|“||Free at last, free at last. Great God Almighty, I'm free at last!||„|
|~ Beckwith mockingly reciting the last part of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech|
Byron De La Beckwith, Jr. was the main antagonist of the 1996 film, Ghosts of Mississippi.
He was portrayed by veteran actor James Woods.
Ghosts of Mississippi
The film begins in the year 1963, and we see that the civil rights leader, Medgar Evers was returning to his home. While he was on his way home, Beckwith was anticipating his arrival, and hid behind the bushes. He then shot Evers when he was about to enter into the house. Evers managed to crawl to the door, and then proceeded to die in his wife's arms. After Evers' murder, Byron was put on trial twice, only to walk away free both times. Evers' widow, Myrlie, then devoted 25 years of her life to bringing her husband's assassin to justice.
Beckwith appears later on in the film as an elderly man. When he heard that Bobby DeLaughter was taking Myrlie's case, he tried to discourage him from pursuing the case. This included death threats and bomb threats. Eventually, Beckwith was tried again for Medgar's murder, and this time, he was found guilty of murder, and was sentenced to life in prison.