Table of Contents for Long Time Coming


Introduction: A Call to Action. by Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth


The Kiss of Death:  November 15, 1977. Elizabeth Cobbs enters the courtroom as surprise witness to testify against her uncle, Robert Chambliss.

Family Matters: Early memories of Chambliss and his wife, Elizabeth’s maternal aunt Flora, known as “Tee.”

War Years: Life during the 1940s in Elizabeth’s extended family; Chambliss’s domestic tyranny.

The Fifties Weren’t Like TV: Growing up in a working class neighborhood of segregated North Birmingham in the 1950s; Klan rallies; Elizabeth marries at 16, leaves school, and has a son but remains in her family of origin.

Feuding: Klan activities; Chambliss’s volatile personality.

Fun and Games: Klan history, terrorist acts.

The Cahaba Boys: Chambliss’s “klavern” or Klan group; his involvement in demonstrations.

Times Are Changing: Chambliss’s police connections; Dynamite Hill, Dynamite Bob.

Seeing the Sights: Chambliss’s remote storage locations for bomb making and torture.

Politics and Dynamite: 1958-1962. Involvement of Birmingham police in Klan activities; civil rights demonstrations and rallies against the same; bombing and harrassment of civil right leaders.

Hot Time in the Old Town: 1962 -1963. Increase in civil rights demonstrations and violence against participants and leadership. Al Lingo and Bull Conner’s roles.

Cussing and Fussing: September 4 – 14, 1963. Chambliss brags about his arsenal and fighting his one man war, says that come Sunday, blacks will be begging for segregation.

Sunday Morning Coming Down: The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing, Sunday, September 15, 1963. Visitors to Chambliss home. Chambliss’s behavior in following weeks. Klan activity September 1963. A “joint operation” between the Klan and State of Alabama.

Falling Through the Cracks: 1963 – 1966. Elizabeth Cobbs’ cooperation with FBI during its initial investigation.

Reckoning: Elizabeth Cobbs’ life, 1966-1977. The investigation into the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing is reopened; Cobbs begin working with FBI agent Bob Eddy.

Opening FilesMeetings with the FBI.

Savannah: Elizabeth Cobbs and Dale Tarrant go with FBI agents to Savannah, Georgia, for polygraph tests.

No Turning BackThe arrest of Chambliss; Elizabeth Cobbs’ last meetings with Bob Eddy and Jon Yung of the FBI.

Day in Court: Elizabeth Cobbs’ testimony.

Home—But Not Home Free: Final days of trial, waiting for the verdict. Chambliss found guilty. Elizabeth Cobbs’ life after the trial.

Lots of Questions and Very Few Answers: A listing of the many questions that have never been answered  — or even asked — about the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing and its aftermath.



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