MAY 2, 1964

Thomas Moore is holding a 1964 photograph of him and his younger brother, Charles, shortly before his brother was kidnapped and killed by Klansmen, along with Henry Hezekiah Dee. Credit: David Ridgen.

Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, two 19-year-old Black Americans, were simply trying to get a ride back home. Instead, Klansmen abducted them, took them to the Homochitto National Forest, where they beat the pair and then drowned them in the Mississippi River. 

When their bodies were found in an old part of the river, FBI agents initially thought they had found the bodies of three missing civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. 

Thanks to the work of Moore’s brother, Thomas, and Canadian filmmaker David Ridgen, federal authorities reopened the case in 2005. Two years later, a federal jury convicted James Ford Seale. He received three life sentences and died in prison. 

Ridgen did a podcast on the case for the CBC series, “Somebody Knows Something.”

More on this day


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Take our 2023 reader survey

The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.