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violence-prone persons like Wilkins, and from the fact that the klan had ordered its members to keep under surveillance the activities of civil rights advocates engaged in a protest march between Selma and Montgomery, Ala. Wilkins, Thomas, Eaton and Rowe had been ordered to Montgomery by Robert Thomas of Birmingham, the former exalted cyclops of the Eastview Klavern and, at that time, the great titan for the State of Alabama. The four klansmen had, just prior to the killing, returned to Selma from Montgomery and were again enroute to Montgomery when they spotted the Liuzzo automobile.
Wilkins, Thomas and Eaton participated in klan activities which resulted in the bombing of the Dickey Clay Manufacturing plant outside Bessemer, Ala., both prior to and following the Liuzzo killing. Wilkins had been convicted in November 1964 for illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun and was on probation at the time of the Liuzzo murder. In fact,
his traveling to Montgomery was in violation of his parole. Wilkins, Thomas and Eaton were known to possess and carry firearms. Therefore, in ordering these klansmen to Montgomery, the klan must accept the responsibility for Mrs. Liuzzo's murder.16
Murder in Mississippi and Louisiana Committee investigation established the involvement of a klan in the murders of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney at Philadelphia, Miss., the murder of Henry Dee and Charles Moore of Meadville, Miss., and the arson murder of Vernon Dahmer at Hattiesburg, Miss.
Klan members involved in these Mississippi murders were, at the time the acts occurred, affiliated with the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Mississippi.
With respect to the three civil rights workers, Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, who were murdered in July 1964, the investigation disclosed that Schwerner, referred to by the klan as "goatee,” had been marked for elimination by the klan. Under the organizational structure of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a "project" of murder (or to use the klan designation, "extermination,"5 required the approval of the imperial wizard. Investigative evidence and testimony reflected that the extermination of Schwerner was approved by Sam Bowers, imperial wizard of the White Knights. The death of Goodman and Chaney seems to have resulted merely from the fact that they were with Schwerner when he was seized.
Following the recovery of the bodies, their killing was discussed at several secret meetings of the White Knights. At a meeting on June 24, 1964, at Jackson, Miss., Billie Buckles, who held the high office of grand giant within the White Knights, discussed this murder in these words: "Now they know what we will do. We have shown them what we will do and we will do it again if necessary.”
18 Wilkins was acquitted by a jury on Oct. 22, 1965, of a murder charge brought by the State. Thomas was acquitted of the same charge by a jury action on Sept. 27, 1966. Eaton died of a heart attack in March 1966 before he had been tried on state charges.
Murder not being a Federal offense, all three men were convicted by a jury on Dec. 3, 1965, of Federal charges involving criminal conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo. Each received the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. They were released on bond pending appeal of this conviction. In April 1967, an appellate court in New Orleans, La., affirmed the conspiracy convictions of Wilkins and Thomas.
Committee investigation established the White Knights affiliation of a number of the individuals who, together with Imperial Wizard Bowers, have been indicted for these murders. However, because trials of those indicted are still pending, the committee abstains from detailed discussion of klan membership and the facts which it gathered regarding the step by step actions of these klansmen which resulted in the murders.17
The solidarity of klans in behalf of klansmen called to account for acts of violence was demonstrated by the fact that in December 1964, during a rally of the United Klans of America in West Monroe, La., inquiry was made into the absence of Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton. A Louisiana officer of the United Klans of America explained that Shelton could not be present because he was in Mississippi contacting klaverns for the purpose of raising funds to defend the individuals arrested by the FBỈ in connection with the Philadelphia, Miss., murders.
Vernon Dahmer, an NAACP official, died as the result of burn; sustained in the fire bombing of his residence at Hattiesburg, Miss., on January 10, 1966. Committee knowledge regarding the involvement of members of the White Knights in the death resulting from fire bombing was not brought up during the committee hearings. Nor is it included in this report because of the pending trial of those indicted on Federal charges of conspiracy to violate the civil rights of Vernon Dahmer. 18
On May 2, 1964, two 19-year-old Negro youths were walking on a country road near Meadville, Miss. A pick-up truck with sereral white male occupants stopped, flashed toy deputy sheriff badges and told the youths, Henry Dee and Charles Moore, that they were wanted for questioning.
On July 12 and 13, 1964, the lower halves of two bodies were found in the Mississippi River channel, 12 miles south of Tallulah, La. The remains were clothed in blue jeans. The legs were tied together with binder twine similar to that used to tie hay bales. In October, the
upper parts of the bodies were recovered. The victims were identified as Henry Dee and Charles Moore.
Investigation by Mississippi State Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation resulted in the issuance on November 6, 1964, of warrants for the arrest of James Ford Seale and Charles Marcus Edwards for the murder of Henry Dee and Charles Moore.
Edwards, following his arrest, admitted to the arresting officers that James Seale, himself, and another whom he refused to identify, picked up Dee and Moore with the intention of whipping them. Edwards cited Dee as a “peeping tom” but had nothing derogatory to report about Moore.
Without reporting Dee's alleged crime to police authorities, Edwards admitted that Dee and Moore were taken to a field and whipped. Edwards claimed both were alive when he left them.
17 Indictments on Federal conspiracy charges, originally handed down in this case in 1965, were dismissed in 1966 on the basis that the jury selection system did not represent a cross section of the population. New_Federal indictments on Feb. 27, 1967, named 19 defendants, including Imperial Wizard Bowers, Sheriff Lawrence Rainey, and his deputy, Cecil R. Price.
18 Indictments on Federal conspiracy charges handed down in June 1966 were dismissed for the same reasons cited in the dismissal of the Philadelphia, Miss.. indictments. New indictments on Feb. 27, 1967, named 12 persons in the conspiracy to violate the rights of Vernon Dahmer. They included Imperial Wizard Bowers, the chief of his Klan Bureau of Investigation, Deavours Nix, and a White Knights exalted cyclops, Cecil V. Sessum.
