Aftermath Of The Murder: Episode 2 NPR White Lies Civil Rights Crime Podcast In Episode 2, we unravel the aftermath of the Rev. James Reeb's murder: the arrest of three men and the defense brought at trial. We also track down the last living jurors.
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The Who And The What

The Who And The What

Listen To White Lies Episode 2

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In court on Dec. 9, 1965, William Stanley Hoggle (from far left), Namon O'Neal Hoggle and Elmer Cook review a street diagram showing where the attack on the Rev. James Reeb occurred in Selma, Ala. The three men were standing trial for the murder of Reeb; all were acquitted. Horace Cort/AP hide caption

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Horace Cort/AP

In court on Dec. 9, 1965, William Stanley Hoggle (from far left), Namon O'Neal Hoggle and Elmer Cook review a street diagram showing where the attack on the Rev. James Reeb occurred in Selma, Ala. The three men were standing trial for the murder of Reeb; all were acquitted.

Horace Cort/AP

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

In the second episode of White Lies, we unravel the story of the events that happened after the Rev. James Reeb's death: the arrest of three men and the murder trial that followed. In the absence of an official trial transcript, we reconstruct the December 1965 trial using firsthand accounts, news reports and other documents — and we track down the last two living jurors.

We explore what passed for justice in 1965 Alabama, including a prosecutor who openly told the press he had a weak case and a defense that claimed civil rights activists let Reeb die — or delivered the fatal blow themselves — because they needed a white martyr for their cause. We discover that after the not-guilty verdict was rendered, the myth of Reeb as a white martyr metastasized into a conspiracy theory that still lives today.

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