The Mystery of Canadian Passports and James Earl Ray

On May 6 1968 James Earl Ray flew to London England with a Canadian passport that was in the name of Ramon George Sneyd who happened to be a Metro Toronto Policeman.  He cashed in the return portion of his round trip ticket and flew on to Portugal.

The policy for obtaining a Canadian Passport in 1968 when James Ear Ray applied for his included the requirement of a notarized affidavit supporting the facts of the application.  If the applicant would not do that then he or she could have someone else swear that they had known the applicant for 2 years.  This person normally was a respected professional man or banker whose reputation and credibility was beyond reproach.  According to the Canadian officials James had fulfilled the requirement of filing an affidavit.  They didn’t know why the affidavit wasn’t verified, however, Toronto Deputy Police Chief Bernard Simmons said shortly after James’ capture, ‘Ray must have had some unusual sources of information.’ speaking of the information found on the affidavit.  That information related to the Toronto Policeman Ramon George Sneyd.  Police Chief Simmons was very familiar with the methods by which fraudulent passports were sought after and his mention of ‘unusual sources’ of information went beyond the typical criminal element.

This is another indictment against the belief that a petty criminal, as James Earl Ray was portrayed to be by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI,  could accomplish the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and then the difficult escape to Canada and on to Europe.

James was charged with Conspiracy and First Degree Murder when he was arrested but by the time he went to court the charge of conspiracy had been dropped.

According to Scotland Yard, James had 2 passports and a pistol on him when he was arrested in London June 8, 1968.  It seems that he had applied for and got another passport while in Portugal.  He was arrested in London on a stopover of a flight from Lisbon Portugal to Brussels Belgium.

Even now after 40 years the mystery of the Canadian passport has not been solved and probably never will be.

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Gary Revel:
254 698-3450

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