The Mississippi Murders of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner
For two days, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael â€œMickeyâ€ Schwernerâ€”now known as the Mississippi civil rights workersâ€”were beaten, tortured, shot and buried by the Mississippi White Knights Ku Klux Klan chapter and officials of Neshoba County, near Meridian, Mississippi. The three men were working together in the Civil Rights Movement, helping Black people register to vote. The chapterâ€™s Imperial Wizard, Sam Bowers, did not like Schwernerâ€™s involvement in Black voter registration and decided he needed to be killedâ€”he was a White civil rights activist defying White supremacy. So on June, 21, 1963, Chaney, a Black man, Goodman and Schwerner were returning from a trip to Philadelphia, MS when they were pulled over for speeding by Cecil Price, Deputy Sherrif and a White Knightsâ€™ member. Price held the three men in custody while the Klan prepared to end their Civil Rights brigade.
It wasnâ€™t until June 21, 2005, 41 years after the KKK began to slowly torture the three Mississippi civil rightsâ€™ workers, that Edgar Ray Killen, â€œknown as an outspoken white supremacist and part-time Baptist minister,â€ was convicted of three counts of manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison.