(/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/03/wr.jpg)On March 12, convict J.C.X. Simon passed away at 69 in his cell at San Quentin prison. News reports described him as a “Zebra Killer,” and that might have left some readers confused. The “Zebra Killers” tag derived from the radio channel “Z” used by police in San Francisco. There J.C.X. Simon was part of a 1973-76 murder spree that killed 14 people and left at least seven wounded.
The killers were Simon, Jessie Lee Cooks, Manuel Moore, and Larry Craig Green. As Daryl Lembke of the Los Angeles Times reported in 1976, “All are black and all are members of the Nation of Islam (Black Muslim) religion.” A witness, Anthony C. Harris, testified that the men were part the “Death Angels,” an offshoot of the Fruit of Islam, the security arm of the Nation of Islam. In December, 1975, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Death Angels planned to “run all the whites out of San Francisco” and establish that city as their headquarters.
The Death Angels targeted white victims ranging from ages 15 to 87. They killed 14 killed, assaulted seven, and raped one. Three children managed to escaped from attempted kidnappings. As Daryl Lembke reported, in October of 1973, Quita Hague, 28, and her husband Richard Hague, 30, were strolling near Fishermen’s Wharf when three of the Death Angels attacked the couple. They sexually assaulted Mrs. Hague then struck her repeatedly with a machete, “which nearly decapitated her.” The attackers hacked at Mr. Hague and left him for dead, but he survived.
The attackers also shot Art Agnos, 35, twice in the back. Agnos survived and went on to become mayor of San Francisco. Janitor Ilario Bertuccio, 81, took four shots to his upper body and died instantly. Near the San Francisco Civic Center, one attacker shot Christmas shopper Neal Moynihan, 19, in the face, neck and heart. The attacker then shot Mildred Hosler, 50, four times near a bus stop. In late December, 1973, the attackers shot Tana Smith, 32, Vincent Wollin, 69, John Bambic, 84, Roxanne McMillan, 23, and Jane Holly, 45. She was killed as she washed clothes in a Laundromat. As James Lubinskas observed on Frontpage in 2001, “In none of these cases did the victims do anything to provoke the murderers. They simply had white skin and were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
A $30,000 award prompted Anthony Harris to come forward, and police arrested Simon, Cooks, Moore and Green, all tried in 1975. The Nation of Islam paid for the attorneys of Simon, Moore and Green, but not Cooks, who pleaded guilty. More than 100 witnesses testified in the marathon trial, including Anthony Harris, who in 12 days on the on the witness stand revealed many details of the killings. In 1976 Green, Simon, Moore and Cooks were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life, with possibility of parole. Larry Green, 63, remains at California State Prison in Vacaville. Manuel Moore, 70, is serving his term at Ironwood State Prison and Jessie Cooks at the Richard Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.
The New York Times story on Simon’s death said that Simon and three other black men were “convicted of targeting white victims between October 1973 and April 1974” but made no mention of the Death Angels, the Fruit of Islam, or the Nation of Islam. Fox News noted that the murder spree “resulted in 14 deaths and seven injuries of white people in San Francisco in 1973 and 1974” but no mention of racist motives for the murders, and nothing on the Nation of Islam.
A San Francisco news report recalled that “racially motivated slayings terrorized San Francisco in the 1970s” but no reference to the Nation of Islam. The Los Angeles Times did mention the Fruit of Islam and its earlier report on plans to “run all the whites” out of San Francisco. None of the reports named any of the murder victims or provided details of the attacks, such as the attempt to behead Quita Hague. None of the reports described the “Zebra murders” as a hate crime and the murderers also escaped descriptions such as “racist.”
Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad believed that people such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Beethoven, Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt, were the result of an experiment by a black scientist named Yacub more than 6,000 years ago. In 1997, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan told NBC’s Tim Russert, “I subscribe to every word that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us.”
Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.