The Hanging Tree - KKK murder locations.
Lowndesboro, AL. 12/7/2015. On March 25, 1965, Viola Liuzzo and Leroy Moton, a 19-year-old local black activist, headed to Montgomery, Alabama to pick up the last group of demonstrators waiting to return to Selma. At 7:37pm, while stopped at a traffic light in front of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, they were spotted by four Klansmen, who were, according to the testimony from one of the Klansmen, had spent the day seeking an opportunity to kill Martin Luther King.
When they saw Liuzzo, who was white, driving a car with Michigan plates after dark with a black man in her passenger seat, they decided to attack them instead. The Klansmen hoped that this would send a clear message about white supremacy to northern whites, southern blacks, and like-minded liberals. Engaging Liuzzo in a high-speed chase on Highway 80, they pulled alongside her car about 20 miles outside of Selma and fired. Liuzzo was killed instantly and Moton, covered in her blood, escaped by pretending to be dead.
The discoloration on the lower portion of the memorial marker is the result of repeated vandalism – one time in particular, a large Confederate flag was painted across the face of the stone in 1997.