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Before leaving Neshoba County their car was pulled over and all three were abducted, driven to another location, and shot at close range.
The three men's bodies were then transported to an earthen dam where they were buried.
The murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, also known as the Freedom Summer murders, the Mississippi civil rights workers' murders or the Mississippi Burning murders, involved three activists that were abducted and murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi in June 1964 during the Civil Rights Movement.
The victims were Andrew Goodman and Michael "Mickey" Schwerner from New York City, and James Chaney from Meridian, Mississippi.
All three were associated with the Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) and its member organization the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
They had been working with the Freedom Summer campaign by attempting to register African Americans in Mississippi to vote.
As the summer of 1964 approached, white Mississippians prepared for what they perceived was an invasion from the north.
The time was approaching three in the afternoon, and they were to be in Meridian by four. Bowers As events unfolded, Rainey became emboldened with his newly found popularity in the Philadelphia, Mississippi, community. Price and the other nine men escorted them north along highway 19 to Rock Cut Road, where they forced a stop and murdered the three civil rights workers. According to witnesses, Roberts shot both Goodman and Schwerner at point blank range. After the second arrest by Price, Arledge would drive the CORE station wagon from state highway 492 to Rock Cut Road. He confessed his crimes to the federal authorities in exchange for a plea deal.
The CORE station wagon had barely passed the Philadelphia city limits when one of its tires went flat, and Deputy Sheriff Cecil Ray Price turned on his dashboard-mounted red light and followed them. Known for his tobacco chewing habit, Rainey was photographed and quoted in Life magazine: "Hey, let's have some Red Man", as other members of the conspiracy laughed while waiting for an arraignment to start. Burkes, who usually went by the nickname of Otha, was a Philadelphia Police officer. Killen went to Meridian earlier that Sunday to organize and recruit men for the job to be carried out in Neshoba County. Barnette, 36, went to his Meridian home to take care of a sick family member. He also shot Chaney in the head after another accomplice, James Jordan, shot Chaney in the abdomen. " to Schwerner, and shooting him after the latter responded, "Sir, I know just how you feel." Jimmy K. After Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner's release from the Neshoba County jail around 10 p.m.
Schwerner told COFO Meridian to search for them if they were not back by 4 p.m.; he said, "if we're not back by then start trying to locate us." The narrow country road was unpaved; abandoned buildings littered the roadside. The 26-year-old Price was the only person who witnessed the entire event. Horace Barnette's car is the one the group took after Posey's car broke down.
They decided to head west on Highway 16 to Philadelphia, the seat of Neshoba County, then take southbound Highway 19 to Meridian, figuring it would be the faster route. One of these was the county's deputy sheriff, who played a crucial role in implementing the conspiracy. He arrested the three men, released them the night of the murders, and chased them down state highway 19 toward Meridian, eventually re-capturing them at the intersection near House, Mississippi. Roberts, standing at 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and weighing in at 270 lb (120 kg), was a formidable foe and renowned for his short temper. Officials say that James Jordan, 38, killed Chaney.In 1890 Mississippi had passed a new constitution, supported by additional laws, which effectively excluded most black Mississippians from registering or voting.This status quo had long been enforced by economic boycotts and violence.The murder of the activists sparked national outrage and an extensive federal investigation, filed as Mississippi Burning (MIBURN), which later became the title of a 1988 film loosely based on the events.