Joseph Paul Franklin


Joseph Paul Franklin

Birth name: James Clayton Vaughn, Jr.

A.K.A.: "The Racist Killer"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Former Klansman and neo-Nazi - Racially-motivated serial killer
Number of victims: 15 +
Date of murders: 1977 - 1980
Date of arrest: September 25, 1980
Date of birth: April 13, 1950
Victims profile: Men and women (most of them Jews or interracial couples)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Wisconsin, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Utah, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in Missouri on February 27, 1997

Joseph Paul Franklin was a rare racially-motivated serial killer. Franklin drifted city-to-city and state-to-state in search of new hunting grounds in a quest to "cleanse the world", as he put it.

Franklin killed at random, possibly beginning in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1977 when he shot Alphone Manning and his white friend Toni Schwenn. In 1979 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, he killed another racially mixed couple. In Indianapolis, Indiana, the next year, Franklin shot and killed two black men in seperate incidents. Though brought in for questioning on the Indianapolis and Oklahoma murders, he was never charged because of lack of evidence.

On June 8, 1980, Franklin gunned down Darrell Lane, 13, and Dante Brown, 14, two cousins on their way to a neighborhood store in Cincinatti, Ohio.

His killing spree was finally ended in 1980 when he was arrested in Florida for the Salt Lake City, Utah killing of two black men the racist had spotted jogging with white women.

In total, Franklin has been tenuously linked to roughly 20 killings and numerous other crimes including bank robbery and possibly bombings.

He has confessed to the shooting of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine's Larry Flint. He has also admitted guilt in a 1980 murder of two hitch-hikers in West Virginia, a crime for which another man has been convicted and is serving two life sentences.

Franklin has garnered multiple life sentences himself and is currently incarcerated on Missouri's death row for the murder of a Jewish man outside a synagogue.

Trail of Violence


July 25: Bombing. No injuries. Rockville, Md. Admits.
July 29: Bombing. No injuries. Chattanooga, Tenn. Convicted.
Aug. 7: Two killings. Madison, Wis. Convicted.
Oct. 7: One killing, two injuries. St. Louis suburb. Trial pending.


March 6: Two injuries. Lawrenceville, Ga. Admits, trial pending.
July 29: One killing, one injury. Chattanooga suburb. Admits, trial pending.


March 25: One killing. Jackson, Miss. Admits, no charges.
July 29: One killing. Chattanooga suburb.
Aug. 8: One killing. Falls Church, Va.
Oct. 1: Two killings. Oklahoma City. Charges dropped.


Jan. 12: One killing. Indianapolis.
Jan. 14: Two killings. Indianapolis. Admits after charges dropped.
April 23: Two injuries. Indianapolis. Admits.
May 3: One killing. Tomah, Wis.
May 29: One injury. Fort Wayne, Ind. Admits after jury acquits him.
June 6: Two killings. Cincinnati.
June 15: Two killings. Johnstown, Pa.
Aug. 20: Two killings. Salt Lake City, Utah. Convicted

Joseph Franklin (1977-1981) was a 37-year old former Klansman and neo-Nazi from Madison, Wisconsin who believed that interracial couples were a sin against God. He also believed that the criminal justice system was too lenient on blacks, and he once targeted a judge he thought was too lenient.

He is thought to have bombed a synagogue in Chattanooga and was also a suspect in the shooting of Larry Flynt presumably because interracial couples were featured in Hustler magazine.

He was an excellent sniper, and in his travels around the country, he shot 15 people, mostly couples consisting of a black man and a white woman. His favorite sniping post was the rooftop of shopping malls, but he eventually began shooting mixed-race jogging couples from any rooftop or perch. He evaded prosecution several times because he was so mobile and the only evidence authorities had on him was that he was in town when the shootings happened.

A jury in Utah eventually sentenced him in 1981 to four life terms, and other states, such as Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida followed suit in 1986 or considered their cases closed.

Joseph Paul Franklin

Born James Clayton Vaughn, Jr., in Mobile Alablama, Franklin was the eldest son of an alcoholic drifter who often abandoned his family for months or years at a stretch. Siblings remember that James Vaughn, Sr., would celebrate infrequent homecomings by beating his children, with James, Jr., absorbing the worst punishment. As a youth, Franklin went in for food fads and fringe religions, dropping out of high school after an accident left him with severely impaired eyesight.

