Read the Full '20/20' Transcript

(VO) Deep in the Mississippi forest, Jesse White visits the place where his father's bullet-riddled body was dumped over a bridge 34 years ago.

JESSE WHITE

I miss him very much. I often think about the tragic fate that was dealt to him.

ABC NEWS

(VO) Ben Chester White was a simple man, a 67-year-old farmhand who kept to himself.

JESSE WHITE

He was a mild man, a quiet fellow.

ABC NEWS

(VO) He was not active in civil rights, yet he was killed by the Ku Klux Klan. And despite the reported confessions of two suspects, there has been no justice for White's family for more than three decades.

JESSE WHITE

There's something that kind of like eats away at you, and knowing that this isn't right --that -- when will it be right?

ABC NEWS

(VO) It was hot and sunny on June 12, 1966, the day Ben Chester White's body was found face-down in this creek near Natchez, Mississippi. He had been shot more than a dozen times with an assault rifle and once with a shotgun blast so powerful it blew the brains out of his head.

JT ROBINSON

Shot him with a shotgun.

ABC NEWS

(VO) Former Natchez police chief J.T. Robinson says during a late-night rendezvous shortly after the murder, he received a confession from a Klansman named James Lloyd Jones.

JT ROBINSON

He said, "I'm going to tell you something." He said, "I was involved with something that's absolutely -- it's terrible." And he said, "I can't live with it."

ABC NEWS

He confessed to you?

JT ROBINSON

What he said, he told me that Fuller, Avants had killed Ben Chester White.

ABC NEWS

Claude Fuller and Ernest Gilbert.

JT ROBINSON

That's right.

ABC NEWS

(VO) He fingered 43-year-old Claude Fuller and 35-year-old Ernest Avants as the triggermen. In a then-secret FBI document, both were named as members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. James Lloyd Jones, a World War II veteran, confessed that he drove them and Ben Chester White to the bridge where the murder took place. But Chief Robinson knew that even with a confession, there would likely be no justice.

(OC) Did you really feel it was impossible to convict a white man of killing a black man?

JT ROBINSON

Yeah, I did then. Yes, I did.

ABC NEWS

(VO) He says what happened in this Natchez court room proved him right. There was a hung jury in the trial of James Lloyd Jones. Avants received an outright acquittal. Fuller was not even put on trial. All three accused were set free, which is where the case stood for more than 30 years, a grave injustice says Chief Robinson, one he still wishes could be rectified.

JT ROBINSON

I'm at a loss at how you can dig up anything on them. I mean, I'm just, complete loss. I've tried to think, you know, what can we do for these kind of cases, you know?

ABC NEWS

There were many questions about the murder of Ben Chester White. So, last spring we at 20/20 launched our own investigation. We wanted to know how three accused murderers could be set free, even though at least one confessed. What happened to the evidence? We came here to a musty basement in the Historic Natchez Foundation, where we discovered not only the transcript of the James Lloyd Jones trial, but his confession, in which he describes in mind-numbing detail the planning and the execution of the murder, implicating himself and his two co-accused, Claude Fuller and Ernest Avants.

1ST OFFSCREEN VOICE

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