A May 13, 1965 memo to Federal Bureau of Investigation (Federal Bureau of Investigation) director J. Edgar Hoover identified Chambliss, Bobby Frank Cherry, Herman Frank Cash and Thomas East. Blanton, Junior. as suspects in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which resulted in the death of four young African-American girls. The investigation was originally closed in 1968. Number charges were filed.
Years later it was found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had accumulated evidence against the named suspects that had not been revealed to the prosecutors by order of J. Edgar Hoover.
Edgar Hoover stopped and shut down the investigation in 1968. The files were used by Alabama attorney general Bill Baxley to reopen the case in 1971.
In 1977 Chambliss was convicted of murder for the bombing and sentenced to several terms of life imprisonment. He died in Lloyd Noland Hospital and Health Center in Birmingham on October 29, 1985, still proclaiming his innocence.
He was 81. Chambliss served his time in a prison near Montgomery, Alabama.