The injury was a two-edged sword, exempting Franklin from military conscription, and he married in 1968, at an age when many young men were sweating out the draft lottery, fearful of the war in Vietnam. Soon after their wedding, Franklin's bride noted a change in his personality "like night and day." He began to beat her, emulating the father he hated, and on other occasions she would find him inexplicably weeping. Around the same time, their all-white neighborhood was racially integrated, and Franklin began to veer hard right, into the realm of pathological bigotry.

The next few years were marked by ugly racial incidents and sporadic arrests for carrying concealed weapons. Franklin was increasingly drawn to the American Nazi Party, lapsing into the segregationist movement full-time after mother'shis death, in 1972. Moving to Atlanta, he joined the neo-fascist National States Rights Party, simultaneously holding membership in the local Ku Klux Klan. Franklin began insulting interracial couples in public, and on Labor Day 1976, he trailed one such couple to a dead-end street in Atlanta, spraying them with chemical Mace.

Around this time, Franklin legally changed his name, shedding the last links with his "normal" life. Federal prosecutors allege -- and jurors have agreed -- that he spent the years 1977 to 1980 wandering across the South and Midwest, employing 18 pseudonyms, changing cars and weapons frequently, dying his hair so often that it came close to falling out. Along the way, he killed some thirteen persons in a frenzied, one-man war against minorities.

According to the FBI, Franklin launched his campaign in the summer of 1977, bombing a Chattanooga synagogue on July 29. Nine days later, investigators say, he shot and killed Alphonse Manning and Toni Schwenn, an interracial couple, in Madison, Wisconsin. On October 8, Gerald Gordon was killed by sniper fire as he left a bar mitzvah in the St. Louis suburb of Richmond Heights.

Harold McIver, the black manager of a fast-food restaurant in Doraville, Georgia, was working the night shift when a sniper took his life on July 22, 1979. Three months later, in Oklahoma City, another interracial couple came under attack from the itinerant gunman. Jesse Taylor was hit three times with a high-powered rifle before he expired; a single round through the chest killed Marian Bresette as she ran to the aide of her common-law husband.

Franklin struck twice in Indianapolis during January 1980, killing black men with long-distance rifle fire in two separate attacks. On May 3, he allegedly killed a young white woman, Rebecca Bergstrom, dumping her body near Tomah, in central Wisconsin. On June 8 he surfaced in Cincinnati, bagging cousins Darrell Lane and Dante Brown from his sniper's perch on a nearby railroad trestle. A week later, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Franklin shotgunned a black couple -- Arthur Smothers and Kathleen Mikula -- as they crossed a downtown bridge. On August 20, joggers Ted Fields and David Martin were cut down by rifle fire in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Arrested in Kentucky on September 25, 1980 (and recaptured a month later, after escaping to Florida), Franklin faced a marathon series of state and federal trials, with mixed results.

In 1982, he was acquitted of federal civil rights charges in the May 1980 shooting that left civil rights leader Vernon Jordan critically injured in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Utah juries found him guilty of murder and civil rights violations; Franklin was serving life on those counts in 1983 when he confessed the 1978 sniping that crippled Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flint in Gwinnett County, Georgia. (Franklin was indicted for that crime but never tried, since he already faced stiffer penalties in other states.)

More convictions followed: for the Chattanooga bombing; for the double murder in Wisconsin, described by prosecutors as "the closest thing to killing for sport"; for the murder of Gerald Gordon, killed leaving a Clayton, Missouri synagogue in 1977 (his first death sentence); for the June 1980 double murder in Cincinnati; for the 1978 murder of William Tatum, shot while talking to a white woman outside a Chattanooga restaurant.

Other crimes confessed by Franklin without further convictions include the 1980 murder of teenager Nancy Santomero at a peace retreat in West Virginia; the 1980 murders of an interracial couple in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the 1980 murders of an interracial couplein Johnstown, Ohio; an the separate 1979 murders of a white woman and a black man in Decatur, Georgia. Overall, investigators believe Franklin is responsible for at least 18 murders and five nonfatal shootings in 11 states, plus two bombings and 16 bank robberies.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

Ohio v. Joseph Paul Franklin

Franklin gets two more life sentences

By Aldina Vazao -

October 22, 1999

Judge Ralph Winkler sentenced serial killer and alleged white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin to two consecutive life sentences for the 1980 Cincinnati murder of two black teenagers. Franklin said he would appeal within 30 days.

