Robert Edward Chambliss

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Robert Chambliss (January 14, 1904 – October 29, 1985), also known as Dynamite Bob, was convicted in 1977 of murder for his role as conspirator in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963. Chambliss allegedly also firebombed the houses of several black families in Alabama.

Investigation and conviction[edit]

A May 13, 1965 memo Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director J. Edgar Hoover identified Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash and Thomas E. Blanton, Jr. as suspects in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which resulted in the death of four young African-American girls.[1]

The investigation was originally closed in 1968; no charges were filed. Years later it was found that the FBI had accumulated evidence against the named suspects that had not been revealed to the prosecutors by order of J. Edgar Hoover. The files were used by Alabama attorney general Bill Baxley to reopen the case in 1971.[1] In 1977 Chambliss was convicted of murder for the bombing and sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment. He died in Lloyd Noland Hospital and Health Center on October 29, 1985,[2] still proclaiming his innocence. He was 81.

Chambliss served his time in a prison near Montgomery, Alabama.[3]


  1. ^ a b Birmingham's painful past reopened: Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ "Robert E. Chambliss, Figure in '63 Bombing." The New York Times. Dated October 30, 1985. Retrieved August 29, 2013. "Robert Edward Chambliss... who was convicted of murder in the 1963 bombing of a Birmingham church... died yesterday in a hospital in Birmingham."
  3. ^ Raines, Howell. "Alabama Presses the Klan to Answer for Its Most Heinous Bombing." The New York Times. May 21, 2000. Retrieved on March 25, 2011. "But he perked right up when I mentioned that I had been in touch with Robert E. Chambliss, who was in prison near Montgomery."

See also[edit]