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David Boylan

New MLK Book

9 posts in this topic

The website for the book doesn't exactly say what you implied, Martin, but it certainly

seems to imply that Ray is still at the center of the assassination. Of course, this is

almost complete rubbish.

I hate to say this, but I think reading Truth At Last from Ray's brother is informative.

It's a terrible book from a literary perspective; it's terribly biased (John Ray is James

Ray's brother after all); and it stretches (or annihilates) the truth in more than one

place (practically rendering the title a misnomer).

All that being said, it provides perhaps the best sketch of James Earl Ray's life, which

eerily resembled Oswald's in many ways. The book makes a good case for why Ray

was not racist and, in many ways, a pawn of higher level powers for most of his life.

I agree with your summary, Martin. It's depressing to me when massively distorted stories

become "common knowledge". The MLK hit (similar to RFK) looks like low hanging fruit to

me. Sometimes I wish that half the JFK community would just move over and resolve those

cases once and for all. I give props to DiEugenio for at least trying, but his (and Lisa's)

book didn't go nearly far enough.

Of course you are right, Tom. The website does not explicitly state that the book ignores the 1999 civil trial, that is just my inference. Maybe Hancock and Wexler disagreed with the jury's verdict and explain why in their book. In fact, I sort of hope that I am wrong in rushing to judgment on that point.

Nonetheless, the site does imply that James Earl Ray was the gunman and this is absolute trash as I explained and as the evidence proves beyond any shadow of a doubt. Whilst I believe that Lee Oswald was innocent, I am ready to conceed that it is possible to make a circumstantial case for his guilt (at least as part of a conspiracy). But this is not the case with James Earl Ray. There is not a shred of credible evidence that puts him in the bathroom window with a rifle in his hand, not a shred. Nor is there a scrap of evidence that the rifle he purchased was actually used to assassinate Dr. King.

And I defy any member of this forum (or any other) to prove otherwise.

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Actually what the book discusses is:

There was a conspiracy to kill MLK

James Earl Ray was initially set up as a patsy, he may not have been the only potential patsy.

The forensics evidence in hand does not make a convincing case against Ray - yet the Judge allowed

to be presented in court by the prosecution - after Ray had entered his guilty plea and the civil trial

confirmed that the evidence was truly weak...as did the HSCA for that matter.

The book is not a "lone nut" book, but it is also not a book which takes Ray on his own

word about a great many things. The reader will make their own evaluation of the new information - as usual.

Many people will undoubtedly trash the book if it does not match their per-conceived notion - as usual.

People will judge it without reading it - as usual.

For those who do read it, Stu and I will be perfectly happy to discuss our thoughts in detail - as usual.

...people who know me also know I don't "publish and run" Larry

Edited by Larry Hancock

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Hi Martin, I will look at the copy again. We do take the position that Ray "stalked" King because Ray himself admitted

that he had first lied about why he showed up in Selma when King was scheduled to be there and that he had gone

there specifically because King was there.

Beyond that point, I want to be very open about the book; we have made a real effort to be balanced on many subjects

and present pros and cons - at one point one of the editors even pushed us to be more "absolute" on certain things

but we pushed back. We are also cautious about calling out when we are speculating, which will be

no surprise to anybody who knows my cautious side in regards to what I put in print (Stu's even worse...grin).

We find no hard evidence to confirm that Ray took the shot, of course no proof of guilt is not proof of innocence -

much of what was written about the evidence being solid early on is highly questionable and reminiscent of what the

FBI experts gave the WC, of course its SOP for them to testify to support the prosecution. We spend a good deal of time

going over problems with the evidence in the chapter on the murder, including evidence of conspiracy that we feel was

bypassed - some of which can still be investigated further; we actually have a separate appendix on that as well.

One of the reasons the web site reads as it does is that we are truly presenting new data, a new scenario and discussing

things far beyond just the shooting in Memphis. We felt we had to let people know this was not just a revisit to what

has been done before - we are presenting the results of something like six years of our own research, we started fresh.

People may reject that or find it of value; its also important to communicate that we are declaring the case unsolved and

calling on Justice to declare the King assassination a cold civil rights case and reopen the investigation based on what

we are presenting. We also call out a number of points that should be addressed in that investigation.

-- Larry

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Martin, there is a specific citation for the Selma trip in the book, can't give it to you off the top of my head -

as I recall Ray's first explanation for being in Selma at the time King was supposed to speak there was that he got

lost on the way to Atlanta, that didn't fly too well since Selma is about 60 miles off the interstate going to Atlanta.

