Image - Reopening Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era


Jerry Mitchell: Reopening Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

On June 21, 1964, more than 20 Klansmen murdered three civil rights workers. The killings, in what would become known as the Mississippi Burning case, were among the most brazen acts of violence during the civil rights movement. And even though the killers’ identities, including the sheriff’s deputy, were an open secret, no one was charged with murder in the months and years that followed.

It took 41 years before the mastermind was brought to trial and finally convicted for the three innocent lives he took. If there is one man who helped pave the way for justice, it is investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell.

In his new book, Race Against Time, Mitchell takes readers on the twisting, pulse-racing road that led to the reopening of four of the most infamous killings from the days of the civil rights movement, decades after the fact. His work played a central role in bringing killers to justice for the assassination of Medgar Evers, the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer, the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham and the Mississippi Burning case (the murders of Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner). Mitchell reveals how he unearthed secret documents, found long-lost suspects and witnesses, building up evidence strong enough to take on the Klan. 

Mitchell's new book is important reading for all Americans who seek to right the wrongs of the past. Please join us for this important event. 


Mitchell photo by James Patterson

March 2, 2020

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditoriun
San Francisco, 94105
United States

Image - Mitchell
Jerry Mitchell
Founder, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting; Author, Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era

11 a.m. check-in
noon program
1 p.m. book signing