Photo of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King’s Death – Handgun

Photo of Martin Luther KingThe official history in this timestream says that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., died from a rifle wound.

However, even the official story has some conflicts. First, start with the story in this timestream.


Martin Luther King was shot and killed by a sniper on April 4, 1968, while standing on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.  The gun was a Remington Gamemaster 760 .30-06-caliber rifle, purchased by James Earl Ray on on March 30, 1968, as Ray drove to Memphis.

Initially, Ray pleaded guilty to avoid the death sentence.  At that time, it was death by electrocution.

Three days later, Ray tried to change his plea.  Ray said that he did not “personally shoot Dr. King.” Ray admitted that he might have been, “partially responsible without knowing it.”  He claimed he’d been approached in Montreal, Canada, to join a conspiracy to kill Dr. King, but Ray said he was not the killer. He’d only wanted to become famous.

Ray spent the rest of his life trying to withdraw his guilty plea, and prove his innocence. James Early Ray died in 1998 of complications from Hepatitis C, at age 70.

In 1997, Loyd Jowers, a Memphis restaurant owner, was sued as part of a conspiracy to assassinate Martin Luther King, Jr.  Jowers was found legally liable for the assassination.  Wikipedia reports that “The King family has since concluded that Ray did not have anything to do with the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

So, the official story of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. is already a little uncertain.  That kind of “wobble” in history interests me, because it opens the door to questions about its stability in the timestream.  Pivot points in history sometimes indicate an overlap with alternate history.


In another comment at this website, The Mandela Effect, Matt reports the following very clear and detailed memory:

“Per every source I can find, King was shot with a rifle by a white man named James Earl Ray. However, what I remember reading as a child and learning in school is that King was shot and killed with a handgun at close range by a black woman. The location remained the same, however. I don’t remember her name or other key details, except that I think she was mentally ill and almost certain she was killed not long after, either by police in some kind of altercation, or by her own hand.

“Again, this is a memory of what I ‘learned’ in school, rather than a memory of events current to me, since I wasn’t born until the late 1970s, long after his death. Maybe I’m somehow confusing King with another slain civil rights leader I learned about, or my memory is simply bad, but I just can’t shake that eerie feeling that both the historical account and my own memories are somehow ‘right’.”

Though I don’t have that memory, it resonated as something true.  I felt confident that, when that comment appeared, others would recall it, too.

Right away, Gurluas — a frequent contributor to threads — was able to add to this:

“I also remember Martin Luther King being shot with a handgun, I remember reading that in school.”

If you share that memory, or have an alternate memory that might resonate with readers, I hope you’ll share them.

32 thoughts on “Martin Luther King’s Death – Handgun

  1. Rath

    I honestly think you’re on to something here. I too, remember learning in school that Martin Luther King was shot with a handgun. I remember that detail so clearly that the very first line of this article seemed odd to me.

  2. Kate

    There was a mentally unstable woman who tried to kill him shortly before his death—she stabbed him.
    That being said—I just googled it—it is not something I knew–however when I read this thread it resonated something in me.

  3. Kate

    When I clicked on POST comment —a message came up that said you have already posted this—I scrolled up and there it was…I promise you I did not already post it—this just happened right now.

  4. Alexander

    I remember reading a picture book about MLK, and it said he was killed by a grenade which was thrown through his living room window. Very strange, now I know it was at some kind of motel, but I still remember that picture book and the drawing of the window very distinctly, it drew the window with a smashed hole in it where the grenade went in, and there were white curtains fluttering in the wind. MLK was sitting there in a rocking chair when the grenade went off.

    Of course, this is completely different from what was supposed to have happened.

    At the same time, I remember watching on the news some report of him being shot with a handgun too. In fact, this is the first place I read that it was a sniper – that really surprised me!

    1. Charlie

      I remember him being killed by a bomb as well! I guess I pictured it as a big cartoony bomb and not a grenade, but still. This sniper murder is completely new to me.

      1. Dylan

        Could you guys be thinking of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, which left four girls murdered?

