Famous Fugitive

July 20, 1968

A pensive Sheriff Bill Morris escorts suspect James Earl Ray into the Shelby County Jail after his capture in London for the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Looking back: As he reflects on the moment, Morris said he had a singular worry — to get Ray into custody safely and avoid a repeat of the events five years earlier when President John F. Kennedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was shot to death during a jail transfer.

Sheriff Bill Morris escorts James Earl Ray into the Shelby County Jail in Memphis before dawn July 19, 1968. Ray, who was protected by a bulletproof apron, had been extradited from London. (Shelby County Sberiff's Office handout)