Moore: Community must come forward with information

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A chorus of &uot;amens&uot; peppered Thomas Moore’s pleas for help in solving his brother’s 41-year-old murder Sunday morning.

Moore spoke in the small Roxie First Baptist Church, near the end of an almost two-week trip through Mississippi to find clues about the crime that took the lives of his brother Charles and their friend Henry Dee.

&uot;I am going to hold Franklin County and the state of Mississippi responsible for the death of Charles Eddie Moore,&uot; Thomas said.

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But while many in Franklin County want to see justice, they are not sure that everyone does.

&uot;I can say yes, and then I can say no,&uot; said Michael Webster, who is Thomas Moore’s nephew. &uot;Franklin County has got a lot of hidden wrong-doing.&uot;

In 1964, that wrong-doing was hidden in the Homochitto National Forest, where authorities believe Charles Moore and Henry Dee were tied up and beaten by Klansmen.

U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton said last week his office will begin investigating the case, which has also been reopened in recent years by District Attorney Ronnie Harper and the FBI.

Lampton also reopened the Wharlest Jackson case. Jackson was a Natchez NAACP officer who had just been promoted to a so-called &uot;whites-only&uot; job when he was killed by dynamite exploding in his truck in 1967.

No one was ever arrested in that case, and authorities who investigated it in recent years have said most of the suspects are likely dead.

Adams County Justice Court Judge Mary Toles came to support Moore Sunday morning at the church. Toles said she agrees with Moore that the time is right for justice in both cases.

&uot;I think times have changed,&uot; she said. &uot;You still have mean-spirited people, but you’ve got a lot of people who are a lot less tolerant (of injustice).&uot;

If suspects are still living, they can be brought to justice, Toles said.

&uot;There will be juries out there who will convict them,&uot; she said.

Former Bude Mayor Mack Littleton, a high school friend of the Moores, said he isn’t convinced all of Franklin County is ready to close the case. &uot;Most people aren’t going to stand up and be counted,&uot; he said. &uot;We need the community support.&uot;

Littleton has been active in supporting Moore in his quest for justice, sending letters to the district attorney and others. &uot;I certainly hope more people will stand up,&uot; Littleton said. &uot;That’s the only way we’re going to get justice.&uot;

Moore visited Neshoba County recently, where Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of three civil rights workers in 1964. He told Roxie residents he hopes to see the same support in Franklin County.

&uot;I need you to demand from your local authorities justice,&uot; Moore told the First Baptist congregation. &uot;If they can do it in Neshoba County, they can do it here.

&uot;I cannot think of a better time, Roxie. This is our time. This is not a time for violence.&uot;

While Moore left Franklin County Sunday, he left behind a statement for residents to remember: signs posted along two highways that read &uot;Charles Moore and Henry Dee, rest in peace and justice.&uot; He posted them along the highways near where he believes two of the suspects in the case still live.

&uot;This is what I’m pushing for,&uot; Moore said after hammering the second sign into a tree on Bunkley Road. &uot;Rest in peace, brother. We’ll see you on the high ground.&uot;