On October 21, the jury convicted Franklin of gunning down 14-year old Darrell Lane and 13-year old Dante Evans Brown. Franklin said he killed the boys because they were black.

Immediately after Winkler sentenced him, Franklin said, "You might as well--all the other judges have." Franklin is linked to twenty other racially-motivated murders in 11 states and has racked up at least six other life sentences, as well as one death sentence in Missouri.

Franklin repeatedly taunted the judge. In response to one outburst, Winkler responded, "I'm looking at the face of evil. You're basically a Hannibal Lecter, but with a rifle." Lecter was the serial killer in the movie, Silence of the Lambs.

Winkler also disagreed with Franklin's assessment that he should get credit for confessing to the killings. "I helped these people [the prosecution] out...I didn't have to do it," said Franklin. Winkler also expressed disgust at Franklin's attitude throughout the proceedings. The first thing he heard Franklin do in court, said Winkler, was whine. Franklin had accused the county deputies of preying on him and making homosexual advances. Winkler said those and other charges were unfounded. "If there is such a thing as a motion to whine, you would have filed it," the judge said.

Franklin served as co-counsel and presented no case. Co-counsel Dale Schmidt submitted a pre-trial motion to suppress a recording of Franklin's detailed confession to assistant prosecutor Michelle Powers. The judge's denial of that motion will be the basis of Franklin's appeal, said Schmidt. Franklin will argue that Powers led him on in order to get a confession.

While no family members spoke at the hearing, written victim impact statements were submitted by Lane's sister and Brown's mother. Winkler called their words "heart wrenching."

Winkler also said that justice would be better served if the death penalty could be applied in Franklin's case. Although the death penalty is currently legal in Ohio, it was not at the time of the killings and therefore can not be applied.

Franklin received a stay of execution from Missouri in order to stand trial in Ohio. Lead prosecutor Joseph Deters asked the judge to order Franklin back to Missouri as soon as possible.

Franklin found guilty

By Aldina Vazao -

October 21, 1999

The jury delivered a guilty verdict in the trial of serial killer and alleged white supremacist Joseph Paul Franklin. It took less than an hour.

Franklin will be sentenced on Oct 22.

Franklin was indicted on April 28 in Hamilton County, Ohio for the pre-meditated murders of 14-year old Darrell Lane and 13-year old Dante Evans Brown. The boys were gunned down in Cincinnati 18 years ago.

Franklin, who represented himself with co-counsel Dale Schmidt, called no witnesses. Furthermore, the defense made neither an opening statement nor a closing argument.

After the prosecution rested, Schmidt entered an objection to Judge Ralph Winkler's proposed jury instructions and reiterated an objection to the judge's pre-trial decision to admit Franklin's confession.

Assistant prosecutor Melissa Powers visited Franklin in a Missouri jail, where she recorded his detailed five-hour confession. The defense alleged Franklin gave her a "false" confession, an argument Franklin could use in an appeal.

In his closing argument, lead prosecutor Joseph Deters told jury members that even without Franklin's confession, the evidence of guilt was "overwhelming."

Deters said that Franklin had confessed to "the exact same type of murder," to other authorities in other venues. Also, the local police placed Franklin in Cincinnati at the time of the murder.

"Without his confession to Melissa Powers, he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt," Deters said. And with the confession, Deters said Franklin is "guilty beyond all doubt."

Deters acknowledged that some jurors might wonder why prosecutors brought this case. Franklin is already on death row in Missouri and is serving six life sentences for other crimes.

Deters explained that the prosecution had to consider "how the community feels." The community, he said, could not forget what happened. "18 years means nothing," he said. "Justice for these two boys, for his family, for his community, that's what matters."

Prosecution witnesses describe horror of the crime scene

By Beth Karas -

October 20, 1999

CINCINNATI, Ohio, Oct. 20 (Court TV) -- On the second day in the trial of Joseph Franklin, the prosecution called 11 of its 12 witnesses, all of whom painted a picture of the defendant as a gory murder and a racist killer.

