NPR

NPR Identifies 4th Attacker In Civil Rights-Era Cold Case

A fourth man was involved in the 1965 attack on civil rights worker and minister James Reeb, but that man was never identified or charged in Reeb's murder, an NPR investigation revealed.
William Portwood, who died less than two weeks after NPR confirmed his involvement in the 1965 murder of Boston minister James Reeb, poses for a photograph in front of his home. Source: Chip Brantley

An NPR investigation has uncovered new evidence in a prominent unsolved murder case from the civil rights era, including the identity of an attacker who admitted his involvement but was never charged.

The murder of Boston minister James Reeb in 1965 drew national attention at the time and spurred passage of the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed the Jim Crow voting practices that had disenfranchised millions of black Americans.

The case remains officially unsolved. Three men charged

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