The death of Frank Morris, the Ferriday shoe shop owner murdered in 1964, was a tragic event in the history of Concordia Parish.
Morris' murder remains unsolved to this day.
It is the focus of a second U.S. Justice Department investigation, though. The first investigation -- from 1964 to 1967 -- ended without an arrest.
Individuals who have knowledge of what happened to people like Morris, who disappeared or were tortured and murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, the renegade Silver Dollar Group or by others who went to any lengths to thwart the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s, have an opportunity to seek forgiveness and to right the wrongs of years past, which still serve as a lightening rod in fueling the distrust between the races throughout the United States to this day.
Individuals who participated, however slightly in the conspiracies of the past, some sort of justice, be it earthly or temporal, will be delivered. That much seems to be the case, especially in light of the Justice Department's decision to pursue an investigation of Morris' death once again.
The investigation of Morris' death will be a long and drawn-out affair unless new information surfaces for authorities to pursue. In other words, people's lives will be disrupted as the Justice Department's investigation unfolds unless someone comes forward in the very near future to shed some light on the events surrounding Morris' death.
We are confident that individuals are alive and well today who possess some knowledge of what happened to Morris. We are confident as well that the guilt one must feel in knowing the truth about an unsolved murder will serve as a catalyst in solving the crime.
There are examples of cooperation between concerned citizens and the law enforcement community, which helped solve some of the murders stemming from Civil Rights era.
One concerns Charles Edwards Moore and Henry Hezikiah Dee. Charles Marcus Edwards told the truth; he received full immunity for his involvement in Moore's and Dee's deaths. Because of Edwards' actions, James Ford Seale is serving three life sentences for the kidnapping that led to Moore's and Dee's deaths.
The granddaughter of Bobby Frank Cherry came forward to tell what she knew about her grandfather's involvement in the bombings of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., because she grew tired of hearing him brag about it. The bombing led to the deaths of four young girls.
James Lloyd came forward with information about the deliberate shooting of Ben Chester White. Lloyd could not shake the thought of knowing about the manner in which White was murdered. Lloyd had nightmares about White's body parts splattering all over him as he sat next to White when he was murdered.
Yet, Morris' murder remains unsolved. The disappearance of Joe Ed Edwards during that period is a mystery, too.
We suspect, though, that someone possesses some knowledge of what happened to those men.
The truth eventually will rear its head and when it does, anyone involved in death of Morris and the disappearance of Edwards will be held accountable in one way or another, in this world or in the thereafter.
That's why cooperation is important. It's important to bring an end to a sad chapter in Concordia Parish's long and storied history.
Call the FBI at 318-443-5097 or the Concordia Sentinel at 318-757-3646 if you have information concerning Morris' death and/or Edwards' disappearance.
Information can be treated confidentially.
It certainly will be treated with respect.