KKK leader con­victed of killing 3 civil rights work­ers dies in jail

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION -

JACK­SON, MISS. >> Edgar Ray Killen, a 1960s Ku Klux Klan leader who was con­victed decades later in the “Mis­sis­sippi Burn­ing” slay­ings of three civil rights work­ers, has died in prison at the age of 92, the state’s cor­rec­tions depart­ment an­nounced.

Killen was serv­ing three con­sec­u­tive 20-year terms for man­slaugh­ter when he died at 9 p.m. Thurs­day in­side the Mis­sis­sippi State Pen­i­ten­tiary at Parch­man. An au­topsy was pend­ing but no foul play was sus­pected, the state­ment Fri­day said.

His con­vic­tion came 41 years to the day af­ter James Chaney, Michael Sch­w­erner and An­drew Good­man, all in their 20s, were am­bushed and killed by Klans­men.

The slay­ings shocked the na­tion, helped spur pas­sage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and were dra­ma­tized in the 1988 movie “Mis­sis­sippi Burn­ing.” The movie ti­tle came from the name of the FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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