On September 25, 1961, Herbert Lee was murdered by Eugene Hurst, a State Representative from Amite County, at the Westbrook Cotton Gin in Liberty, Mississippi.
Lee, age 49, escorted visiting Civil Rights leader Bob Moses into rural Mississippi to register black people to vote. A month later, Lee was murdered, though Hurst claimed that it was accidental and in self-defense. Louis Allen, a black man who witnessed the shooting, later came forward and said that Hurst shot lee in the head and that it was not accidental or in self-defense.
On January 31, 1964, Louis Allen, the witness who came forward, was shot three times in the head and killed, when he answered the door at his home.