Former suspect won’t discuss case

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 5, 1999

&uot;I’ve had just about all of that mess I&160;can stand.&uot;

That was what Charles M. Edwards, one of two men arrested in 1964 in connection with the slayings of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, had to say Friday about renewed publicity surrounding the case.

District Attorney Ronnie Harper said Wednesday that he asked the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and the State Attorney General’s Office to resume investigation of the case at the request of Moore and Dee’s relatives.

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&uot;I&160;made the requests after I&160;was contacted by (Dee’s and Moore’s) family members,&uot;&160;Harper said. He would not comment further, saying the investigation is ongoing.

But Edwards won’t answer questions – at least for now.

&uot;Me and my family have been threatened and persecuted about it for more than 30 years now,&uot; Edwards said. &uot;If they decide to bring charges against me, I’ll say all I’ve got to say then. But until then, I’m not talking.&uot;

Edwards was arrested along with James Ford Seale, who could not be reached for comment late Friday. But charges against the two were subsequently dropped, according to officials.

Moore and Dee, who were both about 20 years old at the time of their deaths, were last seen alive on May 2, 1964, near Meadville. Parts of their bodies were found in the Old River south of Tallulah, La., in mid-July of that year. The discovery was made during a massive FBI search for the bodies of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

According to newspaper reports reviewing unsolved civil rights cases, Edwards told the FBI that Dee and Moore were hitchhiking near Meadville when they were picked up and beaten. Edwards confessed and named Seale among the kidnappers, but the two were never charged with a crime, according to the reports. Edwards also reportedly told the FBI that the pair were left alive in Homochitto National Forest after the beatings. Some sources quoted said local Klan members thought Dee and Moore were Black Muslims planning an uprising.