Nation: New Furor over an Old Informant

Did he commit murder and provoke violence?

Gary Thomas Rowe Jr. was one of the most mysterious figures in the civil rights protests of the 1960s. A ne'er-do-well and braggart, he drifted from job to job, working as an ambulance driver, bartender and nightclub bouncer. But he also was the FBI'S most important informant on the Ku Klux Klan's violent activities in Alabama. Rowe provided the bureau with information on the Klansmen's beating of black Freedom Riders at a Birmingham bus depot in 1961. He tipped off agents about a bomb shortly before it went off at a Birmingham church, killing...

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