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AFA 8: The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Part 1 [1] 46:04 | Part 2 [2] 44:51 | Part 3 [3] 43:26 | Part 4 [4] 7:17 | Part 5 [5] 46:20 | Part 6 [6] 33:42
(Record­ed April 4, 1985)

[7]Offi­cial­ly pinned on James Earl Ray (anoth­er “lone-nut”), the killing of Dr. King was actu­al­ly the result of a large con­spir­a­cy, com­prised of pow­er­ful inter­ests. This pro­gram details the role of ele­ments of the U.S. intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, right-wing orga­ni­za­tions and orga­nized crime in the assas­si­na­tion.

Begin­ning with the rev­e­la­tions of Robert Byron Wat­son, the dis­cus­sion relates Wat­son’s acci­den­tal dis­cov­ery of part of the assas­si­na­tion con­spir­a­cy. Employed at the Mag­el­lan Art Gallery in Atlanta, Wat­son learned that co-work­ers of his were involved with a crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tion that smug­gled gold and drugs. Over­lap­ping both the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty and the right-wing, the orga­ni­za­tion had alleged­ly con­tributed per­son­nel to the con­spir­a­cy to mur­der Pres­i­dent Kennedy. Wat­son over­heard co-work­ers dis­cussing the (then) forth­com­ing killing of Mar­tin Luther King, as well as the (then) impend­ing assas­si­na­tion of Robert Kennedy.

In the same dis­cus­sion, Wat­son learned that plans were afoot to dis­patch Gov­er­nor George Wal­lace (whose 1972 bid for the Pres­i­den­cy was end­ed by gun­fire.) Inves­ti­ga­tors check­ing Wat­son’s sto­ry found it cred­i­ble and Wat­son was threat­ened with both his and his moth­er’s death if he talked.

Oth­er high­lights include: the role of alleged King assas­si­na­tion con­spir­a­tor Jack Young­blood in the 1954 coup against Pres­i­dent Arbenz in Guatemala; analy­sis of the “eggs and sausages man” (believed by some to have been involved in the killing); the FBI and CIA/Bay of Pigs back­ground of Arthur Hanes (one of James Earl Ray’s defense attor­neys); Hanes’ role in defend­ing per­pe­tra­tors of the 16th Street Bap­tist Church bomb­ing; the state­ments of Joseph Adams Mil­teer con­nect­ing that bomb­ing with the assas­si­na­tions of Pres­i­dent Kennedy and Mar­tin Luther King; Ray attor­ney Per­cy Fore­man’s work on behalf of Jack Ruby; domes­tic fas­cist J.B. Ston­er’s tenure as Ray’s lawyer; phys­i­cal evi­dence that Ray was not the assas­sin; eye­wit­ness tes­ti­mo­ny indi­cat­ing that Ray was not the killer; the dubi­ous tes­ti­mo­ny of Charles Q. Stephens (the only “eye­wit­ness” to con­nect Ray with the room­ing house from which he sup­pos­ed­ly fired the fatal shot); evi­dence sug­gest­ing that Dr. King was aware of his impend­ing death; con­nec­tions between Dr. King’s assas­si­na­tion and the 1978 Jon­estown mas­sacre; Dr. King’s final speech, giv­en on the night before his mur­der.