NPR White Lies Crime Podcast Episode 1 Recounts Civil Rights Era Unsolved Murder In 1965, the Rev. James Reeb was murdered in Selma, Ala. No one was ever held to account. We return to the town where it happened, searching for new leads in an old story.
NPR logo

Listen to White Lies Episode 1

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/718647599/723038840" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
The Murder Of The Rev. James Reeb

The Murder Of The Rev. James Reeb

Listen to White Lies Episode 1

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/718647599/723038840" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Elmer Cook, William Stanley Hoggle and Namon "Duck" Hoggle (from left to right) were charged with first-degree murder after James Reeb's death and later acquitted at trial. TopFoto/The Image Works hide caption

toggle caption
TopFoto/The Image Works

Elmer Cook, William Stanley Hoggle and Namon "Duck" Hoggle (from left to right) were charged with first-degree murder after James Reeb's death and later acquitted at trial.

TopFoto/The Image Works

Editor's note: This podcast contains explicit language that some may find offensive.

In 1965, civil rights supporter James Reeb, a white Unitarian minister, was murdered in Selma, Ala. Three men were arrested, tried and acquitted. No one was ever held to account.

More than 50 years later, we return to the city where the attack happened and set out to find the definitive story of who killed Reeb. We reconstruct what happened the night Reeb was beaten and hear the harrowing story of a survivor of the attack. And with a contemporary civil rights activist as our guide, we get to know modern Selma — a place where the city's civil rights history hangs in uncomfortable balance with its Confederate ghosts.

For a visual narrative of NPR's investigation into the murder of James Reeb and its aftermath, visit npr.org/whitelies.