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I did not kill Medgar Evers, no sir. But he sure is dead.
~ De La Beckwith simultaneously denying killing Medgar Evers and celebrating his death

Byron De La Beckwith, Jr. was the main antagonist of the 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi.

He was portrayed by James Woods, who also played Hades in Hercules, Dr. Phillium Benedict in Recess: School's Out, Falcon in Stuart Little 2, Gloomius Maximus in Rolie Polie Olie: The Great Defender of Fun, Captain Ahab in The Adventures of Moby Dick, Ned Trent in The Specialist, Martin Walker in White House Down, George Sheffield in Scarface: The World is Yours, Maximilian "Max" Bercovicz in Once Upon a Time in America, and himself in Family Guy.

Biography

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.

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