View Full Version : Seale convicted in 1964 deaths of black teens

Pitt Gorilla
06-17-2007, 10:49 PM
I saw a special on this case on MSNBC. One of the murdered teens' brother made a documentary about trying to find out more about the case. He ended up finding one of the men that killed his brother, who had been reported as dead. Very interesting show.


JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) -- A jury on Thursday convicted reputed Klansman James Ford Seale of kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers in southwest Mississippi, grisly drownings that went unpunished before federal prosecutors re-examined the forgotten case.

Seale, 71, faces life in prison in the deaths of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee. The 19-year-olds disappeared from Franklin County on May 2, 1964, and their bodies were found later in the Mississippi River.

"I thank the Lord that we got justice," Dee's older sister, Thelma Collins of Springfield, Louisiana, said outside the courthouse.

Seale sat stone-faced as the verdict was read and showed no emotion as marshals led him out of the courtroom. Seale was taken back to a county jail north of Jackson, where he has been held since he was arrested. A half dozen of his relatives, including his wife, ran out of the courthouse to a waiting Lexus sport utility vehicle, bumping some reporters in the scramble.

Federal prosecutors indicted Seale in January almost 43 years after the slayings. He is to be sentenced August 24 on two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy.

The prosecution's star witness was Charles Marcus Edwards, a confessed Klansman. During closing arguments earlier in the day, prosecutors acknowledged they made "a deal with the devil" but said that offering immunity to Edwards to get his testimony against Seale was the only way to get justice.

Edwards testified that he and Seale belonged to the same Klan chapter, or "klavern," that was led by Seale's father. Seale has denied he belonged to the Klan.

Edwards testified that Dee and Moore were stuffed, alive, into the trunk of Seale's Volkswagen and driven to a farm. They were later tied up and driven across the Mississippi River into Louisiana, Edwards said, and Seale told him that Dee and Moore were attached to heavy weights and dumped alive into the river.

"Those two 19-year-old kids had to have been absolutely terrified," U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton told jurors, who sat quietly.

In its closing arguments, the defense asserted that Seale should be acquitted because the case was based on the word of an "admitted liar."

"This case all comes down to the word of one man, an admitted liar, a man out to save his own skin," federal public defender Kathy Nester said. "A case based on his word is no case at all."

Federal prosecutor Paige Fitzgerald disputed Nester's claims that Edwards could not be trusted.

"Let me tell you about one man's word. 'Yes. But I'm not going to admit it. You're going to have to prove it,' " Fitzgerald said. A retired FBI agent testified that he heard Seale say those after being arrested on a state murder charge in 1964. That charge was later dropped.

The defense claimed that the prosecution failed to prove key elements needed for conviction and didn't establish that Seale had crossed state lines while committing a crime, which is vital because that's what gives the federal government jurisdiction.

Lampton described for the jury how Dee and Moore were hitchhiking, stopped by Klansmen and taken to a forest where they were beaten. Klansmen were trying to find out if blacks were bringing firearms into Franklin County, Lampton said.

"Henry Dee and Charles Moore didn't know ... why they had been singled out and brought back in the forest," Lampton said.

The killings of Moore and Dee are among several decades-old civil rights cases reopened by federal investigators. In February, federal officials announced they were reopening investigations into about a dozen such cases.

Edgar Ray Killen, an 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman, was convicted last June of manslaughter in the killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964.

In Alabama, Bobby Frank Cherry was convicted in 2002 of killing four black girls in the bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963. In 2001, Thomas Blanton was convicted.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

06-17-2007, 10:52 PM

06-17-2007, 11:27 PM
My immediately thought: Bobby Seale

06-18-2007, 05:51 AM
My only problem with this is that the guy got 44 years of freedom prior to the conviction. No organization in US History has tainted the justice system like the Ku Klux Klan.

06-18-2007, 08:14 AM
My immediately thought: Bobby Seale

Mine too...

06-18-2007, 09:32 AM
My immediately thought: Bobby Seale

Mine was of the singer. I guess that would've explained the scars on his face.

Adept Havelock
06-18-2007, 09:46 AM
Playing soon in the Mississippi Corrections System: Send in the Klowns.