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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This stunning book deftly reveals the horrible truth.
As someone who reads widely and often, I can honestly say this: Very few books I have ever read have had as profound an impact upon me as Dr. William Pepper's meticulously and exhaustively researched "Orders To Kill". Dr. Pepper spent upwards of 18 years researching the facts behind the King Assassination and is probably the world's leading authority on the...
Published on February 17, 1999 by Thomas J. Wright

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow
Was looking forward to this read,but found it running off in so many directions it took away from its effectiveness. It is clear that James Earl Ray was a patsy (like Oswald) but beyond that..... So many suspects / leads probed it leaves the reader no better off than when he started.
Published 11 months ago by paul e wright


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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This stunning book deftly reveals the horrible truth., February 17, 1999
By 
As someone who reads widely and often, I can honestly say this: Very few books I have ever read have had as profound an impact upon me as Dr. William Pepper's meticulously and exhaustively researched "Orders To Kill". Dr. Pepper spent upwards of 18 years researching the facts behind the King Assassination and is probably the world's leading authority on the subject. "Orders To Kill" contains the results of those 18 years of investigation.
What he found is chilling and disturbing, and should make us wonder what happened to our "democracy": The government of the United States, among others, was deeply involved in the killing. And in a testament to Dr. Pepper's tenacity and skill as an investigative journalist, many of those responsible for King's political murder have actually admitted their complicity in the book (These facts do not 'give away' the plot, since this information is contained on the outside back of the book and because it takes a book of over 500 pages like this one to fully explain the enormity of the event it describes).
In fact, one of the men implicated in the assassination, witnessed the shooting himself and names the individual who actually fired the bullet that killed Dr. King (Hint: it is not James Earl Ray). Of course, this individual named names only after being assured by Dr. Pepper that he would be immune from prosecution for his role in the killing.
Dr. Pepper, through sheer persistence, an iron will, and a burning desire for the truth, has written a book that will grab the reader from page one, and not let go until the bitter (very) end.
The tale it so skillfully tells is a tragic one and is of epic proportions. But it is a tale that must be told, for if truth is to prevail in this world, as I believe it must, then books like this one must be written. I cannot recommend a book more highly than I recommend this one. Read it and prepare to be disgusted, frightened, saddened, and in the end, amazed and hopefully glad that the truth has finally prevailed.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the King family wants you to know about his death, August 15, 2012
By 
This very informative book starts with an introduction by Dexter King, son to Martin Luther King Jr. supporting author/attorney Wiliam Pepper's contention that this book tells the story of why his father died.

In his typically detailed fashion (also on display in Pepper's more recent Act of State) Pepper extensively supports his theories that:

1) James Earl Ray did NOT kill Martin Luther King Jr.

2) That the killing was rather the culmination of a conspiracy by the CIA, the FBI, organized crime, local Memphis law enforcement and others to eliminate King as a potential rival political leader to then President Lyndon Johnson, and

3) That the data supporting these claims includes the following:

a) A failure on the part of ballistics testing to match the gun possessed by Ray as being the actual murder weapon. Subsequent ballistics testing showed that this weapon had a unique charactistic where it would super heat and thereby cause melting to the bullets in a way which frustrate traditional matching attempts.

b) Claims by Ray himself that he was not guilty and that he was an innocent patsy brought to Memphis at the discretion of one Raul (Ray's sort of "one armed man") whok had been in contact with Ray for about a year prior to the killing. It's Rays contention that Raul would periodically give Ray assignments and then pay him in cash for performing those assignments including ultimately the purchase of the weapon police said was used by him to kill King.

c) Evidence that Raul did indeed exist and was linked to corrupt law enforcement in New Orleans.

d) Evidence provided by one Lloyd Jowers the owner of Jim's Grille, a dubious eating establishment located proximate to the Lorraine Motel where King was standing when he was shot. Jowers told Pepper that he had been involved in the plot to kill King and even later named a Memphis police officer, one Earl Clark as being the actual triggerman.

Unlike other conspiracy theories this one has the added currency of being the basis of not but two court victories on the part of its proponent. The first of these victories was a television trial wherein James Earl Ray was acquitted, albeit only on TV but still against a reputable prosecutor and featuring actual evidence from the original case itself. The other in court victory was a civil suit by the King estate against Lloyd Jowers seeking nominal damages (100 payable by Jowers to the King family for funeral expenses) and also a finding by the court that Jowers was indeed part of a larger conspiracy.

