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
3 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 of Ghost Soldiers and Blood 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Magnificent in scope, drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material, this nonfiction thriller illuminates one of the darkest hours in American life--an example of how history is so often a matter of the petty bringing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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relentless pursuit

User Review  - edmo - Borders

I was in college when MLK was assassinated, followed closely by RFK and I thought that I knew this chapter pretty well from living through it, but this book kept me rivetted from the get go, even ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Goodreads

I had forgotten so much about the hunt for an MLK's killer that it was truly one of those stranger than fiction stories. Highly recommended with many twists and turns and interesting historical ... 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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