Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters of William F. Pepper.
For many, Bill will need no intro. A steadfast, oppositional maverick, solidified in domestic and international legal history, something to do with Martin Luther King, and Sirhan Sir--but wait !
Bill solved the murder cases of Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, period.
"I realized that the only way James would get a trial would be for us to solve the case"
--Wm Pepper 2003, Act of State, Verso Press, pg.210
Bill did that--Gerald Posner and Dwight Lewis-type Establishment version sophists notwithstanding who, from cozy proximities to power, smugly weaved their conceited narratives against an enormous flow of revealed truth. They have never dislodged (not just my opinion! ) the import of hoards of evidence and two amazing trials worth of material witnesses that just kept coming over 40 years, since Ralph Abernathy and Bill sat down to interrogate James Earl Ray for 5 hours back in '78.
Please see the indispensable work of Brian Dominiski.
And the recent, meticulous investigations of William Klaber in the www.themlktapes.com with the 'Bonus Track' podcasts: "Memphis Blues" and "William Pepper". Klaber was also the co-host of the RFK Tapes, from which the same tendency of Pepper's to marshal facts and solve-the-case (seems to me) to present history's trophy.
Please keep the monumental achievement of Our Man in mind, as you read this post-op update on Bill's health and home.
I'm Matt, a cabinetmaker working out of Redhook, Brooklyn.
Along with Bill's immediate family, myself and some other friends had been visiting Bill in his Harlem rehabilitative nursing home. His surgeon was happy with the results of the hip operation, but Bill really needed to get home to his wife and daughter, and we thought to help by doing some work in his apartment, including installing a number of safety-rail grab bars, in the hallways and bathroom, hence this fundraiser which, with the donations so far--allowed several trips to Lowes !
[Update 10/2: We had some administrative snags, but now this campaign is showing up on a google search, modest funds not being hung up by ambiguous "reviews". Eric has all safety rails installed and has other home-improvement in the works. Kitchen sink-counter replaced and dishwasher is working. Bill is home to his loving family. Gratitude for the ongoing donations. At the very least, it allowed us to purchase the materials and install that stuff so Bill can begin to loosen up and get mobile].
The aim was to aide recovery from surgery AND help him step firmly into the digital age. With wider reach on this campaign, we are hopeful it could still happen. Gratitude to Bill's people -- you know who you are !
William F. Pepper with Martin Luther King Jr
Bill's been a true inspiration to myself and countless others. When he was stuck in hospital for two months in 2022, I had the privilege of keeping him company. Tuna fish on rye with what? "Green pepper ! ". How the amazing stories poured forth ! I learned of his Vietnam C-123 airplane crash when he was there many decades ago as a photojournalist (the origin of his back & hip problems). I walked into the hospital room once as the British writer Tariq Ali had called to praise him and wish him a speedy recovery. Bill then told me of his time in Pakistan, and his defense of Zulfikar Bhutto, former president/prime minister. His jaw-dropping account of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, and a little later, the real story of FDR's death, the still living witness for whom a sworn, signed deposition exist. Hmmm... Can you help get Bill's next book to the publisher?
William F. Pepper representing Sirhan Sirhan at a parole hearing
After discussions with doctors, Bill decided to go for the second hip replacement surgery. This procedure held the promise of freeing him from ongoing pain, which as of now (11-04) seems to have worked--it's now up to him. He is home with the support of his wife and daughter, pursuing his physical-therapy regimens (soon hopefully), petting his cat in his office...
It'd be great if we could set up his office a bit nicer, with a podcast studio. By upgrading his gear—computers, mics, and headphones--we hope to re-connect the repressed story of MLK and the state assassination apparatus with the next generation. The U.S. Justice Dept's ongoing cover-up still necessitates some variation of a "truth and reconciliation commission" which could be toted by a certain candidate for Prez who had his campaign recently contact Bill. The NYC-regional radio station WBAI, does its best to keep such relevant issues in the limelight--using interviews of Bill often for their fund-raising premiums to educate people on the real story. But let's be direct now, can we? For the man who put in 45+ years of work, receiving threats, stomping around Memphis attempting to finally get the trial that J. Edgar Hoover's patsy, James Earl Ray never received, and then years later, after so many more came forward with evidence, mounting the seminal "mock trial" Civil Case against Loyd Jowers (owner of "Jim's Grill") and co-conspirators, at the behest of the King family.
To re-cap: we're asking for funds to cover some modest studio equipment, 30 hours of tech support, and miscellaneous essential household stuff and health supplements.
Got questions or comments on how to improve this campaign? Are you a close friend? maybe you can visit as he is settling in for the winter. It's been a rough couple of years for our hero.
Please email or call us at 6469042910 (Matt) if you have comments or concerns.
We can't thank you enough for your support. By helping us to set up Bill's podcasting game, you'll not only help him heal but also ensure this history stays visible in these hard times. Let's bridge the generation gap and help Bill pursue his next book (on FDR, apparently), and get the tech edge.
Your generosity will additionally bring (it already has !) the moral support Bill truly needs.
Note (from Matt 10/19): Many of you have likely heard Jonathan Eig being interviewed here and there regarding his King, A life. NPR recently did an hour-long segment with Eig, whose "definitive" (NYT 3/08/23) biography sites NONE of Bill's work. Yet another author, talking head, missing opportunities to shine a little light on the unfortunate horror of secret, government orchestrated assassinations, and the true causes of them. The NPR segment wraps up by imploring us that King wanted us to be better people--awww! and that King's message in history has been "sugarcoated" up to this point, Eig's book. Upon being questioned by the interviewer about J. Edgar Hoover and crew, Eig settles on "I wouldn't go so far as to say they wanted someone to assassinate him". While He mentions the FBI preventing "a messiah", but nothing about this being an operative COINTELPRO prescription for eliminating inconvenient leaders. Such a refusal to assess what Pepper regards as the "last resort" of the powerful, is among other things, somewhat of a disrespectful omission. From this omitted vantage point Eig's book could be referred to as King, a Lie-- NO? But snideness aside, it was Coretta King, son Dexter King, and Martin's best friend Ralph Abernathy who initially asked Bill to interrogate James Earl Ray. It took another ten years before Pepper was finally ready to believe Ray's claim. "Overwhelming evidence", Coretta said in 1999 "that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter..." She maintained this until her death. The televised trial in which a jury found Ray innocent (after 15 minutes of deliberation) was covered by HBO and the United Kingdom's Channel 4 and then derided if not totally ignored in mainstream accounts, even as more and more evidence emerged for the net 30 years ! Eig is an ignorer of Coretta Scott King's beliefs, resting on solid evidence glimpsed in such documents as Bill's 1999 "Closing Statement to the Jury".
The 1993 HBO trial is still viewable on YouTube
Please, see again the recent podcast series www.themlktapes.com
Those of us who realize the importance of facing unpleasant historical truths --and State orchestrated assassination of beloved leaders certainly qualifies here--we must admit a saturation point with Eig's type of sentimentalism, with its sublimated deference to institutionalized destroyers of civil society. Are you are on Team Pepper ? please make it count!
William F. Pepper speaking at a rally
Let's join forces and keep the justice train rolling!
and Sean Pepper
...and Dooky !
An interview with William F. Pepper