KKK 'Mississippi Burning' murderer Edgar Ray Killen dies

KKK 'Mississippi Burning' murderer Edgar Ray Killen dies

A man convicted in the deaths of three civil rights workers in MS died in prison.

Edgar Ray Killen was accused of manslaughter in the murder of Civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

The case galvanized public opinion against segregation and helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

Killen died on Thursday night was pronounced dead at the hospital at Mississippi State Penitentiary, correction officials said.

The 1988 film "Mississippi Burning" is loosely based on the violent slayings and the following investigation that unfolded amid the peak of the Civil Rights movement.

Speaking after his death, Mr Goodman's brother David said: "His life spanned a period in this country where members of the Ku Klux Klan like him were able to believe they had a right to take other people's lives, and that's a form of terrorism".

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The three Freedom Summer workers had been investigating the burning of a black church near Philadelphia, Mississippi. Authorities said no foul play is suspected.

Killen assembled a mob that chased and killed them upon their release, burying the bodies near his property in a 4.5-metre-deep grave.

The part-time preacher and lumber mill operator was 80 when he was convicted on the three counts of manslaughter - 41 years to the day after the murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

"The 15 men who murdered Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney weren't indicted, much less tried".

The three men were initially considered missing, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined in the search to find them.

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