FBI’S ‘suicide note’ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. revealed 50 years later
Sasha Goldstein NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called “an evil, abnormal beast” in an anonymous letter FBI agents sent the civil rights leader in 1964 in an effort to get him to commit suicide, a newly published, unredacted version of the note, shows.
The disturbing missive, which details intimate knowledge of King’s extramarital affairs, was sent in the days before he was to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and is written under the guise of a civil rights supporter angry with the movement’s leader.
A deadline of 34 days is given before King is outed as a womanizer, the missive, filled with grammatical errors, threatens.
“You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation,” the onepage letter, obtained by Yale professor Beverly Gage and printed in The New York Times, reads.
“Long threatened by the rise of the powerful black minister, the efforts of former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to discredit King have since been revealed and shine a disturbing light on government overreach and misconduct during the Jim Crow era”, Gage says of her research into a biography of the once-vaunted law enforcement head.
Though previously released in a heavily edited form, Gage found the original copy, free of redactions, among documents at the National Archives in College Park, Md.
King and Hoover had a strained and contentious relationship, evidenced by Hoover’s public claim that King was “the most notorious liar in the country.” And once the FBI, looking to discredit King and his relationship with a Communist sympathizer, began to bug his home and office, Hoover declared King “a tom cat with obsessive degenerate sexual urges” after hearing evidence of adultery.
“Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure,” the letter reads, referring to a tape recording of incidents of adultery.
The letter, written by FBI agent William Sullivan and eventually opened by King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, describes King as a fraud participating in “immoral conduct lower than that of a beast.”
“King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all of us Negroes,” it reads.
King from the start suspected the FBI was behind the scathing note, but was unfazed. It was only a decade later, years after King was assassinated and Hoover died, that the truth came out.
According to Gage, current FBI Director James Comey keeps a copy of the agency’s King wiretap request on his desk “as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong.” firstname.lastname@example.org
A disturbing missive, written as if by an anonymous, disillusioned civil rights supporter, promised to reveal King as an adulterous fraud if he did not kill himself in