Who Is Charles Edwards? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Franklin County 07/26/07

Who Is Charles Edwards?

By Cheryl Lasseter

The wheels started turning again in July 2006.  Canadian filmmaker David Ridgen and Thomas Moore, brother of murder victim Charles Eddie Moore, confronted Charles Marcus Edwards outside Buckley Baptist Church in rural Franklin County.  During the confrontation, Edwards told Moore he had nothing to do with the murders. 

Edwards' cousin, James Huff, says Edwards still attends services at the church every Sunday.  "He's a deacon at the church.  He stays home and minds his own business," Huff says, adding that Edwards is married. 

Huff also says Charles Edwards and James Seale are not cousins, contrary to reports he's heard. He says they're just friends. "I can't say a thing against him. I can't say a thing against James Seale," he says. 

Edwards himself also lives near the church. Although two vehicles were under the carport when we visited Friday, no one answered our knocks.

Mary Lou Webb ran the Franklin Advocate newspaper with her husband when the murders took place. She continues to run the newspaper. We asked her if Edwards was a known Klansman back then. "I think so. And he didn't seem to be ashamed of it or try to keep it secret," she says. 

Webb's husband David, who died in 2002, was chief reporter on the 1964 murders. And Webb remembers what she's certain was retaliation against her family, when reporting on the murders was at its height. "Our little girls were 5 and 3 (at the time)," she says.  "One day they got very sick. We didn't know why.  We later found out that there had been two diseased rabbits who were put down our little well behind our house.  And that hurt.  David was just doing his job," she says.

Webb also tells us that Seale was never a sworn Franklin County deputy, as has been widely reported. Seale, who is now in Federal custody for kidnapping in connection to the murders, was at one time made an honorary deputy by a former sheriff.

A bond hearing for Seale is scheduled for Monday.

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