Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin

On April 23, 1967, Prisoner #416J, an inmate at the notorious Missouri State Penitentiary, escaped in a breadbox. Fashioning himself Eric Galt, this nondescript thief and con man—whose real name was James Earl Ray—drifted through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he was galvanized by George Wallace’s racist presidential campaign.

On February 1, 1968, two Memphis garbage men were crushed to death in their hydraulic truck, provoking the exclusively African American workforce to go on strike. Hoping to resuscitate his faltering crusade, King joined the sanitation workers’ cause, but their march down Beale Street, the historic avenue of the blues, turned violent. Humiliated, King fatefully vowed to return to Memphis in April.

With relentless storytelling drive, Sides follows Galt and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the crushing moment at the Lorraine Motel when the drifter catches up with his prey. Against the backdrop of the resulting nationwide riots and the pathos of King’s funeral, Sides gives us a riveting cross-cut narrative of the assassin’s flight and the sixty-five-day search that led investigators to Canada, Portugal, and England—a massive manhunt ironically led by Hoover’s FBI.

Title:Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780385523929
Format Type:

    Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ”We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop.And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevi...

  • Michael

    I was not particularly interested in the character of Martin Luther King’s killer, James Earl Ray, but I trusted Sides to make the story of his crime and manhunt interesting and a means to elucidate...

  • Monica

    Excellent!!Every time I read a history book about the late 60s it reminds me of how little America has changed in 50 years. This was really a blend of true crime and historical analysis of the last da...

  • Matt

    With the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) a few days ago, I felt it appropriate to read Hampton Sides’ stellar account of the lead-up to the event and the hu...

  • Mariah Roze

    I read this book for the Diversity in All Forms! Book club. I enjoyed the read and learned so much! I suggest this book to everyone. "On April 23, 1967, Prisoner #416J, an inmate at the notorious Miss...

  • Kathleen

    James Earl Ray came from a family rich in murderers, rapists, bank robbers and conspiracy theorists. As for Ray, he was a chameleon taking on various identities as needed. Just during the period that ...

  • Jim

    What could have been an utterly gripping account of the assassination of Martin Luther King was marred, for me, by an attention to detail that bordered on the lunatic. In this account, Martin Luther K...

  • Louise

    This is a thriller; and it is real. You know the outcomes: first MLK will be shot and then James Earl Ray will be caught. Sides still has you at the edge of your seat. It is not historical fiction, a ...

  • Steve

    Thinking about this book today ... on MLK's Federal Holiday ... and appreciating the fact that I read it. (It's not new, and Hampton Sides has written plenty of other (really) good stuff, including hi...

  • MK Brunskill-Cowen

    I wish I could give this book 6 stars - it deserves it. This book reads like a psychological thriller where the reader follows the hero and the villain as the move towards their fateful meeting. He ca...