14:41:27-06:00
ID
78600
Comment

Hey all, I just had a long phone message from Thomas. He just read the story online and is very happy with it, and especially with all of your comments under it, offering help, donations, etc. I'm giving Steph his number so they can coordinate the memorial/tombstone. He is very touched by all of you wanting to be involved and encourages you to join his coalition. I haven't told him, yet, that someone here volunteered to set up a list serv for him, free of charge, if he's interested. (Thomas, are you reading?) And bear in mind that he and his family are watching this from Colorado Springs, so feel free to post messages directly to them here. (Note: I'm tweaking the story above slightly to reflect the fact that Charles was in Meadville the whole time after he was suspended; he didn't go to New Orleans looking for work then. Also, he met up with Henry Dee in at the party in Bude, Thomas believes; they didn't go there together as I originally said. But they were together the next day hitching in Meadville when they were picked up, as stated.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-20T15:40:54-06:00
ID
78601
Comment

All, I just upgraded my PayPal account to accept all major forms of payment. It is listed under my email address link shown here. Even though I never use this account for anything else, please put something like "Moore/Dee Headstone Fund" in the subject line, just in case. Donna, PayPal tech gurus have emailed me a way to put a donation button on a website to take them directly to my account. Would that be something you would be interested in putting on your website? Also, in the event that this project collects too much money, we probably should be thinking of another good cause that any excess money would go to. Maybe one of Thomas' choosing?

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T15:45:56-06:00
ID
78602
Comment

OK, Thomas just called again, and we talked this time. He is REALLY excited about everyone wanting to help. He really, really wants to emphasize that he wants everything that is done to honor Charles and his family to also be done for the Dee family. I am giving his cell phone number to Steph, and he gave me permission to set up an account to collect money for a memorial. So Steph and I will discuss that tonight. We need a high-tech way and a low-tech to do that, I think: pass hat, Paypay, bank account, whatever it takes. He said he and his son (who is now a social worker in Colorado Springs) will get set up tonight so they can post here as well, and he's going to post his son's e-mail address, so y'all can communicate directly with him. But also feel free to post messages from Mississippi and beyond here for him as well. Cheers, friends.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-20T16:09:07-06:00
ID
78603
Comment

Thank you, LW. The first contributor to the Moore/Dee Headstone Fund! I'm REALLY stoked now!!! Peace, Love, Respect, and Harmony...

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-20T16:20:54-06:00
ID
78604
Comment

God Bless You Thomas for enduring this loss with class, morality, patience, and apparently a reasoned anger and response. Mississippi was a closed society wrapped in depraved fear, hatred, and the idea of white supremacy forever. I have often wondered what I woud have done had I losted a love one under these circumstances, knew who did it, and knew the State of Mississippi and Mississippians wouldn't do anything about it. Many of my friends and I have had discussions about this. Some of us speculated that we would have sought personal revenge although we knew we would have caused more pain to our love ones and others. Luckily, we didn't have to face the situation, and we're sorry that you had to. Needless to say, you have handled the situation in a Godly, divine, legal and humane way. Even today, I often wonder whether the hearts and minds of the average Mississippians have truly changed and overcomed the astounding dumbness of the past. Though most Mississippians will now adhere to, and follow, the law, state and federal; I worry that there is still this longing for the days of old past. For example, there was this great turnout to keep the rebel flag as the state flag. The flag wouldn't bother me if I felt assured it was saved for a reason other than racism. Lots of people have moved back to Mississippi in the last 10 years or so. You would be amazed at some of the black success stories now running rampant in this state, unlike in the past. I think (at least hope) that, now, we can go to any place of entertainment, public accomodation, school or job and not be judged or prohibited from entrance based on race. A new day is truly dawning. Come on back home, we need you. Good luck, and I'm thankful that your story finally came to life to so many others of us. Thanks to Donna and the others, too.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-20T16:27:12-06:00
ID
78605
Comment

Just got finished reading this amazing story. Great reporting and great writing! I hope this inspires many more journalists to do this kind of work. I'm very moved by the tombstone project. I will be blogging this over at HungryBlues. I would like to post one of those high tech paypal buttons in my sidebar; who knows, maybe it will catch on. In the meantime I will post the info on how to donate and direct people over here to read the whole article and the discussion. Steph, could you send the info for how to put up the button to the email address attached to my name at the bottom of this comment?

Author
Ben G.
Date
2005-07-20T16:38:16-06:00
ID
78606
Comment

Wonderful work, Donna. Journalism lives. Please do more. This is what Mississippi needs now, more than ever. Susan Klopfer

Author
Susan Klopfer
Date
2005-07-20T17:40:47-06:00
ID
78607
Comment

Boy, look what's getting started here. Just look! I'm so proud of you all! Ray, that was a good piece of writing you did, too. I know that a lot of folks are moving back to Mississippi, we're going to have to have a homecoming party sooner or later. I remember that some of the old flag folks were saying that we didn't need to change the flag, we need to change some hearts. Obviously we've got some good hearts here, and I contend that when we finish changing enough of those other hearts, we won't have to worry about the flag (it'll grow legs and walk away).

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-20T19:38:49-06:00
ID
78608
Comment

Excellent story.

Author
ed inman
Date
2005-07-20T21:13:40-06:00
ID
78609
Comment

Got a post up touting this story and including the paypal button (it worked, Steph). Now I've just got to get the button into my sidebar... I'll leave it up as long as the collection is going.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2005-07-20T22:08:32-06:00
ID
78610
Comment

Thomas e-mailed a message for all of you tonight: I can not express the honor and respect that I have for the person you mention to me that wants to collect money for a new head stone for Charles Eddie Moore. I am grateful and I encourage anyone who wishes to help in anyway get in touch with the person there or you. Or they can contact me at [email]jefferypmoore@msn.com[/email] Once again thanks to all who wants to see justice brought about in this case. Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Dee deserve that. Also, Steph and I started collecting money tonight at the M.A.P. Coalition -- we passed a bowl and people threw in whatever they could. So we're on our way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-20T23:38:07-06:00
ID
78611
Comment

Ray: You would be amazed at some of the black success stories now running rampant in this state, unlike in the past. Philip: LW and I talked about this on this thread, with some census bureau numbers to boot.

Author
Philip
Date
2005-07-21T06:03:26-06:00
ID
78612
Comment

C.W., the occasion necessitated taking the time to write a decent piece. I shall be back to normal real soon. By the way, my old teachers used to tell me that I had the ability to do lots of great things but lack of desire and too little focus and dedication would probably prevent them all. I hope I have proved them mostly wrong.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-21T08:07:38-06:00
ID
78613
Comment

I called Peoples Funeral Home, a black funeral home located here in Jackson at 886 N. Farish Street. They have some tombstones or monuments for sale. The person I talked to said they didn't know specifically of any black monument companies. Talking to them, or going by there, might be a good start. The phone number is 601-969-3040. She said their prices ranged from about $250 - $500 bucks.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-21T08:58:52-06:00
ID
78614
Comment

Thanks, Ray. I'm on it!

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-21T09:05:15-06:00
ID
78615
Comment

Just returned to Toronto today after dropping off Thomas James Moore at the Montgomery, AL airport. What a trip! 12,000 kilometres, eating (and sleeping) together in a van crammed with equipment. I had started looking for Thomas in August of 2004 after returning from Neshoba county. CBC had just made a one hour doc there about the potential for a Killen trial. Nobody answered the telephone number I had been given for Thomas for months. Natchez-based DA Ronnie Harper was some help in tracking him down, but slooooowwwww. Finally, I resorted to FedExing a letter to the address I guessed was that of Thomas in Colorado Springs. He called me back the next day. We started talking back and forth in earnest and the Killen trial began to unfold. Then it seemed like we were suddenly in the van driving south and eating boiled peanuts. We started the trip by visiting the travelling Vietnam memorial in Colorado Springs and ended about 14 days later at the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery - interestingly, both were designed by the same woman, Maya Lin. I am very excited and inspired to see the responses to Thomas's journey in this blog. Each day that goes by in this process continues to be better than the one before. Thanks very much to Donna Ladd and the staff at the JFP for their coverage of Thomas's trip and for offering this forum for reader feedback and participation in Thomas's quest. As part of my follow-up, I'm helping Thomas to compile a list of all the potential coalition members we met during our drives across the back roads and main streets of Franklin County. It looks like there's a list quickly developing in the Jackson area as well. I know of at least two other listservs that might want to become involved here too. You probably know of more. Once I have the Franklin County list as complete as it can be, perhaps a "marrying" of lists could occur so that everyone that wants to be involved is on the same page? The issue of internet access for many of the Franklin county members will also have to be worked out. Maybe phone trees, local radio, handouts could be used. Thomas will likely be returning to Franklin County in the Fall. He wants to organize an omnibus meeting of all current supporters and potential supporters. At that time, the CBC documentary will be at a screenable stage and I would like to show it as part of this meeting. I'd also like to film the meeting itself to help complete the documentary. With regards to the location of the Hunt graveyard (and the Moore graveyard), I'd suggest an email to Thomas would be the best place to start. If anyone needs to contact me, here's my email and phone number : [email]david_ridgen@cbc.ca[/email] 416 529 0183 Thanks! d.

Author
David Ridgen
Date
2005-07-21T21:19:23-06:00
ID
78616
Comment

Welcome back home, David! And thanks for updating everybody on more of the story from your end. We figured that part is your story to tell as you're ready. ;-) Needless to say, this experience was invigorating and inspiring for us all. And David is right: everyone who wants to get involved in this quest for justice should get involved. We will all work together to make the forum as inclusive as possible. And ideas are welcome, especially from right here in the state. Now that David has surfaced, I want to take the opportunity to really thank him publicly both for contacting the JFP in the first place and for being so open about allowing us to participate in a project he already felt deeply about and had started work on. I was feeling very strongly when he called that the JFP team needed to not only cover the Killen trial, but to take on a "what's next in Mississippi" project. The Moore-Dee case was the ideal way to do that. It resulted in a great coalition, even if it did involve a few chiggers along the way. ;-) And, of course, it will be very exciting to see David's documentary screened here in the state, and it will be an opportunity for others to meet Thomas, who is a very, very special person. I, personally, hope he can bring his family this time, although I hope to meet them in a few weeks when I'm in Colorado. Cheers, David and Thomas. Let's keep this train movin'.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-21T21:46:34-06:00
ID
78617
Comment

Hopefully, when Thomas (and family?) returns, we will have the headstones in place and a small memorial service can take place.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-22T09:04:33-06:00
ID
78618
Comment

That would be lovely. What a way to welcome them with open arms. Steph, I also contact info for other Dee family members. Let's put our heads together on finding out where that grave is.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-22T09:09:12-06:00
ID
78619
Comment

Great thought, Steph, you just keep on perking! It would be my first trip to that area, but I've always wanted to go visit that end of the state, and I don't think I would be able to miss this. A memorial service would also provide a wonderful time to build support and consensus for the coalition that Mr. Moore wants to start and help motivate people to join in the effort. I think Mr. Ridgen has the listserv nailed down and he and Mr. Moore are going to discuss whether it should be local or statewide. If statewide, I'll start collecting a list from here to add to the names they have collected.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-22T09:14:35-06:00
ID
78620
Comment

Oh, I spoke with Thomas for perhaps a half hour yesterday afternoon. He is so overwhelmed with the love that he has been shown here. He told me that his relatives in Franklin County report that flowers, cards, and wreaths are being placed on the sign he posted at the location where Henry and Charles were picked up. This train is really gaining momentum!

