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FBI Challenges NY Times Story on Civil Rights Era Murder Investigations

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s chief spokesman fired off a letter editor to the New York Times challenging a story the paper published that was critical of the bureau’s efforts to solve cold case murders from the civil rights era.

“I am concerned that ‘Despite F.B.I. Fanfare, Time Runs Out on Cold Civil Rights Cases’ (front page, Aug. 24) shortchanges readers on the efforts by dedicated FBI agents and Department of Justice prosecutors in this unprecedented undertaking to determine the facts in more than 100 unsolved civil-rights-era homicides,” FBI chief spokesman Michael P. Kortan wrote in a letter that appeared in Sunday’s edition.

“Although all the details cannot be shared publicly, investigators are confident that they now know what happened in each of the 57 cases that have been closed.”

“Of those, six cases have been referred for state prosecution, and in 36 others, families have been told the results of the investigation. They deserve to know the truth, even when prosecution is not possible.”

“Investigating decades-old murder cases can be both difficult and frustrating, but this has not deterred the commitment of investigators and prosecutors. Work continues in the remaining cases to bring prosecutions when possible, and closure for families when it is not.”

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