Franklin is accused of murdering 14-year old Darrell Lane and 13-year old Dante Evans Brown with a high-powered rifle in June 1980.

The day began with emotional testimony from Linda Lane, Darrell's older sister. Lane tearily described the bloody scene she encountered 18 years ago.

After Lane testified, Priscilla Richardson, a passing motorist who had stopped at the crime scene to administer first aid, told the jury how the mortally injured Dante Evans cried out, "help me, please help me." Richardson also testified about going to get the police.

Direct testimony also came from several police officers, who spoke about the crime scene and subsequent investigation. Jim Riley, a former Kentucky officer, told the jury how Joseph Franklin was almost caught in 1980.

Riley testified that Franklin was brought to his station for questioning in another case, but the defendant somehow escaped through an open window. He did, however, leave behind a driver's license and a set of finger prints.

After the driver's license photograph ran in a Cincinnati paper, Susan Roudebush stepped forward, telling authorities that she had recently bought a guitar and a distortion unit from Franklin. Furthermore, Roudebush testified, Franklin had tried to sell her a rifle.

Officer Clarence Caesar, a Cincinnati police criminologist, testified that the finger prints on the distortion unit and an included instruction booklet matched Franklin's.

While there were few words from the defense team, Franklin did cross examine Caesar, stressing the dearth of finger prints at the crime scene.

One of the last witnesses was the much-anticipated Hamilton County assistant prosecutor Melissa Powers. Powers discussed her April 13, 1997 visit with Franklin at the Missouri prison. She described how she initiated contact with the defendant and how he quickly agreed to meet with her.

She testified that upon entering the room, Franklin told her, "You know I did it," and "I killed those dudes." Powers then played a tape of their conversation. On the tape Franklin said he was trying to kill ugly people and "blacks [are] the ugliest people in the world."

Powers concluded her testimony by holding up a photograph of the murder scene. She told jurors that when she showed Franklin the photo, he pointed to where he stood when he fired at the boys.

Opening statements and a field trip to the murder scene

By Beth Karas -

October 20, 1999

CINCINNATI, Ohio, Oct. 20 (Court TV) -- Before the trial of Joseph Paul Franklin began, the jury went to the crime scene, so that members could see for themselves the place where cousins Darrell Lane and Dante Brown were murdered 18 years ago.

Jurors visited the motel parking lot where the cousins walked through to reach Reading Road. They saw the railroad trestle over the road and the convenience store where the boys headed to buy candy. They viewed the spot on the trestle where Franklin allegedly stood and fired his rifle at the boys. Finally, they were shown the spot where Lane and Brown went down from the sniper's bullets.

In opening statements, Prosecutor Joseph Deters passionately recounted the alleged events of June 1980.

Lane and Brown, born one year apart to the day, were spending the weekend with their grandmother. One night at 11:30 p.m., while their grandmother was sleeping, the boys snuck out to buy some candy. They invited Linda Lane, Darrell's big sister, but she declined.

Shortly after, there was a loud noise which awoke the grandmother. When she discovered the boys had broken her "no going out after dark rule" she quickly went to find them. Linda followed moments later.

Linda described what they saw as a "scene of unspeakable horror." Her 13-year-old brother Darrell was dead. Her 14-year-old cousin Dante was mortally wounded and still clutching the $1 bill he saved for candy.

Deters also described the protracted police investigation. He recounted how the murder weapon was traced back to Franklin through a newspaper advertisement, after the suspect apparently tried to get rid of it. He also spoke of similar shootings that were traced back to Franklin through his license plate number.

But authorities had no witnesses and no confession. Eventually the investigation grew cold. For the next 18 years, Deter told the jury, Franklin was charged with several racially-motivated killings, finally ending up on Missouri's death row.

Deters ended by telling the jury about Franklin's April 10, 1997 confession to prosecutor Melissa Powers. He allegedly told Powers his goal was to cleanse the world by killing blacks.

Compiled from a chronology prepared by the Cincinnati Police Department

August 7, 1977 Madison, Wisconsin

Shot and killed a male black and a female white after an altercation in a shopping mall parking lot. Both shot with a handgun.

Franklin admitted to these homicides February 17, 1984. He was tried, found guilty and given two life sentences in 1985.

