They were taken April 4, 1968, by Life magazine photographer Henry Groskinsky, who was on assignment in Alabama with writer Mike Silva when they learned that King had been shot in Memphis and rushed to the scene.
To their surprise, they had access not just to the motel but to King's room.
"I was very discreet. I shot just enough to document what was going on. I didn't want to make a nuisance of myself," the 75-year-old Groskinsky said in the caption to a photo showing a group of King's associates, including Andrew Young and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, assembled inside the room.
"It's very somber, and there I am with a flash camera. So I took a couple of pictures and just kind of backed off," Groskinsky said.
Link to story. Link to gallery. -via Fark