What's more other evidence has more than amply corroborated long term surveillance by the FBI throughout the 60s including many dirty tricks played by that selfsame organization.

From my perspective, one of the many ways in which those claiming a respect for the King legacy can show a true respect for that legacy is at least understanding his family's take on why he really died.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, February 16, 2000
By A Customer
This is a very revealing book, exhaustively researched and written in a style that is reasonably easy to read. Read it if you are open to the possibility that the government doesn't always tell us the whole truth about things and you think that, in theory at least, it may do some evil things quite deliberately. Otherwise, don't bother.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile revisionist history, August 17, 2013
By 
TLR (California USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King (Hardcover)
There are few books on the Martin Luther King assassination, and many of them support the official story. This is one of the better critical ones. Pepper has been researching this case as long as anyone, and may know more about it than anyone alive. The 1999 civil trial, little-covered by the media, convinced a jury that there was a conspiracy in the MLK case involving elements in the US government.

Table of Contents:
The Principal Players
Introduction
Glossary
Photo Gallery
Part I: Background to the Assassination
1. Vietnam: Spring 1966-Summer 1967
2. Death of the New Politics: Summer 1967-Spring 1968
3. Memphis: The Sanitation Workers' Strike, February 1968-March 1968
4. Enter Dr. King: March-April 3, 1968
Part II: The Assassination
5. The Assassination: April 4, 1968
6. Aftermath: April 5-18, 1968
7. Hunt, Extradition, and Plea: May 1968-March 10, 1969
Part III: The Initial Investigation
8. Reentry: Late 1977-October 15, 1978
9. The Visit: October 17, 1978
10. James Earl Ray's Story: October 17, 1978
11. Pieces of the Puzzle: 1978-1979
12. Brother Jerry on the Stand: November 30, 1978
13. The HSCA Report: January 1979
14. Following the Footprints of Conspiracy: January-September 1979
15. Disruption, Relocation and Continuation: 1978-1988
16. More Leads, More Loose Ends: Spring-Summer 1989
17. James Earl Ray's Legal Representation Reexamined
Part IV: The Television Trial of James Earl Ray
18. Preparations for the Television Trial of James Earl Ray: November 1989-September 17, 1992
19. Pretrial Investigations: September-October 1992
20. Corroboration and New Evidence: November 1992
21. Making A Case: December 1992
22. The Trial Approaches: January 1993
23. The Eve of the Trial: January 24, 1993
24. The Trial: January 25-February 5, 1993
25. The Verdict: February-July 1993
Part V: The Continuing Investigation
26. Loyd Jowers's Involvement: August-December, 1993
27. Breakthroughs: January-April 15, 1994
28. Setbacks and Surprises: April 16-0ctober 30, 1994
29. Raul: October 31, 1994-July 5,1995
30. Orders to Kill
31. Chronology
32. Conclusion
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orders of State, April 20, 2008
This review is from: Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King (Hardcover)
Bill Pepper, a personel friend of Dr. King's later became James Earl Ray's defense lawyer. Upon hearing Ray's testimony the King family was also convinced of Ray's innocence. Pepper documents the tragic day of King's death, the HSCA hearings and Ray's TV trial. We're also introduced to the stories from Ray about the mysterious Raul, who hired Ray as a bag man for his smuggling operation. Ray implicates Raul in the assasination, however Raul vanishes. There is much more to the story and I'm conviced that Ray was a patsy, much in the same way that Lee Harvey Oswald was. I look forward to the second book "Act of State" that picks up where "Orders to Kill", leaves off.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Isn't it time for the truth?, October 30, 1998
By A Customer
The Dirk Diggler review on 05-01-98 talks about Gerald Posner's book "Case Closed" as if it were the "the whole truth and nothing but!" In reality, Posner speculates and adds wording to testimonial given by eyewitness accounts. The conspiracy theories offered in his book add up to a little more than the government telling him what to write and then adding additional dollars to his publicity campaign to help promote the book. "Dirk Diggler" is either Gerald Posner writing his own review and touting his book, or he works for the government and wants to keep the facts as far away from the public eye as possible.
The fact that the government has not allowed an independent lab to test the rifle supposedly used by Ray, or that Ray was never granted a "fair trial" are viable questions that are raised. "Orders to Kill" offers an insight not found in other books in this category. If you want to believe that only "one gunman" killed JFK, then "Case Closed" is the perfect read. "Pepper offers a rare glimpse of reality, not often seen in these times of governmental deception!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PERHAPS THE MOST EXTENSIVE ARGUMENT AGAINST THE "TRADITIONAL" VERSION, January 24, 2011
By 
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William Francis Pepper (born 1937) is a attorney based in New York City; he is also the author of An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King.

