Authorities close ‘Mississippi Burning’ case

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The investigation into the murders of three civil rights volunteers has ended after 52 years.

Attorney General Jim Hood announced the end to the active federal and state investigation.

Attorney General Hood announced there are no more criminal charges in the “Mississippi Burning” case.

The murders occurred in 1964 in Neshoba County.

Civil rights volunteers James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner disappeared on June 21, 1964.

The bodies of the men were discovered 44 days later.

Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were in the area working to register African-American voters.

One man pleaded guilty and seven others were tried and convicted of federal civil rights violations related to the murders in 1967.

Thirty-eight years later, in 2005, the Attorney General’s Office and Neshoba County District Attorney’s Office secured a manslaughter conviction for Edgar Ray Killen.

Killen is currently serving a 60-year prison sentence.

The U.S. Department of Justice presented its findings about the “Mississippi Burning” case to Attorney General Hood; he determined there were no other viable prosecutions in the case or related cases.

Attorney General Hood announced the most recent development in the case was about 18 months ago.

However, the witness backed out after pledging to sign a “sworn statement that would have implicated a suspect”.

The relatives of the victims have been made aware of the decision to close the case.

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