And King was definitely scheduled to speak there and changed his itinerary at the last minute, something he actually

did pretty consistently, being a spontaneous person. He would have been killed years earlier in Birmingham if he had

not decided to cancel a planned victory celebration and fly out of town early.

On a broader note, its clear that Ray did make conflicting statements at different times, we review a number of those in

the book. In the spirit of being upfront, I will state that neigher Stu nor I trust Ray on anything that cannot be

independently corroborated, we are just too skeptical for that.

In the earliest days Huie (who wrote a series of articles about Ray even before the trial) started out knowing that he would

not expect a career criminal to say anything that would put himself at risk (and Ray was a sharp guy from that standpoint).

Huie's own investigations (and he got many places before the FBI) confirmed that Ray would tell him some truth about places

and facts but as he says, the closer he got to Atlanta and Memphis, the fewer details he could get and the less the

corroboration. And of course it was Huie who dug up the receipt showing a dinner for two in Atlanta, which Ray would not

even talk about.

I don't want to mislead anyone, if you truly believe everything Ray said over many years, you likely will not be

happy with our work or our book.

-- Larry

Hi Martin, I will look at the copy again. We do take the position that Ray "stalked" King because Ray himself admitted

that he had first lied about why he showed up in Selma when King was scheduled to be there and that he had gone

there specifically because King was there.

Can you provide a source for this? As far as I'm aware, Ray always denied going to Selma to see King. He certainly denied it in his book (and his HSCA testimony as I recall).

We find no hard evidence to confirm that Ray took the shot, of course no proof of guilt is not proof of innocence

Well, from a legal standpoint, it is.

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Martin, I've edited this because I did manage to find the citation. If you have He Slew The

Dreamer by Huie, check on pages 98 and 99 where Huie discusses Ray's route from LA to

Atlanta and his staying overnight in Selma - then on page 176 Huie discusses coming back to challenge

Ray on the Selma stop because of the distance off freeways Ray would have been using to drive

directly to Atlanta. At that point Ray admitted privately to Huie that he had gone to Selma and it

wasn't simply a matter of getting lost, King was a factor.

Depending on which edition of the book you have the page numbers might slide a page or two but Huie's reported conversation is the source.

Again, to be up front, one of point of honest disagreement is that much that has been written to portray Ray strictly as a totally unwitting patsy assumes that he himself is a reliable source on his actions. Neither Stu nor I take that view, our view is much more like Huie's original attitude, if you can corroborate something Ray says it may be useful, otherwise its safer to assume that he would not admit to anything that would incriminate him, not only in the shooting but in any sort of conspiracy since that would bear its own charges. We feel that a close look at his behavior and statements during his earlier crimes and legal proceedings validates that attitude.

-- Larry

Larry,

I've been searching through the books and papers that I have and I can't find any reference to Ray admitting to going to Selma to see King.

In his 1995 deposition he was still saying that he took the wrong road and ended up there by accident.

Edited by Larry Hancock

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Martin, we refer ti Huie and a host of other sources, qualifying them with comments as we feel appropriate. However if you are

willing to accept everything Ray said and exclude other sources totally then admittedly we have a problem with each others' standards

of credibility.

Plus this is one of the problems of trying to discuss a 400 page plus book with a few lines exchanged online - it removes all the

context. I did want to respond to your question and give you a source as you had asked for it. There is much more to be

addressed in regard to Ray "stalking" King than this one point (starting all the way back in Los Angeles), if that were all

there was to it indeed it would be an issue. Corroboration is the name of the game, and that takes time and space.

My intention in posting here was really not to discuss the book with anyone who has not read it, other than to communicate that it is

a conspiracy book and to refute some of the statements that have been tossed around months before the book was available. I will

defer further comment and suggest that we resume it in the authors thread once you and others have read the book. Still, I don't expect

anyone who is dead set on Ray's total innocence to like the book, not a problem. Nor would I want to expect anyone dead set

on Ray's total innocence or totally wedded to previous books on his innocence to positively engage with the book, trying to change someone

fully committed to that view is not our goal.

-- just trying to be honest, Larry

Martin, I've edited this because I did manage to find the citation. If you have He Slew The

Dreamer by Huie, check on pages 98 and 99 where Huie discusses Ray's route from LA to

Atlanta and his staying overnight in Selma - then on page 176 Huie discusses coming back to challenge

Ray on the Selma stop because of the distance off freeways Ray would have been using to drive

directly to Atlanta. At that point Ray admitted privately to Huie that he had gone to Selma and it

wasn't simply a matter of getting lost, King was a factor.

