Mr. Killen was a founding member of the Klan in the Philadelphia area and its chief recruiter, according to the F.B.I. He had been among 18 men tried in 1967 on federal charges of conspiring to violate the civil rights of Mr. Chaney, Mr. Goodman and Mr. Schwerner, who were shot to death on the night of June 21, 1964. Their bodies were found six weeks later, buried under an earthen dam on a nearby farm, during an extensive search led by the F.B.I.


Mr. Killen in 1964.

Associated Press

The federal charges against Mr. Killen, a sawmill operator and part-time preacher at small churches near his lifelong home in Union, Miss., were dismissed after a lone member of the all-white jury at the 1967 trial in Meridian held out for acquittal, saying that she did not believe a man of God could have participated in such a crime.

Mr. Killen, known to friends as Preacher Killen,…

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