October 8, 1977 Richmond Heights, Missouri

Shot and killed a male white and wounded two others as they were leaving a Jewish synagogue.

Shooting was with a 30.06 Remington rifle which was left at the scene.

The shots were fired from a grassy area at the top of the synagogue parking lot. Sniper type shooting.

Franklin admitted this offense and was tried, convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection.

March 6, 1978 Gwinette County, Georgia

Shot and wounded Hustler publisher Larry Flynt and his lawyer Gene Reaves. Shooting was sniper style. Shot with a .44 caliber rifle. Flynt was shot twice and Reaves once, both survived.

Franklin was indicted but never tried.

Franklin has since admitted to these shootings.

July 29, 1978 Chattanooga, Tennessee

Shot and killed a male black and wounded a female white companion. Shooting was with a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

Shooting occurred in a Pizza Hut parking lot. Both victims were shot once with a 12 gauge pump shotgun. The shooting was sniper style from tall grass off the parking lot.

Franklin admitted this offense after contacting investigators from jail and confessed. He was indicted and pled guilty on the eve of his trial to murder.

Franklin was sentenced to two life sentences, one for the murder and one for an unrelated armed robbery offence that occurred in 1977.

July 12, 1979 Doraville, Georgia

Shot and killed a male black manager of Taco Bell. Shooting was sniper style from an area off the rear parking lot.

Weapon used was a 30.30 savage rifle. Victim shot twice.

Franklin admitted this offense to Assistant District Attorney on March 26, 1998.

Franklin has been indicted for this murder, but has not been tried.

December 5, 1979 Dekalb County, Georgia

Shot and killed a 15 year old female white prostitute Mercedes Master.

Shot with a shotgun at close range.

Franklin picked this victim up hitchhiking, and actually lived with her for sometime before the murder.

Franklin has admitted this offense to Assistant District Attorney on March 26, 1998.

Franklin has been indicted for murder, but has not been tried.

August 18, 1979 Falls Church, Virginia

Shot and killed a 27 year old male black who was seated in a Burger King restaurant.

Sniper type shooting. Victim shot with a 30.30 rifle.

Detective met with Franklin at his request on March 10, 1997.

Franklin confessed to this murder on videotape.

October 21, 1979 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Shot and killed a male black and a female white in a shopping center parking lot.

Shooting was sniper style from a distance of 100 yards away. The male subject was struck 3 times and the female subject once. Five shots were fired and four took affect.

The weapon used was 30.06 rifle.

Franklin has been indicted for these murders, but Oklahoma has not sought to extradite him for trial.

January 11, 1980 Indianapolis, Indiana

Shot and killed a male black 19 years old who was standing in front of a Church’s Fried Chicken window.

One shot was fired sniper style, striking the victim once in the chest, the shot was fired from a distance of approximately 150 yards away.

The weapon used was a 30 caliber rifle.

Franklin has admitted to this offense and has been indicted, but Indiana has not sought to extradite him for trial.

January 16, 1980 Indianapolis, Indiana

Shot and killed a male black standing in front of a fast food convenient store with his father.

Sniper type shooting one shot to the chest of the victim.

Weapon used was the same weapon used in the January 11th shooting a .30 caliber rifle.

Shot was fired from a distance of approximately 150 yards through a plate glass window.

Franklin has been indicted for two counts of aggravated murder and is awaiting trial.

June 15, 1980 Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Shot and killed a male black and a female white walking down the street.

Sniper type shooting from a wooded area near a railroad overpass.

Male victim shot once the female was shot twice with .35 caliber rifle.

Franklin was seen driving a dark green Chevy Nova at the time of the shootings.

Franklin has admitted these homicides on April 13, 1997 and has been indicted, but the state of Pennsylvania will not extradite him.

June 25, 1980 Pocahontas County, West Virginia

Picked up two female white hitchhikers and drove to a wooded area of a park where he shot and killed them.

Murders are known as "the Rainbow Murders" locally.

Weapon used was a .44 caliber handgun.

Franklin confessed to these murders on March 1, 1984.

However there was another person charged with these offenses, and subsequently convicted (Jacob Beard).

August 20, 1980 Salt Lake City, Utah

Shot and killed two male black joggers as they were leaving a park with two female whites.

Both victims were shot multiple times, seven shots total fired.

