Killing the Dream: James Earl Ray and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Solving the riddles behind the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr

Killing the Dream was published on the 30th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. It is an in-depth reexamination that offers an absorbing account of conspiracies, entanglements, and motives that at times outdo even those in the Kennedy assassination. Cutting through thirty years of conjecture and rumor, and filled with new and compelling information, Killing the Dream answers the lingering questions about who killed MLK. The book was excerpted as a cover story in Newsweek and was the basis for a CBS one hour special.

Read an Excerpt


With Killing the Dream, Posner has written a superb book: a model of investigation, meticulous in its discovery and presentation of evidence, unbiased in its exploration of every claim. And it is a wonderfully readable book, as gripping as a first-rate detective story.
- Anthony Lewis in The New York Times Book Review

Posner's Killing the Dream is the most comprehensive and definitive story of the King assassination to date. In many ways Mr. Posner has done for the murder of Dr. King what he did in his best-known previous work Case Closed, which slammed down the lid on the numerous conspiracy theories on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Mr. Posner's new book covers all the questions that have been raised about Mr. Ray as Dr. King's killer. One finishes this book reassured that no dark secrets remain...A fine and timely book.
- Richard Bernstein, The New York Times

Killing the Dream, a heavily researched and well-written examination of the facts by author Gerald Posner, strives to lay the question to rest, much to the chagrin of the cadre of conspiracy buffs. Posner succeeds."
- CNN Interactive Book Reviews

For 30 years, suspicion has hung over the murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King. Jr. Members of King's family are among the many who doubt that Ray had anything to do with it. King's son Dexter said on ABC last year—with others in the family nodding in assent—that they did not believe Ray pulled the trigger or even knew the murder was about to take place. Posner has taken on the task of liberating everyone from surmises....First-rate."
- The Washington Post Book World

Here Posner demolishes Ray's shifting claims and alibis by reconstructing his activities in the months prior to King's death. Posner's convincing concludes that Ray a small-time loser, most likely killed King on his own. 
- People

Writing in the clear, forceful manner of a reporter in total command of his facts, Posner has produced what will, conspiracy theorists to the contrary, almost surely turn out to be the definitive account of a landmark event.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer

Combining fresh reporting with a careful review of the investigation, and using the common sense that is a scarce commodity in this field, Posner does for the King assassination what he did for the JFK killing in his book Case Closed.
- USA Today

As with its predecessor, the true persuasiveness of Killing the Dream lies not so much in its debunking of alternative theories as in its vivid, believable portrait of the assassin...Posner's work confirms what the Kings, of all people, should have realized long before now in championing Ray's cause,
they are embracing a killer." 
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer

A rational, meticulously researched road map to help wade through Ray's endlessly evolving claims of innocence. Posner cuts through years of legal posturing and myth-making and places the focus back where it belongs: on James Earl Ray...What results is an impressive study of a hardened, violent criminal. Well-researched journalism, thoroughly sourced with on-the record interviews...full of fresh insights." 
- The Oakland Tribune

With Dexter King and his mother claiming a government conspiracy in the death of the reverend to anyone who will listen to them, this study, by a relentless investigator, will prove popular." 
- Booklist

The definitive study of the King assassination...sparks immediate interest from its opening account of the last days of the famed civil-rights leader and his involvement in labor turmoil in Memphis. Posner's careful analysis overpowers the various flawed and unsupported theories offered over the years. He pronounces this case closed—and his readers likely will, too." 
- The Seattle Times

A new book on the King killing is timed just right...Posner's Case Closed went on to become a best-seller as it convinced numerous doubters that Lee Harvey Oswald really acted alone, period. This is Posner's encore.
- Newsday

Posner discounts the theory that King's murder was plotted by anyone except Ray. In the process, he paints such a detailed portrait of Ray and his pathetically criminal family that by the end, the reader is interested in Ray the human being." 
- San Francisco Chronicle

Killing the Dream is a first-rate summation of Ray's wretched childhood when he couldn't even afford the five-cent school lunch; his flop as a soldier; his time in and escape from prison; his 65-day flight after the assassination...Posner is generous in acknowledging some of the things that raise justifiable
- The Miami Herald

The King family should read Killing the Dream instead of asking the Justice Department to open a new investigation into the assassination. It might not bring the closure they desire, but it would almost certainly close the case."
- The Tampa Tribune

After reading Posner's book, any rational reader will agree that Ray murdered King. The case built up in Killing the Dream—taking us through King's last days, his killer's flight and Ray's long, sordid criminal career—is prodigiously researched and painstakingly detailed." 
- Savannah Morning News