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Man convicted in slayings of 3 civil rights workers dies in prison

Man convicted in slayings of 3 civil rights workers dies in prison”

A KKK member responsible for the 1964 murder of three civil rights workers in MS has died while serving a 60-year-sentence for manslaughter, the Clarion Ledger reports. He was a Klansman who led a group of 15 men in the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Shwerner.

Killen would have turned 93 on January 17.

The part-time preacher and lumber mill operator was 80 when he was convicted on the three counts of manslaughter - 41 years to the day after the murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections says Killen's cause of death is pending an autopsy, but that he was suffering from congestive heart failure and hypertension. However, no foul play is suspected, MDOC said.

The 1988 film "Mississippi Burning" is loosely based on the violent slayings and the following investigation that unfolded amid the peak of the Civil Rights movement.

Their bodies were found buried in a red-clay dam in rural Neshoba County.

The three men were investigating the burning of a black church in the area that summer when their station wagon stopped by local police on the night of June 21, according to a detailed account of the incident on PBS.

A lengthy and dramatic FBI investigation followed by a highly publicized trial found seven men guilty of involvement in the mens' deaths, but nobody served more than six years in prison. "I am convinced that during the last 52 years, investigators have done everything possible under the law to find those responsible and hold them accountable; however, we have determined that there is no likelihood of any additional convictions".



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