"A 71-year-old man alleged to have been a member of the Ku Klux Klan has been found guilty of kidnapping and conspiracy in the 1964 deaths of two black teenagers that sparked a summer of violence later depicted in the film Mississippi Burning.
James Ford Seale had pleaded not guilty to the charges relating to the deaths of Charles Moore and Henry Dee, both aged 19 at the time of their disappearance on May 2 1964. Their bodies were later found in the Mississippi river.
Seale's conviction was achieved on the words of a confessed Klansman, Charles Edwards, who was granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for turning on his old friend.
Defence lawyers that the case was flimsy because it relied on the evidence of one man, an 'admitted liar'. 'This case all comes down to the word of one man, an admitted liar, a man out to save his own skin. A case based on his word is no case at all,' the lead defence lawyer, Kathy Nester, said.
Seale has always denied membership of the KKK.
Before the trial started, a former FBI agent gave evidence that he had confronted Seale and accused him of the murder a few months after the deaths. 'Yes, but I'm not going to admit it. You are going to have to prove it,' Edward Putz said Seale had replied."