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January 13, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-01-13

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Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

The King

killing: Ray's version

Tuesday, January 13, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Eited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

MEMPHIS, Dec. 18 (PNS) -
The 1968 Memphis murder of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was
at least partially planned within
the Justice Department or Dr.
King's own camp, charged con-
victed slayer James Earl Ray
in an exclusive interview with
the Pacific News Service.
"I got my moving orders to
go the Memphis on March 28
(1968) in Birmingham, Alaba-
ma," Ray said at Tennessee
State Prison in Nashville. "I
was told to drive no more than
three hours a day and not to
arrive in Memphis before April
3. At that time those orders
could only have come from eith-
er someone in King's camp or
some high Justice Department
official having access to infor-
mation gained from wiretaps on
King's telephones in Atlanta."
DR. KING did not reveal to
the world until April 1 - three
days after Ray left Birmingham
headed for Memphis -. that he
planned to return to Memphis
April 3 to lead another protest



Trony and

its crony

f:.-j N sewpaper Syndcte, 1976
'Reminds me of terhld Vietnam recruiting poster.'
Racism in a sugar coatio

pulled punches on domestic or
national affairs, and his civil views
have always tended toward populist,
segregationist appeals. His com-
ments o fthis past Sunday on CBS-
TV's Face the Nation only serve to
reinforce his demogogic political
Slyly concealing his racist intent
under the guise of an all-for-the-
people plea, Wallace indicated his
support of a constitutional amend-
ment that would not only prohibit
busing, "but would allow freedom of
choice in selection of schools."
It is obvious that though busing
may be an imperfect answer to rec-
tifying societal imbalances, a pro-
gressive civil restructuring is needed
in America.
With his in-bred prejudice, which
he tries to dress up anld sell as fair,
Wallace is in no way fit to promote
a harmonious combination of races.
THE CANDIATE'S claims to popu-
lism are equally specious: despite
his advocacy of tax relief for com-
mon people while soaking the rich,
the state he governs has one of the
most regressive tax structures in the
land. And for all Wallace's ravings
about stopping crime, Alabama is
ranked among the very worst states
for its poor crime control.

We should be glad that there are
few men like Wallace in power, but
alarmed by the number of those who
wholeheartedly support him.
Thankfully, Wallace seems to stand
little chance of winning his bid for
the high office. On NBC's Meet the
Press, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy
Carter commented, "If Wallace is on
the Democratic ticket, it would as-
sure a loss in November."
We'd better hope that Carter is
right, because if George ever got into
the presidential office, the results
could make anything Nixon ever did
look like child's play. That would
really add a tragic note to the bi-
centennial year.

The rent strike against Trony
Associates and their Trony-cro-
ny Dewey Black is indicative of.
the power tenants can wield
through organization. The land-
lords know this tool, and they
are trying to divide the strik-
But if the Tenants Union (TU)
maintains its solidarity and de-
termination, it will win substan-
tial gains for all tenants through
collective bargaining or the
courts. If the landlords choose
to continue their recalcitrant
posture, the TU will hold out
until the opposition breaks.
tenants on rent strike against
Trony in about 50 units. There
is approximately $15,000 in the
TU escrow account. More Trony
tenants have joined the strike
since Jaunary. Our union is
united, confident and eager to
We have discovered that at
least 13 Trony units have not
obtained certificates of compli-
ance - indicating that they are
not up to the housing code. A
house on Oakland St. is in such
bad condition that even the city
inspector advised the tenants
not to pay rent.
According to Ann Arbor law,
rental units must be inspected
once every two years. Neverthe-
less, testimony, at a recent City
Council meeting revealed that
only 12 per cent of units are in-
spected every year instead of
the required 50. Only a few
fines have been levied although
violations are rampant.
THE SAME investigation also
revealed that it is the smallest
landlords who are being fined.
Who then, is protecting the rich
landlords? Tenants in Ann Arbor
must pressure not only their
landlords, but the city for its
extraordinary laxxness in en-
forcing the law.
Did you know, for example,
that their is a $500 fine for
every instance in which a land-
lord does not supply the ten-
ant with a tenants' rights book-
let? If your landlord has not
given you one, contact the city

