The retired FBI agent that played a vital role in federal investigations during the Civil Rights Movement is dead. James Ingram, known for his help with the Mississippi “Burning Case,” died Sunday of complications with pancreatic cancer. In 1964 he gained national attention for opening the first FBI office in Mississippi after three Civil Rights workers were kidnapped and killed by the Klu Klax Klan.
Seven Klansmen were put on trial in 1967 for the crime but served less than six years in jail. Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen was not sentenced however, when his trial ended with a hung jury. 41 years later in 2005, Ingram assisted the state of Mississippi in taking Killen to court for his role in the killings. Killen was sentenced to three consecutive 20-year terms.
In 2007 Ingram helped to reopen the investigation into the killing and kidnapping of two Black teenagers in 1964. One teen’s remains had been discovered in the Mississippi River while investigators searched for the remains of the victims in the Mississippi Burning Case. The reinvestigation of the case led authorities to Klansmen, James Ford Seale who was sentenced to three life terms. Ingram is survived by a wife and three sons.