EAST CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI 283 That afternoon at 4 p.m. the young men still had not returned to Meridian. The Jackson COFO office directed the Meridian office volunteers to wait another hour. When the hour passed, the volunteers called the Philadelphia jail, the Meridian jail, and the county jail. An Atlanta SNCC Staffer, posing as an Atlanta Constitution reporter, also called the jails. No one admitted to seeing Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman. Calls were also made to the FBI in Jackson and the FBI in Meridian. When nothing was done, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Justice Department in Washington were contacted, as well as the parents of Goodman, Chaney, Schwerner, and Schwerner’s wife, Rita. Finally, the Neshoba County jailer’s wife admitted that James Chaney had been stopped and booked for speeding on the night of June 21. Schwerner and Goodman had also been questioned. All had been released that evening. The day after the disappearance of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman, New Orleans FBI supervisor Harry Maynor instructed John Proctor to start an investigation. John Proctor accepted an FBI resident agent job in Meridian in 1962 under the supervision of the New Orleans FBI office. As a resident agent, Proctor investigated crime on Indian reservations, interstate auto theft, tracking down interstate fugitives, and investigated alleged violations of civil rights laws. In his job, he formed relationships with whoever could assist him, including bootleggers, law enforcement, African American leaders, civil rights workers, and Klansmen. Agents questioned those at the jail, the courthouse, the police, and residents of Philadelphia. No one talked. The jailer said that James Chaney had been fined $20 and the three were released around 10:30 p.m. Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price said he even watched Chaney’s tail lights disappear down Highway 19 toward Meridian. On June 23, 1964, Proctor’s supervisor and ten special agents joined Proctor after he received a tip from the superintendent of the Choctaw Reservation. There was a smoldering car in northeast Neshoba County. It was the burned CORE station wagon. There were still no signs of Schwerner, Goodman, or Chaney. At 8 a.m. onAugust 4, 1964, the FBI provided a search warrant to Olen Burrage, the owner of a dam site in Neshoba County. With a steam shovel, bulldozer, sleeping bags, tarps, and food, the FBI began their search for the three missing CORE workers. John Proctor was there with his camera. In Meridian, at Mt. Olive Church, folk-singer Pete Seeger was performing for the COFO workers when he was handed a note, which he read out loud to those in attendance. The bodies of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Earl Chaney had been found. Moans and tears filled the space before Seeger led them in another song, one about a healing river washing the blood from off our sand. The bodies had been unearthed at the dam site in Neshoba County at 5:07 p.m. The discovery of the bodies led to Doyle Barnette’s signed confession and additional information from James Jordan. Because murder is a state offense, unless it occurs on federal property, the FBI couldn’t charge anyone with murder. Therefore, initially nineteen suspects were charged under the section “Conspiracy Against Rights of Citizens” of the 1870 law to control Ku Klux Klan terrorism. Two suspects were charged with failing to give information about a felony. In addition to the arrests of Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey and Deputy Cecil Price, twenty other white men from the area were arrested. On January 15, 1965, a federal grand jury in Jackson, reporting in the district court of Judge Harold M. Cox, indicted eighteen suspects. In February 1965, Judge Cox, known as an “opinionated segregationist,” dismissed all the felony indictments and ruled that the suspects could only be charged with misdemeanors. In March 1966, the Supreme Court overruled Judge Cox’s decision. Martin Luther King, Jr., led the June 21, 1966 march from Independence Quarters in Philadelphia to the downtown courthouse to bring attention to the murders. Deputy Cecil Price blocked King from taking the courthouse steps, so King addressed the crowd from where he stood. After his speech, King led the marchers back toward Independence Quarters. Whites yelled obscenities and struck them with fists and hurled stones, bottles, clubs, and firecrackers. When African American youths began to fight back, the Neshoba County police stepped in. On October 19, 1967, eighteen defendants went on trial in Meridian in the court of Judge William Cox. An all-white jury of five men and seven women gave guilty verdicts for conspiracy against seven who were indicted. Five of the seven were convicted as members of the murder party. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on Edgar Ray Killen and were deadlocked on verdicts regarding the former Sheriff Hop Barnett and Jerry In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted in the 1963 assassination of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers.