He Escaped Murder, But They Closed His Case Before He Got Justice

corner of a pile of papers
Zain Murdock
January 14, 2023

It had been decades since Ku Klux Klan leader Robert Fuller killed four Black boys in Monroe, Louisiana, in 1960. Even worse, the FBI investigation didn't begin until 2007. Finally in 2010, they closed the case. But something went horribly wrong.

The last living witness, Willie Gibson, was a teenager the day he fled town after his friends' murders.  Yet to the FBI, he was already dead.

Confusing Gibson with a wounded survivor from the scene, the FBI failed to properly look for him, giving up after hearing the rumor that Gibson was dead. But while agents moved on, Gibson couldn't forget that day in 1960.

On July 12, Fuller, who'd hired Gibson and his friends for his sanitation business, invited them to his house to collect their paychecks. Gibson, whom Fuller's son had recently attacked, refused to go. And on July 13, the Fullers shot his friends in their front yard, planting knives next to each body to claim self-defense. 

"It goes through my mind all the time when they killed all of my boys," said an 80-year-old Gibson in 2022. The FBI refused to comment.

The criminal legal system doesn't just "forget" about Black people. It may attempt to investigate old white supremacist violence, but it continues to ignore and enact new violence against us every single day.

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