In his Foreword, Dexter Scott King (Dr. King's second son) stated, "My family and I have long shared the conviction that the so-called official version, that James Earl Ray somehow acted alone in killing my father, was unacceptable... we simply believe that there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary in this case... until the publication of William F. Pepper's 'Orders to Kill,' there was no single book I could recommend as a satisfying explanation..."

Pepper himself wrote in the Introduction, "This book has been in development since 1978 and reflects a long-term effort to uncover the truth about the assassination... I've tried in every way possible to put evidence of James's innocence before a court. Frustrated at every turn, I now turn to the court of last resort---the American people."

Here are some quotations from the book:

"Though the general public was made well aware of the guilty pleas, Ray's equivocation at the hearing went largely unnoticed." (Pg. 45)
"I believe that James Earl Ray has never revealed all that he knows. He has been the target of at least one murder attempt in prison and has probably decided that to say more is dangerous." (Pg. 79)
"If the state's contentions were to be believed, then the timing of this escape was incredibly fine. Apparently it had to have taken place within a minute of the actual shot." (Pg. 154)
"James never authorized (his attorney) to plea bargain with the attorney general. He always insisted on a trial. Hanes recalled that at an early stage the state did offer a life sentence in exchange for a plea. James refused." (Pg. 167)
"As the investigation almost completely gave way to the trial itself, it was apparent that much was yet to be done. The four-month intensive investigative period had seemingly disappeared in an instant. Had we another three months and the necessary resources to follow through on the plethora of loose ends and newly generated leads, I believed that it might have been possible to pull off a 'Perry Mason' courtroom performance, as a result of which James's innocence would be established." (Pg. 268)
"The prosecution's last live witness... had to admit that there were numerous other fingerprints found in the rooming house and lifted from the Mustang itself that he never identified and wasn't asked to identify." (Pg. 286)
"Shock waves went through the courtroom when our witness ... looked at the photograph I showed him of the three fragments of the bullet alleged to be the death slug and stated, 'That's not the bullet I saw.'" (Pg. 287)
"Black firemen ... and black MPD officer ... later testified that they were all transferred and removed from duty assignments at fire station 2 during the last twenty-four hours of Dr. King's life." (Pg. 292)
"Inexplicably no all points bulletin (APB) and no signal Y (blocking exit routes from the city) were issued by the MPD." (Pg. 482)
"How two snipers shooting from different locations could take out both King and Young and still pin the shooting on James Earl Ray is difficult to reconcile until one remembers that the initial plan appeared to be to shoot at a moving target in a car." (Pg. 485)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr, September 23, 2013
By 
V. Allen "verly" (morgan city, la usa) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Very informative! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the real truth behind who's responsible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Orders to Kill: The truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King, January 23, 2013
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This review is from: Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King (Hardcover)
Reading this book, I did not feel like I was reading a "theory" of a murder mystery. It is alarming to learn to what extent our government will go to silence someone! Every American who is interested in current affairs and history should read William Pepper's book.
CJF - Kansas City, MO.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It took 30 years for truth to be told, September 5, 2000
This book reveals the extensive role the U.S. government, organized crime, civilians, played in the assasination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. William F. Pepper had, through years of investigation, wrote a book that tells us the truth of the assasination. Theres not much for me to say except that if a student, from Singapore, who had nothing to do with the one of the most prominent figure in the history of the United States, bothered to post a review about a book which narrates events leading up to his murder and afterwards, surely tells a lot about the book.
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Orders to Kill: The Truth Behind the Murder of Martin Luther King
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