It’s been 44 years since Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s beautiful mother, Alberta Williams King, was assassinated, yet the murder of the mother of a man largely responsible for changing America still goes unnoticed. There are several reasons for that, which we’ll get to in a minute, but first, here are the details of what happened to Mrs King…
Details Of Mrs Alberta King’s Murder
On June 30, 1974, Alberta King was killed at 69 years young. It was a Sunday and she was at their infamous Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., which was pastored by her husband, Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. Mrs King was the church’s organist and that day she was excited about playing the new organ they’d just gotten. About 500 people were in attendance for Sunday’s service and the short man, wearing a tan suit and thick glasses, went unnoticed as he walked in and blended with the congregation. King Sr. wasn’t at the church that day. As Mrs King began playing “The Lord’s Prayer” on their new organ, the congregation bowed their heads in prayer. That’s when Marcus Wayne Chenault, Jr. struck.
Chenault, Jr. a then 23-year-old Ohio State dropout, did something eerily reminiscent of the scene from the Malcolm X movie when one of X’s murderers yelled: “Get yo hands out of my pocket” before killing him. Chenault Jr. stood up and yelled, “I’m taking over here!…I’m tired of all this!” Then he ran to the pulpit, pulled out two pistols, and fired at Mrs King until the clips were emptied. Mrs King and a deacon, Edward Boykin, were killed, while another member was shot, but survived. The New York Times reported that Chenault “told the police that his mission was to kill the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., but he shot Mrs King instead because she was close to him.”
Was There A Bigger Plot?
Years ago, when I first learned about Alberta King’s death and the subsequent lack of coverage it gets, my initial assumption was that it was some type of government ordered hit. Yeah, that’s a harsh assumption, but given the era, she was killed and who she is, it’s not a far fetched assumption. Just 6 years prior in 1968, Mrs King’s son, MLK Jr., was assassinated and the very next year, her other son, Rev. A.D. King – who was also a civil rights activist- mysteriously drowned in a pool…even though he was a highly skilled swimmer. His wife and father publicly stated they suspected that the “system” murdered him. So yeah, it wasn’t a far fetched assumption to think Mrs Alberta King was the victim of a bigger plot. However…
Marcus Chenault, Jr. was diagnosed as mentally ill. Despite his lawyer pleading insanity, he was charged with murder and sentenced to death. During his arraignment in court, Chenault blamed his murderous actions on a split personality- a “Hebrew” he called “Servant Jacob.” When asked about the shooting, Chenault said: “I’m a Hebrew and was sent here on a mission and it’s partially accomplished.” When Mrs King’s husband, Martin Luther King, Sr., asked Chenault why he killed her, he replied: “Because she was a Christian and all Christians are my enemies.” Chenault also claimed that months prior to the shooting, he’d determined that “Black ministers were a menace to black people and must be killed.”