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

Front Cover
Doubleday, 2010 - History - 459 pages
26 Reviews
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
Edgar Award Nominee
One of the Best Books of the Year:O, The Oprah Magazine,Time,The Washington Post,The Christian Science Monitor,St. Louis Post-Dispatch,San Francisco Chronicle

From the acclaimed bestselling author ofGhost SoldiersandBlood and Thunder, a taut, intense narrative about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the largest manhunt in American history.


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.

Magnificent in scope, drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material, this nonfiction thriller illuminates one of the darkest hours in American life—an example of how history is so often a matter of the petty bringing down the great.

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

User Review  - Jason - Goodreads

This has to be perhaps the creepiest book I've ever read! Telling the story of assassin James Earl Ray's trek of madness "Hellhound on his Trail" goes deep within and under the surface of one of the ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Barry Sierer - Goodreads

Hampton Sides tells the story of two men on a collision course, and the time they lived in. A time when racial violence wasn't just feared, it was expected. James Earl Ray (known usually as Eric Galt ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

A native of Memphis, HAMPTON SIDES is an award-winning editor of Outside and the author of the bestselling histories Blood and Thunder and Ghost Soldiers.

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