attorney's office. If he or she
will not enforce the law, con-
tact the TU.
Trony tenants are withhold-
ing their rent because living
conditions are unbearable and
rents unreasonable.. One unit de-
cided to strike when their kitch-
en ceiling collapsed. Other
apartments have little or no
anti-theft security. An apart-
ment on Oakland St. is with-
out heat. Several houses have
no storm windows and breezes
blow through living rooms and
bedrooms while the tenants'
heating bill rises.
OUR RESEARCH in the coun-
ty assessor's office has reveal-
ed that the rent for one build-
ing at 1014 Vaughn St. has gone
from $300 in 1969 to $1,3 .in
1975. When Dewey Black bought
a house on Prospect St. he
raised the rent for single rooms
- which did not even approach
code standards - from $60 to
$80 per month. Two middle-
aged individuals who had been
living and working in Ann Ar-
bor for years were forced to
You might find it interesting
to go to the county offices your-
self and find out whether your
apartment is up to code-also,
to see how your rents have
Obviously, we do not' enjoy
rent striking. But can we let
these characters get away with
their scandalous behavior? Ten-
ants have already suffered too
much at the hands of these un-
scrupulous people. They buy
houses with the money of rent-
ers, raise rents to buy even
more, frequently delay their
paymentrof taxes, and allow the
well-constructed houses of Ann
Arbor to deteriorate.
THERE HAS BEEN some con-
fusion as to who and what "Tro-
ny" and "Sunrise" are. "Tro-
ny" comes from the names of
Tony Hoffman and Ron Fergu-
son, two local landlords.
Dewey Black, the 23-year-old
Trony operative up from the
south, told a tenant last year
that he wanted to make $1 mil-
lion by the time he was 30 so
he could buy a cattle ranch. He

claims that he bought the com-
pany from Ron and Tony and
changed the name to "Sunrise."
Essentially, Black is a shield
for Ron and Tony whose repu-
tations are well known. All three
work in the same office on
Packard St. Black may own
a few houses but there is no
legal record that "Sunrise"
exists. Although the change was
supposed to have taken place
Nov. 1, "Sunrise" is not even
listed in county corporate rec-
TU REALIZES that Trony is
not the only slimy landlord in,
town - but this is just the
beginning. We decided to organ-
ize against Trony - in response
to the numerous complaints we
received. The ill-named "Citi-
zens for Good Housing" were
not about to do anything, so
the tenants and the TU came
Most any tenant who feels he
or she is not getting a fair
shake can legally withhold rent.
Organizing through the TU can
provide extra muscle when ne-
gotiating and give tenants an
idea of what a just settlement
would be.
Shortly, we will be entering
mediation and we are prepared
to bargain confidently and in
good faith. We are willing to
accept an early settlement.
However, if the other party does
not reciprocate our good faith,.
we are prepared to go to the
courtsand demand individual
jury trials. We can maintain
our solidarity for two months
or two years if necessary.
THE TENANTS' movement is
growing on a nationwide scale,
from Berkeley to New York,
from Cambridge to San Fran-
cisco. We realize that the hous-
ing crisis in Ann Arbor has
to be attacked on a citywide
or even a statewide basis. The
landlords will be organized, but
we will be too. This strike is
a first step.
Robert Miller is the publicity
coordinator of the Ann Arbor
Tenants' Union. This column
will appear every week.

