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Larry Hancock

A Matter of Timing?

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For a change of pace, I'd like to introduce something different for discussion (although I have no idea how many

folks are following this subject). It's a very tightly focused issue and I think its very significant - I just

wish I could reach a conclusion on what it's really telling us. The following is an excerpt from a recent post on

our MLK blog:

While staying at the Lorraine motel, Dr. King, his associates and visitors were all under observation by the Memphis police, with an officer stationed across the street in a fire station performing surveillance and taking notes on comings and goings related to King's party.

His notes of Dr. King's appearances on the balcony are quite specific and very interesting. Most people very probably assume that Dr. King came out on the balcony, on his way to dinner, and was shot at that time. That is true but the details are significant. King first came out on the balcony at 5:56 pm, spending approximately one minute talking to people below in the parking lot and re-entering his room. During that first full minute, nothing happened. If a shooter was in position, he would have no way of knowing that he was missing a perfect shot, with King standing in place. And 60 seconds in such a situation is actually a relatively long time (in Dallas a President was killed and a Governor seriously wounded in a tenth of that time).

But then Dr. King came back out on the balcony at 5:59, remained in place talking to the people below and was murdered with a single shot at 6:01. Again, if the shooter was in place, he had just seen Dr. King and should have been ready for him to reappear. Yet he waited for something like two minutes more to make his shot, with King very liable to have begun walking away any second.

Does this timing give the image of a trained shooter, in position, mentally prepared and waiting to kill Dr. King at the first opportunity? Something to ponder. Stu and I have speculated on it ourselves and have one scenario in mind but it would be good to see others thoughts....its even possible that its not significant but my gut says it is...

.....and importantly, for readers of The Awful Grace of God, the timing discussed here is currently incorrect in the first printing of the book. On page 238 the book has the Dr. King's first appearance on the balcony as 5:06 rather than 5:56....we apologize for the error and the publisher has been advised, the Kindle version will be the first fixed.

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Sorry to tease you out Martin...

I think it certainly does raise a fine point on timing but I'd say its cutting things pretty close to have

a plan in which your shooter shows up in place for something like a three minute window in time. We often

debate what would have happened in Dallas if Lee Oswald had gotten sick on November 22, but here we have

a situation where if the guys watch is off by two minutes the whole thing is blown, for that location at least

and after that you begin to run into a daylight issue.

I really did raise this as a thought exercise since I think the timing does have some serious implications.

Beyond that I would say that in the grand scheme of things it could probably be assumed that Dr. King would be

going out sometime in the evening but on the exact timing...heck, he could have gone directly downstairs the first

time he was on the balcony, just to talk to the people without leaning over the railing...and that was at 5:09.

Hopefully some other folks will chime in with thoughts....

I promised myself I wouldn't get involved in any online exchanges for at least a few days so this is just a very quick note :)

Loyd Jowers claimed that he was specifically told to be at the back of Jim's Grill at 6:00 pm. This could be relevant to your question.

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How many versions has Jowers given? Let's see there were his initial comments to police and the FBI, then his claims he was involved then his disavowal when he said

Jowers: There was no - there was no second rifle.

Glankler: Okay.

Jowers: All that bullxxxx they come up with a second rifle or a second firer -- that's bullxxxx.

And contradictory comments on who the shooter was etc.

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/mlk/part3.php

How could they have known MLK would come out at 6?

Edited by Len Colby

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