Feb 5, 2007
Federal officials arrested and charged James F. Seale with kidnapping, stemming from the abduction, torture and murder of two 19-year-old black men in 1964.
Henry H. Dee and Charles E. Moore were abducted near Natchez, Mississippi, taken into the woods, tied to trees, and beaten to within an inch of their lives. They were then driven across the border into Louisiana, tied to an engine block, and dumped into the Mississippi River to drown.
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hailed the arrest and indictment of Seale as a step forward for racial justice, saying, “part of moving forward comes through addressing as best as we can and as soon as we can the terrible crimes of the past.”
What a lot of hogwash! It “only” took 43 years to charge Seale for the crime!
In fact, on every level, federal, state and local, the government, FBI and police have done everything they could to try to bury this crime – for 43 years.
Seale was arrested soon after the bodies of the two men were found in 1964. It was common knowledge in the area that Seale and a friend of his, Charles M. Edwards, had taken part in the kidnapping/beating/murder. It was common knowledge that Seale was a member of the KKK, as well as a deputy sheriff in the county. Edwards had even given a statement to federal authorities that he, Seale and others had beaten Dee and Moore. Still, local authorities never charged Seale or Edwards with any crime, and both men walked away free.
At the time, it was the federal government that pretended that it would uphold the law even when the authorities in the South didn’t. But, what did the FBI do? They just threw up their hands and said they had no jurisdiction in the case. This was a complete lie, given that state lines had been crossed in committing the crime.
Then, 36 years later, in 2000, a reporter who was investigating the case pointed out that the beatings had taken place in a national forest – which meant that the Feds DID have jurisdiction.
So, the FBI announced that it was reopening the case.
It then did nothing to follow up on it. Only after the brother of one of the victims, Charles Moore, tracked Seale down himself and told the FBI where he was living, did they actually begin to investigate anything.
That was in 2004. Still, nothing more happened – until just now. Were they waiting for Seale to die, so they could just drop the case again? Even now, Edwards, who is still living, has been charged with nothing. And Seale is not charged with murder – only kidnapping.
The federal government has had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, every inch of the way in this case.
Today, there may not be the open racist terror of 1964 – but the government is still up to a lot of its old tricks.