Friday, May 4, 2018

Who killed Martin Luther King Jr. ?

There is no shortage of conspiracy theories in America, and the link below will provide a list of most of them. Some of them almost seem plausible (like the ones penned by former governor Jesse Ventura), and some are just plain ruts (like the ones created by Alex Jones).

The most prominent conspiracy theories are the ones connected to the assassination of JFK. To date, close to 1000 books have been written about the event, and most of them support the theory that there WAS a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. The litany of guilty parties include the CIA, the Mafia, LBJ, Fidel Castro, the KGB, or some combination of some of them

Martin Luther King was assassinated almost exactly 50 years ago. His death also has triggered a number of conspiracy theories, which blame a random African-American man who happened to be outside the Lorraine Hotel the night of shooting, the mysterious Raoul, a white lieutenant with the Memphis police department, Loyd Jowers, the Federal government, the Army, the Mafia, and Henry Clay Wilson. The conspiracy theories have flourished due to the fact that the King family eventually came to doubt the guilt of James Earl Ray, and filed a suit in 1999 for a new trial for Ray. Ultimately, the jury found that Loyd Jowers, and other unnamed parties, were guilty of King’s assassination, and the jury assessed a penalty of $100 against him.

Here is an intriguing thought, though. What if King himself orchestrated his own assassination in order to preserve his legacy? Sounds a bit far fetched, doesn’t it? Believe it or not, though, it actually IS a possibility.

One of my favorite authors is a man named Steve Berry. Like John Grisham, he decided that writing novels was more profitable than being an attorney and legislator, and he released his first novel in 2003, 14 years after Grisham released his first novel. For those of you who think that making a living as a writer is easy, consider that fact that Berry first started writing in 1990, but it took him 12 years and 85 rejections before he was successful in getting his novel published.  Berry credits the nuns who taught him in Catholic schools with instilling the discipline needed to both craft a novel and to find a publisher.

To date, Berry has written 23 novels – and I have read most of them. In all,  he has more than 22 million books in print, which have been translated into 40 languages and sold in 51 countries.

Although John Grisham’s net worth has been estimated to be around $300 million, Steve Berry has kept his financial information a bit closer. However, it IS possible to tour his dream house in St. Augustine, which hosts a number of references to his novels, six of which have been on the New York Times best seller list

Berry’s latest book, which I finished reading this morning, is “The Bishop’s Pawn”, and it’s about the assassination of MLK. The rare coin pictured below  plays a prominent part in the novel

Like most people, I read both fiction and non-fiction. As is the case with a lot of people, the majority of the books I read tend to fall into the fiction category. My favorite fiction writers are the folks who blend historical facts with a tightly woven adventure story, and people like Steve Berry, Clive Cussler, Dan Brown, and John Grisham are masters at their craft. It’s best to keep your phone handy when reading one of their novels, since you will find yourself looking up things as you work your way through the book.

Although the possibility of orchestrating his own death may still seem far-fetched, if you read his “mountain top” speech, which was given without notes the night before he was killed, it’s clear that he knew that his days were numbered. Here are the closing comments:

"Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"
When you get a chance, get your hands on a copy of The Bishop’s Pawn”, and get “the rest of the story. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Take the guided tour of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, and the museum across the street.

    I was left with two possibilities. There were two armed shooters in position on rooftops a block away.

    The rest of the story is presented well. King stayed at downtown hotels where prominent black men were welcome. MLK never used the Lorraine Motel as a bedroom. It was a business meeting just ended when he was killed on the balcony outside.