Tuesday, January 26, 2010
FBI Cold Case Initiative offers little comfort for families
Louis Allen, killed in Mississippi
So it's not just me that is unhappy over the Cold Case Initiative and the lack of leadership coming from the FBI.
If you will recall, my friends Gwen Dailey and Nina Zachery-Black, relatives of Birdia Keglar and Adlena Hamlett, are pretty disgusted with FBI agents and the bureaucracy surrounding their efforts to learn what happened to their grandmothers who were killed in a suspicious car wreck in 1966. Recently, I spoke to a great-granddaughter, Dianna Mann, and she says here family who lived several states away were so afraid to attend the funeral of Adlena Hamlett, they stayed home.
The names of these two women were never added to the cold case list put out by the FBI and the reasons these women have been given are simply preposterous.
Let's see -- Why didn't their relatives call the police?
Answer: If you were black and called the police in those days, it was the same as calling up the Klan and asking for help.
Here's another comment by an FBI agent: "Well, it was too long ago and it was in Mississippi."
My response to that one would have been, ..."no sh**t Sherlock."
Then there is a law school student who seems to think that "summary judgements" have something to do with criminal cases. She says she "can't get one" for the Keglar and Hamlett case because someone found a white guy who says he was asleep in the back of the car but knows what happened. That's pathetic.
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Apparently, there are some attempts, once again, to solve the Louis Allen cold case (Libertyville, Miss.). This case deserves to be at the top of the cold case list.
His murder had been brewing since 1961 when he witnessed the killing of local NAACP President Herbert Lee for registering Black voters by state legislator E. H. Hurst. Under threats, Mr. Allen was forced to testify that Mr. Hurst killed Mr. Lee in self-defense.
“My grandfather contacted the Justice Department and the FBI for help but the FBI agent assigned to the case leaked it back to the local officials, the sheriff and the judge, who were members of the Klan,” Louis Allen Ali, grandson and namesake of Louis Allen, told The Final Call last month.
Louis Allen suffered years of threats, jailings and harassment. Pleas to the FBI for assistance were refused. Mr. Allen was making final arrangements to move to Milwaukee the day he was killed by shotgun blasts.
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The problem with the FBI investigating these cases now, is that they are compromised. You would know this if you have read about the secret COINTELPRO operations that were run against black leaders, including Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcom X. The FBI agents were in the Delta, too. These records need to be opened IF the FBI is going to be square with the cold case initiative.
Mississippi had its own spy agency back then, the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, that hired FBI agents, military spies,CIA and you name it to make life miserable to its black citizens. Some of the Sov Com files were opened to the public but many still sit in the basements of the relatives of Mississippi's former leaders.
A black lawyer, Cleve McDowell, was murdered under VERY suspicious circumstances in 1997. Most likely he had lots of records (that walked away after he was killed) tha would have helped answer questions from who killed Emmett Till to who killed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Like the FBI, Mississippi has "records" problems, too.
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The family of Louis Allen of Libertyville, Miss. wants to see their relative's case solved. At least it's on the list, but ... read about how they feel about the FBI and today's agents:
Take some time to read their story.
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IF you are reading this and can come up with information to help solve this case, or any cold case, please contact me and I will see that it gets forwarded to the right person.
We've asked Sen. Al Franken's office to take a look at the Birdia Keglar and Adlena Hamlett case. Maybe since relatives are from Minnesota he will help. But don't hold your breath...I'm breathless.
There are good people, of course, who are working hard on these cases. keith Beauchamp is traveling with the FBI asking people with any information they may have on cold cases to speak up. He IS the reason we are finally looking at cold cases because he researched the Emmett Till case for years and finally got people involved and working on this and other cases.
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