Almost exactly 45 years to the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, new video footage has surfaced of his killer, James Earl Ray.
The Shelby County, Tenn., Register's office released the newly restored footage this week, posting several videos to its website chronicling certain aspects of the assassin's arrest and trial. The most dramatic of the videos shows Ray receiving his Miranda rights on an airplane shortly after his arrest in London in June, 1968.
"You have the right to remain silent," an officer can be heard dictating to Ray above the loud hum of the airplane's engines.
Ray shot King in the head on April 4, 1968, while the civil rights leader was standing on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. Ray then fled north from Memphis, across the Canadian border to Toronto, where he assumed a false identity and evaded detection for several weeks. He was ultimately arrested across the Atlantic, in London's Heathrow Airport, two months after the assassination. It was on the flight back to the United States, following his extradition, that the footage of Ray hearing his rights was recorded.
Shelby County has uploaded a number of additional videos from the Ray trial to its website, totaling several hours of previously unseen court procedure. The footage was the first of its kind for the county.
According to a statement released by Shelby County:
In 1968, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office purchased a Sony Videocorder and Video Camera for the purposes of documenting the extradition, incarceration, and proceedings as related to James Earl Ray for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is believed that the personnel using the equipment were learning how to operate this technology as they recorded. As a result, the footage is not always as clear as we are accustomed to seeing today. Additional lighting is not used on most of the recordings. Audio portions are not always clear. There are inconsistencies in the video and audio tracks throughout the converted footage.
His Name Was Changed
Martin Luther King Jr. was christened Michael King Jr. When his father became pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1931, he adopted the name Martin Luther King Sr. — in honor of Protestant leader Martin Luther — When MLK was six years old, his father changed his name on his <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=XKCht8aqEg0C&q=Doris+Faber,+Harold+Faber&dq=Doris+Faber,+Harold+Faber&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Ljr9UO-nJ6je0gGo5IDAAg&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA">birth certificate </a>to Martin Luther King, Jr.
He Skipped Two Grades
He skipped the 9th and 12th grades in school and entered Moorehouse College at age 15.
He Sang At The "Gone WIth The Wind" Premiere
In 1939, Martin sang with his church choir in Atlanta at the gala premiere of the movie "Gone With The Wind."
His Travels And Accomplishments
From 1957 until his death in 1968, he traveled more than 6 million miles. He gave over 2500 speeches during his travels. He also wrote 5 books and had published countless numbers of articles in newspapers and magazines.
He Has Over 900 Streets Named After Him
There are over <a href="http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/jan/21/road-to-equality-history-of-mlk-named-streets/">900 streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr.</a> around the world. Forty U.S. states have at least one MLK Jr. named road of their own.
He Spent His Wedding Night In A Funeral Home
When Martin Luther King Jr. married his wife Coretta, the newlyweds were unable to stay in a white-owned hotel. Instead, the couple spent their wedding night at a <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=Uwi_HJUbJUMC&pg=PA19&dq=mlk+honeymoon+funeral&hl=en&sa=X&ei=yzz9UJ_EHpGz0QGO4oCYAg&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=mlk%20honeymoon%20funeral&f=false">black-owned funeral home</a>.
He Was The Youngest Person To Receive A Nobel Peace Prize
In 1964, at age 35, he was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
He Is The Second Most Admired Person
According to a <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/20920/martin-luther-king-jr-revered-more-after-death-than-before.aspx">1999 Gallup poll</a>, King is the second most admired person in the 20th century, coming in second to Mother Theresa.
His Favorite Foods
Martin Luther King's favorite foods were <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=EEA37Ck70UsC&pg=PA96&dq=mlk+pecan+pie+favorite&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cEL9UN_xAcbE0QHf_ICACA&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=mlk%20pecan%20pie%20favorite&f=false">pecan pie and fried chicken</a>.
When He Died, He Had The Heart Of A 60-Year-Old
Although he was only 39 at the time of his death, <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=Mc5HD-LYVuYC&pg=PA97&dq=mlk+heart+older+than+him+autopsy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=q0H9UIjCFIHN0AHR94DgDQ&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=mlk%20heart%20older%20than%20him%20autopsy&f=false">autopsy results revealed</a> the Civil Rights icon had the heart of a 60-year-old. The doctor believed this was a result of stress.