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-22T09:53:14-06:00
ID
78621
Comment

He told me that his relatives in Franklin County report that flowers, cards, and wreaths are being placed on the sign he posted at the location where Henry and Charles were picked up. This train is really gaining momentum! Oh, wow. Thanks, Steph.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-22T10:04:41-06:00
ID
78622
Comment

From GOP website quoting the C-L from July 7: Momentum is building to create a cold cases unit in the Justice Department, and U. S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott are among those cosponsoring the legislation. Cochran and Lott drew criticism recently for not cosponsoring a Senate resolution that apologized for the Senate's failure to enact anti-lynching legislation. Youngblood said Cochran and Lott did not sponsor that resolution but are sponsoring the new Justice Department unit because "this pertains to the here and now and what can be done here and now. Unless somebody's got a time machine, you can't go back and change those things. . . . This is action that can be taken in 2005 to help authorities go forward when there's evidence out there. " Thomas Moore, a retired Army command sergeant major who now counsels troubled youths in Colorado Springs, Colo. , hopes the unit can help resurrect the case involving the Klan's 1964 killings of his brother, Charles Eddie Moore, and Henry Hezekiah Dee in Meadville. Moore plans to meet next week with District Attorney Ronnie Harper of Natchez about the case. "I think we're going to get a lot of help," he said. "It's strictly a justice thing, not revenge.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-22T13:24:57-06:00
ID
78623
Comment

crap!! operator error abounds!! http://www.gopsenators.com/newsdesk/article.aspx?ID=378 I guess y'all can copy and paste.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-22T13:27:03-06:00
ID
78624
Comment

The Associated Press just put out their follow-up to this story; note that they called yesterday and bought photos from Kate for the story. ;-) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050722/ap_on_re_us/reopened_cases

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-22T14:00:29-06:00
ID
78625
Comment

Excite is also linking to the AP story on its index page right now. That page displays several of Kate's photos that aren't used in our story, including this one of Thomas with the bean stick. (You can also see those huge raindrops I talked about on his t-shirt.) Don't miss these photos. Kate's a wonder.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-22T14:58:17-06:00
ID
78626
Comment

I just spoke with Thomas. He is now online for the first time with his own email address, and can be contacted directly at: [email]thomasjmoo@msn.com[/email] Calling Thomas on his cell phone is expensive for him, especially during the day. I encourage any who wish to speak with Thomas to do so after 8 or 9 pm Colorado time to help keep his expenses down. Emailing is obviously the cheapest method of communication now. Thanks! David Ridgen Toronto

Author
David Ridgen
Date
2005-07-22T18:27:49-06:00
ID
78627
Comment

Thank you, David! I just wrote to Mr. Moore (and I called him last night, not really realizing, in my non-cell phone naivete, that it was costing him). By the way, if anyone is looking for the Paypal Donate button, I have one on my site as well.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-22T20:06:16-06:00
ID
78628
Comment

Rats - typo on the URL. PayPal Donate Button on site

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-22T20:09:15-06:00
ID
78629
Comment

l'est we forget ... This issue is coming up and if we mean business about civil rights, then our concern must be with voting rights, as well... since this is why many of these murders occured during the 50s and 60s in the first place: Civil rights groups cite concerns over Roberts Question record on voting, busing By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff | July 22, 2005 WASHINGTON -- Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. has a history of working to roll back government affirmative action and voting rights programs enacted to help minorities overcome the effects of past discrimination, leading some civil rights groups to eye him warily... We need to let our senators know how we feel about the nominee.

Author
Susan Klopfer
Date
2005-07-22T22:08:40-06:00
ID
78630
Comment

Susan, While the Roberts debate is certainly a worthy discussion to have, it's the ubiquitous political issue of the day and could very easily derail this very positive and worthwhile thread. We're already talking about Roberts here, and I think that's the best place to do it. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-22T23:20:02-06:00
ID
78631
Comment

Thanks for the link. I'm always getting lost around here and I'll jump over there.

Author
Susan Klopfer
Date
2005-07-23T01:02:27-06:00
ID
78632
Comment

I just heard from Thomas Moore on the scope of the listserv, and he welcomes anyone in the state who wants to work on obtaining justice in his brother's and Mr. Dee's lynchings. David Ridgen is setting up the listserv, so all I'll need to do is collect the names and email addresses of those in Mississippi who would like to be included, and send those on to be added to those they have already collected. Those of you who wish to be included, please email me at [email]editor@mississippipolitical.com[/email] and I'll make sure that your name and email address are added. If you know anyone who will want to be included, ask them to email me themselves so that we're sure we have only people who really want to work on this. Thanks.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-23T19:43:38-06:00
ID
78633
Comment

Kate's photo is on the Conservative Voicen site right now, albeit without a photo credit. Also, the NY Times picked up the AP story today, but cut the part about Thomas Moore out of it. That's too bad. Meantime, Dunn Lampton gets the headlines without the explanation that Thomas and David's phone call and visit brought it on. That's OK, I guess, because the main thing is to get this case prosecuted. But it is amazing to watch the road news takes and how it gets less detailed as it goes. Our story about Thomas, to AP (less detailed, but talked about Thomas at the bottom), then to wire stores that don't even mention Thomas and his journey. Still, the ">is attention to this case and pressure to get it prosecuted. And Thomas is a hero, regardless of whether the New York Times puts him in there. Maybe the Times will do a real story about him soon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-24T10:36:04-06:00
ID
78634
Comment

Are they allowed to submit the photo without a credit since they bought the photo? I would prefer that they acknowledged Kate, though.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-24T11:04:08-06:00
ID
78635
Comment

AP bought those three photos from her. They sent them out with her credit (appearing on most of them when you do a Google News), but the Conservative Voice doesn't seem to be putting one on there. They don't even seem to be mentioning that it's an AP story, or using Sheila Byrd's byline, so they may not have bought the story and photo. I don't know. That's AP's problem, technically, but it is crappy to use a photo/story without giving credit where it's due.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-24T13:56:55-06:00
ID
78636
Comment

It is crappy to leave off the credt, and Kate's picture is EVERYWHERE. It's also crappy that they are not mentioning Mr. Moore's journey and David Ridgen's accompaniment. Deju vu all over again. I wonder if that documentary will end up down here as well as on Canadian TV? I really would like to see it.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-24T19:39:32-06:00
ID
78637
Comment

Black America Web mentioned this story today along with the cases of Evers, Till and Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney. Deborah Mathis was author.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-25T08:00:12-06:00
ID
78638
Comment

how are the donations coming along? any way we can track it in real time?

Author
Jay
Date
2005-07-25T09:53:39-06:00
ID
78639
Comment

There is $105 in the paypal account. And I have $43.76 in cash that has been given to me. Total = $148.76 so far.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T10:01:18-06:00
ID
78640
Comment

I'm donating $50-$100. Not sure if I trust paying it through the paypal internet option, however.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-25T10:07:25-06:00
ID
78641
Comment

You can just mail it to me, Ray. I got CW's in the mail this morning.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T10:12:48-06:00
ID
78642
Comment

I've also gotten a commitment of $100 from a municipal court judge (NOT in Franklin County) and his wife.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T10:15:27-06:00
ID
78643
Comment

I will mail it.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-25T10:16:42-06:00
ID
78644
Comment

Steph, who or what organization should it be made payable to?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-25T10:19:45-06:00
ID
78645
Comment

We don't have an org name. So far I've got this little drawstring pouch with $28 and change and one check in it. The PayPal $$ is just sitting there waiting for me to ask them to mail it to me. Maybe I should check into getting a free bank account or something. Any suggestions? Like CW, I guess you just make it out to me.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T10:26:57-06:00
ID
78646
Comment

I think we should set up a bank account asap. Steph, I could have my assistant check with Trustmark today about it; Thomas gave us permission. The JFP could pay any fees, and then people could either deposit directly there (maybe?) or send checks made out to that account. Want me to have Kristina do that?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T10:51:48-06:00
ID
78647
Comment

Sounds good. Let me know when I can deposit the money and what the name of the account is. Maybe we can get Trustmark to waive the fees?

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T11:04:51-06:00
ID
78648
Comment

Steph, I'll send it to you now, since I will be unavailable, consumed and likely overwhelmed by my next case starting this Friday for 2 weeks. Hopefully, y'all can make time stand still until I return. Pray for me as it will take a miracle to keep this guy off death row.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-25T11:19:27-06:00
ID
78649
Comment

Kristina is at the bank right now with the story in hand. I'll keep you posted.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T11:20:05-06:00
ID
78650
Comment

I will pray for you and your client.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T11:22:34-06:00
ID
78651
Comment

Good luck, Ray. You have my prayers, too.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T11:24:17-06:00
ID
78652
Comment

OK, here's the poop from Trustmark. We can set up not-for-profit account for $4 a month (which we can pay). The first 10 checks are free (which should be fine). For deposits, the first 30 are free, then 75 cents each over 30 deposits. That's the one that could run up. However, here is my suggestion; y'all tell me what you think. We set up the account in the name of Dee-Moore Memorial Fund. Then if you want to write a check for, say, under $50, make it out to that, but send it to our post office box to Kristinia Rabarison's attention. Then we'll make one deposit every few days. But if you want to deposit directly a larger amount, feel free to do that because it's worth the 75 cents once we get to that point. We can also keep an accounting of who gave what. If you don't want your name listed publicly just tell us that when you make your donation. Thoughts? We can get this set up today if the consensus is to move forward.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T11:49:32-06:00
ID
78653
Comment

Donna, this sounds fine to me. However, I have already mailed my money to Steph.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2005-07-25T11:53:49-06:00
ID
78654
Comment

That sounds okay. The account will probably be in existence for only 2 or 3 months max anyway. I can request a check from the PayPal account every couple of weeks as donations come in.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T11:54:58-06:00
ID
78655
Comment

Ray, I am also receiving money. So you're okay with that. I'll pass it along to the account with the other donations I have.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T11:56:17-06:00
ID
78656
Comment

Ray, Steph can just write a check for your amount and any others she already has. She can also track the PayPal donations and deposit that regularly. Steph, if you want your name on the account with ours at Trustmark, we can do that. You're the one who got this started, so I think you stay front and center on it. Just call me, and we can coordinate setting up the account if so. The main thing is let's track donations very closely. Should we start a page on the site that we can both update? And if someone wants to be "anonymous," we can put that with their amount and date donated. We want this to be very transparent and accountable. I just had a message from Thomas, too. I'll call him back today and update him on exactly what we're doing. Ultimately, he's the boss, our Command Sergeant Major, as it were. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T11:58:38-06:00
ID
78657
Comment

Absolutely, I was thinking about accountability also. I want everything to be very open and positive. I'm coming down that way to grab lunch at Rainbow. I could meet Kristina or come by your office.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T12:02:44-06:00
ID
78658
Comment

Oh, come on by. We're here, and y'all can figure it out. Maybe go back to the bank together. Bring what you have if you can, and it can be the first deposit. Only need a minimum of $25 to get started.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T12:05:06-06:00
ID
78659
Comment

cool. I'll be there within the hour.

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T12:11:26-06:00
ID
78660
Comment

None of the newer banks down there has free checking? There is a new one near me that is offering free checking (I can't remember the exact name - something like Renesaint).

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-25T12:12:48-06:00
ID
78661
Comment

I'll suggest that Steph and Kristinia call around if they want. Whichever is fine with me; I don't mind donating the fees. One good thing about Trustmark is that it's a few doors away. Then again, Bancorps South is right behind us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-25T12:18:26-06:00
ID
78662
Comment

Have Kristinia call Bancorps. I am a Trustmark lady, but I have a friend who loves Bancorps for their free services. I'm on my way.........