        This was very soon after the shooting death of Medgar Evers, too, so perhaps you’ve gotten him confused for King.

        The two events even make up the same paragraph in my history textbook:

        Still the violence continued. On the very night of
        Kennedy’s stirring television address, a white gunman
        shot down Medgar Evers, a black Mississippi civil rights
        worker. In September 1963 an explosion blasted a
        Baptist church in Birmingham, killing four black girls
        who had just finished their lesson called “The Love That
        Forgives.” By the time of Kennedy’s death, his civil rights
        bill was making little headway, and frustrated blacks
        were growing increasingly impatient.

  5. Ethan

    I remember hearing that he was shot in the back of the head while walking out of a motel. It was also with a handgun.

  6. anon

    Hey guys, Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby at close range with a handgun. Both this event and MLK Jr’s assassination happened in the 60’s, which might be similar enough for you to get the details crossed.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author

      TJ (anon), I can see the two killings (Oswald and Martin Luther King, Jr.) being confused, but if it were that easy to explain, I’d expect more people morphing Jack Kennedy’s death and Oswald’s, since they were days apart and in the same location. So far: zero reports like that.

  7. Samuel

    Im not american but I am a great history fan, and until I saw this entrie I’ve always thought MLK was shot dead with a handgun by a black woman. I don’t know why, because I’ve never estudied MLK, or search information about him, but I always thought his dead was by a handgun.
    This web blow my mind.

  8. Cassandra

    This is odd. I distinctly remember MLK dying of natural causes, I think lung problems. Long after he was supposed to have been assassinated… I remember some television programme saying that.

  9. Steven Comer

    I vaguely remember a trial were a devision of the US government was found guilty in murdering MLK jr.

    I think it was around 1999, I know thats quite far off from the murder but sooooo few people seem to know about it.

  10. Anonymous

    i don’t believe in this stuff, but i’ll add that i distinctly remember learning that he was shot with a handgun while on a second story balcony, by someone outside. i don’t remember it being a black woman, though.

  11. anonymous

    uhuh. no. Everyone is wrong here. How am I seeing reports of riots after his death? This is NOT what happened. Martin Luther King Jr. was stabbed TO DEATH, not hurt, but stabbed to death by a very mentally deranged African American woman in 1963 or 4. There was no conspiracy. And WHO THE HELL IS JAMES EARL RAY? The only James Earl I know of is James Earl Jones. Period. King died in 1963 or early 64. I was born in 1973. He was gone long, long, long before I was born. There was no hand gun. There was definitely no rifle. There was absolutely no conspiracy regarding his death. It was just a national tragedy. No RIOTS. I repeat. NO RIOTS. Because he wasn’t assassinated. He was murdered by a crazy lady. Now Malcom X, he was shot in the later 60’s a couple YEARS AFTER KING DIED. A lot of people felt like the world lost a peaceful civil rights leader when King died, and Malcolm X stepped in to fill the void with division and militant messages of hate. There is absolutely no way he was awarded the peace prize while he was alive. That prize was awarded post humously. Some people said he was awarded it just because he died. And here as I write this, I suddenly find myself doubting my own extensive knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement. This story… He wasn’t shot. He just wasn’t. I am right. He was stabbed. And it was way, way later than 1958. There was not rifle. There were not riots.

    1. Fiona Broome Post author


      Wow. SUCH detailed memories! Thanks for posting them here. Let’s see where this leads. I have seen the “deranged woman” memory before, but I’d have to check the comments to see if those were public or among the ones people want kept private.

      This is great research material. Thank you for taking the time to post this!


  12. anonymous

    I just asked my son about it, and he said King was shot in the head by a hand gun. My son is still in grade school.

  13. Jeff

    From wiki:

    Alberta King was shot and killed on June 30, 1974 by a 23-year-old black man named Marcus Wayne Chenault as she sat at the organ of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Chenault was a deranged gunman from Ohio who stated that he shot King because “all Christians are my enemies.” Chenault claimed that he had decided that black ministers were a menace to black people, and that his original target had been Martin Luther King, Sr, but decided to shoot his wife instead because she was close to him. During the shooting, one of the church’s deacons, Edward Boykin, was also killed, and a woman was wounded. Chenault was sentenced to death; although this sentence was upheld on appeal, he was later resentenced to life in prison, partially as a result of the King family’s opposition to the death penalty. On August 3, 1995, he suffered a stroke, and was taken to a hospital, where he died of complications from his stroke on August 22.

