DEAD: ON THIS DATE
James Earl Ray (aged 70)
American assassin of Martin Luther King Jr.
James Earl Ray (March 10, 1928 – April 23, 1998) was an American fugitive and felon convicted of assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee. Ray was convicted on his 41st birthday after entering a guilty plea to forgo a jury trial. Had he been found guilty by jury trial, he would have been eligible for the death penalty.
DEATH: Ray died at age 70 on April 23, 1998, at the Columbia Nashville Memorial Hospital from complications related to kidney disease and liver failure caused by hepatitis C. His brother, Jerry, told CNN that his brother did not want to be buried or have his final resting place in the United States because of “the way the government has treated him.” The body was cremated and his ashes were flown to Ireland, the home of his maternal family’s ancestors. Ten years later, Ray’s other brother, John Larry Ray, co-wrote a book with Lyndon Barsten, titled Truth At Last: The Untold Story Behind James Earl Ray and the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.