April 4,1968: The Seattle FBI Office

To start, let it be known that Seattle was my first office as a fledgling FBI agent, so the following recollection does not come from on high.

On April 4, 1968, all of the Seattle FBI agents were called in to the office; the first time that had happened in my seven months of working criminal cases.  The buzz was already going around: Dr. Martin Luther King had been shot in Memphis.  He did not survive.

As a new guy, I wondered why all the agents were ordered in, wondered what we could do so many miles from Memphis.  As soon as we were all in the main room the boss, the Special Agent In Charge (SAC), explained that records had already been pulled identifying persons in the Seattle Office area who had in some way threatened Dr. King.  Each agent was given a list of names and ordered to establish whether the persons on those lists could possibly have been in Memphis at the time of the murder.  We were to report our findings within a few hours.

As far as I know the Seattle agents did not discover any suspects that day, but the new guy (me) was impressed.  The SAC told us that every FBI office was going through the same drill.  A few days later we were told that a list of possible suspects was established within  few hours.

I am forever grateful for the dedication and professionalism of the vast majority of the men and women who serve our country in law enforcement, and proud of the few years I was privileged to be counted among them.


One thought on “April 4,1968: The Seattle FBI Office

  1. The point I tried to make was that regardless of the reported animosity, the FBI essentially dropped everything to focus on catching his assassin. By far the majority of my FBI associates at that time recognized and supported Dr. King’s civil rights achievements and were deeply commited to bringing Dr. King’s assassin to justice.


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