    Apparently a crazed black man did kill MLK’s mother with a handgun. Maybe the timelines have “twisted” just slightly where it was a mentally ill person with a handgun, but the sexes switched where a woman instead of man shot King Jr, and a mentally ill woman instead of a man shot Mrs. King.

    Either way the rabbit hole goes deep with MLK. The King caused potential revolution and there’s almost no doubt that if Ray wasn’t government, it was someone alike (CIA, FBI) that took him out… Also many believe the black man who shot Mrs. King was a Manchurian Candidate. He supposedly foamed at the mouth and passed out directly after shooting her.

  14. Zakk

    I remember learning that he was shot in the chest up close with a revolver by a white assassin on a second floor balcony, and that the assassin was later caught. I just recently took an APUS history class, I’ll have to go through and find my notes (if I still have them) on MLK to see what the teacher told us

  15. some dude

    I remember learning in school that he was shot at close range by a black woman wielding a hand gun, same as the article says. She moved to the front of the crowd and shot him while he was speaking and then shot herself.

  16. James

    This article brought to my attention that I didn’t really know how Martin Luther King died, other than the basic concept that he was assassinated. It does sound to me that the official story, being shot at by a sniper on a balcony, should have been something I would have remembered.

  17. Mike Keith

    I don’t remember who shot him, but I DEFINITELY remember that he was walking outside his hotel and someone came up and shot him. I do remember learning this in school. Also, now that I read this, it ALWAYS seem strange to me that the lyrics in the U2 song speak of a ‘shot rang out’, which coincides with a sniper shot, but I never put 2 and 2 together.

  18. Nora

    OKAY I definitely remember him being shot with a handgun, and I remember learning it in school but my dad remembers him being shot with a rifle. It’s freaking me out!

  19. Brianna

    I remember being taught that he was shot with a rifle while he was standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel and the shooter (James Earl Ray) shot from a second-floor window in the building across the street (I think it was a warehouse, but it’s part of the museum now so I can’t tell what function it served by looking at it). I live in Memphis so when I was in school and we had our lessons on the civil rights movement, we’d go to the Civil Rights Museum that occupies the both the Lorraine Motel and the building across the street that the shooter was in. The building across the street also houses the gun used which was some sort of rifle. I was pretty young the last time I went, so I don’t know if it was a sniper rifle, but it definitely wasn’t a handgun. I’m just now finding out that Civil Rights Movement education is pretty scant outside of the south, but the schools in this region teach what I outlined above.

  20. Chris

    I remember it being a hand gun from a large range. I feel like I remember that being covered in school. That it was shot from the next roof over and he was in his hotel. Maybe I am being confused with someone else. But I feel like I remember thinking to myself as a young person “that person had to have been a good shot to shoot across the street with a hand gun.”

  21. Devin

    I remember this one slightly differently from the two common versions. I learned that King was shot with a rifle from the southern corner of the parking lot, at street level, not from across the street. I always thought that was a terrible way to assassinate someone. Results seem to be mixed about 50/50 from other people that I ask.

  22. Ash

    I don’t remember him being shot at all…. I remember him dying when his house was bombed and that’s what led to the riots and that’s what the Gov’t was blamed for.. for the small bomb (maybe a grenade as posted above).

  23. TrickyD

    I always thought it was with a rifle on the balcony , but if TPTB have time altering technology , I could see why they would alter it from a black woman to a white man. Since the race division agenda is in full swing even to this day by TPTB and their media propaganda machine.

  24. NAM

    I remember watching a movie about him in grade school where he walked through a door and was shot at close range

  25. blixed89

    I remember him exiting his room to outside and being approached and shot, possibly from behind by a white man with a handgun


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