Monday, November 23, 2009

Mississippi Burning Case Could Reopen; James Chaney's Body May Be Exhumed

X-rays show two bullets were never removed from James Chaney, says a world-renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden of New York City. "They're still in his body, and they could be matched to the weapons that did it."

Exhuming the body of this civil rights worker could help identify others involved in the Ku Klux Klan's 1964 killings of Chaney and two other civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, Baden says.

The murders of Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi; Goodman, a 20-year-old white Jewish anthropology student from New York; and Schwerner, a 24-year-old white Jewish CORE organizer and former social worker also from New York, symbolized the risks of participating in the Civil Rights Movement in the South during what became known as "Freedom Summer", dedicated to voter registration.

Chaney's brother, Ben, told reporter Jerry Mitchell of the Jackson Clarion Ledger that he and his family support an exhumation. "If they (FBI agents) want to take the bullets from my brother, we'll do that," he said. "Whatever they need."

More on Mitchell's story --

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