Today Stanley Nelson reports:
The Concordia Parish Grand Jury began hearing testimony Tuesday concerning the 1964 murder of Ferriday shoe shop owner Frank Morris.
Witnesses were seen entering the courthouse to appear before the panel which is looking into the 46-year-old murder.
Neither federal nor local authorities would comment on the Grand Jury.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Louisiana's Western District announced in 2009 that the Concordia Parish District Attorney's Office would become involved in the Morris investigation. At that time, former U.S. Attorney Donald Washington of Lafayette said the probe would eventually include the appointment of a federal attorney as an assistant district attorney in Concordia.
The Sentinel has learned that a DOJ attorney appeared before the Grand Jury on Tuesday.
Morris, 51, an African-American, died Dec. 14, 1964, four days after his shoe shop was torched by at least two men. Before he died, Morris told authorities that he saw two men outside the shop on the night of the arson. He said one had a shotgun, the other a gasoline can. He also said he glimpsed another man and a car in the alley beside his shop.
Morris said the man with the shotgun prevented his exit from the front of the shop while the man with the gasoline can ignited the shoe shop with what appeared to be a match.
It was Stanley's reporting that first revealed there is a living suspect in this case.
- Stanley Nelson, Feds vow to solve Frank Morris murder (Concordia Sentinel)
- Benjamin Greenberg, Investigations Force Feds to Revisit Murders of Civil Rights Era(ColorLines)
- Kim Severson, Reporter on Quest to Close 1964 Civil Rights Case (NYT)
- David Ridgen, Murder at the Shoe Shop – Cold Case Documentary (CBC)
- Civil Rights Cold Case Project