Robert Edward Chambliss (January 14, 1904 - October 29, 1985) was a white supremacist terrorist who acted as the main perpetrator of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963 that killed 4 small girls. He was a member of the Ku Klux Klan who in addition to bombing a church, alledegly firebombed several homes. In 1977, he was sentenced to life in prison and died in 1985.


A May 13, 1965 memo Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director J. Edgar Hoover identified Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash and Thomas E. Blanton, Jr. as suspects in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which resulted in the death of four young African-American girls.[1]

The investigation was originally closed in 1968; no charges were filed. Years later it was found that the FBI had accumulated evidence against the named suspects that had not been revealed to the prosecutors by order of J. Edgar Hoover. The files were used by Alabama attorney general Bill Baxley to reopen the case in 1971.[1] In 1977 Chambliss was convicted of murder for the bombing and sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment.  Chambliss served his time in a prison near Montgomery, Alabama. He died in prison in 1985, still proclaiming his innocence. He was 81.

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