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Former Cop Arrested on 1964 Racial Slayings

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posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 08:59 PM
James Forward Seale, 71, a former Sheriff has been held on the 1964 racial slayings of two black men who were beaten, murdered, and dumped into the Mississippi river. Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19, were the two victims of these horrendous crimes. Seale has not been charged with murder.
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) -- A white former sheriff's deputy was arrested Wednesday for his alleged role in a civil rights era crime -- the 1964 killings of two black men beaten and dumped alive into the Mississippi River. The break in the 43-year-old case was largely the result of the dogged efforts of the older brother of one of the victims, who vowed to bring the killer to justice.

James Ford Seale, a 71-year-old reputed Ku Klux Klansman from the town of Roxie, was charged with kidnapping hitchhikers Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19.

The victims' weighted, badly decomposed bodies were found by chance two months later in July 1964, during the search for three civil rights workers whose disappearance and deaths in Philadelphia, Mississippi, got far more attention from the media and the FBI.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Immediately after coming across this article, Medger Evers came to mind who was the inspiration behind the 1996 film Ghosts Of Mississippi. Evers is actually mentioned in the aforementioned article. It scares me to think of how many black men and women were either murdered, beaten, widowed, forced to grow up with out a parent, etc., all due to blatant insecurities in those who had power.

Bringing the individuals to justice who are guilty of these crimes will not repay the debt that these families were forced to go through. Someone needs to be accountable for the actions of a racist police force, and the lack of a murder charge on this case seems to be disheartening. Even with a murder charge, it still does little to alleviate the suffering. But still, we could masquerade it as a form of justice.

My thoughts and condolences are with all of the individuals and their families who had to suffer through one of the darkest era's of our recent history. Very depressing.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 01:47 PM
As this event progresses, more information is becoming available. CBC is reporting:

An elderly Mississippi man could spend the rest of his life in prison in connection with the 1964 slayings of two African-American teenagers after interest in the cold case was rekindled by a CBC documentary maker and one of the victim's brothers.

James Ford Seale, 71, a reputed Ku Klux Klansman and former sheriff's deputy previously believed to be dead, pleaded not guilty Thursday in the federal courthouse in Jackson.

Seale faces two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the case of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Thursday in Washington.

Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

For quite some time the Seale family had been telling reporters that the accused had passed on. Thomas Moore and David Rigden, both of CBC, had been the first to confirm that Mr. Seale was in fact alive and residing no more than a few kilometers from the place of the kidnapping. The headline of the article reads, "System Failed", which is certainly an understatement.

These deaths were behind the 1988 film, Mississippi Burning.

Both Seale and Edwards, who was not charged, were arrested for the crime back in the 60's on the original investigation, but nothing ever came of it.

They say it is better late than never, but it is a scary reminder to how many kidnappings, murders, etc., were done at the hand of a corrupt police force in an era that was consumed by racism.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 12:10 AM
The system didn't fail. It worked exactly how it was supposed to. (Chissler, you will recall the Tupac thread.)

What I would like to know is, why hasn't this Edwards guy been charged?

[edit on 26-1-2007 by HarlemHottie]

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 04:34 AM
Talk about synchronicity! Only two days ago I watched The Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History
I was wondering if there were still any of them out there that hadn't been caught up with.

Let's hope that this ugly chapter, not only in American History but the History of the World is eventually given some closure.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 06:21 AM

Originally posted by HarlemHottie
The system didn't fail. It worked exactly how it was supposed to. (Chissler, you will recall the Tupac thread.)

I see where you are going with this, and it is quite the slippery slope. I would like to think that individuals existed within the force that would cringe at this idea, but I would be naive to think it. With the blatant bigotry displayed over the years, I'm not sure how much of a valid rebuttal could be made.

So as much as I want to disagree with the notion "The System Did Work", it is not my place and I have nothing to substantiate an opinion. Nothing but the aspiration of optimism in those who were issued power over the people.

I can only imagine what it was like to grow up as a colored individual in the South during these times.


posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 07:28 AM
What an asinine waste of time and taxpayer money. This country really is going to Hades.

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 07:43 AM

Originally posted by Tea
What an asinine waste of time and taxpayer money.

Why? Because it is a cold case? Because the victims were dark skinned? Elaborate.

It is now being reported that Seale has pleaded Not Guilty to the charges.

This is Mr Seale's shot from when he was first held on the murders back in the 60's. Closely resembles Byron De La Beckwith (Left) who assassinated Medgar Evers (Right) in his driveway back in the 60's.

Time has passed and this man, if guilty, still deserves to face the punishment that comes with the crime. Whether he serves the last two weeks of his life behind bars, at least the families of the victim will know that someone did suffer for the loss of their children.

We say this is a waste of tax dollars? What if it was your child, parent, sibling, etc.? How would you feel if someone thought bringing the guilty to justice was a waste of tax dollars?

Our system is based on the premise that if you do not abide by the code of the law, you will face a punishment. Whether it is ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years later, you are still responsible and have to answer to the law.

Looking forward to an elaboration to how this is exactly a waste of tax dollars.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by chissler]

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