Murder of Oneal Moore

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Oneal Moore (1931-1965) was the first black deputy sheriff for the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office in Varnado, Louisiana. He was a 34-year-old Army veteran, and he had a wife and four daughters.

He was murdered by alleged members of the Ku Klux Klan in a drive-by shooting on Wednesday, June 2, 1965, exactly one year and one day after his appointment as deputy sheriff. That evening, he was driving home from work when an individual in a pickup truck shot at Moore and his partner, Creed Rogers, another African-American deputy sheriff. Oneal lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree, dying instantly from a gunshot wound to the head.[1] Rogers survived the shooting and the subsequent crash with injuries, and broadcast a description of the vehicle, which he noted had a Confederate flag decal on its front bumper.[2]

Two suspects were arrested in Mississippi not long afterward. One was Ernest Ray McElveen, a known white supremacist. The police filed no charges due to a lack of evidence and witnesses. The cold case was reopened by the FBI several times, first in 1990, then in 2001 and 2007, but they did not bring indictments.[3] McElveen, the prime suspect in the case, died in 2003.

The Deacons for Defense and Justice, an African-American group organized in Louisiana and elsewhere in the South to protect civil rights workers through armed defense, provided protection and support for Moore's widow.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Serrano, Richard A. (2002-06-26). "Answers Elusive in 1965 Slaying". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-08-14. 
  2. ^ Keller, Larry (May 29, 2009). "DEPUTY SHERIFF'S MURDER STILL UNSOLVED". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2017-08-13. 
  3. ^ BBC - FBI reopens file on race hate murders
  4. ^ Alison Shay, "On This Day: The Courage of Deputies Moore and Rogers", 2 June 2012, The Long Civil Rights Movement website