Author
Steph
Date
2005-07-25T12:31:07-06:00
ID
78663
Comment

There is a Jerry Mitchell story in the C/L (with two of Kate's pictures - only AP file as an attribute), covering Mr. Moore's journey to Mississippi with David Ridgen (you scooped Jerry Mitchell!) that says that "Mississippi authorities" are looking into these murders, and that of Wharlest Jackson, and will be discussing them Friday.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-27T06:48:13-06:00
ID
78664
Comment

Yes, Thomas called yesterday and said that he had talked to Dunn Lampton who told him they were going to go down there and shake the bushes, not just rely on old files. He said that Mr. Lampton is meeting with D.A. Harper down there this week to decide how to proceed. I talked to him too late for that to make it into the paper this week, but we do have a short follow-up to the big story talking about the tombstone fund here and such. On that, we ran into a roadblock with the account Monday and had to put it on hold due to getting the paper out. But we're going to finish dealing with it today and post information on how to donate. Sorry about the delay. As for The Clarion-Ledger leaving off Kate's photo credit -- that downright figures. What are they so damn afraid of that they cannot give credit where it's due to a young native Jackson woman who is working hard on civil rights cases? And this one is squarely the Ledge's choice -- we know that the credit went out with the AP photos because it appeared around the country since the AP story hit the wires last Friday. And it wouldn't have mentioned the JFPóshe sold those photos to AP. Really amusing is that the only people who would have known she took the photos for us are the ones who have likely already seen her photos here! Lord. They are so precious. There is room for all sorts of people and media on these stories -- including Mississippi natives. Sometimes it seems like it's a conspiracy to keep the world from knowing that native Mississippians care about these issues, too, and are working hard to do something about them. Oh, well. Doesn't really matter, though. The main thing is to get this case back in the spotlight again. And that was our goal when we joined forces with David back before the Killen trial to do this. I'm glad the Ledge didn't cut him out of the story -- because all this wouldn't be happening now, and I suspect little coverage of the case, without David's efforts. BTW, this is what Jerry Mitchell said in an interview in February 2005 about the Dee-Moore case: Q: What has been your biggest disappointment or discouragement in covering these cases? A: That some of these cases will never be prosecuted. Thomas Moore lost a brother to the Klan in the Summer of í64 but is not bitter. He remains an inspiring man, yet he will never see justice for his brother because authorities have closed that case. I sure hope that prophecy nows proves to be incorrect. From what I understand from our research, the case was not "closed." It was just that no one was moving on it, or reporting it anymore, until David Ridgen called us and Thomas and got it going again. But, again, what is important now is that the case is rolling along, and the right people seem to be paying attention. Thomas is thrilled, and it is up to us Mississippians to keep the story alive. Cheers to you all for helping do that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T08:56:13-06:00
ID
78665
Comment

Link to that Mitchell interview I just excerpted.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T09:05:24-06:00
ID
78666
Comment

Hey, the listserv is up and running, and I think a few of you may have forgotten to let me know that you wanted to participate in brainstorming this coaliton. :-) I'm trying to wait and send a fairly complete list at one time to save Thomas and David a little time and trouble. Email me at [email]editor@mississippipolitical.com[/email] if you haven't already. Although the focus of the Coaliton is on local people, Mr. Moore has expressed a desire to have others join the listserv and give their input and ideas, and do whatever they can to help build this coalition. In his words: "The Henry Dee and Charles Moore Coalition is a group dedicated to seeking justice using all legal means possible with regard to the brutal murders of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore in 1964 at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan in Franklin County, Mississippi. While seeking justice, the group will work to remove and/or dispel longstanding fears from all peoples in the area by building positive community ties and relationships, and mobilizing political, social, and economic forces to make Franklin County a better place to live for everybody."

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-27T09:54:48-06:00
ID
78667
Comment

OK, just got thru reading the interview - what a great piece!

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-27T10:01:08-06:00
ID
78668
Comment

Yeah, I like this part; it kind of brings to mind some of the "outside" reporters who come in and can't get people to say much to them. ;-) It's simple advice, but very good. A: I've found that people typically want to tell their stories. I try to tap into that, get people to talk, even if they're reluctant. It probably helps, too, that my personality is the opposite of someone like Mike Wallace. Instead of coming in with guns blazing, I just try to get people relaxed, maybe take them out for lunch or dinner. It's amazing what people will tell you if you'll just let them. BTW, I in no way blame Jerry for how his editors decide to handle Kate's photos and such. I admire the work he has done over the years, and hope he keeps it up for a long time to come.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T10:08:41-06:00
ID
78669
Comment

Lovely statement by Thomas, C.W. Thanks for posting it. He's truly a uniter, I believe. Of course I want to be on the list serv! I'll send you the address to use. Thanks MUCH for doing this.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T10:10:12-06:00
ID
78670
Comment

In the C-L article, Jerry Mitchell's email address is listed. Donna, what if you email him about Kate's picture? Maybe they can submit a correction of some sort in the next paper.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-27T11:06:33-06:00
ID
78671
Comment

They certainly wouldn't if I e-mailed them. ;-) Others could try, however. You might, instead, try the metro editor, Grace Simmons, or managing editor, Don Hudson. They probably have more say-so on that kind of thing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T12:43:25-06:00
ID
78672
Comment

Now, L.W., they have changed Kate's photo of Thomas and Mrs. Byrd to say that it was taken by CBC. It wasn't. How friggin' hard can this be? For the record: The photo was taken by Kate Medley for the Jackson Free Press and then sold to the Associated Press. The second photo, Kate says, was taken by David Ridgen of CBC. Hopefully, they will correct this confusion.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T13:38:54-06:00
ID
78673
Comment

Okay, I'll send an email. I ain't scared...:-P

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-27T15:10:50-06:00
ID
78674
Comment

Jerry is so right about learning to shut up and listen - I just wish I could learn that lesson. I can think of a time very recently when I got home from somewhere full of interesting people with great stories and realized that I'd run my mouth so much that I hadn't heard nearly enough of their stories. I think I need to take a roll of duct tape with me when I go to things like that (and apply it to my mouth before I get out of the car). I'm sure that Mr. Mitchell has nothing to do wtih how they attribute pictures. I didn't realize that the second one was a Ridgen picture, but looks like the C/L has them mixed up.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-27T16:26:59-06:00
ID
78675
Comment

Donna, I sent an email to both editors and cc'd Jerry in, to which he replied with a thank-you. I agree with C.W. in that the C-L may have mixed up the captions. However, they still need to add Kate's name.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-27T17:11:35-06:00
ID
78676
Comment

Hey, it looks like they just fixed it; her name is now on there. Good goin', y'all, getting credit for Mississippians where it's due. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T17:15:35-06:00
ID
78677
Comment

Yay! They fixed it. WOO HOO!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-27T17:57:31-06:00
ID
78678
Comment

See the follow-up to this story in this week's issue (which talks about what y'all have been up to here). Not much new for the JFP blogosphere, but it's nice to read about your efforts. The part about Thomas recreating his Mississippi yard in Colorado is pretty cool, though. I didn't have room to get it in the original story and was determined to get it into print. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-27T18:36:19-06:00
ID
78679
Comment

I'm sorry C.W. I'll check to see what is up with those photos. Thanks for letting me know. News is just coming out now regarding Mr. Lampton's decision to officially initiate a joint task-force style investigation into Dee/Moore and Jackson..... David

Author
David Ridgen
Date
2005-07-29T15:42:14-06:00
ID
78680
Comment

See top of the JFP site now for an exciting update. Also, David, the photo snafu C.W. was talking about here is fixed. I think, on the other thread, she mentioned a problem with viewing your gallery of images on the list serv.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-29T15:49:42-06:00
ID
78681
Comment

FYI, I think I fixed the Listserv issue you were talking about C.W. See if it works now. David

Author
David Ridgen
Date
2005-07-29T16:59:19-06:00
ID
78682
Comment

So, it's very exciting to see media outlets around the state picking up this story from AP today. I think we can say the case is now officially on the front burner after 41 years. And, due to Thomas' visit and efforts, it sounds like the family of Wharlest Jackson could see justice, too. Cheers to Thomas! And to Lampton.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-29T17:41:37-06:00
ID
78683
Comment

This is my favorite line: "The only way you can look at it when you're a prosecutor, you have to look at it in terms of it's a murder case whether it happened yesterday, last week, last year or 40 years ago," Harper said. "You try to just develop the evidence and you rely on the investigative agencies." Way to go!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-29T18:59:36-06:00
ID
78684
Comment

This is wonderful news! I'm going to look at both sets of pictures as soon as I read the news stories. Thanks, David, Donna. As for the Killen trial pictures, yes, I saw them, they are wonderful. As a matter of fact, I recognized some people in the picture of the service at Mt. Zion before you had the names up - I was just looking thru, and bingo, there are a couple of friends of mine! Major props for those pictures, Kate!

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-29T19:09:51-06:00
ID
78685
Comment

Good story today in the Natchez Democrat about Lampton et. al's efforts. It's good to see the paper there now stepping up on this story. I hope they're also out beating their own bushes looking for new evidence and people to talk. Finding witnesses with long memories is the challenge at hand for local, state and federal authorities investigating three 1960s murders from the Natchez area. Authorities investigating the 1967 Franklin County murders of Henry Dee and Charles Moore, as well as the 1964 car-bombing death of Wharlest Jackson, met at U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton's office Friday to pool their resources and information. "We had never sat down before (with all of the agencies) and looked at the case in its entirety," Lampton said after their meeting. In addition to the district and U.S. attorney, the meeting included representatives from the FBI, Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the attorney general's office, as well as Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins, Adams County Sheriff Ronny Brown and Franklin County Sheriff James Newman. The case files are "voluminous," Harper said. But that doesn't mean bringing suspects to trial will be easy, he said. Because neither case saw the inside of a courtroom, there are no trial transcripts to rely on if witnesses are dead. "You've got to find people," Harper said. "You've got to find warm bodies - warm bodies that remember their names." Investigators plan to meet again in about a month to find out where the investigation stands, Lampton said. In the meantime they will be seeking witnesses and trying to determine who is still alive. Lampton encouraged anyone with information about the cases to talk to investigators. "If there's any consideration to be given, it'll be given to people who come forward first," Lampton said. That bolded part could be important in this case. Put a sticky note on it in your brain.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-30T13:30:45-06:00
ID
78686
Comment

Lampton encouraged anyone with information about the cases to talk to investigators. "If there's any consideration to be given, it'll be given to people who come forward first," Lampton said. Well, well, well. Mr. Lampton surely knows how to get his message across. I hope the right people are listening to him. They better be, if they have any desire for self-preservation. The Natchez Democrat is definately stepping up to the plate with Mr. Lampton, and they deserve major props for it.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-30T16:41:59-06:00
ID
78687
Comment

The KKK found my lynching poll. You guys better get in there and vote, before they vote you out of the water. There's a link to it on a KKK site, and Donna, they even mentioned you. :-) Y'all need to get over and vote in this poll: http://www.mississippipoliti cal.com/lynchingjusticepoll. htm The web site is operated by one of Donna Ladd's comrades. Post 71 Date: Saturday02:18 07.30.2005 24.170.1.250 (cpe-24-170-1-250.jam.res.rr.com) John Sawyer Netscape Navigator or other United States of America [email]r.john.sawyer@gmail.com[/email] ====================== I wonder if these guys realize their isp shows up when when they post there? Further this site has a place to contribute to Killen on their front page, and states in the top right corner The AWK is actively seeking seasoned Klanspeople in the state of MS. With the influx of applications from MS, we need leadership in that state. If your "Klan" is the "hide-under-the-bed" type, please consider membership with the AWK.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-30T17:05:50-06:00
ID
78688
Comment

These Klan guys have a letter to the Neshoba Democrat up, too. Interesting (in a perverted sort of way).

