FBI says end near in civil rights-era prosecutions

By Holbrook Mohr

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Nov. 5 2011 8:46 a.m. MDT

Harry Moore died on the way to the hospital. His wife died nine days later.

The FBI investigated at the time, but no one was charged. A state investigation launched in 1991 turned up little new evidence. In 2004, Florida authorities reopened the case. A 20-month investigation produced the names of four likely suspects — all by then dead.

The FBI closed its second investigation into the case in mid-July. In a letter to Moore, Paige M. Fitzgerald, deputy chief in charge of the cold case initiative, reported that four dead men already identified were "the only subjects credibly linked to the bombing."

"Therefore, we have no choice but to close our investigation," Fitzgerald concluded.

Moore, who believes the FBI knew about some of these people years ago, says, "They have waited too long and they have bungled the investigations."

She chokes up as she recalls returning home from Washington, D.C., and standing at the foot of her dying mother's bed.

"I hate all white people," she spat. Harriette Moore chided her.

"She said, 'Evangeline. You can't do that. It would make you ugly, and you've always been my beautiful daughter. I don't want to ever hear you say that again.'"

Moore, 81, says her faith has allowed her let go of that hatred of the killers who went unpunished.

"God," she says, "has already judged them."

Associated Press Writers Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Ala., and Greg Bluestein in Atlanta also contributed to this report. Allen G. Breed is a Raleigh, N.C.-based national writer for The Associated Press. He can be reached at features(at)ap.

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