Woodville, MS. On February 28, 1964 while driving home from his late-shift at International Paper, Clifton Walker’s 1961 cream–colored Chevrolet Impala was brought to a stop three hundred yards after making a his usual shortcut turn onto an unpaved road outside of Woodville, MS around midnight. Ballistic evidence would later show that the gunmen gathered around Walker’s vehicle and fired inside at extremely close range, blowing Walker’s face apart with shotguns.
Two weeks prior to the murder, 200 members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan gathered in Brookhaven, MS and agreed to a 40-page constitution that included the “extermination” of blacks as a rational response to the growing civil rights threat.
In the mid-1960’s, the U.S. Un-American Activities Committee, investigated the Klan in Mississippi. Documents obtained from the National Archives found during a cold case inquiry stated that more than 40 of Walker’s co-workers were Klansmen. Highway Patrol documents mention eight possible suspects, but do not explore their motives. Instead, the state reports primarily focus on allegations of Walker’s infidelities.
The White Knights of the KKK are believed to have been responsible for at least 10 killings in Mississippi, including the 1964 murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, but the killing of Clifton Walker remains in the Cold Case Files.