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-30T17:11:05-06:00
ID
78689
Comment

The web site is operated by one of Donna Ladd's comrades. Gee, like that's a bad thing or something...:-P I put in a vote for you, C.W. I can't bring myself to go to that KKK site because I don't wanna blow my top this late at night.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-30T20:51:41-06:00
ID
78690
Comment

Yeah, I know. I got a little giggle out of that, LW. I laughed at the site (it's either laugh or cry). That's a luxury that was once impossible - now I can treat them as a joke (as long as I don't let my guard down and take my own humor too seriously). :-) I may laugh at them, but that doesn't mean that I take the possibility of resurgance lightly. Eyes in the back of my head.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-30T21:18:48-06:00
ID
78691
Comment

The web site is operated by one of Donna Ladd's comrades. Hey, this is nothing. Someone on another thread earlier accused me of caring about other people. Can you believe the gall!?! What a day. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-30T21:49:25-06:00
ID
78692
Comment

ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-30T21:58:55-06:00
ID
78693
Comment

I notice that the Klan is now advertiising for "seasoned leaders" in Mississippi. Let's think about that for a second: The Klan is having to advertise. For elderly racists. In friggin' Mississippi. You'd think word of mouth would be enough--shouldn't that be like sticking a sign in the Sahara that reads "WE BUY SAND!"?--but no, they're having to advertise. ADVERTISE. Back when they had teeth, they got to wear hoods. Now they have to rely on web banners. To find elderly racists. IN MISSISSIPPI. Good God. The Society for Creative Anachronism doesn't have to advertise for leaders on web banners. Hell, Dungeons and Dragons players don't have to advertise for dungeon masters on web banners. But the Mississippi KKK has to advertise for leaders on web banners? What's next--"WORK FROM HOME! Make $$$ stuffing envelopes, no experience required, elderly white racists preferred"? The Onion couldn't make this stuff up. I love it! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2005-07-30T22:17:01-06:00
ID
78694
Comment

Alright, stop it now, you guys are making me laugh so hard my side hurts! Poor Donna, assailed from all sides, I just feel sorry for you. How could anyone be so mean as to accuse you of caring about other people? And Tom, The Onion couldn't have said it any funnier than you did....work from home.....ROFLMAO! The comrade part tickled me considering the history of the KKK using that scare word "communist" to excuse their dastardly deeds. I think he used that particular word on purpose, which makes me wonder if the man has read the newspaper in the last 20 years, knows the Berlin Wall was tumbled, that the Communist Party lost power in Russia, that the few wisps of communism are either crumbling or have already become more capitalist than communist in practice? Maybe he's been too busy stuffing envelopes at home to get out and find out what's going on in the rest of the world.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-07-31T09:20:57-06:00
ID
78695
Comment

How's this for 15 minutes of fame? First Wilson Carroll and Alan Lange's execrable-alt diatribes, now KKK Inc. and the Stop-the-Bleeding-Heart brigade. Oh, and don't forget that Richard Barrett called me the "hip-hop editor." I think that was supposed to be an insult, too. I guess I'm feeling pretty confident at this point that we must be doing something right. Comrade? Yes, I'm a neo-free-enterprise-pinko-commie-kinda-gal. (rolling eyes)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T09:46:11-06:00
ID
78696
Comment

Tom, I couldn't have said it better myself! Donna, I read that bleeding heart jazz in that thread, which is why I decided to leave that conversation. Don't you hate it when people try to make you feel guilty for having an opinion? Oh puhleeeeease!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-07-31T09:55:40-06:00
ID
78697
Comment

Don't you hate it when people try to make you feel guilty for having an opinion? Oh puhleeeeease! I'm actually used to it; I've been doing this a long time. And inevitably people like that make fools of themselves and show what they're really about. I actually think that's useful, to a point, in a public forumóit provides a mirror of a fashion for people reading the comments, to encourage them to think about how their own words and actions, like crime rhetoric and calling black kids "thugs" or allowing their own site to be used for blatant racism, actually look to thinking, caring people. And it shows other people what they're really about. Of course, it's a balancing act. If I allow too much of that ugliness on our site, then it drives good people like you away from the conversation (as it does on others, if they were there to begin with). I will never apologize for caring about people, or my community. And it's very telling when that's what someone attacks you based on, rather than on the content of your words. But that's typical for people like that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T10:08:05-06:00
ID
78698
Comment

Let's get back on target here. Today, the Natchez Democrat has another story, this one about the roadblocks in the case. But while I admire their renewed coverage on this, this story is woefully incomplete. They seem to have very few documents to rely on, instead pulling details (sound bites even, about the Black Muslum and "peep" accusations),all of which are much more nuanced when you read the FBI documents. For one thing, both Seale and Edwards were arrested and released on $5,000 bond. And vital to this narrative is the reason that then-D.A. Forman later dropped the chargesóas is detailed in my story above. I haven't seen this reported anywhere else, and it's very important. He released them because they had spread rumors that they had been mistreated and the D.A. believed that the chances of convicting them them were slim. That does not speak to the quality of the evidence, necessarily. It speaks to the time. Also, the Democrat story doesn't talk a whole lot about the FBI investigative files, and there are tons of them. And the point about Edwards saying he and Seale left them alive isn't really a sticking point in the narrative; they were alive, barely, according to FBI documents. Then the KIWU call went out, and at least two other Klansmen came and took the bodies to dump them -- alive -- in the Mississippi River. This point seems pretty consistent.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T10:38:58-06:00
ID
78699
Comment

I'm all for making fun of white supremacists, but I think the other part of the Klan ad is worth noting: With the influx of applications from MS, we need leadership in that state. There has been a decided increase in recruitment of young white supremacists around the country. One article I remember about it is here. You can also find ongoing coverage of white supremacist movements and the blurring of the line between them and "mainstream" right wingers at David Neiwert's fine blog, Orcinus. Sounds to me like the Amer. W. Knights are looking for the old geysers to give some ideological and tactical guidance to the influx of new membership. I'm not sure that's such a laughing matter.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2005-07-31T10:41:02-06:00
ID
78700
Comment

Ben, good point. There has also been decent research that shows that they overblow their number of recruitments in their efforts to publicize themselves. I remember attending a "Klan march" in Neshoba County a few years back. It was four people in a van with a big chick wearing a Rebel flag tank top. People were yelling at them to "go home," and the black and white cops were standing together snickering about them. That one was similar to the Klan rally in NYC that drew about five Klan folk and thousands of screaming New Yorkers. That one was fun, too. That doesn't mean you downplay possible resurgence; you don't. You also don't overplay it. Having written about hate sites on the Internet for a couple years for the Village Voice, I learned that it's a balancing act between exposing their potential and giving them too much attention (which we're probably doing here). On that note, I'll suggest that we stay away from the Klan conversation on this thread going forward, so as to not detract from the amazing Thomas Moore story. But if someone wants to start a thread in the forums, feel free to do so. But I probably let this one go too far afield already. I apologize.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T10:46:25-06:00
ID
78701
Comment

When we're talking about that kind of behind the scenes pressure to get the case dropped, I think we're probably moving into the realm of the WCC. I have not studied the FBI docs in this case, but I'm guessing they don't examine the role of the WCC. I wonder if you all are familiar with the 2001 Congressional Black Caucus report, COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story, presented at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, S. Africa. In it there is this important quote: FBI monitoring of the Klan was strictly confined to the organization itself. No serious efforts were made to explore the supplemental role of White Citizens' Councils, many of which were active Klan fronts, let alone investigate the obvious and widespread police complicity in racist violence.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2005-07-31T11:04:36-06:00
ID
78702
Comment

Again, Ben, please start a separate topic on the WCC if you wish and post a link to it. I want to keep this thread on the Dee-Moore case in particular, and shouldn't have let it go so far afield. Later today, I'll likely move the Klan posts and such to other threads. But here please stay focused on the Dee-Moore case.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T11:10:23-06:00
ID
78703
Comment

Point taken, Donna, on staying on subject. I actually wouldn't have posted my first comment if I'd first seen your let's get back on target comment, above. I intended my WCC comment as a response to your point about how the case got dropped. I was trying to ask whether saying the defendants "put out the story" sufficiently explains how the pressure was mounted to keep the case from moving forward. It's probably also worth asking how they put out the story to make it an effective rumor. There was a lot of money coming through the Sovereignty Commission for pr campaigns both in the media and behind the scenes.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2005-07-31T11:45:20-06:00
ID
78704
Comment

Understood, Ben. I let it get afield. Interesting questions about the WCC. I do know that Meadville is a very small town, and it wasn't hard to "put out the word," with or without the WCC But were they operating there? Probably. But without more research, it's just speculation.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T11:56:26-06:00
ID
78705
Comment

Long feature about the Emmett Till case in The New York Times Magazine today.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-07-31T13:16:00-06:00
ID
78706
Comment

Y'all check it out. The Colorado Springs Independent ran a slightly shorter version of this story this week as their cover story, along with Kate's photos. Remember, Thomas lives in Colorado Springs now, so this is pretty special. ;-) View the story and photos View Kate's cover photo BTW, these links look like they'll change next week, so if you click them and don't get the Moore story, post here, and I'll change the links. In other words, remind me to do that. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-08-04T13:10:05-06:00
ID
78707
Comment

I just read the cover story in the CS Indy and followed links to the JFP. WOW! Great journalism. My heart poors out to the Dee's and Moore's, tears rolled from my eyes. I can not imagine reliving this each day. Thomas, you are a great man. My family would like to help out with a donation for the memorial/headstones. Additionally, Thomas, I live in CS and I am an Army vet, I'm here for ya. Jeremy

Author
JeremyR
Date
2005-08-04T14:20:37-06:00
ID
78708
Comment

JeremyR, Thank you for wanting to contribute. There are a few ways that you can contribute. 1. This website home page has the link to the PayPal site where you can make an online donation. 2. You can mail a check or money order directly to me. I have the donations locked away until the editor of the JFP can get the bank account set up. Email by clicking on my name below. OR 3. The account will be set up soon under the Willie Morris Foundation, a non-profit. At that time, JFP will begin collecting donations through a P.O. box. Which ever is more convenient for youÖÖÖ..

Author
Steph
Date
2005-08-04T16:14:13-06:00
ID
78709
Comment

Thanks for your comments, Jeremy. I must say, your post made me cry, too. Thomas is touching so many peopleóhe feels like a bridge between people. And I'm thrilled that the story is in his current home of Colorado Springs now, a city where I lived and wrote for years after helping start the Independent. And I met my partner Todd there. ;-) There's something very special to me personally about Colorado Springs folks working with people here to both help bring justice and to memorialize Charles and Henry and other victims of race hatred. One thing I could suggest to you and others who end up here; you might consider sending a note of support and appreciate to U.S. Attorney Lampton for responding to Thomas so quickly after he visited him on this trip. I don't see an e-mail address, but here is some contact info: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/mss/index.htm Anyway, Jeremy, thanks for being in touch from my old stomping grounds and for donating to the memorial fund. There is talk now of turning it into an effort to establish a permanent memorial to the men in Meadville. More on that soon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-08-04T17:29:19-06:00
ID
78710
Comment

Cool, someone from Colorado Springs! And Donna, thanks for the idea - that never occured to me. Going to do it. He does deserve thanks!

