Posted on November 10, 2019

The Connection Between the “Beltway Sniper” and the Nation of Islam

James P. Lubinskas, American Renaissance, December 2002

John Allen Muhammad

John Allen Muhammad

The arrests of John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo have been a relief for most Washington, DC-area residents, but for racially conscious whites, the media coverage of the “DC Sniper” is one more example of bias and double standards. Columnists Andrew Sullivan, Jonah Goldberg and Mark Steyn have compiled lists of media-approved “experts” on serial killers who told us the killers must be “angry white males” — the standard media scapegoat. On the very day of the arrests, the New York Times was reporting that suspects were being profiled for “possible ties to skinhead militia groups.”

Of course, the culprits turned out to be blacks, with at least one killer belonging to the Nation of Islam. This did not sit well with many blacks. “Urban” radio stations in the DC area buzzed with predictable theories of government cover-ups and racist conspiracies. One caller to WMMJ-FM claimed the “brother” the police got was the wrong man, and that “the real sniper is out there laughing at them.” A poll on the web site indicated that over 20 percent of blacks believe the police were “scapegoating” Mr. Muhammad and his young sidekick.

The media are careful not to draw attention to the race and religion of the snipers. Thus CNN refers to Mr. Muhammad as “Mr. Williams,” despite the fact that he became a Muslim and legally changed his name long before the killing spree. CNN denies any bias, but for some reason it never refers to the athletic accomplishments of Cassius Clay or Lew Alcinder.

Needless to say, the media would be in full cry about the identities and associations of the snipers if they turned out to be part of a “skinhead militia group,” but we can hardly expect the media to seize on the connection with the Nation of Islam (NOI), especially since some of its members were responsible for what was probably the worst case of serial murder in American history.

The Zebra Killings

The Zebra Killings left 15 people dead and eight more wounded or mutilated in the San Francisco Bay area between 1972 and 1974. They got their name from the radio channel (channel Z) used by police investigators, but the name took on a more sinister meaning as it became apparent that a group of blacks was systematically stalking and killing whites.

Zebra (1979), by crime writer Clark Howard, remains the definitive book on the murders. Using court records, police reports, witnesses and interviews with the killers themselves, Howard pieced together the horrible details of the murders and the unrelenting hatred that inspired them.

The majority of the attacks were carried out by five members of a group within the Nation of Islam called the “Death Angels.” Jesse Lee Cooks, J.C. Simon, Larry Green, Manuel Moore and Anthony Harris believed whites were created 3,000 years ago by a black mad scientist named Yacub who wanted a race of inferiors over which he could rule. Death Angels believed they could earn “points” towards going to heaven if they killed whites. For them, whites were not human beings but “grafted snakes,” “blue-eyed devils” and “white motherf*****s.”

Mr. Howard describes the vicious nature of the attacks, which were mostly carried out against women and old men who could not fight back. The first victims in San Francisco were a couple named Richard and Quita Hague. The Hagues were out for an after-dinner walk when Death Angels abducted them at gunpoint and forced them into a van. They beat Richard unconscious with a lug wrench, sexually molested Quita and hacked her with a machete. They decapitated her as she begged for her life. Before leaving, the attackers hacked at the face of the still unconscious man. Miraculously, he survived and was able to give valuable information to the police.

Whites continued to die in what appeared to be random attacks. Death Angels killed Vincent Wollin on his 69th birthday with a shot in the back. They shot Mildred Hosler, an obese, older woman while she frantically tried to get away. Ilario Bertucci, a 135-pound, 81-year-old man, was killed while walking home from work. Marietta DiGirolamo, a 5’1” woman died on her way to a neighborhood bar. In none of these cases did the victims do anything to provoke the murderers. They were whites in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There were some high-profile victims. Death Angels shot and almost killed Art Agnos, who later became mayor of San Francisco. A member of the California Commission on Aging, Mr. Agnos was attending a community meeting in a black neighborhood to discuss building a government-funded health clinic in the area. The killers were hunting for whites that day. As the meeting let out, Mr. Agnos stopped to talk with two women. One of the killers came up behind him and shot him twice in the back. The bullets ripped apart his lungs, spleen and kidneys. Bystanders called an ambulance, and Mr. Agnos survived.

The case was solved when one of the Death Angels came forward with information on the others. Anthony Harris, afraid he was about to be arrested, and hoping to get $30,000 in reward money that he could turn over to his wife and child, told the authorities who the killers were. Police went on to arrest eight men, all with prior records. These men committed most of the killings but not all of them. Some of the murderers are still free to this day. The Nation of Islam paid for the legal representation of every one of the killers except Jesse Lee Cooks, who immediately confessed. The Death Angels are still in prison but come up from time to time for parole.

See No Evil

The Zebra Killings and DC Sniper attacks suggest that the NOI is a very dangerous extremist group. Yet Louis Farrakhan is probably the most admired leader in black America. What other black could attract half-a-million people to a rally? Almost every important black politician and leader — including Jesse Jackson — participated in his “Million Man March.” Until recently, the group received government funds for “security services” at housing projects. Compare the gracious and respectful way Tim Russert and Phil Donahue treat him with the rude, confrontational way they treat David Duke.

Of course, the Zebra Killings have faded from memory, and the racial and religious identities of the DC Snipers are being buried too. No one is calling for an investigation into how NOI teachings might have inspired Mr. Muhammad, despite reports that friends say he routinely made disparaging comments about whites, Christians and Jews. We learn in Zebra that NOI gave its members sacred “Lessons,” explaining that whites are “sub-human devils.” The possibility that these teachings may have helped inspire at least two sprees of serial murder don’t seem to interest journalists, who would rather write about largely non-existent anti-Muslim and anti-black violence committed by whites.

But after the huge publicity the sniper attacks got before the killers were caught — while everyone was sure they were white — the media can hardly drop the story now.