Series Blog

Sides: Motivations of a Political Assassin


Author Hampton Sides, a frequent AMERICAN EXPERIENCE consultant and author of Hellhound on his Trail, on which our 2010 film Roads to Memphis was based, draws a parallel between the Arizona shooter Jared Loughner and the infamous Martin Luther King, Jr. assassin James Earl Ray in a recent Newsweek article. "Though he spent his criminal career striving for anonymity, he desperately wanted the world to know he existed," wrote Sides. "Like a certain deranged young man in Tucson last week, Ray imagined the best way to leave his mark was the gun down someone young, eloquent, and charismatic."

 

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has an exclusive video interview with Hampton Sides talking about his memories of the King assassination and the character of James Earl Ray and his motivations for killing Dr. King.

 

Tory Starr is a Production Assistant for American Experience.

 

 


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