Edgar Ray Killen, a Ku Klux Klan member convicted of the notorious killings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964, has died in prison, the state's department of corrections said Friday.
Killen, who would have turned 93 next week, died on Thursday night at the Mississippi State Penitentiary's hospital, it said. The cause of death would be established in an autopsy but no foul play was suspected, it added.
The former Klansman was serving a 60-year sentence for manslaughter over the deaths of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner, who had been trying to sign up black voters when they were killed.
The crime was the basis of the 1988 film "Mississippi Burning."
Killen was initially tried over the men's deaths in 1967, but an all-white jury failed to convict him.
The case was reopened in 1999, and Killen was charged with murder. He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three consecutive 20-year prison terms in 2005.
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