10 Facts and Theories that Will Make You Rethink the Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.
10 Facts and Theories that Will Make You Rethink the Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

10 Facts and Theories that Will Make You Rethink the Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

Patrick Lynch - March 15, 2018

10 Facts and Theories that Will Make You Rethink the Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Lorraine Motel – YouTube

10 – The United States Government Was Found ‘Guilty’ of Conspiring to Kill King

In 1999, there were rumors that the United States Government had been found guilty of conspiring to murder King. The case cited as ‘evidence’ was the civil lawsuit filed by William Pepper on behalf of Dexter King, against a Memphis bar owner named Loyd Jowers. The case was also against unnamed co-conspirators and was named Coretta Scott King et al. vs. Loyd Jowers et al. The case was heard at Shelby County’s circuit court in Tennessee and lasted from November 15 to December 8.

The lawsuit was six years in the making, and its background began in December 1993. Jowers, the owner of Jim’s Grill, a bar located below the part of the rooming house where Ray stayed, decided that he wanted national attention, so he appeared on ABC’s Prime Time Live show. According to Jowers, he was part of a complex conspiracy to kill King which involved the Federal government and the Mafia. He also said Ray was a patsy. Jowers claimed that a man came in the back door of Jim’s Grill from the bushes outside, and asked Jowers to hide a rifle.

While it was an explosive story, to begin with, interest started to fade when it was confirmed that Jowers, was in fact, lying through his teeth. For one, why did he wait 25 years to tell his incredible tale? The biggest problem with Jowers’ story was the fact he changed the identity of this mystery man several times. First, the shooter was African-American, then he was Raoul. Jowers changed his mind again and said it was a white Lieutenant with the Memphis Police Department before finally deciding that he couldn’t recognize the individual after all. Had Jowers been given more of the spotlight, there’s a fair chance he would have incriminated the Tooth Fairy.

Before his appearance on TV, Jowers claimed that he was serving customers in the bar at the time of the shooting. Suddenly, the story changed, and the bar owner said he received $100,000 to find an assassin to kill King. Unsurprisingly, the United States Department of Justice dismissed Jowers’ claims. If he thought it was the end of the story, Jowers was in for the shock of his life when the King family filed a civil lawsuit. During the case, Pepper presented evidence from 70 witnesses and thousands of pages of transcripts. It is important to note that Jowers did not testify in the case and had never mentioned his allegations while under oath.

Incredibly, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff which was taken to mean that they believed Jowers had been involved in a complex conspiracy to kill King. Despite the bizarre outcome, it is important to remember that there was little at stake. Jowers was only being sued for $100 which meant that he didn’t need to defend himself vigorously and risk lying under oath. The King family was able to present its case unopposed, and the jury had no option but to find in favor of the plaintiff since an enormous amount of contradictory evidence was never presented. Ultimately, there is not, and never has been, any credible proof that Martin Luther King Jr. was killed by anyone other than James Earl Ray, alone.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

“Izola Ware Curry, Who Stabbed King in 1958, Dies at 98.” Margalit Fox in The New York Times. March 2015.

“James Earl Ray.” Biography.com.

“This Day in History, April 4, 1968 – Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.” History.com.

“Riots following the killing of Martin Luther King Jr.” James Coates in the Chicago Tribune.

“When Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassin fled to London.” Vincent Dowd in BBC News. June 2016.

“King conspiracy theories still thrive 40 years later.” James Polk in Black in America 2, CNN. December 2008.

“VI. Raoul and his alleged participation in the assassination.” The United States Department of Justice. August 2015.

“James Earl Ray flees a prison in Tennessee with 6 other convicts.” The Associated Press in the New York Times. June 1977.

“The Truth About Memphis.” Gerald Posner in the Washington Post. 1998.

“Martin Luther King Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle.” Kingcyclopedia.

“Was the U.S. Government Found Guilty of Assassinating Martin Luther King, Jr.?” Fact Checked by Kim LaCapria at Snopes.com. January 2015.