In 1963, during the tumultuous civil rights movement, Bill Moore, an idealistic postal worker, author and U.S. Marine veteran, who grew up in the South and believes that one person can change the world, sets out on a one man freedom walk from Chattanooga, Tennessee to deliver his own letter, calling for racial harmony, to the governor of Mississippi.
After only three days, he is shot dead on an isolated country road in Alabama. Bill Moore is the first white civil rights activist killed during the Civil Rights Movement.
FBI are dispatched to investigate the murder. President Kennedy denounces the killing. Within one week, a diverse group of five white and five black Freedom Walkers volunteer to finish Moore’s walk. They are joined by seven observers.
The media and angry locals tag along. The men are frequently assaulted as the police refuse to intervene and the local and federal government refuse to provide protection for the walkers. Alabama Governor George Wallace threatens to arrest the men if they enter his state. When the walkers cross into Alabama, they are arrested and sent to Kilby State prison. Their arrest makes the cover of The New York Times.
With the men in jail, and the environment deemed too dangerous to continue, the freedom walk to deliver Moore’s letter is abruptly suspended. Five months later, a grand jury refuses to indict Moore’s suspected killer. Though the case remains open, for all pragmatic purposes, the investigation ends.
That is until 2008, when the FBI launches the Civil Rights Cold Case Division....