Clifton Walker

Background

On February 28, 1964, Clifton Walker was driving home after finishing the late shift at International Paper in Natchez, Mississippi, where he had worked as a day laborer since 1950. Three hundred yards after turning onto Poor House Road, Walker was stopped and surrounded by a group of men who immediately began firing shotguns loaded with buckshots at his 1961 Chevrolet Impala. Walker was found the next day strewn across the blood-soaked passenger seat of his car. His keys were hanging from the open glove box revealing his chrome plated Smith & Wesson .38, which Walker was never able to reach.

The FBI believed that Klansmen planned the murder of Walker at a truck stop in Woodville, MS, Walker’s hometown. Records show that at the time several law enforcement officers were also members of the Klan.

The murder occurred less than two weeks after 200 members of the Klan gathered in southwest Mississippi where they declared that the White Knights of the KKK would be a statewide organization. In the 40-page constitution that resulted, the Klan declared that the “extermination” of blacks was a rational response to the growing civil rights “threat.”

Walker was survived by his wife and three children.

Legal Status

No suspects have been charged for the murder of Clifton Walker. Shortly after the murder, the FBI and Mississippi Highway and Safety Patrol provided local prosecutors with the names of two suspects along with strong evidence. Sheriff Charles Netterville of Wilkinson County claimed to have investigated the incident, but no arrests were made.

*This information is based on information gathered by Ben Greenberg, a Civil Rights Cold Case Project journalist.