Posted by Wes Brooks on Feb 26, 2019


Jerry W. Mitchell is an American investigative reporter for The Clarion-Ledger, a newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi. He convinced authorities to reopen seemingly cold murder cases from the Civil Rights Era, prompting one colleague to call him "the South's Simon Wiesenthal".[1] In 2009, he received a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation.

Mitchell was a court reporter for the Clarion-Ledger in 1989 when the film Mississippi Burning inspired him to look into old civil rights cases that many thought had long since turned cold. His investigations have led to the arrest of several Klansmen and prompted authorities to reexamine numerous killings during the civil rights era.

In 1996, he was portrayed by Jerry Levine in the Rob Reiner film, Ghosts of Mississippi, about the murder of Medgar Evers and the belated effort to bring killer Byron De La Beckwith to justice. He was featured in The Learning Channel documentary Civil Rights Martyrs that aired in February 2000 and was a consultant for the Discovery Channel documentary Killed by the Klan which aired in 1999.

Mitchell received his undergraduate degree in communications from Harding University and his master's in journalism from Ohio State University in 1997, where he attended the Kiplinger Reporting Program. He lives in Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife and their two children.