Monday, April 04, 2016


Shot Rings Out in the Memphis Sky

I am fervently anti-conspiracy theory on all assassinations and terrorist attacks on the US in the last 75 years with one exception: Martin Luther King's assassination by James Earl Ray. And even there I've moved from belief to skepticism and back to belief. I admit the supporting evidence is a little thin.

I started out wondering how a prison escapee could fund his travels eventually to Memphis and after the shooting to Canada and then to Europe. How did he even get a passport, I asked myself? He had to have help, he had to have people paying him money to do what he did. But then I read a book and it turns out that Ray was the cheapest of the cheap. He could stretch out his dollars from odd jobs and small robberies amazingly. Also, what reason did I have to believe that it was harder to get a false passport in the past?

But there were things in the book that bothered me greatly. One is the witness testimony that during his moving in on Dr. King he would from time to time stop at phone booths and take a lot of change with him to make a call or two. What's that about? But this is the kicker: just prior to the shooting, Ray bought a Remington Gamemaster 760 pump rifle in .270 from a sports store and then returned it the next day for the same rifle in .30-06. Now I'm sure there could be a logical, non-conspiracy explanation for that, but I'm having trouble coming up with it. Us gun nuts know that the deer round .270 is not the man-killer the .30-06 is*. Ray had been in the Army and had used 30-06 in the M1 Garands he had fired. He had to have known it was the right round for killing another person. So why the waffling?

I think his "handler" -- the guy he was calling -- either told him to get the .270 and Ray up-gunned the round because of his experience or it was the other way around, he decided on .270 and the co-conspirator overrode that decision and sent him back to the store. It's a tiny peg on which to hang a conspiracy theory but I can't shake its implications and what it causes me to believe.

So, think about the amount of book paper wasted on frivolous and fatuous conspiracy theories about JFK because the left's refused to accept that a Commie offed the King of Camelot. Democrats have searched, unsuccessfully, for a way to blame it on anyone else for decades. Compare that immense library to the amount of book paper talking about a conspiracy to kill Dr. King, both for and against a conspiracy. It's about a hundred thousand to one, but there really is evidence of a conspiracy for Dr. King's murder.

* The difference between the same weight bullet is minimal for .270 and .30-06, although the .30-06 has greater energy. Generally, however, .270 only comes with 130 and 150 grain bullets. You can get much heavier bullets for the 30-06 and added bullet weight slows down the bullet but it hits with substantially more foot pounds of energy. Apparently, a 168 grain, .30-06 hollow point, boat tail bullet is the perfect one for killing another human, or so I'm told.


* What would Jack O'Connor say? IIRC, the .270 was (still is?) popular for large game, including elk. With proper shot placement, and a proper bullet, I don't see much difference between getting killed by a .270 vs. 30-06. What was available back then? Things such as Remington Core-Lokt? That wasn't a significantly long range shot, was it? I'm just looking at pictures at Wikipedia. From the description of the wound there, I'm guessing it wasn't ball ammo. The switch is perplexing; I can't think of any reason for it, other than personal preference.
I'm not saying .270 is inadequate for killing a human. You can kill someone with proper placement of a .22. I'm just saying it's not as deadly a round as .30-06. The bullet used was a soft point and although recovered it was too damaged to say if it came from the gun Ray bought. The range of the shot was trivial, less than 70 yards. I can't think of a good reason to buy the .270 and the next day get the same gun in .30-06 either. Which is why I still believe he was being told what to do by someone else, which makes the murder of Rev. King part of a conspiracy. It's not a huge peg on which to hang a theory but I can't shake it.
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