Edwards, James Ford Seale, his brother, Myron Wayne "Jack" Seale, and Ernest Parker, all of whom were involved in or possessed knowledge of the Dee-Moore tragedy, refused to testify when witnesses before the committee in January and February 1966.
Committee investigation established the klan membership, not only of Edwards, James and Jack Seale and Ernest Parker, but also others involved in the Dee-Moore murder.
Warrants of arrest issued against Edwards and James Seale were dropped in January 1965 and the case assigned for further investigation to determine the identity of others involved. No further action had been taken in this matter as of October 1966.
Ernest R. McElveen, who was arrested and charged in the slaying of one Negro deputy sheriff and the wounding of another in Washington Parish, La., 'in June 1965, was established by committee investigation to be a member of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
in Bogalusa, La.
CHAPTER VII. BACKGROUND OF SOME KLAN OFFICERS
“On the sacred oath of the klansmen, I declare that our leaders are men of high character," Imperial Wizard Shelton assured the audience at a klan rally in October 1961. “A klansman," Shelton added, “is not a common man. * * * He is judged by his character, his reputation, his decency, his loyalty and his love for his fellow man.
The constitution of the United Klans of America, which Shelton heads, states that it is the klan's purpose to unite persons "whose morals are good; whose reputations and vocations are respectable; whose habits are exemplary; who are of sound minds ****." The constitution of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan specifies that its members should be "sound of mind, sober in habits, of good moral character and not guilty of rape, murder, or treason.
The backgrounds of some of the klan officers and members lead the committee to conclude that klans not only have failed to exclude persons of less than exemplary character, but have actually attracted the very type of individual allegedly proscribed by the organizations.
Some klan officers and members have records of arrests and convictions on criminal charges both prior to and during their association with the organization. The reputation of many others is scarcely enhanced by their histories of financial irregularities-ranging from petty theft to bad debts-alcoholism, gambling, psychological problems, or association with other extremist groups such as the American Nazi Party.
GRAND DRAGONS OF THE UNITED KLANS OF AMERICA
Close to a dozen of the individuals selected by Imperial Wizard Shelton to head the State subdivisions of his United Klans of America do not have the impeccable records implied by Shelton's public utterances.
The highest official of the United Klans in three States during 1965 had each previously been active in the American Nazi Party. Roy E. Frankhouser, the grand dragon for the United Klan's Realm of Pennsylvania, wore the Nazi party's storm trooper uniform when he distributed Nazi literature on the streets of Philadelphia in December 1962. In the summer of 1963, he distributed the same literature in Lancaster, Pa. The ANP magazine, Stormtrooper, issued in the summer of 1965 referred to Frankhouser as an "American Nazi unit organizer" as of April 1965. In connection with his agitation in behalf of extremist groups in 1963, Frankhouser was convicted of disorderly conduct in Arlington, Va., and Baltimore, Md.
Daniel Burros, who as king kleagle headed the New York State apparatus until his suicide in October 1965, had been extremely active in both the American Nazi Party and the National Renaissance Party as late as 1963. During 1960, while engaged in Nazi party work, Burros
was convicted in Washington, D.C., on four occasions for disorderly conduct and on a fifth occasion for defacing public property. A 1964 conviction in New York City for conspiracy to riot—involving various officers of the National Renaissance Party in addition to Burros was subject to an appeal. Committee investigation disclosed that three of Burros' lieutenants in organizing for the United Klans in New York State were also past or present members of American Nazi Party.
Frankhouser invoked constitutional amendments in refusing to answer committee questions on February 10, 1966, regarding his activity in behalf of Nazi and other extremist organizations. A subpena issued for the appearance of Dan Burros had not been served at the time of his death. The leader of the United Klans in a third State had identified himself to law enforcement officials in the past as a member of the American Nazi Party. This individual was not questioned by the committee in its recent klan hearings, however.
A number of the United Klans grand dragons have regularly carried arms on their person or in their autos. One of them, prior to the assumption of klan office, had been convicted and fined for carrying a pistol and for assault and battery. After becoming grand dragon, the same individual was arrested for a third time on charges of carrying a pistol, shooting in a city and assault and battery. The case did not involve any organized klan activity and its disposition is unknown to the committee.
Two other grand dragons have gained reputations for their indulgence in alcohol and both have been arrested for driving an auto under the influence of intoxicating beverages. The apprehension of one of the men occurred several years prior to his assumption of klan office. At the time of his arrest, he had wrecked an auto which he was driving without the permission of the owner and he was accompanied by a female companion other than his wife. The same individual has an undesirable discharge from the U.S. Army, based on absence without leave.
Grand Dragon Robert E. Scoggin was ensconced in command of the South Carolina organization of the United Klans when he was arrested by Spartanburg, S.C., police on May 29, 1965, and charged with drunk driving and disorderly conduct. Scoggin, who also held the national klan office of imperial kladd in the period 1961–1964, refused to answer questions concerning his klan activity or arrest record when interrogated by the committee on October 28, 1965.
Less than honorable discharges from the armed forces were also received by three additional leaders of State organizations of the United Klans. One grand dragon received a general discharge from the Army for ineptness and lack of adaptability after four courts martial on charges ranging from absence without leave to drunk and disorderly conduct in a public place. The same klan officer had been arrested for reckless driving prior to joining the klan, and while in a lower State office of the United Klans, had again been arrested for disturbing the peace. The head of a UKA State organization holding the title of king kleagle had received a general discharge from the Army after a psychiatric examination led to a conclusion that the individual was unfit for military service. The grand dragon in another State was discharged from the Navy after psychiatric examinations revealed