Saturday, August 13, 2005

Philadelphia, Mississipi, U.S. - Convicted murderer and former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen has been freed from jail only weeks after he was sentenced to 60 years in jail for planning the murders of three civil rights activists in 1964. Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon decided to release Killen on bond because he has appealed his conviction. Killen was kleagle, or klavern recruiter and organizer, for the Neshoba and Lauderdale County chapters of the Ku Klux Klan, and organized the killings of two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24, and one black Mississippian, James Chaney, 21. Following the slayings he arranged the bodies to be hidden with a bulldozer.