Civil rights cold case project (2008-present)



2011 Finalist Online News Association Awards
– Specialty Site Journalism, Affiliated 

External Web Site



Today in the American South, scores of civil rights murders remain unsolved, uninvestigated, unprosecuted, and untold. Those two legacies of violence and silence still haunt the region and continue to damage race relations in the United States.

The Civil Rights Cold Case Project is an unprecedented collaboration bringing together the power of investigative reporting, narrative writing, documentary filmmaking and interactive multimedia production to reveal the long-neglected truth behind unsolved civil rights murders, and to facilitate reconciliation and healing.

The Project – spearheaded by David Ridgen, John Fleming, Paperny Entertainment, and the Center for Investigative Reporting – has already produced extraordinary information in high-profile cases that prosecutors have used to build criminal cases against killers and conspirators who had walked free for more than 40 years. To date, every civil rights murder case that has been reopened and successfully prosecuted was the direct result of an investigation initiated by a journalist.

Today, some of the witnesses, perpetrators, and victims’ family members are still alive. But the clock is ticking for reaching these people, the only living links to these crimes. We must find them and their stories before the evidence—and opportunities for justice and reconciliation—is lost with them.

Investigative Journalists/Filmmakers
John Fleming
David Ridgen
Jerry Mitchell
Stanley Nelson
Ben Greenberg
Peter Klein
Hank Klibanoff
David Paperny
Pete Nicks

Brian Storm
Carrie Ching

Northeastern Law School
Harvard Law School
Syracuse Law School

Center for Public Integrity
Center for Investigative Reporting

Support for the Civil Rights Cold Case Project has come from the following foundations and individuals:

Atlantic Philanthropies
Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation
Open Society Institute
Corporation for Public Broadcasting


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