Interview with Robert Moses
QUESTION 21
INTERVIEWER:

[unintelligible] CAMERA ROLL 408. AT OXFORD AND ORIENTATION AND THE MISSING VOLUNTEERS. WHAT I'D LIKE YOU TO DO FOR ME IS TO TAKE YOURSELF BACK TO THEN AND DESCRIBE FOR ME THAT MOMENT WHEN, WHERE YOU HEARD THAT THESE VOLUNTEERS WERE MISSING, AND YOUR FIRST REACTION TO IT WHEN, YOU HEARD THAT NEWS.

Robert Moses:

Well, we were at Oxford at the orientation, and Mickey Schwerner was at the orientation and he took, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney who had been working with him, James was from Mississippi, back to Neshoba County to try and look for some housing for volunteers because he had been recruiting volunteers. And what we heard was that they had been arrested by the sheriff in Neshoba County and then we heard that they had been taken out of the jail. What I remember was Rita who was Mickey's wife who was still at the orientation session speaking to the volunteers about that incident, that is that they had been arrested, that they had been in jail, that they'd been taken out. And then she left and she was very emotional, upset at that time and the, she was asking for the students help, that is pressure on the justice department and so forth. And I remember that I spoke after her, I waited until she left because we had to tell the students what we thought was going on because if in fact, anyone is arrested and then taken out of the jail, then the chances that they are alive was just almost zero. And we had to confront the students with that, before they went down, because they now had, the ballgame was changed.** I mean whatever they thought they were coming down to get into they now knew what they were getting into, what they had to know, what it was they were getting into. So we talked to them about the fact that as far as we could see, these, all of them, were dead. And that they had to make the decision now, as to whether they really wanted to carry through on this and go down. And then we left them we sang a couple of songs and for awhile I was worried because no one was leaving. But finally a few of them did leave so I did think that the message had gotten through because you couldn't think that all of those who came to that orientation session were prepared to face the actual murder of their fellow students.