MAN IN PRISON FOR 1963 CHURCH BOMBING WILL REMAIN BEHIND BARS
Former Ku Klux Klansman Thomas Blanton Jr.’s had his parole denied today in Montgomery.
Blanton is the last surviving KKK member convicted in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing during the civil rights movement. The bombing killed four girls: Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Denise McNair. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for being one of several Klansmen who planted the bomb at the church.
The room erupted with applause as the state parole board announced their decision.
Lisa McNair, sister to Denise McNair, said even though he’s not getting out, her pain will never go away.
“You kind of live parallel lives but it never goes away,” she said. “You learn to forgive and move on and go through the motions but there’s that picture in our living room that stays all the time of Denise. … It’s the fact that I could be an auntie, I could have been a bridesmaid in her wedding.”
Two other one-time KKK members were also convicted of the bombing. Both died behind bars.
Blanton will be up for parole again in 2021.