(One of my intrepid reader-researchers has been at it again, dredging up old, forgotten reports on the nation’s largest-ever, domestically organized, mass murder conspiracy. I extend my thanks.
From the Reno Evening Gazette - November 11, 1974, Reno, Nevada
.)Black Muslim youths
face life in prison
in Zebra murders SACRAMENTO (AP) - Three Black Muslim youths face life in prison after what the prosecution called random attacks on white men in the name of Muslim teachings.
All three were convicted in Sacramento County Superior Court Saturday of first-degree murder in the death of a white man who was on San Francisco Mayor Joseph L. Alioto's "Zebra murders" list. The list contained the names of 73 persons whose killings in California since September, 1970, were characterized — Alioto said – by the pattern of operations of a Muslim-related Death Angel group.
The random attacks in San Francisco, which reached five in one day, were dubbed the Zebra murders after a police radio channel. The trial of four Black Muslims in connection with 13 San Francisco killings and seven assaults is tentatively set to begin Tuesday. In the three-month Sacramento trial, prosecution attorneys contended the three Black Muslims, and a fourth convicted of conspiracy to murder, were motivated by teachings of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam (Black Muslims). They said the Black Muslims hold whites to be devils.
The four were arrested last spring shortly after a series of three shotgun ambushes of whites in Sacramento. Two of the victims survived their wounds. Receiving murder convictions were Emery L. Hanson, 26, a lieutenant in a Muslim men's organization called Fruit of Islam, and Larry Pratt and Russell Lang, both 19 and characterized as engaged in the processing of brothers who were awaiting X designations in their names from the Nation of Islam headquarters.
All three were also found guilty of conspiracy to murder, as was the fourth, Dale X. McKinney, 24, a secretary of Sacramento's Black Muslim Temple. Killed April 24 as he sat in the living room of his parents' home in a racially mixed neighborhood was Joseph Belmore, 25, an unemployed veteran of the Vietnam War. A single shotgun blast went through the front window. Hanson, Pratt and Lang were arrested 20 minutes later in a car in which police say they found a sawed-off shotgun described as the death weapon.
The Jury of 11 whites and one black also found McKinney responsible for the April 20 gunning of off-duty detective Gerald Bakarich outside an all-night market.
All were acquitted of the April 21 shotgun assault on Lloyd 0. Revell, who was walking home with a six-pack of beer. Attorneys said the death penalty would not be involved in the sentencing, scheduled for later this month.