40 years later questions about James Earl Ray linger

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He called himself Galt — Eric Starvo Galt.

He drove in from Alabama on the weekend of March 23, 1968, and paid $10.50 for a week's rent in a seedy rooming house on 14th Street near Peachtree, in Atlanta's hippie district.

Three weeks later, FBI agents discovered he had left something behind in his hurriedly vacated room: a map of Atlanta with the locations of a particular church, office and home circled in pencil. A thumbprint on the map linked the stranger to fingerprints found on items dropped outside another seedy rooming house in Memphis, including a rifle.

Eric Galt, the FBI announced, was the alias of an escaped prisoner named James Earl Ray, and he was wanted for the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

Forty years ago today, a single sniper shot ended King's life in Memphis. It could have happened in Atlanta. Investigators believed that Ray had followed King for 2 1/2 weeks, from California to Alabama to Georgia, where he settled into Midtown, then a transitional neighborhood light-years away from the high-rent, high-rise district of today.

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