Jerry Mitchell, Mississippi investigative journalist (#415)
In 1989, Mitchell, inspired by the film Mississippi Burning, investigated the murders of several civil rights activists by the Ku Klux Klan. His work led to new evidence, arrests, and convictions of several of those Klansmen, including Beckwith. He discusses his research about the case, his fascinating face-to-face meeting with Beckwith, and the intense moment in 1994 when the jury returned a guilty verdict.
Mitchell also talks about his style of journalism, which focuses more on fairness and truth than objectivity; his book, The Preacher and the Klansman, which follows the parallel lives of a black preacher and a violent Klansman; and his hopes for his screenplay about the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till.
Finally, Mitchell reveals that he is still collecting evidence in the case of the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi and explains why he keeps a photo of those victims as his computer screen saver.
Friday, December 19, 2008 at 4:00/3:00 pm CT on KET2
Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 1:30/12:30 pm CT on KET