MIMS – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Attorney General Charlie Crist today launched the final phase of the investigation into the 1951 murders of civil rights leader Harry T. Moore and his wife Harriette, by initiating an excavation of the site where the Moores’ house once stood. Joining Crist in the newest efforts at uncovering the identity of her parents’ killer or killers was Juanita Evangeline Moore, daughter of Harry and Harriette Moore, and those directly involved with the investigation.
Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights believe the excavation could uncover important forensic evidence from the explosives used in the Christmas Day bombing. Some types of explosive evidence can linger for years, allowing experts to possibly determine the type of explosive that was used While an earlier excavation was conducted on the Moores’ property, this is the first time the precise location of the Moores’ house will be examined in minute detail using modern forensics procedures.
“We will literally leave no stone unturned in this investigation,” said Crist. “This tragedy rocked the lives of many in Florida, and it is important to take every step necessary in bringing this terrible chapter in our state’s history to an end.”
The investigation is looking at several suspects in the case, but to this point the evidence has not led to a clear identification of the Moores’ killer. The Attorney General said the investigation will continue, and a final report will be issued in the coming months.
The excavation is the latest step in the investigation, which was re-opened by Attorney General Crist on December 21, 2004. The investigation, conducted under the direction of the Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights, has received tips and has been assisted by the cooperation of the U.S. Justice Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. More than 100 interviews have been conducted in search of the identity of the bomber or bombers. The Florida Association of Crime Stoppers assisted Crist’s office in gathering information, taking tips through the organization’s hotline and offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the killer, or killers, of the Moores.
“I appreciate the dedication Attorney General Crist has shown in investigating this tragedy,” said Evangeline Moore. “I look forward to the day when those of us affected by this heinous crime will finally have some sense of closure.”
Harry T. Moore was Florida’s first civil rights pioneer. In 1934, he organized the Brevard chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He fought for equal pay for black teachers, for voting rights for black citizens and equality in the justice system. Harry Moore died from the blast while Harriette died nine days later.