Evidence in 1968 murder of civil rights leader goes to museum

Wednesday, October 4th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Twenty-three boxes of evidence in the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. have been moved to the National Civil Rights Museum.

Among the items were the .30-06 hunting rifle allegedly used to kill King, confessed assassin James Earl Ray's transistor radio, and gum wrappers from King's room at the Lorraine Motel _ where the killing occurred and now the site of the museum.

The boxes, containing more than 300 items, have sat in a vault for 32 years. The items will be on display next spring when an expansion of the museum is completed.

``This has been a long time coming,'' said Barbara Andrews, the museum's curator. ``We have all the evidence. The only things we don't have are the personal effects, such as Dr. King's clothes and his jewelry and the autopsy photos. That was all given to the King family, and we respected their wishes.''

Ray's brother, Jerry, filed a claim for the Remington rifle and other personal items.

On March 17, a judge declared all the evidence state property and ruled the state could transfer custody, but not ownership, of it.

Ten boxes of files from Ray's 1969 court proceeding at which he pleaded guilty were also turned over to the museum.


On the Net:

National Civil Rights Museum: www.mecca.org/ 7/8crights/