by Dr. Paul Williams
Violent crimes committed by Muslim extremists on U.S. soil were not confined to the events of 9/11, the Beltway sniper killings, and the murderous rampage of Major Nidal Maik Hasan at Fort Hood.
One of the most horrific incidents of Islamic rage has escaped the attention of the mainstream media and the American people.
The mayhem was conducted in the name of Allah and resulted in the deaths of over 280 white Christians.
And it occurred in California. NOT YESTERDAY BUT INDICATING THE DEEP ROOTS OF ISLAMIC VIOLENCE IN AMERICA.
The killings began on October 19, 1973 when members of an elite group within the Nation of Islam (NOI), known as the Death Angels, kidnapped Richard and Quinta Hagueas they were taking a stroll near their home on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. The black Muslims forced the couple into a white van and began to sexually molest the 28 year-old Quinta. When Richard protested, a member of the squad smashed his jaw with a wrench. Following the molestation, the Muslims proceeded to decapitate her with machetes. The cuts severed her cervical spine and ripped through her carotid arteries, jugular veins, epiglottis, and hypo pharynx. “That girl’s wounds screamed out hate,” SFPD detective Earl Sanders later recalled. “Whoever cut her didn’t just cut through flesh, they cut through bone. They cut deep.” The killers next turned their attention to Richard, smashing his skull with the wrench and hacking away at his face and neck with their machetes.
THE KILLINGS CONTINUE
Ten days later, Frances Rose, a 28 year-old physical therapist, was shot in the face at point blank range by Jesse Lee Cooks, a member of the Death Angels, who blocked her car and demanded a ride as she drove up to the entrance of the University of California’s Extension Campus on Laguna Street.
Within the next two months, seven additional attacks took place on the streets of San Francisco, including a hit on Art Agnos, a member of California’s Commission, and the murders of Ilario Bertuccio, an 81 year-old maintenance man, Paul Dancik, a 26 year-old street junkie, Saleem Erakat, a 53 year-old grocer, and Marietta DiGirolamo where he worked as a janitor.
On December 22, a member of the Death Angels gunned down 19 year-old Neal Moynihan in front of the Civic Center Hotel. Moynihan had just was purchased a late-minute Christmas gift – – a teddy bear for his kid sister. The assassin fled down a nearby alley to Gough Street, where 50 year-old Mildred Hosler was waiting at a bus stop. He shot her four times in the left breast and then continued to jog down the street. The killer had eliminated two whites within three minutes.
A CHRISTMAS TURKEY
On Christmas Eve, the Death Angels captured a homeless white man and transported him to the Black Self Help Moving and Storage Company, a business owned by the NOI, where they butchered him while he was still alive and trussed up his remains like a Christmas turkey, which they tossed into San Francisco bay. The body was so mutilated that the SFPD has never been able to come up with the name of the corpse. He remains known as John Doe #169.
The attacks by now had become so commonplace that the SFPD reserved radio frequency “Z” for communications related to the killing spree. For this reason, the crimes became known as the “Zebra Murders.” It proved to be an ironically prescient handle since the incidents involved random attacks by black militants on white victims.
MURDER WITHOUT END
The killings stopped for five weeks only to resume on January 28, 1974, with the murders of Tana Smith, a 32-year old secretary; John Bambic, 84, an avid junk collector; Jane Holly, 45, a social activist; and Vincent Wollin, who was celebrating his 69th birthday by treating himself to a doughnut and a cup of coffee. The rampage continued with the shooting of Roxanne McMillan, a 23 year-old housewife and mother of a four-month old baby, who would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, and Thomas Bates, a 21-year old student who was shot three times while hitch-hiking near Emeryville.
On April 1, a Death Angel stalked and shot Thomas Rainwater, 19, and Linda Story, 21, as they walked away from the Salvation Army School for Officers’ Training, where they were first-year cadets. Rainwater, who was plugged three times in the back with a .32 caliber, was dead at the scene. Story was shot twice, while she sought to escape from the killer’s clutches. The bullets narrowly missed her spine and she later recovered.
On Easter Sunday, April 14, the Black Muslims killed 19 year-old Ward Anderson and wounded 15 year-old Larry White, on the corner of Fillmore and Hayes, where the teenagers were waiting for a bus. Two days later, they executed Nelson T. Shields, 23, heir to a prominent Dupont executive, in the Ingleside district of the city.