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-08-04T20:32:30-06:00
ID
78711
Comment

Are y'all listening to Thomas Moore talking to Rip Daniels on Gulfport radio? You can hear it online: http://www.wjzd.com

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-08-10T08:50:48-06:00
ID
78712
Comment

THANKS!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-08-10T10:00:07-06:00
ID
78713
Comment

When I read about Thomas J. Mooreís efforts on the site last month, it occurred to me, as it did in 1964, that I might have known some of the players. After some research and a telephone conversation with Thomas, I now know for sure that I was a fifth grade classmate of Thomas during the first half of the 1954-1955 school year at the new Lillie Mae Bryant School in Meadville, Franklin County, Mississippi. I lived in Quentin at the time and looked forward to the bus ride each day to see my new classmates and friends and attend a school like something I had never imagined before. Prior to attending Bryant, my school days had been spent in an old church building in rural Franklin County. I knew Charles as a classmate and played with him during recess and lunchtime on the large sawdust pile located at the rear of the school building at that time. I likely knew Henry Hezekiah Dee and Thomasí brother Charles Eddie Moore and played on the sawdust pile with them as well. On a visit back to the school for a reunion in July of this year after more than fifty years, I noticed the sawdust pile was no longer there. I donít know if it disappeared before or after the school burned during the days of desegregation. In January 1955, I moved to Picayune, Mississippi in Pearl River County with my family and enrolled in school there. I graduated from George Washington Carver High School in Picayune in 1962. Leaving Franklin County carried me far from my classmates and friends at Bryant, but it placed me closer to another lynching that occurred in 1959, less than four years after the August 28, 1955 lynching of Emmett Louis Till in Money, Leflore County, Mississippi. I applaud the efforts to bring to justice those responsible for taking the lives of Henry and Charles in 1964. Maybe, just maybe, delayed justice for these murders has begun to appear on the horizon!

Author
WLR
Date
2005-08-27T20:26:20-06:00
ID
78714
Comment

I was at the site in Meadville on saturday(8/27), when the new plaque in memory of Henry Dee and Charles Moore was placed. I was hurt that only five(5) people showed up beside the reporters. If we want justice we have to show it by showing up when we are needed. PMM

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-08-28T04:25:27-06:00
ID
78715
Comment

Thanks for posting, WLR. You're a wonderful, descriptive writer. Peachie, I'm not sure how many people actually knew about it yesterday. And I did think it was cool that some of the local folks showed up at the end. It made for interesting conversation standing in Meadville ringing the back of a pickup truck. ;-) Thanks for everything. (And call my cell if you can; I have a favor to ask you. Your answering machine didn't seem to be working.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-08-28T09:37:15-06:00
ID
78716
Comment

Wonderful to hear from local people about this! I see that the Natchez Democrat had a story about it today. Praying that this sign stays up undisturbed. I have no doubt someone here at JFP is working on one, too, and I'm looking forweard to reading it. Donna, did the fund for the memorial get set up thru the nonprofit yet or has there been a snag?

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-08-28T14:56:21-06:00
ID
78717
Comment

C.W., we had a glitch on the non-profit ID number. Doing this is more complicated than I had thought. However, Thomas called Friday and said he is setting up an account in Colorado Springs for the Dee-Moore Memorial Fund. I'll announce as soon as its finalized here and in the paper where people can write and send checks. Please link it to your site when it's a go. Thanks!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-08-28T15:18:25-06:00
ID
78718
Comment

Sounds good, Donna. Things are always more complicated than they appear at first, aren't they? I'll link to it as soon as I get the info. Thanks!

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-08-28T20:06:49-06:00
ID
78719
Comment

Thanks Donna, Maybe we will try to let the locals know when something is happening regarding this cause, If I had known I'd passed it along. We don't want them to feel left out, smiling.

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-08-29T07:54:45-06:00
ID
78720
Comment

Today, the Ledge editorializes about the U.S. Senate approving the cold-cases unit to look into old civil rights case. Oddly, though, this editorial doesn't mention the Moore-Dee case. Also, the following line is odd to me: Mississippians can only applaud such legislation, since the state has zealously been trying old civil rights cases. "zealously trying"? Now, is that an accuate statement? Wouldn't it be more likely to say occasionally trying an old civil rights case after citizens dig them out and demand their prosecution, and then maybe? Sorry. The boosterism in this editorial is a bit much. Also the line implicitly trying to excuse Lott and Barbour for not signing onto the anti-lynching resolution: The legislation, cosponsored by Mississippi's U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott, among others, was appended to an appropriations bill and goes to a House-Senate conference committee.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-17T08:54:40-06:00
ID
78721
Comment

AP reports today about what we told y'all in this story above in July: James Ford Seale is still alive although some reporters were reporting and telling people, including Thomas, that he was dead. This was a big deal when we figured this out while we were all in Meadville/Natchez to do this original story in July. It was almost weird the way it happened: Thomas and David were hanging out in Meadville/Roxie and found out as the AP describes in this story today. Kate and I were visiting an old Klansman who told us he was still alive. We headed for the Natchez Democrat to look for his obituary and talked to David and Thomas on the phone from inside their archive roomówho told us they had just found out he was alive! It was wacky timing. Needless to say, we were all stunned by the news, being that other media were telling us he was dead. You got the feeling nobody had gone there to figure out if it was true; frankly, it wasn't very hard to find out that he was still alive, as our stories show.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-23T15:59:28-06:00
ID
78722
Comment

Totally wild, isn't it? Serendipty of the highest sort.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-09-23T20:43:56-06:00
ID
78723
Comment

Hi Donna, I read your response and the AP report. The length people will go to hide their wrong doings(dead?). This is one of the cases that is not being zealsouly brought into the courts, but forced in by the determination of a caring brother and friend that want justice too. With people like you and your staff getting the word out there and the help of community people, we will get justice.

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-09-24T09:10:27-06:00
ID
78724
Comment

I hope so, Peachie. We're about to return more attention to the case. Everyone has, understandably, been distracted by Katrina, but this case is still very important. And not forgotten. Keep the faith, Donna

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-24T11:01:22-06:00
ID
78725
Comment

Thanks Donna. Oh, I will keep the faith, let me know when the article appears. keep up the good work. Peachie

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-09-24T13:49:27-06:00
ID
78726
Comment

Serendipity, indeed, C.W. ;-) I remember how excited David and Thomas were telling the story about driving by and getting a photo of Seale. It was some day. Looks like the New York Times picked up this AP story today; here's a section from the end about other media reporting that he was dead: In 2000, a Jackson newspaper, The Clarion-Ledger, uncovered documents indicating that the beatings might have occurred in the Homochitto National Forest. Claiming jurisdiction, the Justice Department reopened the case. Not long after, James Ford Seale "died." The Los Angeles Times published an article in June 2002 on the case, which said that Mr. Seale had died the previous year. In 2003, The Clarion-Ledger ran a series on unsolved cases from the civil rights era. An item on the Dee-Moore case included comments Mr. Seale had made "before his death." Thomas Moore, 62, fought for years to have the case reopened. In July, officials announced a local, state and federal partnership to advance the Dee-Moore case. The property where Mr. Moore found Mr. Seale is on Route 33 just outside Roxie. Recently, a reporter knocked at the door of the brick home. An elderly man emerged from an R.V. parked beside the swimming pool. The man confirmed that he was James Ford Seale and ordered the visitor to leave. ______ It's an incredibly significant piece of information because many people think the case can't be prosecuted because the main people who are accused are dead. In fact, the the two men arrested in 1964, and then let go in early 1965 (as explained in my story above) are both still alive and living in Franklin County. It's shameful that nothign has been done before now of significance (or at least since the FBI investigation, which seems to have been immense). The only odd thing about this new story to me is why it turns up now on the wire, weeks and weeks after Thomas discovered he was alive in July on the "road to Meadville." Oh, well. Better late than never, I guess. I am very happy to see all this media coverage, though. A major goal was to get this case the kind of mainstream media attention, or even a fraction of it, that the Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner case garnered over the years. And it's nice to see more accuracy and detail being reported about this case. I have noticed that The Clarion-Ledger hasn't really acknowledged the slip-up, just started reporting again that Seale is alive since our trip down there. I should also mention that Kate Medley shot photos for this AP story on our last trip down there the weekend before Katrina. Also, reporter Joe Garner of the Rocky Mountain News, one of the dailies in Denver, contacted me early last week to reach Thomas. They did their own story a couple days ago. Kudos to Garner for a well-written story.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-24T17:52:57-06:00
ID
78727
Comment

Congrats on getting this work further into the mainstream press. I wonder if the odd timing, weeks and weeks after your article came out, has something to do with the Senate's passing the cold cases unit legislation this week.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2005-09-24T18:01:10-06:00
ID
78728
Comment

Probably, Ben. Good point. I should add that the AP reporter had been working on the story in late August, and I'm sure the storm waylaid the story. It would have been lost in the storm coverage anyway. So that explains much of the delay. And honestly, even if this is old news to all of us, it is another angle for the mainstream to use to get the story out another round. That's good, too. The "cold cases" development is encouragingóbut I do wonder if it's enough money to make it truly worthwhile. I haven't looked closely at that angle, yet, so any thoughts on that would be welcome.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-24T18:04:58-06:00
ID
78729
Comment

I am happy to see that the article is being circulated to other cities and states, there may be someone reading it that will remember something about that time. Peachie

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-09-25T08:36:44-06:00
ID
78730
Comment

Here's a version of the new AP story that displays two of Kate's photos online.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-25T15:00:32-06:00
ID
78731
Comment

Thanks Donna, I will print and read as I did with all the others

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-09-25T17:18:18-06:00
ID
78732
Comment

Thanks Donna, I will print and read as I did with all the others

Author
Pmm
Date
2005-09-25T17:18:27-06:00
ID
78733
Comment

HI! Yeah, it's been a while... I'm glad to see that there is more attention being brought to this in the media. Maybe more exposure will help bring a national outcry for justice.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2005-09-25T20:03:41-06:00
ID
78734
Comment

Wow! A picture of the sign being put up! Awesome to see that, and congratulations, Kate. I think it's another piece of serendipity that this news is coming out all over the place now rather than earlier when it might have gotten lost in the disaster coverage.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-09-25T20:33:19-06:00
ID
78735
Comment

I agree, C.W. We had planned a story that included the sign being put up as well, and a different photo that's great, too, for the week of Katrina. But there was simply no way to do anything except about the hurricane that week. (This AP story was supposed to come out that week, too.) I just decided to hold back. This story is not going anywhere. (And it's not going away, if we have anything to say about it.) I think it makes sense to refocus attention on this now. It's not like hurricane news is over -- far from it -- but we can at least think about other issues in addition to Katrina now. Like ... long overdue justice.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-25T20:54:31-06:00
ID
78736
Comment

Yes, also, cheers to Kate. She is just an amazing photographer and a remarkable person, whom I've gotten to know well on these forays and stays in cheap motels. And I don't think she'll mind my pointing out that this world-class photographer is a product of the public schools in Jackson, and then the School of Math & Science in Columbus. Be proud, Jacksonians, be proud. She reps us well.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2005-09-25T20:59:26-06:00
ID
78737
Comment

Perhaps serendipity was the wrong word here - it's more like wisdom, holding the story until it will have a chance to be read, rather than swamped by the urgent stories from the disaster area. The stories from Katrina and Rita are still there, but not quite so urgent at the moment. Good on you all.

Author
C.W.
Date
2005-09-26T09:21:31-06:00
ID
78738
Comment

From what I understand, Ernest Parker got to feeling guilty later in life and confessed to friends and family what he and Seale had done. One of the people he told was a Mormon attorney in Natchez, who could probably claim attorney-client privilege... but if you could hunt down someone that he confessed to, I believe it would be considered admissible hearsay against Parker's own penal interest. From what I understand, Parker and his buddy Seale rode to the House Unamerican Activities Committee questioning together in a station wagon. When Parker complained about Seale driving too fast, Seale told him not to worry about being stopped and motioned for him to look in the back. He pulled back the corner of a blanket, and Seale had two tommy guns. Again, this is all second-hand rumor, but if true, I guess it means if they had actually been fingered for the crime in D.C., then Seale had planned to go out in a blaze of glory.

Author
tonygunter
Date
2005-11-12T20:57:34-06:00
ID
78739
Comment

I hope that ALL involved with these 2 murders will face the court system. No matter how old they are or how long it's been, they are still accountable for their evil actions. My heart goes out to the families....

