Harry T. & Harriette V. Moore
From: AGNews AGNews@oag.state.fl.us
Subject: Attorney General Consumer Bulletin
Thu, 24 Aug 2006
Suspects named in Moore's murderA 20-month investigation into the murder of Florida civil rights pioneer Harry T. Moore concluded with a finding of extensive circumstantial evidence that he was killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan. The inquiry was conducted by the Attorney General's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Moore and his wife Harriette died on Christmas Day 1951 when a bomb detonated under their house in Mims, a small town in rural Brevard County. A teacher, school administrator and activist, Moore had devoted his life to civil rights, particularly voting rights for black Floridians.
After reviewing earlier inquiries, conducting more than 100 new interviews and excavating the crime scene, investigators concluded that at least four individuals were directly involved:
- Earl J. Brooklyn, a Klansman known for being particularly violent, was identified as having floor plans of the Moore home and recruiting volunteers.
- Tillman H. Belvin, another violent Klansman who was a close friend of Brooklyn, is thought to have joined with Brooklyn.
- Joseph N. Cox, another Klansman, was confronted by the FBI and committed suicide the day after his second interview with the FBI in 1952.
- Klansman Edward L. Spivey, who, as he was dying of cancer, implicated his friend Cox and was apparently at the scene in 1951.
All of the suspects are deceased. An early FBI investigation developed information that cast suspicion on Brooklyn and Belvin. Cox shot himself after the FBI informed him it had evidence on him. But the investigation was closed in 1955 with no arrests.
The new investigative report and other information about Harry T. Moore is available at The Florida Attorney General Consumer Bulletin of December 2005, which described Moore's civil rights work, can also be found at the Attorney General's website.
Investigative Case Summary - Final Report (pdf)
BACK TO: 2005 Investigation
BACK TO: Harry T. Moore Homesite HomePage