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James Earl Ray
From the viewpoint of a man who served time with Ray in prison, then went on to become a journalist, and continued to follow the case, with some emphasis on Ray's mentality, how he escaped from prison, and why there is reason to believe white supremacists may have been behind King's murder.
The first time I saw James Earl Ray, he had just arrived at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City. Charley McCracken, a friend from the St. Louis City Jail, pointed him out to me in H-Hall, where the newly arriving convicts at the maximum-security penitentiary were oriented.
The first year and a half I paid little or no attention to Ray. He was a loner. Most of my friends were people I'd known in reform school, or people I'd met through them. Although Ray had been sentenced from St. Louis, he was not part of the St. Louis "crowd."
In September 1961, I tried to escape and pulled six months in E-Hall, a 100-year-old building whose third floor was for solitary confinement.
About two months later, Ray tried to escape, and he came to E-Hall. We had no contact, however, since he was on the other side of the building.