James (Jim) F. Lee

James (Jim) F. Lee

James “Jim” Lee, also known as “Red,” was a member of the Silver Dollar Group and a suspect in several wrecking crew acts of violence, including the attempted murder of Natchez NAACP President George Metcalfe in 1965 and the murder of Natchez NAACP Treasurer Wharlest Jackson in 1967.

All three men worked at the Armstrong Tire Plant in Natchez.

The son of a Baptist minister in Concordia Parish, Lee hosted a fish fry at his home in June 1965 that was attended by members of the Silver Dollar Group from both Louisiana and Mississippi. At the fish fry, Klansmen experimented with explosives.

The FBI believed that at this gathering Klansmen discussed killing Metcalfe, who was severely injured in a car bombing two months later.

FBI informants told the bureau that SDG leader Red Glover during the summer of 1965 instructed both Lee and Klansman Sonny Taylor to figure out how to build and detonate a car bomb. Sometime later, Lee and Taylor reported to Glover that they had successfully blown up a tree trunk when connecting it to the cylinder coil of a car.

Informants said that Glover then ordered the murder of Metcalfe by car bomb.

Reportedly, Glover, Lee, Sonny Taylor and possibly one more man discussed several scenarios in which to kill Metcalfe, including assassination, before Glover decided on a car bomb.

Sonny Taylor, who would become an FBI informant, later confessed his involvement in the Metcalfe bombing but sought immunity from the Department of Justice in exchange for testifying against Glover for other acts of violence, including the murder of Wharlest Jackson. The immunity request was denied.

The perpetrators of the Metcalfe bombing wired C-4 explosives to the cylinder coil of Metcalfe’s car which exploded when Metcalfe turned on the ignition switch.

Jackson was killed when a bomb made of C-4 explosives planted beneath his pickup truck exploded when he turned on his left turn signal.

Lee told FBI agents that Metcalfe was disliked by white men at the plant while Jackson was liked.

Lee and Glover feuded in 1967 and 1968. Both accused the other of ratting on the Klan to the FBI. The feud may have started when Lee snubbed Glover by not inviting him to a party at Lee’s home.

Most Klansmen feared Glover, Lee told the FBI, adding that Glover was a man with loose morals who cheated on his wife.

Lee had a reputation among Klansmen in Concordia Parish as a “crazy person.”

Lee moved to Adams County, Miss., in 1967.

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