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Justices Rebuff Convicted Klansman's Appeal Over '64 Civil Rights Murders

By Joel Zand on November 02, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of James Ford Seale, the ex-Ku Klu Klan member, former Mississippi policeman and sheriff's deputy who was indicted and convicted for his role in the kidnappings and brutal murders of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore in the summer of 1964.

According to a report in the Jackson Free Press, "the FBI investigation of the Dee-Moore case yielded more than 1,000 pages of files, including informant accounts." In November 1964, then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, wrote to President Lyndon B. Johnson's Special Assistant Bill Moyers, that Seale and fellow Klansman Charles Marcus Edwards ""willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with malice aforethought [for] killing" Dee and Moore.

Seale was never charged until more than forty years later. 

Retired FBI agent Ed Putz testified against Seale at his federal trial, revealing that the Klansman apparently taunted federal agents about his role in killing Dee and Moore. Putz said that after he told Seale that the the FBI knew he was involved in the murders, Seale responded by stating: "Yes. I'm not going to admit to it. You're going to have to prove it.

Over four decades later, they did.

Photo credit: Reuters

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