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Conspiracy theories old and new are swirling around the case, and news media from around the world have descended once again on Memphis, Tennessee, where King was killed on April 4, 1968.
Amidst all the speculation, He Slew the Dreamer is a remarkably detailed and clearheaded examination of the available evidence at the time the murder occurred. The author, the late William Bradford Huie, was one of the most celebrated figures of 20th century journalism and investigative reporting. He wrote a dozen books, most of them made into popular movies, and hundreds of articles in newspapers and magazines.
A pioneer of "checkbook journalism", Huie sought the truth in controversial stories where the truth was hard to come by. In the case of James Earl Ray, Huie paid Ray and his original attorneys $40,000 for Rays cooperation in explaining his movements in the months before King's assassination and up to Rays arrest weeks later in London.
Huie was a personal friend of Martin Luther King Jr. and he writes that he went into his investigation of Ray believing that a conspiracy was behind King's murder. But after retracing Ray's movements through California, Louisiana, Mexico, Canada, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, andLondon, Huie came to the opposite conclusion: that James Earl Ray was a pathetic petty criminal who hated African Americans and sought to make a name for himself by murdering King.
He Slew the Dreamer was originally published soon after Ray went to prison and was republished in 1977, but has been out of print until this new edition, published with the cooperation of Huie's widow. Author Wayne Greenhaw has written a new foreword, epilogue, and afterword to the book, and an index has been added.
This is an invaluable resource to the current debate over the King assassination, as well as an intriguing look both at the criminal mind and at the techniques of investigative journalism.