Author
anna
Date
2006-06-28T15:19:47-06:00
ID
78740
Comment

Is there an update regarding this case?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2006-10-02T10:32:26-06:00
ID
78741
Comment

I have another story on the situation coming soon.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-10-02T10:35:46-06:00
ID
78742
Comment

Hi Donna, I am back, my computer was down. I will be looking forward to reading your story. My prayer is there's more information that will lead us closer to justice being served. Peachie

Author
Pmm
Date
2006-10-02T18:52:53-06:00
ID
78743
Comment

Great news! The feds have arrested James Ford Seale in this case. Edwards is expected to testify against him. See our breaking story and my column this week about the case. Cheers, gang!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T16:43:34-06:00
ID
78744
Comment

As today goes on, we're a little taken aback here that David doesn't seem to be mentioning the role the JFP played in this investigation (just saw this) and that we were working with them in Meadville—being that he had contacted me in the first place and asked if he come here to document the Jackson Free Press investigating the story. I agreed, and we started working together even before the Killen trial started. Certainly our story above has brought a lot of attention to the case, and raised expectations for his documentary (which I don't think has been shown). He and Thomas have continued to work together on it, and we did follow-up stories with Thomas as well. David played an amazing role in this and should be applauded, but it feels weird—and rather typical—for us Mississippians just to be cut out of it. If it was a different kind of story, it wouldn't sting quite so much. But here's a civil rights case where the narrative is saying that it took someone from far away to make it happen, instead of that he came here and did a very cool thing by helping bringing Mississippians together to do a very cool thing. However, I will take a deep breath and just think pleasant thoughts about how wonderful this is, even if folks don't want to know, or believe, that native Mississippians played a role in it—which was one of the main points I had made to David in the first place! That is, that the world needs to understand that native Mississippians are sitting here wanting to do whatever we can to help bring justice to these cases. That never gets enough attention. The fact that Mississippians worked so closely with him was one of the parts that meant so much to Thomas, so I hate to see it get glossed over from that angle as well. Regardless, I'm still thankful to David for his help and to Thomas for letting us play a role in something so meaningful. And we know that our story is getting out there and touching people, so it all makes those weeks of scratching chiggers worthwhile. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T19:14:18-06:00
ID
78745
Comment

David is going to have a great career as a documentarian. I wouldn't take his decision to snub the JFP as anything but a business decision. Nothing personal. It helps his career more if people think he did it all without help, and he probably will make more documentaries that are important, that do justice and love mercy and so forth. And we'll no doubt love and promote those documentaries because we agree with the causes he's fighting for, and he will leave the world a better place than he found it regardless. There's an old saying that there's no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit. What you do at the Free Press, be it on the Dee/Moore slayings or on the Ridgway house demolition, is proof of that principle in action. Well done! I know this isn't the first time this has happened to you, it won't by any means be the last, but those of us who know the full story will always love and admire y'all for what you've done here. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-24T19:21:32-06:00
ID
78746
Comment

I know, Tom. I know how the national media work. Or, I guess international, in this case. ;-) Frankly, I think it's fine to shape his doc any way he wants, and to cut us out of it completely, but the part that is weird to us is simply omitting out the large role we played when discussing this publicly. And don't get me wrong: It's not about "credit," per se (as an alt journalist, I'm using to stories being falsely reshaped on us); but it is important to me as a native Mississippian that people out there *know* that native Mississippians wanted, and helped make, this to happen. Maybe I'm overly sensitive about that, but hey, whoever said it's easy to be a Mississippian! That said, whatever happens now cannot compare to the moment when Kate and I were in the Natchez Democrat newspaper archive trying to find James Ford Seale's obit after another former Klansman told us he was still alive. We got a cell call from David and Thomas, all whispery and secretive, to tell us they had just learned something very exciting in Roxie. We met back up and traded the news that we had both just found out that James Ford Seale was still alive. It was a great moment, and you can't imagine the excitement of that crazy little group of people at the revelation. Thomas had come back to Mississippi thinking that Seale was dead (because that's what The Clarion-Ledger had reported). Thank goodness that "fact" didn't stop us all from convening in Meadville. It was very special. And today is very special for Mississippi. We have more coming soon that folks will also find intriguing. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T19:32:20-06:00
ID
78747
Comment

**There's an old saying that there's no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.**

Author
Kacy
Date
2007-01-24T19:49:06-06:00
ID
78748
Comment

*3 civil rights workers*, not 3 white civil rights workers.

Author
Kacy
Date
2007-01-24T19:53:27-06:00
ID
78749
Comment

Kacy, but what are we going to do about it? If David doesn't want to tell the truth, we can't force him to. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-24T20:02:35-06:00
ID
78750
Comment

Folks, let's just remember the adage that the JFP tries to live by: Do the right thing and wait. We did the right thing here, waited, and now justice may finally come for the Dee and Moore families. That's very exciting. The truth is, the work of several journalists, spread over the years, helped us get to this point, as we say in our pieces: Connie Chung (who did AMAZING work down there if you read the transcripts), then Jerry Mitchell (who revealed more important details several years back), then David and the JFP (who believed together that the case shouldn't stay cold). But: Thomas Moore is and should be the centerpiece, as should be Dunn Lampton. I just told a national media outlet the real story here is about Mississippians from diverse backgrounds who have come together—and that's no better symbolized than by Moore and Lampton, a black man and a white man from South Mississippi who served in the same Gulf War unit. Then one went to bat for the other one. That's a beautiful story.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T20:26:05-06:00
ID
78751
Comment

All, I know everyone wants to hear from Thomas (the phone is ringing off the hook about him). It seems that he, Lampton and Ridgen are headed to D.C. for a press conference in the a.m. with AG Gonzales. Justice is making this a really big deal, which is great. I can tell you this: I talked to Thomas briefly this afternoon, but he was on the run. Meantime, I looked back through the Dee-Moore Coalition and list and found the following Oct. 29, 2005, e-mail from Thomas that I think you will all enjoy. I don't think he'll mind me sharing this one, as it was sent to a big list of people: Donna, thank you for those articles you put on your site. David, Cw thank you also for your comments. These are critical times in the struggle for justice for the murder of Dee/Moore. I think back when this case was brought to the light several years ago, the team fell by the way side. 20/20 started fast but they fell also. Then the year 2005 came in—a Canadian, Mr. David Ridgen, (and) a retired OLD Soldier made our way to Mississippi. Thanks to my friend Jerry Mitchell who has helped me get information for several years. On that hot rainy Friday in The Evil town of Meadville, Mississippi, two more team members came and joined this new team. A Canadian, a Retired Soldier and Two White Southern Women. Donna, your articles show how bad it was in Franklin County in the '60s. There are many more bad things that happen to Blacks but people had no reason to open their mouths because nothing had been done before. The Dee/Moore murder was the worst thing that happened. The ones that could have done something about things back then (were) away serving their country. There were about 10 Blacks serving in Vietnam. My question is: How far have we came in Franklin County? Now is the time to make some of the thing right in Meadville, Mississippi. As for me, this old soldier, I has never had so much for any mission, and there is no fear or anything to stop the force inside of me. Up until 2005 I did not know what I know now. Some nights I wake up feeling like getting on the road to Mississippi because I know if I was there to educate the people in Franklin county on some of the things I know and the things you wrote, Donna, Franklin County, Meadville, Mississippi would wake up from their dreams. So to all my friends and enemies, this old soldier still is on that journey to be able to face to face tell My Only brother on that day when we meet in GlORY, Charles Eddie Moore and My friend Henry H. Dee, I or the team brought to Justice those who cut your life short . Thomas James Moore Makes you cry, doesn't it, and puts all this in perspective. This is about long-overdue justice for families who have hurt for years.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T21:00:19-06:00
ID
78752
Comment

I think you're being too nice on David there, Donna. Otherwise, it's just a part of the continual "Look what the brave outsiders can do in Mississippi, while the poor natives can't face reality." It's a subtle insult.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-01-24T21:48:17-06:00
ID
78753
Comment

Point taken, Iron. Otherwise, all, I do want to add something into the media frenzy over this: I don't know that Seale was ever a deputy sheriff. AP put that out, and it's all over the place, but to my knowledge and that of other people knowledgeable about the case, that is incorrect. If I was any media outlet, I'd check the source before running that. And let me know if there's something we don't know.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T22:37:31-06:00
ID
78754
Comment

This is cool, over on Editor & Publisher.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T22:41:42-06:00
ID
78755
Comment

Donna writes: I just told a national media outlet the real story here is about Mississippians from diverse backgrounds who have come together—and that's no better symbolized than by Moore and Lampton, a black man and a white man from South Mississippi who served in the same Gulf War unit. Then one went to bat for the other one. That's a beautiful story. That it is! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-24T22:56:32-06:00
ID
78756
Comment

Lampton is my favorite Republican tonight. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-24T23:01:31-06:00
ID
78757
Comment

Mine too... I remember voting for Ronnie Shows over Lampton back in 2000, and the Shows-Lampton campaign was about all I remembered about him, but the more I read, the more I like. This is not Lampton's first run at the Klan--he also took down Ernest Avants a few years back. Definitely one of the good guys. I've said it before: I don't think there are any creatures on the planet more evil than these "harmless" old geezers who murdered with impunity decades ago--I include both the old Klansmen and the old Nazis here--and have sat cheerfully on the knowledge ever since, not once inclined to call the police or beg forgiveness from the victims. They say folks like Jeffrey Dahmer were sociopaths, but you know, at least folks like Dahmer were crazy--and didn't hold on to the secret for as long anyway. Killing kids like Dee and Moore and then vanishing into the woodwork with a smile, not once coming back out to face justice... These are some of the most important murder cases we try in this state, I think... Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-24T23:57:27-06:00
ID
78758
Comment

"Definitely one of the good guys" being Lampton for taking down Avants, not Avants himself, who is most certainly not one of the good guys. This is why nouns are important, I guess! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-01-24T23:58:28-06:00
ID
78759
Comment

Ray: couldn't find the thread where you talked about low riding pants. Thought you would find this amusing. Sorry to hijack thread. http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/5352196.html

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-25T10:07:40-06:00
ID
78760
Comment

Thanks, King. I tell my nephews.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-25T10:42:47-06:00
ID
78761
Comment

Ray: read the last sentence in the story. hehehehe.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-25T10:47:51-06:00
ID
78762
Comment

Great story ladd and so well put together. Another "DRAGNET." (smile)

Author
justjess
Date
2007-01-25T11:10:33-06:00
ID
78763
Comment

What happened to the memorial stone? Do we need to come up with some more money to have enough?