Sniper type shooting from a distance of approximately 40 yards.

Weapon used was a 30.30 Marlin lever action rifle

Franklin’s car was observed leaving the scene a 1975 brown over brown Chevy Camaro KY license BDC678.

Franklin was charged indicted and tried both by the state on murder charges and federally on civil rights violations.

He was convicted and received two life sentences. Franklin has since admitted to these offenses on at least two occasions.


Total number of murders Franklin has been charged with or admitted to date (June 98): 20

Total number of seriously wounded Franklin has admitted to or been indicted for to date (June 98): 6

Total number of bank robberies Franklin has admitted to or been indicted for to date (June 98): 16

Total number of bombings Franklin has been indicted for or admitted to date (June 98): 2

State of Missouri v. Joseph P. Franklin

969 S.W.2d 743 (Mo.banc 1998)

Case Facts: In September of 1977, believing that Jews were "enemies of the white race," Franklin drove to Dallas, Texas after robbing a bank in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Dallas, Franklin bought a 30-06 rifle with a telescopic sight. He then drove to St. Louis, Missouri, checked into a hotel, scouted the city for synagogues, and finally chose Brith Shalom Kneseth Israel Congregation in Richmond Heights.

To prepare for the crime, Franklin bought some ten-inch nails, a guitar case and a bicycle. He tested the bicycle to assure himself that is could be used to enable him to leave the scene of the crime. He drove the nails into a telephone pole to serve as a rifle rest. Later, he ground the serial number off the rifle. He then cleaned the rifle, ammunition and guitar case of any fingerprints and, thereafter, he used gloves to handle the equipment. Lastly, he put the rifle into the guitar case and hid them both in some bushes near the synagogue.

On October 8, 1977, Franklin waited outside the synagogue for people to emerge. Shortly before 1:00 p.m., some of the guests left the synagogue and walked toward their cars. Franklin began firing on the guests. He fired five shots from approximately one hundred yards. Gerald Gordon was shot in the left side of his chest and later died from blood loss resulting from damage to his lung, stomach, spleen, and other internal organs. Steven Goldman was grazed on the shoulder. William Ash was wounded in the left hand and later lost his small finger on that hand. Having fired all his ammunition, Franklin abandoned the rifle and the guitar case. He then rode his bicycle to a nearby parking lot where his automobile was parked, hid the bicycle in some bushes and left St. Louis by car.

The following is taken from the Cincinnati Police Department transcript of the Joseph Paul Franklin confession:



XXXXXX XXXXXX (Asst. Prosecutor] P

P: April 13,1997.

F: Yeah, Min- it also said Mineral Point, Missouri.

P: Min- o.k. Potosi Correcbonal Center in Mineral Point, Missouri

F: Yeah, Mineral Point yeah.

P: My name is XXXXX XXXXXX, I'm with the Prosecutor's Office for Hamilton County. I'm an assistant prosecutor here with Joseph Franklin. We're here to talk about the Cincinnati case. What can you tell me about that, Joseph?

F: Uhh, well I, I did it. You know, uhh, I just uhh, you know, the only thing I can say is uhh I did do it,

P: And can you also tell me why you did it?

F: Uhh.

Was there any reason?

F: Uhh let's See, Well my main uhh at the time uhh uhh Iets see. I was trying to get rid of all the ugly people in the world.


And uhh

Why did you select

F: I considered the blacks the ugliest people of all you know

P: How did you select

F: (Unintelligible) That's basically the idea you know just tryin'you know got rid of the uqly people and uhh

P: O.K. let's start off with what brought you

F: That was my rnind-set at the time you know

P: O.K. What brought you to Cincinnati, Ohio back In June of 19807

Um, lets see. Um what brought me there in the first place?


F: At one time I wanted to sell a riffe. I had a 30.06 rifle I wanted to sell. Which I did run a ad in the uhh newspaper for. You know, the Enquirer.

P: The Cincinnati paper?

F: Yeah, mmm hmm. I did. That is true that I ran the ad in the paper, however, uhh the ad ran for I guess for just a short lime and uhh you now, I also ran another ad, too to sell electric guitar and uhh a amplifier. You probably heard about that one, too.

P: I did. Did you play music?

F: I did well I was tryin' to, practicin' you know and an that one but uhh

P: Did you sell efther one of those items?

