April 27, 2011
An excerpt from Mel Ayton recently published book Dark Soul of the South – The Life and Crimes of Racist Killer Joseph Paul Franklin
by Mel Ayton
In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for executions to start again in Missouri when it refused to hear the Missouri lethal injection case, Clemons v. Crawford. In response, Missouri's attorney general stated executions would recommence. He also said he wanted Potosi Prison Death Row inmate and racist killer, Joseph Paul Franklin, to be the first to die.
In 1977 Franklin, a self-proclaimed racist and anti-Semite, began his murder spree after concluding the organizations he had joined – the American Nazi Party, the States Rights Party and the Ku Klux Klan – were not serious enough in putting their extremist and violent beliefs into practice. Between 1977 and 1980 Franklin acted as a “Lone Wolf” assassin, roaming the length and breadth of the United States in pursuit of Jews, African-Americans and especially interracial couples whom he believed were “beasts ready for the slaughter.” In a three-year period he bombed the home of a Jewish lobbyist in a Washington D.C. suburb and a synagogue in Chattanooga, Tennessee; used a sniper rifle to kill a congregant outside a St Louis synagogue; shot and wounded Civil Rights leader Vernon Jordan; shot and paralyzed magazine publisher Larry Flynt; killed two African-American joggers in a sniper shooting in Salt Lake City; shot and killed two young African-American boys in Cincinnati, Ohio; successfully targeted with his sniper rifle interracial couples in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Georgia and Wisconsin; and shot and killed African- American men in Doraville, Georgia, Falls Church, Virginia and Indianapolis, Indiana. He also murdered four young women who had confessed to him they had had sexual relationships with black men. Eventually, he was sentenced to numerous life sentences but received the death penalty only once for the 1977 murder of Gerald Gordon in Richmond Heights, St Louis.
Despite the evil nature of his acts, Franklin became the poster boy for extremist groups around the world. His crimes were also immortalized by right wing Christian Identity fanatic William Pierce in his book Hunter, the fictional story of a “lone wolf” violent racist who targeted racially mixed couples. Internet sites proclaiming Franklin as a hero for the “cause” proliferated throughout the 1990s and beyond, promoting a message of violence and hatred towards Jews and African-Americans. It is a message which, to this day, is polluting the minds of vulnerable American youth.