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Mississippi Conviction has Madison Ties


Madison is a center for the study of the Civil Rights Movement.

On the anniversary of the murders of three civil rights workers, the ring leader is convicted, families feel vindicated and Madison is a place to preserve a piece of that history.

"We the jury find the defendant, Edgar Ray Killen, on count one guilty of manslaughter." The verdict rang through a Mississippi courtroom Tuesday afternoon.

Killen was found guilty on all three counts for the murders of Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney.

"That's what he did and he needed to be penalized for it; he had to pay for it," says Goodman's mother, Carolyn Goodman, who lives in New York City, "This is my boy, this is a person a part of my life but I think he would want it to be that way."

Andrew Goodman attended UW-Madison for a year in 1961.

Now a collection of his belongings: photos, posters, even a map with highlighted cities he planned to work in, sits in the Wisconsin Historical Society.

"He had circled here I think it's Meridian and Philadelphia," says registered archivist Harry Miller, "That's a little bit eerie at this point considering that's where he was murdered."

Goodman was murdered for volunteering to register black voters in Mississippi.

"In some sense I wanted to share Andy with as many people as I could," says Carolyn when asked why she donated memorabilia to the Wisconsin society, "They'll be out there for everyone to see what he was, who he was, how he lived and what was important to him. In some ways that makes him come alive."

Miller adds, "They fit within a much larger collection of Civil Rights material that we hold here in the society archives, and in that sense, they're really a part of a much bigger picture."

A picture that will forever be remembered for the sacrifices made in the name of equality for all.

"I think finally after all these years there is an end to it," says Carolyn Goodman.

A memorial honoring Andrew Goodman is on display in the Red Gym on the UW campus.

Killen will be sentenced Thursday. He could get 3-60 years in prison.


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