Author
C.W.
Date
2007-01-25T16:33:00-06:00
ID
78764
Comment

All, Kate and I are back from Meadville. It was a wonderful, exhilarating day, and I'm too exhausted to write much. Suffice it to say that we've spread a lot of positive today about MIssissippi and our future, and talked to people from around the world (including an Ole Miss grad who works at Al Jazeera. Go figure.) I'll answer questions later and post updates. I'm on the road tomorrow, too, so don't expect a lot out of me, though. But y'all please teek talking: You have the world's ear, so please let them know about how far Mississippi has come and how much we care about justice for *all* of our citizens. Y'all will all appreciate that my voice is gone. Shot. Kaput. I just can't talk anymore. Yes, Donna Ladd has finally been silenced! (Except I'm on the radio again at 5:45, so wish me luck!) Meantime, thank you all for your support and optimism. It's been a great day observing the wheels of justice starting to creak along again.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-25T18:08:43-06:00
ID
78765
Comment

Oh, and so everyone knows, Peachie is a resident of Franklin County who, has, indeed helped us with this story. Cheers, Peachie. (We would have come see you today, but we were on a tight schedule. Kate and I will be down again soon. Keep the faith, Sweetheart. It's happening.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-25T18:10:12-06:00
ID
78766
Comment

Here are a couple of links to articles which give credit where credit is due: http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=2&aid=117287 This one has an interview with Donna, but the link is not working: http://www.here-now.org/shows/2007/01/20070125_1.asp

Author
C.W.
Date
2007-01-26T09:48:48-06:00
ID
78767
Comment

Me and Donna have disagreed more than once on this site however, one thing happened last night that made me see her side a little more clearly. I'm talking to a woman who is 22 last night. She is in junior college up in the delta. She had no idea what the Holocaust was. That floored me even if it should not have done so. She had no idea there was a Holocaust, what it was, or what it was about. It started when she saw the youtube clip of the "Flying Jews" put out by Goebbels. She actually had to ask who the good guys were and then was asking why the Nazis were killing the Jews. She had no idea 6 million Jews were killed. Am I missing something here but isn't thing something you should be taught in school? My point is that, as was stated in one story in the CL this morning, that some people say this current story is a long time ago, it should go away, that its in the past. How do we prevent the past from being repeated if we don't know it? Am I the only one who worries that certain things in our history are not being taught OR won't be taught in the future? I argued with one person this morning who slammed the North for having its share of racists as well. I replied well, in the North you didn't have someone murder a civil rights leader, brag about it, go to a trial that was fixed, and have his hand shaken by the governor while a spy agency was run by the same state government. Anyway, it made me appreciate some comments I see made on this site a little bit more.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-26T14:30:54-06:00
ID
78768
Comment

I replied well, in the North you didn't have someone murder a civil rights leader, brag about it, go to a trial that was fixed, and have his hand shaken by the governor while a spy agency was run by the same state government. Anyway, it made me appreciate some comments I see made on this site a little bit more. King, I'm proud of you. Truly. You get it. The response to "there were racists in the North, too" is "of course they're were, and are. What does that have to do with our responsibility to fellow Mississippians and fellow human beings?" Plus, as I told NPR this week (twice, I think): The next, and next generations of MIssissippians must be willing to look back in order to understand how things got the way they are today, and then how to improve them. For instance, if you're worried about crime, you need to understand the roots of our crime problems, so that you can go in there and get the problem out by its roots. In our state, black men were treated as animals to be mistreated, hunted down and killed (as these stories explain in explicit detail) at will, and then nothing happen to the killers. That is vital to the understanding of why we now have too many young black men who have responded by becoming the hunters. Therefore, it is vital to change our societal attitudes and assumptions about the potential of these young men. We have to do everything we can to show them we believe in them in order to help them turn the corner away from the legacy our people left them. That doesn't mean going easy on criminals (although the adult treatment of juveniles must stop), but it does mean not crippling an entire group of young people by assuming that they can be no more than criminals. Our city, and state, have some soul-searching to do on this front.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-27T10:50:06-06:00
ID
78769
Comment

BTW, here's a link to the NPR Day to Day program I was on (which they taped while we were sitting in the Franklin County Courthouse, where we've done a lot of research sitting in their dusty archives. Seemed appropriate. ;-) Todd put some other links to media we did, or that talked about us on their own, this week here. Here's a link to a big blog that talks about the JFP's role in the story and how the mainstream media dropped the ball on it. We do appreciate that there are people out there that we don't know who are willing to recognize Mississippians' role in this. Of course, CNN did as well. Here's a transcript from the CNN broadcast. It doesn't do it justice without Kate's excellent photos, CNN's footage from our visit with them Thursday to Meadville, and the excerpts from David's documentary (especially of the scene from our trip when Thomas was beating the tree), but at least everyone can read it. Otherwise, we also did CBS Radio in New York and California, and an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. I don't have links to those, although they are sending us copies (I know for sure that CBC is). I did mostly radio interviews because Kate and I spent Thursday with CNN in Meadville, and by that night I had no voice! So, the good news is that the more astute journalists out there realize that there were Mississippians involved in this journey and trying to bring justice in this case, which is the part that matters the most to us—for people to realize that the stereotypes about our state arent' true. I remember sending Thomas lots of the issue the above story was in so he could send them around to elected officials and other media when he was trying to get their attention; there is nothing the JFP has done that been more meaningful than do our part to help spread this story and lead to this indictment. Speaking of other media, Todd is blogging about the Seale "deputy" storyline that the Associated Press put out, as well as the fact that The Clarion-Ledger had reported in 2000 that Seale was dead and had dropped its coverage of the "cold case."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-27T10:58:07-06:00
ID
78770
Comment

Great news! The feds have arrested James Ford Seale in this case. Edwards is expected to testify against him. Hi. Just stopping by to say how happy I am that the ball is rolling again on this case, especially with the arrest of Seale. Kudos to JFP for the work you did on this.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-01-27T18:00:54-06:00
ID
78771
Comment

what started my post was that discussion about the Holocaust. Here is a pretty good link to it on Wik and I don't think its a bad idea to read through it every now and then to see how calculated and systematic evil can be. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust Having said that, thank you Ms Ladd. Props to you and those at other media outlets, including local ones, who have worked on bringing this story to light so justice can be served.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-27T19:11:19-06:00
ID
78772
Comment

Thank you, Kingfish. ;-) And I agree on the revisiting the dark stages of our history in order to understand them and avoid replays.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-27T20:23:51-06:00
ID
78773
Comment

Jerry Mitchell is reporting in the C/L that the memorial sign that Mr. Moore put up has been stolen. http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070129/NEWS/70129010 Toads. And I am reminded once again to inquire if anyone knows where the memorial stone fund stands? Who is holding the money, and how much has been collected so far? Be a little harder for them to steal a stone than a sign (although I'm sure some enterprising toad could do it they really wanted to - but it would take so much longer that they might actually get caught at it).

Author
C.W.
Date
2007-01-29T17:30:17-06:00
ID
78774
Comment

I have no idea who has the money although I gave some.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-01-29T17:48:43-06:00
ID
78775
Comment

pitiful although I'm not surprised someone did this.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-01-29T17:49:35-06:00
ID
78776
Comment

Hey all, I know that Stephanie (who was raising money for the tombstone) was talking directly to Thomas about it a while back, and seem to remember that he wanted it put toward the reward fund at that point. I'll check with both of them to see what happened and report back. Yeah, and as for the sign, when I was traveling today, I heard a message Thomas had left yesterday about the sign being stolen. That is very sad; Kate and I were there the day they put it up.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-01-29T20:11:19-06:00
ID
78777
Comment

Great - if it went toward a reward, that's good, too. If not, we probably need to get busy and raise some more and put up something nice.

Author
C.W.
Date
2007-01-29T22:02:25-06:00
ID
78778
Comment

Agreed, C.W., agreed!

Author
Kacy
Date
2007-01-30T10:14:21-06:00
ID
78779
Comment

Read the new package of JFP stories about James Ford Seale and this case, posted Jan. 31, 2007: James Ford Seale: A Trail of Documents Tell the Story [Publisher's Note] Just the (Correct) Facts, Ma'am The Forgotten Case of Dee and Moore: A Media Timeline Young Folk Singer Pens Ballad of Charlie Moore and Henry Dee Another Brother Wants Justice, Too

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-03T16:33:40-06:00
ID
78780
Comment

This is the oddest story I've seen, yet, on the civil rights "cold cases." Here, The Clarion-Ledger is basically saying again that it isn't likely that justice is brought in any other cases: Despite high-profile convictions over the past two decades, the haunting truth is most killers from the civil rights era likely will go unpunished. That's what they said about Dee-Moore after they reported Seale dead and stopped looking at the case! The problem with this logic is that the cases that get media attention are the ones most likely to be re-opened. And how do they know how much evidence exists until folks go look for it!?! I really hate this frame of the Ledger thinking it's supposed to decide when it's the "end of the line." Just because they've done some good work in years past on "cold cases" doesn't mean they get to make self-fulfilling proclamations like this. It's just not good enough for present-day Mississippi. The bottom line is that we need to pursue these cases, and more importantly the details of the stories so that Mississippians can really know our own history. It's not just about prosecutions, Ledger. It's about knowledge and understanding and Mississippians' need to know and tell our own stories, whether or not our corporate newspaper from Virginia gives us clearance or not. We must reject this defeatist thinking, even if the CL doesn't want to pursue justice in other cases. As we can see from the Dee-Moore case, they don't have to in order for something to get done. (We have a different thread going about this odd tendency of the MSM media to try to decide which case is the "last"; feel free to comment on this media issue over there if you want, being that this thread is getting so long.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T11:32:48-06:00
ID
78781
Comment

I thought this article wasn't very good either. I mean why can't we still pursue some of these cases even if the accused are dead? History doesn't need to swept under the rug just because you can't take it to trial. Maybe the new civil rights museum can focus an exhibit on those who have not gotten justice? Which BTW does not need to be located in the Delta!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-02-05T12:17:31-06:00
ID
78782
Comment

I thought this article wasn't very good either. I mean why can't we still pursue some of these cases even if the accused are dead? History doesn't need to swept under the rug just because you can't take it to trial. Agreed. Besides, in the Dee-Moore case, they told us the main guy was dead and justice would never come—so how do we KNOW until we go look at the cases? I mean, I was surprised at the level of investigation that had been done in the Dee-Moore case, and I had seen what had been written. I respect what The Clarion-Ledger has done in the past on cold cases, but I'm not sure they fully comprehend that this is about more than prosecuting old men (or righting their own racist legacy). Telling these stories—in detailed, human, unflinching, local ways—is what is needed in our state so that our younger generations can both (a) be proud of how far we've come and (b) understand the recent reasons that we have many of the problems that we do today. THEN Mississippians are more likely to work together to solve the problems we face today. It doesn't do us a helluva lot of good for the Clarion-Ledger, or anyone else, to periodically publish a laundry list of cases that will "never" be prosecuted. That's missing the point.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T13:36:24-06:00
ID
78783
Comment

I'd say Jerry Mitchell "gets it".

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-05T13:44:05-06:00
ID
78784
Comment

I should also add that the JFP didn't go into the Dee-Moore story only looking for a prosecution. Like Thomas, we thought the main suspect was dead, and knew it would be a tough haul to prosecute as a result. We went in to to really tell the story in a detailed way so people would understand that there were many more cases that the media didn't care as much about as Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. When we got there, of course, we found out from a local man that Seale was still alive, as did Thomas from a different local, and were able to reveal that then. That opened it up, of course. But had we not gone simply to *tell the story* and reveal vital history to Mississippians (and David to tell it to the world), then it would still be a cold case. The evidence that was gathered by FBI, prosecutors and then shared with a few interested media folks over the years, all added up to this indictment. No one, or two, or four people did that. It was a collaborative effort. But what is vital to understand is that the desire to tell the story, and pursue justice, *regardless* of its likelihood, was the key to making this happen now. It is fatalistic to think there is no use in illuminating the details of other cases—not just short summaries—just because prosecutions are unlikely. Worse, it is a disservice to our people who need to understand our history inside and out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T13:46:55-06:00
ID
78785
Comment

I certainly can't speak for Jerry, Kingfish. I admire cold-case work he's done in the past, but he is fond of declaring that it is the "end" of the line for cold cases. I mean, this is his story we linked today, and he made that statement in the lead. Obviously, he's gotten the need to look at this old cases over the years, but maybe the simple need to tell the stories, regardless of chance of prosecution, isn't as much on his radar. It doesn't have to be, I suppose, but I'd prefer that he not make such blanket statements about these things just because his focus is a little different and more on prosecutions. And because he has a national stage, unfortunately national media believe him and quote him when he makes such statements, and we end up with bizarre pieces about southerners "dredging up" old cases even though Killen was supposed to the end of the line, as Shaila Dewan opined in the Times in 2005. And I say all that with complete respect for the good work Jerry has done. I just don't happen to adhere to his current approach. Or, as I like to put it: Mississippians must tell our own stories. If those lead to more prosecutions, that's wonderful. At the least, it will lead to better understanding.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T13:57:26-06:00
ID
78786
Comment

keep in mind you came across the info while doing a story because you wanted to go into more detail, something not always allowed at a place like Gannett.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-05T14:04:14-06:00
ID
78787
Comment

