Though James Earl Ray initially confessed to killing King, it was not long before he retracted his statement; and to this day, there are those who do not believe that Ray was actually guilty of the crime for which he spent almost 30 years behind bars.
Indeed, even Dexter King, Martin Luther King’s son, believed that Ray was not his father’s assassin.
But if Ray did not do the deed, who did? And why? Was it just a pure racist crime? Or was this a political assassination ordered by some faceless figures in some secret service? The theory that King was really assassinated by the Secret Service has been growing more and more popular over recent years, and was even the subject of an “X-Files” episode. So how real is the conspiracy theory? And what reasons might anyone other than a racist have had to get rid of a charismatic and peaceful leader like Martin Luther King?
We have to take ourselves back to 1968. Since 1955, King had been at the front of the Civil Rights movement in the USA. He had given great support to the year-long bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which eventually led to the desegregation of public transportation; he had used his skills as a passionate orator to inspire black people to stand up for their rights, in housing, education and other civil rights; and he had gained the backing of a growing number of whites. He was in the front line of the anti-segregation demonstrations in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, which p