The 1946 FBI Investigation
Within one day of the Moore’s Ford murders, several FBI Agents from the Atlanta Field Office traveled to Monroe, Georgia to begin an investigation.
Soon afterward, a team of up to 25 Special Agents of the FBI joined the agents who initially responded. S.A.C. Charles Weeks supervised the assigned agents throughout the investigation.
Although President Truman had ordered the FBI to investigate the murders, there was an immediate issue of jurisdiction that had to be resolved. The FBI would need to prove that a conspiracy existed between the killers and local officials, state officials or law enforcement. Without such proof, the FBI would be powerless to obtain signed statements from potential witnesses.
Since murder is a state crime, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) would normally have taken the lead on such an investigation but at this period of time, they did not have the requisite skills or manpower to manage a case of this scope, so they deferred to the FBI.
During the FBI’s investigation, hundreds of firearms were tested for ballistics and compared with projectiles found at the scene and removed from the victims’ bodies.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover allowed the investigation to proceed for another four months, taking a calculated risk that a sufficient time lag might cause suspects to relax their guard and possibly entrap themselves in careless conversations – thus getting him closer to establishing an element of conspiracy.
Although agents from the GBI assisted FBI Agents at the direction of Major William Spence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation remained the lead agency for the investigation leading up to the convening of the Federal Grand Jury in December 1946.