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Mississippi Man Arrested in Killing of 2 Blacks in ’64 January 28, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in African Americans, African-American, Andrew Goodman, anti-black, arrest, Black, Blacks, Card, Charles E. Moore, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Discriminate, Discrimination, Hate, Henry H. Dee, James Chaney, James F. Seale, KKK, Klansman, Ku Klux Klan, Michael Schwerner, Mississippi, Mississippi Burning, Natchez, Racism, Racist, Roxie.
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ATLANTA, Jan. 24 — A 71-year-old man was arrested Wednesday in Mississippi on federal kidnapping charges stemming from the 1964 killing of two black teenagers who were tied to trees, whipped and drowned.

The suspect, James F. Seale, a former crop-duster, was indicted in Jackson and taken into custody in the southwestern Mississippi town of Roxie, not far from where the two young men were seized.

The charges against Mr. Seale, some seven years after the Federal Bureau of Investigation reopened the case, are the latest in a string of prosecutions of racially motivated slayings from the 1950s and ’60s. While virtually all the prosecutions so far have proved successful, investigators have long warned that every passing year makes it more difficult to build a case.

Many of those killings became nationally infamous, like the murder of three civil rights workers — James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner — portrayed decades later in the movie “Mississippi Burning.” But like dozens of lynchings in that era, the deaths of the two victims in this case, Henry H. Dee and Charles E. Moore, both 19, were far more obscure.

The discovery of their bodies, in the Old River near Natchez, Miss., attracted attention mainly because it was initially thought that they might be those of two of the three missing rights workers, who, as the nation looked on, were being sought by federal agents, dozens of volunteers and 400 Navy sailors.

Still, the Federal Bureau of Investigation took on the case, and in November of 1964 Mr. Seale, the son of a chapter leader of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and another man, Charles Marcus Edwards, were arrested. They were never prosecuted, in part because fear of Klan retribution prevented witnesses from stepping forward. According to the case file, however, Mr. Edwards told F.B.I. agents that he, Mr. Seale and others had beaten the men but that they were alive when he left them.