(ASSOCIATED PRESS) Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., the last of three one-time Ku Klux Klansmen convicted in a 1963 Alabama church bombing that killed four Black girls and was the deadliest single attack of the civil rights movement, died Friday in prison, officials said. He was 81.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s office said Blanton died of natural causes. He was being held at Donaldson prison near Birmingham, prison officials said.
In May 2001, Blanton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Ivey, in a statement, called the bombing “a dark day that will never be forgotten in both Alabama’s history and that of our nation.”
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