Freedom Never Dies
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The Legacy of Harry T. Moore
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lynchingsgrovelandkkk in floridawho killed harry t. moore

Summary of the 1991-92 FDLE investigation

In August 1991, Governor Lawton Chiles ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct a re-investigation of the Moore case. This occurred after an Orlando woman, Dottie Harrington, claimed that her ex-husband, Frank Harrington, had been a member of the Klan and had boasted to her, on four or five separate occasions, about killing Harry T. Moore.

The FDLE Investigates

Inspector John Doughtie headed the FDLE probe, who first pored over the 2,000 pages of the original FBI investigative file. Then he set out to locate Frank Harrington. After a circuitous ten-day search, Harrington was tracked down in Hollywood, Florida. He denied any knowledge of or participation in the Moore bombing, and also denied having ever told his ex-wife that he had been involved. Although he admitted joining the Klan for "two or three years," he claimed it had been in the late 1950s or early 1960s, long after the Moore bombing.

He agreed to take a polygraph test, which he passed. After that, Harrington was essentially dropped as a suspect. It was a combination of two factors: he had passed the polygraph, and his name did not appear in the original FBI files. "Some people won't want to believe this, but I bet the FBI identified ninety percent of all the Klansmen in the Orlando area," Doughtie says. Ironically, Doughtie still believes the ex-wife's claim. "[Harrington] had probably had a beer or two and was bragging about it, but there is no evidence, other than hearsay, to actually tie him to the murder," he says.

The Recanting of a Confession

With Harrington out of the picture, Doughtie turned his attention to finding Raymond Henry Jr., who had not been seen or heard from since 1978. After locating a current address for Henry through the Veterans Administration, FDLE found him living in Vero Beach, where he had been waging a valiant battle to stay off the bottle. In a series of recorded interviews, Henry eventually recanted his entire story, claiming that he had made it up to "get back" at law officers who had arrested him for drunkenness. It turned out that the officers Henry had claimed were the killers had been adolescents at the time of the Moore bombing and several were living out of state, as was Henry himself.

Over a six month period, Doughtie interviewed all of the principals in the Moore case, including three of the surviving Klansmen who had been indicted for perjury by the FBI in 1952; none of them knew Frank Harrington or Raymond Henry.

There was really only one suspect left: Willis McCall. In a tape recorded interview with Doughtie, the eighty-one-year-old McCall vehemently denied Henry's accusations about him financing the bombing. Doughtie asked McCall to take a polygraph, but his doctor vetoed it, saying that McCall, who had been suffering from heart disease for years, might be adversely affected by the test. Nonetheless, Doughtie had found no evidence linking McCall to the crime. "Ole Willis" had escaped another investigation, the fiftieth of his career.

Case Closed

On April 1, 1992, FDLE officially closed the Moore case, saying "no new evidence" had been uncovered. Doughtie wrote an eighteen-page summary of the FBI's original investigation, identifying the main suspects in the FBI's probe and how the investigation eventually collapsed. He concluded by saying that he hoped his report would "resolve some of the concerns, doubts and myths" surrounding the case.

To this day, the Moore case remains unsolved.

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