Origin of Shots That Killed Martin Luther King, Jr. Can't Be Pinpointed

Air Date: 08/16/1978
Source:
NBC Today Show
Creator:
Floyd Kalber/Bob Kur
Air/Publish Date:
08/16/1978
Event Date:
04/04/1968
Resource Type:
News Report
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
1978
Clip Length:
00:01:50

In House hearings on the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York City's Chief Medical testifies that the origin of the fatal gunshot cannot be pinpointed.

Origin of Shots That Killed Martin Luther King, Jr. Can't Be Pinpointed

FLOYD KALBER (host):

James Earl Ray, who confessed years ago to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., thus eliminating an open trial on the crime, tells his story today to the investigators of the House of Representatives. Ray is being guarded heavily in Washington; he will be taken into the House hearing room under extremely tight security measures. Yesterday that House group heard testimony on the origin of the shot that killed Dr. King. Bob Kur has been attending the hearings.

BOB KUR (reporting): The assassinations committee hired three medical examiners to reexamine the clothes Dr. King died in, revisit the crime scene and study autopsy results and ballistics evidence. Speaking for the experts, Dr. Michael Baden, New York City’s chief medical examiner said no medical examination then or now could pinpoint the origin of the fatal shot. Just after the shooting, some evidence suggested the shot was fired at King on a motel balcony from a second floor bathroom window in a rooming house nearby. But the committee is aware of other theories. One, that the shot came from a bushy area near the rooming house and Dr. Baden said experts could not be certain.

Dr. MICHAEL BADEN (Chief Medical Examiner, New York City): We could not distinguish between the second floor of the bathroom at 418 South Main Street and the bushy area in the yard behind it. That we could not distinguish.

KUR: This morning, the committee’s witness will be James Earl Ray, who pleaded guilty to firing that fatal shot but said later, he didn’t. Federal marshals brought Ray to the Washington area from a Tennessee prison and have been keeping him under extreme security. Ray’s lawyer says Ray’s statement will be quite specific; that Ray will claim that at the time of the assassination, he was several blocks away at a gas station. Bob Kur, NBC News, the Capital.

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