JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi’s corrections department says Edgar Ray Killen, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who was convicted in the 1964 ‘Mississippi Burning’ slayings of three civil rights workers, has died in prison at the age of 92.
The part-time preacher and lumber mill operator was 80 when a Neshoba County jury convicted him in 2005 of three counts of manslaughter.
He was sentenced to 60 years in prison. His conviction came 41 years to the day after Freedom Summer workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were ambushed and killed by Klansmen.
Their bodies were found buried in a red-clay dam in rural Neshoba County.
The slayings shocked the nation, helped spur passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and were dramatized in the 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning.”