June 21 - 2005 - Edgar Ray Killen is Convicted in the Deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner
On June 21, 1964, three Civil Rights workers, James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, were killed by a group of Klansman who were also associated with the Sheriff's office outside of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Mickey Schwerner in particular had been targeted, and Chaney and Goodman happened to be with him. The entire plan was the work of the most violent Klan group, the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and it was all arranged by Edgar Ray Killen. Shortly after the murders, evidence came out that implicated the Sheriff's Office, which led to certain members of the killing posse to flip. Remarkably, despite official resistance in Mississippi to the charges, seven men were sent to prison for the crimes. Edgar Ray Killen got off because one juror had been unwilling to convict a preacher for murder. So for over four decades, Killen was a free man. Then in 2004, the State of Mississippi reopened the investigation into the event and in 2005, Killen was brought on trial once again. In the end, due to being the mastermind of the plot but not being present at the murders, Killen was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to prison.