JACKSON, Miss. — James Ford Seale, who was convicted and imprisoned decades after the segregation-era abduction and killing of two young black men by Ku Klux Klansmen in rural Mississippi, has died, a spokesman with the federal Bureau of Prisons said.
Seale died Tuesday in Terre Haute, Ind., where he had been serving three life sentences after being convicted in 2007, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross said. He was 76.
Marvin S. Pitt, an executive assistant at the Terre Haute prison, said Wednesday that Seale was taken to a local hospital about 4 a.m. Tuesday after he was found unresponsive. Pitt said Seale was pronounced dead at 5:57 a.m.
Pitt said Seale's family was notified of his death. No cause of death was reported.
Seale was convicted of two counts of kidnapping and one of conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the 1964 deaths of Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, both 19.
The two were kidnapped in the woods of southwestern Mississippi near Natchez.
Prosecutors said Seale, a former crop duster, was with a group of Klansmen when they abducted Moore and Dee from a rural stretch of highway in southwest Mississippi. The Klansmen took the teens into the woods and beat and interrogated them about rumors that blacks in the area were planning an armed uprising, prosecutors said.