Students at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication are seeking to assist investigators on some “cold case” murders from the civil rights era. Students traveled to the National Archives in Washington, D.C., researching cases from rural Louisiana during the 1960s.
Much of the effort was directed on a case involving the murder of Frank Morris, a civil rights activist and owner of a local shoe repair business in Ferriday, Louisiana. Morris died when his business establishment was set on fire, allegedly by members of the Ku Klux Klan. The students found about 800 pages of documents relating to the case in the National Archives.
As a result of this research, the students filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking more than 30,000 pages of FBI investigation files relating to the Morris case and other unsolved murders. The students will return to Washington in the fall and again next spring to begin going over the documents from the FBI cold case files.