OK, it’s like this. Just pretend for a moment that you are an investigator and are asked to help investigate a high profile murder. You agree to take the assignment and begin your investigation. One of the first things you do is meet the convicted murderer. During your first interview you find he is far from being the cunning killer that the police and the press have made him out to be.
This is exactly what happened in my attempt to investigate the killing of Martin Luther King Jr. After the interview and a few days of researching legal documents I was shocked to find the case had little merit. Still today very little evidence is available to convict the man if the case went to court, which it didn’t, James Earl Ray was railroaded into a guilty plea.
I began meeting with witnesses and others who may have known more about it. After meeting with some of the criminals who had been involved with the case and after pointing out in a public statement that justice had not been served in the case my brother was murdered.
He was 19 years old. Cecil Ray Fillingame Jr., was found hanging in the garage of my mother’s home in Ocoee, Florida. He was murdered by 2 men who were seen carrying him out the back door of the house and into the garage where my mother found him. She was presented with the sight of her 19 year old son, dead, hanging from a rafter in her garage.
I left my work and went to Ocoee, Florida for the funeral. The police told me that his death was a suicide and when I began to ask the neighbors if they had seen anything the police threatened me and persuaded me to stop asking questions.
I talked to my cousin’s husband about the investigation during the time I was in Florida for my brother’s funeral. Within a few days my cousin’s husband (Ivan Riley) was killed in an accident.
A couple of months later the only person in the world who was willing and able to completely break the case open on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. died in a hunting accident. Somebody mistook him for a deer. Former Director of Domestic Intelligence for the FBI, William Sullivan, was scheduled to be a witness in the case a week prior to his mysterious killing.
It was during my investigation that I talked with the wife of Judge Battle who had been the judge that had sentenced James to life in prison for the murder of MLK. She told me that her husband had received a letter from James requesting a new trial and he had intended on giving him one. The day he went to the office to finish the paperwork for granting James a new trial he was subsequently found dead at his desk with James’ letter in his hand.
More bizarre events in my life and the lives of those around me made such an impact that I decided to quit investigating the matter. I further decided to never talk about any of it, at all.
This is a little taste of my real life experience, investigating the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Obviously I have rethought the matter and am now talking about it.
The rights to the story of my investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. have been optioned by William Sachs and a screenplay has been written. Negotiations are continuing in the process for bringing the screenplay to film.
FYI: Jack Kershaw – Attorney for James Earl Ray passed away September 7, 2010 at 97 years of age.