Depending on which edition of the book you have the page numbers might slide a page or two but Huie's reported conversation is the source.

Again, to be up front, one of point of honest disagreement is that much that has been written to portray Ray strictly as a totally unwitting patsy assumes that he himself is a reliable source on his actions. Neither Stu nor I take that view, our view is much more like Huie's original attitude, if you can corroborate something Ray says it may be useful, otherwise its safer to assume that he would not admit to anything that would incriminate him, not only in the shooting but in any sort of conspiracy since that would bear its own charges. We feel that a close look at his behavior and statements during his earlier crimes and legal proceedings validates that attitude.

-- Larry

Larry,

I've been searching through the books and papers that I have and I can't find any reference to Ray admitting to going to Selma to see King.

In his 1995 deposition he was still saying that he took the wrong road and ended up there by accident.

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Hi Martin, the good news is that we can agree on that fundamental point - we see no proof that would conclusively confirm that Ray himself took the shot that killed Dr. King, nor to absolutely confirm that the rifle purchased in Birmingham was the weapon that made the fatal shot. Beyond that, we present considerable new information suggesting that some very specific parties were prepared to set up Ray as a patsy, and that their activities may well have extended beyond Ray. For that matter, we present a good deal of context which suggests that in no way was Ray proactively planning/preparing to personally kill King in Memphis prior to the time of the shooting (while others were).

On the other hand, we see a great deal of evidence for a conspiracy going on around Ray and preceding him - the larger story of that conspiracy is the main theme of the book.

As for remarks about Hanes, Huie and others I best leave that to the book. Hopefully at some point we can join in on the authors section to discuss yours and others remarks - as for me, I've never attempted to "evangelize" any of my books or writings or to beat anyone over the head with them. They are there to summarize my (and in this case Stu's as well) research, assessments and occasionally an insight or two. I do try to follow posts about them on forums and always welcome private emails but you won't be seeing me taking up all that much bandwidth on them in any general forum. I try to avoid that even in my blog. At this point, as those following the blog know, I'm already deep into another historical research project

on covert warfare.

-- regards, Larry

We feel the larger story

himsprobably agree on

Martin, we refer ti Huie and a host of other sources, qualifying them with comments as we feel appropriate. However if you are

willing to accept everything Ray said and exclude other sources totally then admittedly we have a problem with each others' standards

of credibility.

Plus this is one of the problems of trying to discuss a 400 page plus book with a few lines exchanged online - it removes all the

context. I did want to respond to your question and give you a source as you had asked for it. There is much more to be

addressed in regard to Ray "stalking" King than this one point (starting all the way back in Los Angeles), if that were all

there was to it indeed it would be an issue. Corroboration is the name of the game, and that takes time and space.

My intention in posting here was really not to discuss the book with anyone who has not read it, other than to communicate that it is

a conspiracy book and to refute some of the statements that have been tossed around months before the book was available. I will

defer further comment and suggest that we resume it in the authors thread once you and others have read the book. Still, I don't expect

anyone who is dead set on Ray's total innocence to like the book, not a problem. Nor would I want to expect anyone dead set

on Ray's total innocence or totally wedded to previous books on his innocence to positively engage with the book, trying to change someone

fully committed to that view is not our goal.

-- just trying to be honest, Larry

Larry,

I appreciate your taking the time to respond. Obviously I have not read your book and so I'm not actually trying to discuss its content. What I have raised a question about is the comment made in pre-publicity for your book that Ray was stalking Dr. King. I don't need to have read your book to comment on this issue or to know that there is no credible evidence for this because I've been studying the record for myself since 2004. If you choose to believe Huie despite what the record reveals about his conduct and his integrity then that's up to you. And if you choose to believe that Ray began stalking King in Los Angeles despite the fact that Ray was there first and then left when King came into town then, again, that's up to you.

Let me just point something out here though: Ray's credibility is a seperate issue to Huie's. You seem to be fixated on the idea of my being willing to accept everything Ray said. But I'm not. One would have to be very foolish indeed to believe every self-serving word coming out of the mouth of a career criminal. Nonetheless, I believe his word is worth as much as anybody else's until it can be proven that he's lying. And one cannot prove he lied by using unreliable sources.

I must also point out that I am not "dead set on Ray's total innocence". I will, however, continue to treat Ray as innocent until proven guilty. The Memphis police, the FBI, the Justice Dept., and the HSCA all failed to provide convincing evidence of his guilt or his participation in a conspiracy. If you have it in your book, I'll accept it.

Edited by Larry Hancock

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