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Thomas Blanton Jr.
*Thomas Blanton Jr. was born on this date in 1938. He was a white-American terrorist and convicted felon.
Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. was born in Washington, D.C. He was the son of Thomas Edwin "Pops" Blanton Sr. The latter, described as a notorious racist in Birmingham, Alabama. Blanton had a tenth-grade education and served as an aircraft mechanic in the Navy from 1956 to 1959.
Blanton was a member of the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1960s. He was an accomplice in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 15, 1963, which killed four African American girls (Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins, and Denise McNair). Blanton was a suspect from early in the investigation, but J. Edgar Hoover prevented attempts by the Birmingham office of the F.B.I. to bring charges against him and three other men because Hoover thought a successful prosecution was unlikely.
At the time of his arrest, Blanton was working at a Walmart store, and he was living in a trailer with no running water. Blanton, along with Bobby Frank Cherry, was convicted in 2001 in a highly publicized cold case trial. He got four life sentences in state prison. He was sent to Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama. Blanton went before the parole board on August 3, 2016. Parole was denied and deferred until 2021. On June 26, 2020, Blanton died at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility from unspecified causes while serving his life sentence, six days after his 82nd birthday.