march by striking sanitation
workers there.
"By then (April 1)," Ray said,
"I was already halfway to
Memphis. I can name a motel
I stayed at near Columbus,
Mississippi. The next day I
drove north and stayed at the
DeSoto Motel near the Missis-
sippi-Tennessee line (only 10
miles from Memphis city limit)
instead of going on to Memphis,
because I was carrying out my
orders to the letter."
THE NEXT DAY, Ray drove
to Memphis. He registered at
the Rebel Motel and spent the
night of April 3 there. He claims
that the next afternoon he met
at a Memphis beer tavern with
a man named Raoul who had
given him his orders in Birming-
ham. Afterwards, Ray claims, a
"federal agent of some kind"
followed him from the tavern.
At 6:01 that evening - April
4, 1968 - Dr. King was gunned
down by a sniper as he stood
on the balcony of the Lorraine
Motel in Memphis.
The FBI maintains, however,
that Ray's itinerary was con
siderably different.
Instead of driving toward
Memphis March 28, the Bureau
says, Ray left Birmingham for
Atlanta, Ga. Ray spent the next
three days in his Atlanta room-
ing house, the Bureau says, then
left for Memphis April 1 after
hearing on the radio that Dr.
King was going there.
Ray arrived in Memphis April
3, the Bureau says, checked into
a rooming house April 4 and
shot Dr. King from a back room
window. Then, the Bureau says,
Ray eluded police and drove
back to Atlanta the next day,
where he abandoned his car and
took a bus for Canada.
RAY NOW SAYS: "They had
to make up that trip to Atlanta
between March 28 and April 1.
The truth is that I did not go
backrto Atlanta after buying
the' rifle in" Birmingham on
March 28. I did not, even go
back to Atlanta on the day
after the assassination."
Ray has been reticent about
where he went and with whom
he dealt from the time King
was killed until Ray was cap-
tured two months later at Lon-
don's Heathrow Airport.
But Ray hinted that if he loses
his remaining court appeals for
a new trial, he will "tell all."
"If I lose my appeal in Cin-
cinnati (before the U.S. Sixth
Circuit Court), I'll go to the
U.S. Supreme Court in 1976. If
I lose there, I'm going to tell
all - everything I know about
people and events leading up
to and after King's murder in
In the wake. of revelations
about dirty tactics used by the
FBI and its late director J.
Edgar Hoover against Dr. King,
Attorney General Edward Levi
has ordered a review of the
FBI's investigation of the King
retired FBI agent, Arthur Mur-
takh, had sparked congressional
and Justice Department inter-
est in an alleged FBI smear
campaign against King. Mur-
tagh has testified recently be-
fore both House and Senate in-
telligence committees.
In a letter to Robert Living-
ston, one of Ray's attorneys,
Murtagh wrote: "The bureau
was not administratively struc-
tured so as to permit intensive
investigation of espionage activi-
ty from the right. All assump-
tions were made from the van-
tage point that the enemy was
always on the left."

found on the sidewalk
after Dr. King's mur-
der, but I did not fire

Murtagh said he had worked
many years in the Atlanta, Ga.,
bureau, where he headed a laby
rinthian underground of black
informers. "The intelligence I
was receiving indicated there
were no black subversives in
Dr. King's entourage or the top
leadership of the Southern
Christian Leadership Confer-
ence," Murtagh said.
Today, Ray is serving a 99-
year sentence for Dr. King's
murder. In March 1969, less than
a year after Dr. King was kill-
ed, Ray pleaded guilty-but in
equivocal language - tor Dr.
King's murder at a one-day
trial in Memphis before the late
Judge Preston Battle. In return
for the guilty plea, Ray was
spared a possible death sen-
Less than 24 hours later, aft-
er Ray had been transferred
to Tennessee State Prison in
Nashville, he attempted to re-
verse his guilty plea in a let-
ter to Battle. Ray said be did
not shoot and kill Dr.. King:
and had been, coerced and trick-
ed into the guilty plea by his
then attorney, Percy Foreman
of Houston.
Although Ray had pleaded
guilty at the March hearing, he
interrupted his attorney, Fore-
'man, when Foreman said to the
court there had been no con-
'I was set up and
sucked in. I bought

it at Dr. King,


anyone else.'
-James Earl Ray
spiracy behind Dr. King's
death. Ray said 'he disagreed
with his attorney's conclusion,
but Foreman and Battle prompt-
ly hushed Ray.
Ray's guilty plea Battle himself
expressed the belief in an in-
terview that there had probably
been a conspiracy and that Ray
had not acted alone.
Battle said he allowed the guil-
ty plea because he did not be-
lieve that a full-scale trial would
have revealed any evidence as
to who conspired with Ray in
Dr. King's murder.
Today, Ray contends he had
no knowledge of a conspiracy
to kill King when he went to
Memphis April 3, 1969. He
thought he was going to meet
two other men and participate
in a gun-and-dope smuggling
"I was set up and sucked in,"
Ray argues. "I bought the rifle
that was found on the sidewalk
after Dr. King's murder, but I
did not fire it at Dr. King, nor
anyone else. In fact I was sev-
eral blocks away from the scene
when King was shot."
Wayne Chastain, Jr. is a
reteran newspaper reporter who
has now minvestigated the King
murder for ever seven years.
Co fyright Pacific News Service

the rifle that


Editorial positions represent
consensus of the Daily staff.

