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On August 5, 1965, at about 10:30 a.m., the body of 34-year-old Alberta Jones was found floating in the Ohio River near Fontaine Ferry Park, in Louisville, Kentucky. Jones, a prominent Black attorney, whose private clients included Muhammad Ali, was the first female prosecutor in Louisville. Jones was also the Executive Director of the Independent Voters Association, Inc. (I.V.A.), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to enfranchising Black voters and providing them information on political candidates. Given Jones’s high profile as a Black woman prosecutor and her involvement in civil rights activities, there was, at the time of her death, speculation that she was killed because of her race, because of those activities, or both, and that speculation remains today. For this reason, her death was referred to the Cold Case Unit in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division, pursuant to the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016 (the Till Act).

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Updated October 4, 2023