The Plot to Kill King | National Civil Rights Museum

BOOk Talk: The Plot to Kill King 

Thursday, November 2, 2017 • 6-8pm

National Civil Rights Museum, Ford Motor Company Theater

Free & Open to the Public


The National Civil Rights Museum brings attorney and MLK assassination conspiracy theorist, Dr. William F. Pepper, to speak on his recent book The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  In Pepper’s decades of research, he maintains that his former client, James Earl Ray, did not pull the trigger on the weapon that killed Dr. King.


<strong>William F. Pepper</strong> with <strong>Martin Luther King</strong> at the September 1967 Labor Day National Conference for New Politics Convention in Chicago.
Pepper befriended Dr. King in 1967 after King had become acquainted with his work on the horrors of the Vietnam War.  Pepper was in New York City when King delivered his “Beyond Vietnam” speech at Riverside Baptist Church on April 4, 1968.


As the defense attorney for James Earl Ray in 1997, William Pepper has worked to prove Ray did not kill King, but also that he unknowingly was part U.S. government FBI-American mob conspiracy to assassinate King. Decades after Ray’s death in 1998, Pepper continues to adamantly argue Ray’s innocence.

In a 1999 Memphis case that presented thousands of documents and over 70 witnesses, Pepper represented the family of Dr. King that won a wrongful death lawsuit against Loyd Jowers and “other unknown co-conspirators” for the requested sum of $100.  In 2000 the U.S. Department of Justice reopened the case but finally rejected the verdict due to insufficient evidence.

The Plot to Kill King is an expanded volume of Pepper’s original best-selling book, Orders to Kill, with twenty-six years of additional research. It includes new details of the night of the murder, the trial, and why Ray was chosen to take the fall for what Pepper believes was a government-sanctioned assassination. The plan, according to Pepper, was for a team of United States Army Special Forces snipers to kill King, but the plot was preempted by a backup civilian assassin who pulled the trigger.

His findings make the book one of the most controversial and uncensored stories of the murder of an American civil rights icon who in the 1960s was considered by some a threat to the status quo.


About William F. Peper

Dr. William F. Pepper is a human rights lawyer made famous for his defense of James Earl Ray in the MLK assassination trial and the Sirhan Sirhan trial for the murder of Senator Robert Kennedy. Pepper is also the author of Orders to Kill and An Act of State.  He has been active in government conspiracy cases, including the 9/11 Truth Movement, and in attempts to charge George W. Bush with war crimes. He was appointed a barrister of the United Kingdom, but now primarily resides in New York.



The museum’s Book and Author Series is made possible by the Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation.  The event is free and open to the public.

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