News: Gordon Atcheson, Mitch Dun-
itz, Andy Lilly, Rob Meachum,
Cheryl Pilate, Tim Schick
Editorial Page: Dan Biddle, Stephen
Hersh, Tom Pansius, Tom Stevens
Arts: David Blomquist
Photo Technician: Ken Fink



DNA research
To The Daily:
son's letter (the Daily, 8 Jan.
1976) is a typical "scientific"
cop out. First he quibbles about
"vaguely worded statements
and misquotations"; then again
he comments on "the vague and
misleading statements"; and,
finally, he comes out with a
"grand solution"; the risk-
benefit analysis of the entire
problem of the DNA research,
"to minimize the former while
maximizing the latter." In being
entirely absorbed by the techni-
calities he never comes to grips
with real problems.
It is simply irresponsible to
assert (as he does), "I recog-
rnized the appropriateness of*
non-scientific input," and then
say nothing about ones stand
vis a vis this input. Dangers of
the Recombinant DNA Research
are real and very far reaching.
Is Professor Jackson denying
that? (Incidentally, what a
shabby term "input" is in this
context: what is at stake is a
possible genetic manipulation of
whole populations.)
We are at the next watersh'ed
in ,,,r ablifty to nanni atthe.

methodology. As a philosopher
of science I must state empha-
tically that describing DNA re-
search as methodology is not
only ambiguous and misleading,
but actually it falsifies the situa-
tion. Methodologies are techni-
ques for doing research. The
result of the DNA research is a
new form of being. Through th
DNA research microbiologists
are changing the state of the
world; the changes are of onto-
logical nature. To describe the
DNA research as methodology is
simply to be oblivious of i~s on-
tological consequences. Every
subject matter has a methodol-
ogy, and in a sense is a metho-
dology. To characterize the DNA
research as methodology is
pretty vacuous or grossly in-
adequate. It is time that Pro-
fessor Jackson and his col-
leagues realize what they are
doing, and stop calling the DNA
research methodology. (Admit-
tedly calling the Recombinant
DNA research methodology
makes it sound quite innocuous,
which it is not.)
In short, the real issue is not
only about the safety of a
methodology (of those engaged




of this box, got very worried
about its potential lethal inside.
Quibbling about technicalities
does not resolve real problems.
fense, I must observe that Jack-
son's letter is typical of the
current scientific mentality
which attempts to muffle the
social and moral conssquences
of science, and which places the
imperative of science above any-
thing else.
Henryk Skolimowski
Prof. of Philosophy
Dept. of Humanities
Jan. 12
More DNA research
To The Daeily:
IN RESPONSE to Professor
Jackson's criticisms of Paul
Haskins' article on the recom-
binant DNA research proposed
to be carried out at the Uni-
versity, I would like to state
that while there may have been
errors in reporting technical de-
tails, I felt that the important
general issues associated with
this research were handled well,
and that the article was of value
in communicating these issues.

I do not think it serves any
useful purpose to quibble about
technical language. But I can't
refrain from commenting on an
interesting difference between
Professor Jackson's and Mr.
Haskins' descriptions of the
processes involved in recom-
binant DNA research. Mr. Has-
kins refers to the creation of
"new biological. organsms."
Professor Jackson, doubtless re-
flecting his training and, back-
ground, prefers to focus on the
construction of "DNA mole-
cules." Both descriptions are
of course metaphorical, and per-
haps a choice between them is
a matter of taste. The second
description does seem to have
the disadvantage, though, of
concentrating attention only on
the material aspects of genetic
processes and neglecting the
biological aspects, ,namely, that
these large molecules are in-
tegral parts of living organisms,
whose genetic characteristics
they direct.
IT IS TO BE HOPED, that mo-
lecuflar biologists do lot be-
come caught in their own meta-
phors, and forget that they are

To The Daily:
respectively, two letters appear-
ed in the Daily condemning a
remark made by Professor Ozzie
Edwards in a Sociology class
that, "It is impossible for a man
to rape a woman." The LS&A
Student Government is in agree-
ment with the writers of those
letters, and perceives t is state-
ment to be dangerous, inacdur-
ate and an irresponsible use of
the classroom forum.
Further, we question Profes-
sor Edward's professional judge-
ment in not either clarifying his
remark, or allotting equal class
time for the presentation of al-
ternative views. Both the orig-
inal statement and Professor
Edward's refusal to pursue the
subject during, class time raise
the issue of what recourse is
available to students to challenge
sex discriminatory behavior and
remarks in ,the classroom. We
urge Professor Edwards, the
Department of Sociology and
t h e College of Literature,
S~ience and the Arts to seriously]

t ;'
4 '

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