Unmarked cassette tapes and other possessions of James Earl Ray were gathered by his brother, who dismissed suggestions that the convicted killer of the Rev. Martin Luther King left behind a confession on one of them.
"Why would he confess to something he didn't do?" Jerry Ray asked Monday as he rolled a cart loaded with his brother's belongings to his car outside the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution.James Earl Ray, 70, died Thursday of liver failure caused by chronic hepatitis. He was serving a 99-year sentence for killing King in Memphis in 1968. He confessed, then recanted and spent nearly three decades trying to win a trial.
Ray claimed he was set up by a shadowy gunrunner he knew only as "Raoul." Some hoped that as his health deteriorated, Ray would provide more details or perhaps even give a deathbed confession.
He never did. And nothing gathered from the prison has shed any more light on the case.