Right, I know. This isn't a blame thing; it's hard to know where the responsibility ultimately lies with a big corporate media outlet. The point is to challenge The Clarion-Ledger, and other media, to look at the bigger picture here and not make these kinds of odd proclamations that may well prove wrong, as they did in this case. I mean, if we don't challenge such "conventional wisdom," who's gonna? ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T14:06:29-06:00
ID
78788
Comment

True enough. That is why I always like the Playboy Interviews. They have collected them and released them in several volumes. I always liked the way they would run for about 20 pages and get in depth. First time I ever read the words of Malcom X, Ali, Liddy, and other controversial people. Lennon one was pretty good too. Back to the point. You are right, they need to be challenged. Unfortunately, the trend is towards shorter stories, sound byte type letters etc. That is one reason I like to read the N. Sun op ed page, I can read actual letters and columns more than 250 words and see thoughts actually developed.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-05T14:09:39-06:00
ID
78789
Comment

The Jerry Mitchell this-could-be-the-last-one comment is also strange when his own journalism suggests Hood and Duncan misrepresented the nature of the Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner murders, possibly for the purpose of keeping that investigation as narrow as possible, with so many other living suspects who have already been successfully prosecuted on federal civil rights charges. I forget how to do the hyper links in this system, so here's the Mitchell story I'm thinking of: http://orig.clarionledger.com/news/0006/04/04miburn.html Despite the evidence that Mitchell turned up that Chaney was tortured (different from the white vicitims), and despite the old autopsy report by David Spain that Chaney had bullets from three different guns lodged in his body, Hood and Duncan asserted that Chaney was killed by a single gunman, James Jordan. For the Duncan and Hood remarks, see: http://www.neshobademocrat.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=10597&SectionID=2&SubSectionID=297

Author
Ben G.
Date
2007-02-05T15:08:11-06:00
ID
78790
Comment

Interesting post, Ben. I've pasted your post on a new thread on the Neshoba blog about Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner. Because this Dee-Moore thread is already getting very long, let's unfold a discussion about possible further indictments in the Neshoba case over there. Plus, the Neshoba Blog needs a little exercise. ;-) Thanks, Donna

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T15:17:27-06:00
ID
78791
Comment

okay, sounds good. I'll head over there to see if there's more talk...

Author
Ben G.
Date
2007-02-05T15:43:35-06:00
ID
78792
Comment

Donna, I say Props to you and your staff for the enlightening and informational reports you shared, some of us wouldn;t have known. I was out of town, but heard about the arrest and rejoiced. About the stolen sign, that is all they can steal is a sign, our faith is steadfast. Keep up the good work.

Author
Pmm
Date
2007-02-06T10:05:09-06:00
ID
78793
Comment

Thanks, Pmm. We'll do our best. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-06T11:35:05-06:00
ID
78794
Comment

All, be *sure* to read the lyrics of a ballad to Dee and Moore that this story inspired. It is by a young singer/songwriter in Maryland. She will post a link to the recorded song there shortly—she wants it to debut in Mississippi! ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-06T21:01:33-06:00
ID
78795
Comment

A Utah newspaper is highlighting the CNN segment (posted on U-Tube) that Kate and I helped them with—when we took the crew back along the route that we followed with Thomas and David in July 2005. Check it out: There are great photos in there by Kate, as well as some wonderful footage of Thomas by David. I'll never forget watching Thomas beat that tree, which I also describe in detail above. I should add that I could think of no better way to spend the day the indictments were announced than retracing the path that we followed with Thomas, and visiting Charles' grave again. Standing in the Homochitto forest with the crew in their mini-van was eerily similar to July 8, 2005, when we stood there next to Thomas (with his beanstick) and David in his minivan. Gives me chills to watch this footage again. Cheers to Rusty Dornin and her crew for great work. They cared enough to come to Meadville and back to the scene of the crime, and that earns great respect from us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-07T11:08:02-06:00
ID
78796
Comment

Finally got to see it.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-02-07T19:08:32-06:00
ID
78797
Comment

Me, too IG.

Author
C.W.
Date
2007-02-07T21:41:44-06:00
ID
78798
Comment

Now that the trial is going on, a bit of new media background on the declaration that Seale was dead has been added to the record. I just read a post on the Hungry Blues blog. He quotes a new article by John Fleming in the Anniston Star about the false reporting about Seale's greatly exaggerated death. What's interesting is that he reveals that Allen Breed of the Associated Press originally put out the bad information, which was then repeated without factcheck by The Clarion-Ledger and The Los Angeles Times: In 2005, interviewed by the Associated Press, Seale Jr. said his father had died several months earlier. In fact, his father was still very much alive. In his interview with The Star, Seale Jr. said he told the AP his father was dead so the wire service would leave him alone. “That reporter kept harassing me, and I finally told him my father was dead just so he would leave me alone. I told him if he didn’t stop calling me, I was going to sue him for harassment.” AP reporter Allen Breed said that although he left messages, he talked to Seale Jr. only twice, once when Seale told him his father was dead and once when Seale threatened to sue him. This is interesting on a couple fronts. As far as we can find out, it was Allen Breed, or at least the AP, who immediately after the indictment put out in January 2007 that Seale was a "former deputy." That headline appeared around the world, and is still being repeated, even though everyone down to the prosecutors say it isn't true. (He was briefly a police officer over in Louisiana much later on.) We also got reports from sources in Franklin County that, in the weeks after the indictments broke, Breed was calling around, actively trying to confirm that Seale was a deputy there. We still haven't seen a correction run (anyone?) and, in fact, when BBC interviewed the JFP last week, they called Seale "former deputy." We've had to correct several media outlets on this since January, although I didn't manage to work it into the BBC interview. The other intriguing part of the Anniston piece is that it is incomplete because, like so many media outlets, they are ignoring the JFP's role in establishing that Seale was still alive, along with David and Thomas (and as Breed did when he wrote a story saying that Seale was still alive, weeks after we reported it in 2005). It is widely known that the JFP found out at the same time from a former Klansman while working with David and Thomas as a team, and reporters should have the ethic to call and ask us about it if they hear otherwise, considering that many of them are reading our stories (the only ones that have been written in detail about that trip to date) for information and calling us for various kinds of help, which we've been happy to give. Also, Ben's point about Ronnie Harper is very good. Thomas and David had gone to see Harper that Friday morning as Kate and I were driving to Meadville to meet them. Right after we met up in Meadville, Thomas told us with surprise and a bit of disbelief that Harper had said he thought Seale was still alive. But it wasn't until the next day when we split up so that Kate and I could interview former Klansman Greer on our own that Thomas and David confirmed from people in Roxie and we learned from Greer that he was alive. I will never forget the excited cell calls back and forth right after we left Greer's house. All that said, Ben makes a very good point on Hungry Blues that Harper seemed to know that he was alive and, thus, that a very lackadaisical approach—both from media that weren't beating the ground in Franklin County to check facts and from law enforcement who weren't working hard on the case—is what kept justice from happening sooner in this case. That said, I am very grateful that Thomas came back when he did and that David helped put us all down there together to jumpstart this case. I have never done anything more meaningful than help bring this story and case back to life despite some fortunately surmountable odds. Now the passion put into that case must be transferred into other cases to ensure that the meaningfulness of all who did this work continues and spreads. This is no time to stop, and this should not be the last case. (This just got so long that I'm going to make it a blog posting as well on the Road to Meadville blog. Feel free to comment there, if you wish, being that this thread is so long.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-06-10T13:27:19-06:00
ID
78799
Comment

Timeline clarification: Folks, I still have media folks asking me to clarify why the timeline in this original story about Thomas Moore's July 2005 trip to Meadville varies from the "Mississippi Cold Case" documentary released about that trip back to Meadville nearly two years later. The truth is that that documentary muddles the timeline in some small, but significant ways. This is how the discovery that James Ford Seale was alive transpired. All of this is documented, of course: Thursday, July 7, 2005 - Thomas Moore and David Ridgen arrive in Meadville, Miss., after driving from Colorado Springs. Friday, July 8, 2005 - While waiting for the JFP's Donna Ladd and Kate Medley arrive in Meadville to start the documentary about the JFP covering Thomas's search for justice, Moore and Ridgen went to see D.A. Ronnie Harper at 10 a.m. He told them that he thought James Ford Seale was still alive. After Ladd and Medley arrive in Meadville later that morning, Moore tells them what Harper said, but the group is skeptical because Jerry Mitchell had reported him dead and the local D.A. had not been actively investigating the case, so we weren't positive he knew for sure. The group spends the rest of the day retracing Dee and Moore's last steps, interviewing, photographing and filming. Saturday, July 9, 2005 - Ladd and Medley go to interview former Klansman James K. Greer. He tells them that Seale is still alive. They leave and go to the Natchez Democrat office to look for an obituary since it was Saturday and government offices were closed. The same morning, Ridgen and Moore go to Roxie to see Moore family members and look around. At the BP in Roxie, someone tells the men that Seale is alive and living across the street. They go to the cemetary to look for his grave and don't find it. They return and get a video capture of Seale outside his trailer. While at the newspaper office, Ladd and Medley get an excited, whispered call from Moore and Ridgen saying that Seale was still alive. They responded that they had found out the same thing from Greer. The group then gathers in Moore's hotel room to talk and plan. Sunday, July 10, 2005: The group meets on property owned by Moore family members across from the church where they believe Seale attends. Moore plans to approach Seale wearing hidden-camera glasses that Ridgen asked him to wear, but Seale does not show up. Wednesday, July 13, 2005: Moore and Ridgen meet with U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton in Jackson and tells him that Seale is alive. He agrees to help investigate the case. Sunday, July 17, 2005: The men, as well as Medley and JFP intern Natalie Irby, return to Roxie for a church service, after which Moore puts signs up on the roads in front of Seale's and Charles Marcus Edwards' homes. (In the documentary, this is oddly depicted as having happened a year later.) Wednesday, July 20, 2005: After the men leave Mississippi, the JFP publishes the above story about Moore's trip, which reveals that Seale was still alive. I hope this clarifies confusion the documentary might have caused. Looking back at e-mails from Ridgen, it seems that the confusion might have resulted from his mixing up dates. He wrote me on Nov. 1, 2005, verbatim: it was 7:30 am on the Saturday July 8 that we were told of Seale's existence the second time and first shown his house. We got the non-blurry shot of him later on in the day of the 8th (i think in late morning after we went to the Seale graveyard to make sure his body wasn't there). we were told about Seale being alive by Harper the first time at 10 am the day before (July 7). as it has been noted somewhere, it wasn't difficult to find him at all. Ridgen's dates there were off by one day. Harper did tell them about Seale on Friday, as he says, but the date was July 8, not July 7, which was a Thursday (and I don't remember Harper's revelation being mentioned in the doc). And they did film him on Saturday, but the date was July 9, not the 8th, as a calendar shows. So his version of them finding Seale on Saturday is correct; it just wasn't on the 8th before they met up with the JFP, which would be a serious distortion of what actually happened. Bottom line: Harper told them on the 8th; they told us an hour later; Greer told us on the 9th; and a BP customer told them the same morning. As Ridgen said in that e-mail, it wasn't like it was a major feat to find out, which makes it all the more sad that Seale had hidden away for so long as media had reported him dead.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-02-22T17:35:17-06:00
ID
148515
Comment

All, in honor of the conviction of James Ford Seale being upheld, here is our original story about Thomas Moore's journey back to Meadville in 2005—when we found Seale still alive. It's a good day.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-06-05T17:59:15-06:00
ID
148521
Comment

The conviction was upheld? WOO HOO! It really is a good day...a great day!

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2009-06-06T09:10:03-06:00

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