Bowers May Be Interred at Parchman

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Mississippi corrections officials say former Ku Klux Klan leader Sam Bowers may be buried in a pauper's grave at the state penitentiary at Parchman, where he died Sunday of a heart attack.

The 82-year-old Bowers, who was the one-time Imperial Wizard of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi, was serving a life sentence.

He was convicted in 1998 of ordering the fatal firebombing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer, Sr., near Hattiesburg in 1966.

Spokeswoman for the Mississippi Department of Corrections, Tara Booth, says as of Monday officials have been unable to track down any relatives. She says he will be buried in a pauper's grave if officials are unable to find family or friends willing to take the body.

Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says the Parchman prison has two cemeteries, where hundreds of inmates have been buried. He says every inmate buried there gets a headstone paid from a special fund, not from taxpayers' pockets.

Dahmer's widow, Ellie, says she thought the Klansmen would have taken up enough money to bury Bowers.

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