I have to admit, I am very happy about this case. It was not one I had heard of previous to yesterday’s arrest, but I have read about others. I have always had an interest in the Chaney, Schwimmer, and Goodman case. I watched the movie Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan several years ago and did research on that case. I was thrilled to see Edgar Ray Killen FINALLY arrested and convicted for their deaths (mind you, he was convicted of manslaughter, not murder–it boggles the mind ). I am glad to see that other cases like that one are now being recognized and working towards justice. Some have been prosecuted (Medgar Evers is one such case). Now I hope other cases, such as this one and maybe, hopefully the Emmitt Till case one day. These boys did not deserve what happened to them. The young men were hitchhiking and apparently the James Searle gave them a ride, then kidnapped them and took them to the Homochitto Forest. There, he and some others held the young men down so that other members of the KKK could beat them (with switches and tree branches). They forced the young men to make untrue confessions. The beatings did not kill them however. They were taken to a farm in Franklin County, MS where they were duct-taped and then thrown into the Old Mississippi River, which is where they died. Their bodies were found two months later during the search for Chaney, Schwimmer, and Goodman (who were not found for a copule more months after that).
The indictment alleges Klansmen took Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19, to the Homochitto National Forest in southwest Mississippi and Seale held a sawed-off shotgun on the men while other Klan members beat them with switches and tree branches. The teenagers were still alive when they were weighted down and dumped into the Mississippi River, the indictment said.
In November (1964), acting on information from a Klan insider, Mississippi state troopers arrested (James) Seale and (Charles) Edwards on murder charges.In an interview with FBI agents, Edwards admitted that he and Seale had kidnapped and beaten the two black men. But Edwards said they were alive when he left them.The informant told agents that Seale was worried his fingerprints might still be on the sticky side of the tape he’d used to cover the men’s mouths and bind their wrists. The officers leaned heavily on the younger man.
“You didn’t even give them a decent burial,” agent Lenard Wolf told Seale. “We know you did it, you know you did it, the Lord above knows you did it.”
“Yes,” Seale replied, according to an FBI report, “but I’m not going to admit it. You are going to have to prove it.”
But the FBI had its hands full with what would come to be known as the “Mississippi Burning” case _ the murders of James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, civil rights workers who were killed while working in Neshoba County to register black voters.
The Dee-Moore prosecution was turned over to local authorities, who quietly dropped it without even presenting it to a grand jury.
Obviously there was no justice then. No one did anything for those boys at that point. It took the work of the brother of Charles Eddie Moore, Thomas Moore, hard work, persistance and the love of his brother for over 40 years for justice to occur. Hopefully now, the friends and family of these young men can feel peace. And that may happen if justice DOES occur this time.
What happened to Henry H. Dee and Charlie Eddie Moore?
Brother Wins Arrest in ’64 Case
I Want Justice Too
Reopened Civil Rights-Era Cases
Long thought dead, suspect turns up alive
Ex-cop denies role in 1964 racial slayings
BREAKING: Feds Charge Roxie Klansman in Dee-Moore Murders
The Past Is Not Past
Klansman pleads innocent to federal charges
More work ahead in civil rights cases
Ex-Deputy Pleads Not Guilty In ’64 Slayings
Old murder solved, says brother
Family, community recall men, still grieve for them
Ex-Deputy Charged in ’64 Race Murders
Southern Man: Klan-Busting Journalist Jerry Mitchell
Ex-Deputy Pleads Not Guilty In ’64 Slayings
Searching for Justice
James Seale Pleads Not Guilty During Arraignment
Former Deputy Arrested in ’64 Killings of 2 Black Men
Moore Dee Memorial
Filed under: crime, high profile, missing person, murder, murder in the 20th Century | Tagged: 1964, beaten, Charles Eddie Moore, Civil Rights, drowning, Henry Hezekiah Dee, homicide, Homochitto Forest, James Seale, KKK, missing persons, Mississippi, racially motivated |