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Airs Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Martin Luther King Jr. listens at a meeting of the SCLC, the Southern Christi...

Credit: ©Flip Schulke/CORBIS

Above: Martin Luther King Jr. listens at a meeting of the SCLC, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization formed by King after the success of the Montgomery bus boycott.

Witness the fatefully entwined stories of assassin James Earl Ray and his target, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Encore broadcast on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King.

A riveting crosscut narrative of a killer and his prey, "Roads To Memphis" is the fateful story of an assassin and his target set against the seething, turbulent forces in American society that drove two men to their violent and tragic collision on April 4, 1968.

Roads to Memphis Preview

The international manhunt for the killer of Martin Luther King.

Following the inexorably converging paths of James Earl Ray and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the film is both an incisive portrait of an America on edge in that crisis-laden year and a cautionary tale of how the course of history can be forever altered by the actions of one individual.

“Roads To Memphis” is told through eyewitness testimony from King’s inner circle and the officials involved in Ray’s capture and prosecution following an intense two-month international manhunt.

Roads To Memphis: Chapter 1

Watch Chapter 1 of "Roads To Memphis."

The first film to explore the mind of the elusive assassin, “Roads To Memphis” is directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Stephen Ives and produced by Amanda Pollak.

When James Earl Ray was arrested in July 1969, he was the most wanted suspect in the world.

Who was this “four-time loser” who was able to assassinate Dr. King, the Nobel Prize-winning, charismatic leader of the civil rights movement?

How did Ray manage to escape and elude authorities for months?

What motivated him to kill?

“Roads To Memphis” reveals a mysterious and misunderstood loner who remains an enigma even today.

King and Ray

The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968, shocked the nation and forever tied together two men who, as anchorman Dan Rather puts it, “shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath.”


This full episode is available to stream on demand.

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