FBI offers reward for unsolved case

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 12, 2008

FERRIDAY — The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced a $10,000 reward for information in a local unsolved civil rights murder case Wednesday.

The announcement, made on the 44th anniversary of the arson that eventually took the life of Ferriday resident Frank Morris, was that the reward was available for information that would lead to the indictment or arrest of those whose actions led to Morris’ death.

Morris — a black man — died four days after being severely burned at approximately 2 a.m. on Dec. 10, 1964, in his shoe repair shop.

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Unidentified white men entered Morris’ shop and poured a liquid fire accelerant on the floor. When Morris, who had been sleeping in a back room, went into the shop to investigate the noise, the store was set on fire.

The investigation into Morris’ murder is a joint effort between the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Louisiana.

Since February 2006, the FBI has had a cold case initiative for the investigation of old civil rights cases that could still be viably prosecuted.

Since February 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI have partnered with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Urban League to investigate unsolved violent civil rights crimes.

Anyone with information about Morris’ murder should call the New Orleans FBI Field division at 504-816-3000 or the Monroe Resident Agency at 318-387-0773.