(Memphis) The pictures are in black and white.
Some of the images are bit grainy and the audio isn’t always clear, but newly restored tapes found at the Shelby County Register of Deeds office are stirring interest.
They show a snapshot of James Earl Ray, court proceedings and media coverage after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior in Memphis.
In the tapes, you’ll see and hear former Shelby County Sheriff Bill Morris reading Ray his rights on the airplane after his arrival.
“I’d like to read this statement from the state of Tennessee. James Earl Ray, alias John William Harvey, You have the right to remain silent and anything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law.”
The tapes also reveal a sense of urgency and security concerns as Ray wears a bulletproof vest and struggles as he’s escorted inside the county jail building.
He’s also given a physical before being placed in a jail cell.
We also get a glimpse into the James Earl Ray court proceedings and how they attracted local and international attention with Memphians and the news media from other cities and countries.
There’s even old WREG-TV 12 o’clock news report and interview done by Paul Barnett with William Huie, the man wrote one of the first books about Ray’s life story.
“I wrote a letter to Ray when he was in London. I wanted to get information from Ray and I assumed he was involved in the murder of Dr. King,” Huie said.
In 1968, The Shelby County Sheriff’s office purchased a Sony video camera for the purpose of documenting events surrounding the arrest of Ray and court proceedings following the assassination of Dr. King.