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Photograph of Robert S. Mueller, III Robert S. Mueller, III
Federal Bureau of Investigation

News Conference on the Indictment of James Seale Department of Justice Washington, D.C.

January 25, 2007

According to the indictment, in late spring 1964, Henry Dee and Charlie Moore—both age 19, both African American—were kidnaped by members of the Ku Klux Klan and beaten. Then, while still alive, their bodies were tied with weights, pushed into a river, and left to drown.

As the Attorney General described, this was a horrible crime, inflicted with stunning disregard for the suffering of the victims. James Seale will stand trial, accused of the kidnaping and murder of these two teenagers, Dee and Moore. He is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

These tragic murders are straight from among the darkest pages 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.

This investigation was the result of the incorporated work of current FBI agents with five former FBI agents who originally were assigned to the matter in the 1960s. Of the five, several were the handling agents of the original informants utilized in the initial investigation. We are also grateful for the assistance of the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and the Mississippi State Highway Patrol in conducting the investigation.

Forty years ago, the system failed. We, in the FBI, have a responsibility to investigate these Cold Case Civil Rights Era murders where evidence still exists to bring both closure and justice to these cases that, for many, remain unhealed wounds to this day.

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