The Original Investigation and Cover-Up

About two days after the murder, on May 4, 1964, Mazie Moore, Charles Moore’s mother, went to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department to meet with Sheriff Hutto. She reported to the Sheriff that her son and Henry Dee had been missing for two days. The Sheriff did not inform Mrs. Moore about the search of the Roxie church that had been conducted by the his department in collusion with the Klan, or about the kidnapping or murder of Moore and Dee two days earlier.  Mrs. Moore traveled to Louisiana soon after and learned the young men had never been there.  On or about May 16, 1964, Evie Bell, Charles Moore’s cousin, accompanied by Virginia Hunt, Henry Dee’s aunt, went to the Sheriff’s Department to meet with Sheriff Hutto to inquire further about the disappearance of Charles Moore and Henry Dee.  Sheriff Hutto told the women that he had no information about the whereabouts of Moore or Dee.

On July 12, 1964, the disarticulated lower torso of Charles Moore was discovered in the river south of Tallulah, Louisiana. Moore’s body was identified by the draft card he had in his possession at the time of his death.  The next day, the disarticulated lower torso of Henry Dee was found in the river in the same area.  On or about July 16, 1964, the families of Moore and Dee were notified of the deaths of their loved ones and advised to collect their partial remains in Jackson, Mississippi.  On October 30, 1964, the upper torsos of Moore and Dee were found in the river along with the engine block that had been tied to Henry Dee before he was thrown overboard on May 2.

On November 6, 1964, after an extensive FBI investigation, state authorities arrested James Ford Seale and Charles Marcus Edwards for the kidnapping and murder of Dee and Moore. Two days before the arrest, the FBI interviewed Sheriff Hutto and his deputy, but neither disclosed their participation in the search of the Roxie Baptist Church or any other pertinent information.  During questioning Seale told the police only that they would have to prove his guilt.  Edwards gave a more detailed interview suggesting that he targeted Dee because he was caught “peeping” at his wife. The FBI turned over its files to then- District Attorney Lenox Foreman.

On January 11, 1965, the criminal charges against Seale and Edwards were dismissed on the recommendation of District Attorney Foreman. After the dismissal of state charges, the FBI actively continued to investigate the murders to no avail