May 13, 2013
Detailing the story of the reopening of the Birmingham, Alabama, church bombing of 1963, this insider’s account divulges the ins and outs of the investigation led by detective Ben Herren of the Birmingham Police Department and special agent Bill Fleming of the FBI. For more than a year, they analyzed the original FBI files on the bombing and activities of the Ku Klux Klan, then began a search for new evidence. Their first interview — with Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry — broke open the case, but not in the way they expected. Herren and Fleming unearthed lost evidence and convinced long-silent witnesses to tell their stories. With tenacity, humor, dedication, and some luck, Herren and Fleming encountered the worst and best in human nature on their journey to find justice, and perhaps closure, for the citizens of Birmingham. Last Chance for Justice is the inside story of one of the most infamous crimes of the civil rights era, told by the first Jewish officer in the Birmingham Police Department.