FBI agent working Jackson case

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 11, 2009

NATCHEZ — An FBI agent was in town Wednesday to do a little stone turning.

The agent, from the Hattiesburg office, is one of several federal agents working the recently re-opened Civil Rights case involving the 1967 death of Wharlest Jackson Sr.

And though FBI policy prevents agents from talking about their work, a press release from the agency said the goal in Jackson’s case and 42 others is to leave no stone unturned.

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“We will explore every lead and every tip provided to us in our effort to bring closure to these cases,” said Frederick T. Brink, special agent in charge of the FBI in Mississippi.

“The FBI, together with our federal, state and local partners, will work diligently in these cases to uncover the truth, should it be hidden, and to bring to justice anyone who so heinously violates the rights of our citizens.”

Jackson, a black man, died when his truck exploded from a planted bomb. He had recently received a job promotion at Armstrong Tire. The new job was widely considered a “white man’s job.”

No arrests were ever made.

The case was re-examined in 1998, and local police determined that the prime suspect was dead.

The FBI has acknowledged that the parties responsible in some of the cases being investigated may be dead, but agents seek to prove that fact without a shadow of a doubt before giving up, a spokesman said.

The FBI began placing a renewed emphasis on 43 unsolved murders in February. Work on the Natchez case has been ongoing since then.

The agent who visited Natchez Wednesday spoke with Jackson’s family members and visited the local library to research old newspaper stories.

Brink said the FBI is relying on citizens who may have any information or who may know someone who may have information to contact investigators.

Anyone with knowledge of the events surrounding the death of Jackson is asked to call the FBI’s Jackson Office at 601-948-5000.

Other area cases being actively investigated by the FBI include:

4 Clifton Walker who died Feb. 28, 1964, in either Wilkinson or Adams counties.

4 Johnny Queen, who died Aug. 8, 1965, in Fayette

4 Samuel O’Quinn, who died Aug. 14, 1959, in Centreville

4 Vincent Dahmon, who died between May and July 1966, in Natchez