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The InformantThe FBI, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Murder of Viola Liuzzo$
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Gary May

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106350

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106350.001.0001

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Serious Business

Serious Business

(p.51) Chapter Three Serious Business
The Informant

Gary May

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on how Gary Thomas Rowe had to adjust to his new FBI handler while the Klan tried to transform itself from a regional racist cult into a larger organization that would appeal to all Americans. The increased federal presence after Mother's Day—the FBI agents, the U.S. marshals, the National Guard—led to an increased militarization of the Klan. If black demonstrators used to show up without their leader, the Klansmen were supposed to beat them with chains and clubs, and those who consorted with white women would be taken away to receive much rougher treatment. More specific evidence suggests that Rowe was involved in the Gaston Motel bombing. The author believes that the bombing was the best-planned Klan action since the Freedom Riders were ambushed on Mother's Day, 1961, and reveals that every Klansman who might be suspected had established ironclad alibis for their whereabouts that evening.

Keywords:   Rowe, FBI, Gaston Motel, bombing, Diane McWhorter, Klansman

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