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Man Charged in 1964 Mississippi Murders
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Man Charged in 1964 Mississippi Murders

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Man Charged in 1964 Mississippi Murders

Man Charged in 1964 Mississippi Murders
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James Ford Seale is arraigned Thursday in Mississippi on multiple charges connected with a 1964 double murder. Seale is accused of abducting two young black men, who were later found dead in the Mississippi River.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

This is DAY TO DAY I'm Alex Chadwick.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

And I'm Madeleine Brand.

Mr. ALBERTO GONZALEZ (Attorney General, United States): We are announcing today that James Ford Seale has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for two counts of kidnapping, resulting in death, and one count of conspiracy for his participation in the abductions and murder of two nineteen-year-old African American men in 1964, Henry Dee and Charles Moore.

BRAND: That's Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez speaking this morning at the Justice Department. James Ford Seale was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals yesterday afternoon, and he was taken to Jackson, Mississippi.

CHADWICK: The indictment alleges that Mr. Seale and other Klansmen conspired to abduct, interrogate, beat, and eventually murder Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charlie Eddie Moore; both nineteen years old at the time. Here's more from the attorney general.

Mr. GONZALEZ: Henry Dee was a civil rights activist. Charles Moore was his friend. Their captors were white knights of the Klu Klux Klan. Dee and Moore were beaten by their captors, then transported and finally forcibly drowned by being thrown into the old Mississippi River, tied to heavy objects alleged to have included an engine block, iron weights, and railroad ties.

CHADWICK: FBI director Robert Muller also spoke at today's news conference in Washington.

Mr. ROBERT MULLER (Director, FBI): As the attorney general has described, this was a horrible crime inflicted with stunning disregard for the suffering of the victims. Now James Seale will stand trial, accused of the kidnapping and murder of these two teenagers; Dee and Moore. These tragic murders are straight from among the darkest page of our country's history. And while sadly we cannot right the wrongs of the past, we can pursue justice to the end - and we will, no matter how long it takes, until every living suspect is called to answer for their crimes.

BRAND: And Attorney General Gonzalez also spoke of the brutality and the unsolved crimes from the civil rights era.

Mr. GONZALEZ: These allegations are a painful reminder of a terrible time in our country. A time when some people viewed their fellow American's as inferior and as a threat based only on the color of their skin. We haven't solved all of the problems of racism in this country. Our society is not yet perfect, but our country has made progress far beyond those times of hate, fear, and brutality. And part of moving forward comes through addressing - as best as we can, and as soon as we can - the terrible crimes of the past. There was no statute of limitations for this crime and there is no statute of limitation on the pain in a human heart of the memory of the appalling things that were done in cases like this one. We would much prefer, of course, that justice had been served forty years ago in this case. But what we are doing today, bringing closure to this horrible crime by trying this case through a public trial, should serve as notice to those who would violate the civil rights of their fellow citizens. We will pursue you as long as it takes, and as long as the law allows. Whenever it comes, justice is always welcomed.

BRAND: That's Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez speaking today at the Justice Department, announcing the indictment of James Ford Seale charged in the 1964 kidnapping and murders of Henry Dee and Charles Moore.

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