back to JFK | ratville times | rat haus | Index | Search | tree

( PDF | ASCII text formats )

Complete Transcript of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Conspiracy Trial
November 15 to December 8, 1999
Memphis, Tennessee

This is a hypertext representation of the complete transcript of the 1999 trial held in Memphis, Tennessee, brought by the family of Martin Luther King, Jr. in a wrongful death action against Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators for the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

Legal Designation of this Lawsuit
Complete Trial Transcript
King Family Press Conference Following The Trial
How This Representation Came About
Notes on This Version
Entry Points / Recommended Reading
Download Contents


This trial and its transcript would not have happened without the steadfast determination and perseverance of William Pepper, beginning in 1978, to investigate the circumstances of Martin Luther King Jr.'s death. The King Family expressed great courage and understanding in declaring themselves the plaintiffs. By recounting their experiences, the seventy witnesses at the trial engaged in truth-telling that made the the facts of Dr. King's murder tangible and known. From my position I wish to thank John Judge for his invaluable help addressing many questions I had and ways of resolving them. Without his support this presentation would not be possible.


This presentation is dedicated to the memory of Wendell Stacy (b. July 3, 1958, d. August 22, 2007) [1], [2], [3], a first rate investigative reporter as well as a Memphis television reporter and cameraman. Other than the courtroom participants, Mr. Stacy and Jim Douglass were the only two people who attended the trial – Mr. Douglass from beginning to end, Mr. Stacy as much as he could. Wendell Stacy recorded the trial on his own video tapes and after the trial was fired by his employer Clear Channel because he had been pushing for more coverage of what had happened in the trial and on other issues. He sued Clear Channel and years later won his suit but Clear Channel blocked his ever being paid anything for it. Using his video recordings he produced an hour-long documentary on the assassination of Dr. King that aired on French and German prime time television. After the documentary was aired he was repeatedly threatened by telephone messages, experienced a series of break-ins to his home, and his car blew up when he was about to get into it. His sudden death in 2007 was from causes that are very difficult to understand. He suffered the consequences for his dedication to the truth. (Quoting Jim Douglass in 2009 Black Op Radio interview, #369c, 09:14-13:35 minutes)

The legal designation for this lawsuit is:

The Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee
Thirtieth Judicial District at Memphis

Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, III,
Bernice King, Dexter Scott King and Yolanda King,
Vs. Case No. 97242-4 T.D.
Loyd Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators,

Before the Honorable James E. Swearengen,
Division 4, judge presiding.

- Appearances -

For the Plaintiff:

Dr. William Pepper
Attorney At Law
575 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 605-0515

For the Defendant:

Mr. Lewis Garrison
Attorney At Law
Law Offices of Lewis K. Garrison, Sr.
100 North Main
Suite 1025
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 527-6445

Complete Trial Transcript

The Trial began on November 15, 1999 and was conducted over 14 days with closing statements and verdict on December 8, 1999. The Table Of Contents contains links to each day as well as each witness who testified.

King Family Press Conference Following The Trial

One day after the conclusion of the trial, the King Family held a Press Conference on December 9, 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Original file copy)

How This Representation Came About

In early 2003 I made an annotated transcript of William Pepper's talk on February 4 at the Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco on the release of his book, An Act of State - The Execution of Martin Luther King. In the process of annotating this transcript, footnote number 5 was fashioned to reference the complete transcript of the trial at (which has since changed to Following my usual process when linking to significant content elsewhere on the web, I made copies of the entire file set of the trial transcript just in case it ever went away.

In January 2010 while reviewing the links in William Pepper's talk to confirm everything still worked, I discovered that the third through the fourteenth day of the trial transcript no longer existed on The King Center website. I sent two e-mails to The King Center to inquire about this and did not receive replies to either message.

Given the significance of this material, I decided to make a hypertext representation of the original 14 text files (matching the fourteen days of the trial) – plus a copy of the King Family's December 9, 1999 Press Conference on the results of the trial – so that this unique historical record is preserved for people to read, study, and learn from. In general terms this is the guiding purpose of rat haus reality, ratical branch: studying and presenting relevant and critical facts to increase awareness of our world and provide a more holistic view of our time.

David Ratcliffe
August 2012
editor and publisher
rat haus reality press

December 2012: There is now a single PDF file of the entire trial transcript and the 9 December 1999 Press Conference at the King Center website at <>

Notes On This Version

To make a fully functional hypertext representation of this transcript certain extensions to the original files have been implemented including:

  • formatting has been selectively enhanced to improve readability,
  • text has been hyperlinked to sources internal to the transcript and external to the web referenced and alluded to in the transcript,
  • all page numbers in each Volume are definied with HTML anchors for easy linking to these locations. For example, to make a link to page 1115, do the following:
    <a href="">put text here</a>
  • corrections to spelling or typographical errors are included in square braces immediately following the word: ie, see p. 58: “That was April 4th, 1968 [1967], when he actually spoke out against the war in his first public statement”; additional references and annotations are also included inside square braces,
  • pages 1934 to 1941 were missing in the original files,
  • the original files are included for comparison to identify precisely what was changed in this hypertext version; each original file is listed in the Table of Contents beneath the Volume, date, and page range on the left-hand side of each day's transcript,
  • links to PDF and Text-Only file format versions are available at the top of each hypertext file.

Please let me know if you discover any errors I have accidentally introduced.

Entry Points / Recommended Reading

A good place to start reading this document are the Closing Statements in Volume 14. The King Family Press Conference held the day after the trial is another starting point. Other than the courtroom participants, Jim Douglass was the only person who attended the entire trial. His article, “The Martin Luther King Conspiracy Exposed in Memphis,” published in Probe Magazine in Spring 2000, is an excellent introduction. See also William Pepper's talk on February 4 at the Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco on the release of his book, An Act of State - The Execution of Martin Luther King (Verso, 2003).

Download Contents

This transcript is in the public record and belongs to all people. It is available for download in the following sets in either zip or gzip (gz) format:

         HTML files: (1.6 MB)   MLKACThtml.tar.gz (1.6 MB)
         Original files: (732 KB)   MLKACTorig.tar.gz (728 KB)
         Text-Only files: (708 KB)   MLKACTtxt.tar.gz (700 KB)
         PDF files: (7.5 MB)   MLKACTpdf.tar.gz (7.5 MB)

back to JFK | ratville times | rat haus | Index | Search | tree