Still Digging

A reporter hunts racist murderers, but does a verdict mean the case is closed?

The danger in ignoring those subtleties is that the debate around the Killen trial will be dumbed down for the history books, and not for the first time. Mississippi Burning, for example, was assailed for its historical inaccuracies and portrayal of blacks as pawns in the hands of the good-guy FBI and the bad-guy Klan. But for all its flaws, the film is why Mitchell started digging. "It did, I think, capture the atmosphere," he says. "It made me understand, 'Well, you know, you just can't kind of sleepwalk through this.' "

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