Read the Full '20/20' Transcript

I was told by the members that committed the act. They came to me and told me all the gory details of it. And I asked them, `Why in the hell are you telling me this?'

ABC NEWS

What did they say?

ERNEST GILBERT

They said, `Well, if anything ever comes of it and--and we want you to know so you can protect us.'

ABC NEWS

(VO) Even now Gilbert finds it difficult to repeat what he was told.

ERNEST GILBERT

Those kids were abused awful and beaten, and -- and they begged for their lives. I was told all of this. And then they were taken to the Mississippi River, weights were tied on them and they were thrown in the river alive.

ABC NEWS

Alive?

ERNEST GILBERT

Alive.

ABC NEWS

How did you react to them?

ERNEST GILBERT

Like I said, I lost my mind. I lost my soul. And I finally decided that something had to be done.

ABC NEWS

(VO) You went to the FBI?

ERNEST GILBERT

Because there was no one else I could turn to. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't eat. I was beginning to die. Well, I did die inside. And I couldn't live with it.

ABC NEWS

(VO) And yet, in his home movies, Gilbert appears at ease with Jack Seale, one of the alleged killers. Here they prepare for a Klan rally, Seale wearing sunglasses. Here Seale drives while taunting the camera. And so began the dual life of Ernest Gilbert as informant JN-30, an FBI mole inside the KKK, activated in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1964. Today, Natchez is a genteel place, overflowing with southern charm. But in the mid '60s, it was an armed camp in a virtual war between the White Knights and civil-rights groups.

JT ROBINSON

The black people would watch at 10:00 in the morning on Saturday and the Klan would ride all night long.

ABC NEWS

(VO) Police chief J.T. Robinson patrolled the streets with a shotgun in this upside-down town where the Ku Klux Klan had an office on Main Street and the NAACP worked underground.

(OC) Which group did you most fear?

JT ROBINSON

The White Knights.

ABC NEWS

(VO) In this rarified atmosphere, Gilbert went to work preaching hate…

ERNEST GILBERT

(From file footage) I am damn proud of what I am because I know what a Klansman really is.

ABC NEWS

(VO) …while plumbing the depths of his friendships and generating enough information for this stack of documents obtained by 20/20. In them, he names and quotes the alleged killers. Jack Seale, saying the victims were dumped in the river alive because shooting them would have gotten blood all over the boat. James Ford Seale saying he had taped the victims' mouths and wrists. Ernest Parker, worried that the jeep-engine block the victims were tied to would be traced to him. Clyde Seale saying that Charles Edwards had a bad case of conscience.

(OC) Was it difficult for you to try and remain friends with them even though in you knew in your heart that you had told the FBI what they did?

ERNEST GILBERT

You better believe it. It's difficult to this minute. Were they friends? Yes, they were. And did I rat on my friends? Yes, I did.

ABC NEWS

Were you personally ever involved in the killings of Moore and Dee?

ERNEST GILBERT

Hell no, I was never personally involved.

ABC NEWS

(VO) The passing years have erased many of the details from his memory. For example, he remembers nothing of Charles Edwards. But he remains riddled with guilt because he does remember everything of the fiery speeches he gave when he was the leader of the Ku Klux Klan.

ERNEST GILBERT

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