THE ANGELS’ WINGS
The break in the case came after the SFPD posted a $30,000 reward for any information leading to the arrests of the killers. Anthony Harris, a worker at Black Self-Help, took notice. He was struggling to support a wife and baby, and $30K was a lot of dough to him. A few hours after he dropped a dime from a pay phone, detectives took him into custody for questioning. Harris spilled his guts, telling the cops about the Death Angels and the point system within the NOI for killing white people.
Angels, according to the system, gained their “wings” upon killing four white children and five white women, or, if they preferred, nine white men. Upon attaining this quota, a photo of the Angel was taken aith a pair of black wings affixed to his back. The photo was mounted on a board along with pictures of other successful candidates, and the board was displayed on an easel at Black Self-Help Moving and Storage.
In the pre-dawn hours of May 1, more than 100 cops carried out simultaneous pre-dawn raids. Forty officers were deployed to an apartment building at 844 Grove Street, where J.C. X. Simon lived in Apartment 2, and Larry Green in No. 7. Twenty cops charged into Black Self Help Moving and Storage Company on Market Street, where two suspects lived. None of the men arrested in the raid offered resistance.
THE 10th LESSON
San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto held a press conference to announce that the men taken into custody were members of NOI’s Mosque #26, where they aspired to become “Death Angels.” John Muhammad, the leader of Mosque #26, expressed indignation and demanded that the Mayor apologize for his racist remarks. Muhammad, however, refused to explain Lesson #10 of the NOI as penned by Elijah Poole (Elijah Muhammad):
Lesson Number Ten: Why does Muhammad and any Muslim murder the devil [the white man]? What is the duty of each Muslim in regard to four devils? What reward does a Muslim receive by presenting four devils at one time? Answers: Because he [the devil] is 100 percent wicked and will not keep and obey the laws of Islam. His ways and actions are like a snake of the grafted type. So Muhammad learned he could not reform the devils, so they had to be murdered. All Muslims will murder the devil because they know he is a snake and also if he be allowed to live, he would sting someone else. Each Muslim is required to bring four devils, and by bringing and presenting four at a time his reward is a button to wear on the lapel of his coat. Also a free transportation to the Holy City, Mecca, to see Brother Muhammad.
OUTCRY AND OUTCOME
Muhammad was not the only African American to express outrage at the Mayor’s remark. The Black Liberation Army sent a communiqué to FM rock station KSAN which called for an armed uprising of all radical groups, including the SLA, the Weather Underground, and the Death Angels – – against the racist municipal government.
The uprising never took place and the proceedings took place without the spilling of blood. Of the seven suspects taken into custody, three were later released. The remaining four – – Larry Green, J. C. X. Simon, Manuel Moore, and Jesse Lee Cooks were found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Black Self-Help was managed by Tom Manney, an NOI member and former St. Ignatius High School and City College football star. Manney lent his black Cadillac to the murderers, who used it to hunt down their victims, and an illegal .32 pistol that was used in several of the killings. He was taken into custody only to be released for lack of evidence.
In October 1973, when the killing spree started, there were fifteen divisions of the Death Angels within California. The California attorney general’s office had compiled a list of 71 execution-style murders committed around the state, either with a machete or a pistol, in which the killer or killers was always a well-dressed and groomed youngish black man, and the victim always white. In addition to San Francisco, the murders were carried out in Oakland, San Jose, Emeryville, Berkeley, Long Beach, Signal Hill, Santa Barbara, Palo Alto, Pacifica, San Diego, Los Angeles, and in the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Contra Costa, Ventura and Alameda. The NOI genocide campaign had actually begun approximately three years before the San Francisco killings.
It took law enforcement officials several years to come to terms with the real enormity of the crime. From 1970 to 1974, the NOI was responsible for “just under 270” black-on-white murders in California alone. How many killings occurred throughout the country has yet to be calculated.
Nor has the economic impact of the killings ever been assessed. However, clippings from the San Francisco Chronicle document that the city remained crippled by fear. Tourism fell to an all-time low; hotel prices plummeted; stores and restaurants closed for lack of business; cultural events failed to attract audiences. When night fell, the city by the bay became a ghost-town.
The rampage made the NOI the bloodiest domestic terrorist group in U. S. history. Yet no law enforcement or government figure, in this heyday of the civil rights movement, opted to take the Muslim organization to task, let alone to expose Elijah Poole as the instigator of mass murder. At the heart of the matter remained the fact that the Nation of Islam was a religion with thousands of adherents and even more supporters. As a religion, it was protected by a battery of constitutional rights. The first line of the first article of the Bill of Rights reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Doing anything that contravened these words would create a legal maelstrom that would result in the loss of a juridical or governmental position and personal costs beyond calculation. And so the real cause of the murders was neither addressed nor uprooted.