Attack on Terror: The FBI Against the KKK in Mississippi


On June 21, 1964, three young civil rights workers were arrested by Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and taken to the county jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Deputy Price released them at 10:00 PM in a conspiracy with members of the Ku Klux Klan. Shortly after their release, the three were overtaken on a rural road by the members of the Klan. They were then beaten and shot and their bodies buried in an earthen dam. It took 44 days for their bodies to be found and those convicted received light sentences. It took another 40 years before the identity of the informant who revealed the whereabouts of the bodies became known. The identity of “the mysterious Mr. X”, the informant, was a closely held secret by the US government for 40 years. Journalist finally uncovered his identity: This is one of many books about this infamous incident. This book was made into a movie, Mississippi Burning. There have been so many books, movies, magazine and newspaper articles about this incident that it is not possible to list them all. The court case was retried in 2005 and new convictions obtained in 2007. Several films have dramatized these events. In 1974, a CBS made-for-television movie aired, Attack on Terror: The FBI vs. the Ku Klux Klan, co-starring Wayne Rogers and Ned Beatty. This was followed in 1988 by Mississippi Burning, with Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman; and in 1990 by Murder in Mississippi.


Don Whitehead

Publication Year



Funk & Wagnalls



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