The MLK Tapes

The MLK Tapes

According to the official story, on April 4th, 1968, a lone gunman assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. That man, James Earl Ray, pled guilty and for most people the case was closed. The MLK Tapes, a new true crime podcast from the creators of Atlanta Monster and Monster: DC Sniper, explores rare recordings of eye-witness testimony and new interviews with people who were there to reveal the true story of the plot to kill Dr. King.

Episodes

December 31, 2021 1 min

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Explore the rare recordings of eye-witness testimony that reveal the true story of the plot to kill Martin Luther King Jr. From the creators of Atlanta Monster, this is The MLK Tapes. The first two episodes are available now.

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January 10, 2022 44 mins

Who killed Martin Luther King, and why? While some answers have emerged over the past 50 years, others have been hiding in plain sight.

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January 10, 2022 45 mins

The black firemen across the street told to report elsewhere. The black detective surveilling King taken off the job. King’s all-black police security unit ordered to stand down. All this and more on just what happened to be the day Dr. King was shot.

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January 17, 2022 53 mins

Attorney Art Hanes Jr. and his father decide to represent James Earl Ray who says he didn't kill King. As they prepare for trial, they discover serious problems with the case against Ray.

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January 24, 2022 43 mins

Famous criminal lawyer Percy Foreman talks his way in by telling Ray that his will be the easiest case he ever argued. Then, at the last moment, he informs Ray that he must plead guilty. Was Foreman working for someone offstage?

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January 31, 2022 55 mins

The back door of Jim's Grill in Memphis opens onto a yard just opposite the Lorraine Motel. Waitress Betty Spates hears a sharp noise and then sees her boss, Loyd Jowers, come through the door carrying a smoking rifle.

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February 7, 2022 40 mins

Bill Pepper's petition to reopen the case against Ray lands in the courtroom of Judge Joe Brown, a firearms expert, who has his doubts that the rifle found on the street was murder weapon.

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February 14, 2022 51 mins

A witness, John McFerren, overhears mob-connected Frank Liberto talking on the telephone, a conversation he's not supposed to hear.

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February 21, 2022 40 mins

Texas woman Glenda Grabow tells Bill Pepper she knew a gun runner in Houston named Raul, who she thinks was involved in the murder of Martin Luther King. Could this be the same Raul known by James Earl Ray?

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February 28, 2022 45 mins

Bill Pepper gets a phone call from attorney Rusty Larson who says that his client, Jim Green, was involved in the murder of King. Then Green calls and says his assignment was to kill Ray.

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March 7, 2022 30 mins

After 30 years of silence, cab driver Louis Ward comes forward to tell what happened to him when King was shot. A few years later, Ronnie Lee Adkins, who says his family was involved in the assassination, confirms Ward's story.

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March 14, 2022 35 mins

Lennie Curtis works at the police rifle range where sharpshooter Frank Strausser talks about killing King. On the fatal day, Strausser practices all morning with his new rifle. When Strausser leaves for town, Curtis tries to warn King, but fails. Years later, Pepper confronts Strausser.

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March 21, 2022 42 mins

On this Bonus Episode, we look at the life of Attorney Bill Pepper. We trace his early career in sports, a brush with the mob, work for Bobby Kennedy, travels in Vietnam and Cuba, and his friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. Then, how he came to represent James Earl Ray's brother, Jerry, at the House Committee hearing. 

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March 28, 2022 43 mins

Dallas oilman H.L. Hunt hated communists, and in his mind this included Martin Luther King. He attacked King regularly on his program Life Line, carried daily on 500 radio stations across the country. Hunt believed this would be enough to destroy King, but J. Edgar Hoover had other ideas.

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April 4, 2022 41 mins

After King is murdered, John Curington notices increased contact between H.L. Hunt and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. One day, Hunt gives Curington a satchel to bring to Ray's attorney, Percy Foreman. As he hands the bag to Foreman, Curington says the words he was told to say: "Here are 125,000 reasons for Ray to plead guilty."

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April 11, 2022 36 mins

Interviews with Ryan Jones, historian at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, & Brian Dominski, court reporter for the '93 HBO trial and the '99 Civil Trial.

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April 15, 2024 3 mins

Host Neil Strauss (Rolling Stone, The New York Times) brings listeners on a journey through the dark world of Russian Sexpionage where, for the first time, a professed “sex spy” tells her story. From the creators of the hit podcast To Live and Die in LA, this is To Die For. Binge all 8 episodes now.

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