F: I did sell the guitar and amplifier to a lady and but the rifle I did not sell.

P: OK let's talk about


Let's talk about the ad you ran for the stereo.

O.K. let me tell what I did with the rifle first ok?

F: O.K.

P: This'll clear all the other things up.

F: Alright-

I took the rifle uhh since I couldn't sell it. in fact, I don't think I even got any calls on it. You know. It was a bolt action type rifle a model 700 Remington. And uhh I didn't realize until after I had bought the rifle I can't sh- uhh, Shoot 2 rifle that, like that. You know. I have to have a automatic uhh or a slant action pump or a lever action like that the little Marlin's and Winchester's because I’m blind in my right eye.


F: You know and near-sighted in the other one so I could not use that bolt action. They're made for right handed shooters. So

P: You have to shoot left-handed? F: P~

F: Yeah just same as a left-handed person shoots.


F: it just comes natural to me. It's what I've been doin' for years. You know. And so after I could not sell the rifle, I decided to leave and uhh went up to Columbus, Ohio, just leave the state you know, So

P. Leave, leave

F: Having been to Columbus a couple of times

P: Wait a minute, leave what state?

F: I decided to leave Ohio,

P: 0. K

F: And on route I stopped at Columbus.


F: You know, the capital. And uhh I had been up there looking for Larry Flynt a couple of times so I was familiar with the area. I had robbed a bank right off of High Street in '77 three years previous to that. And uhh I just took the gun up to uhh a, a gun store, looked up a gun store in the phone book and sold a rifle to a gun store (unintelligible)

P: How did you carry that 30.00 rife?

F: Huh?

P: How did you carry that rifle?

F: What do you I

P: Was it in any type

F: Well I had it in a gun case, yeah I usually kept guns in a gun case.

P: At some point do you have to show

F: Wait a minute whoa whoa wait a minute, no I didn't even have it. I remember the rifle was scratched so that's why I was able to get so little for it at the gun store.

P: Do you remember the name of the gun store?

F: Uhh heck no. No.

P: O.K.

F: No, that would have been impossible. But. I do recall I had laid it in the trunk you know would keep a in the trunk and so it had been scratched some. So that you know depreciated it a lot.

P: Did anybody, you said you got no um calls?

F: Normally I took care good care of the guns but this one here I just didn't have it in a case.


F: I just didn't like the rifle.

P: Did you put it in any type of umm in any other type of case?

F: Uhh, I I think I just took it inside, I may have wrapped it somethin' on the way in there, but this uhh I hadn't really thought about It lately. But I think that what I did was just carry it into the gun store. That’s allowed if you're walkin' from uhh your car to the gun store in most states. I left there I went to uhh uhh Johnstown, Pennsylvania. That's where I committed a sniping and killed that other racial couple there.

F: O.K. Let me, let me take you back. Lets talk about Cincinnati.

F: But June was the most prolific I mean was the most I mean I was most prolific as far as murders go in that month. I committed six murders. A big chunk of all the ones that I eventually committed in the whole three years.

P: Hmm mmm.

F: I committed right there in those three months you know. First the Cincinnati murders, you said that was June the 8th

P." Yes.

F: O.K. then a couple weeks later, I committed the Johnstown, Pennsylvania snipings you know?

P: Right.

F: And then a couple weeks or so later I committed the Rainbow murders. You know, Prior to that I robbed a bank, too, So that was all six murders and one bank robbery all within the month, that one month, June of 1980. So, what happened was I was just gettin' very upset because the news media, the national media wasn't coverin' what I was doin'. They were pretty well suppressing the news. I don't know I guess they were afraid they'd start a race war or somethin'. And that's what I was tryin' to do. I just decided to just turn up the heat a little bit. Just start committin' more killings and you know, just to try to force them to get me publicity because they didn't want to publicize what I was doin'. And uhh you know I found out later through an article in the Washington Post that they were finally started, began to connect the uhh Vemon Jordan shootlng, uhh the Cincinnati shooting, and uhh Johnstown, Pennsylania shootings too because they happened within such a short period, you know. I did get some uhh article about it in the Post you know course not namin' me.

p: Right.

F: But uhh you know I thought that was you know that was good you know so 1 decided to just keep It up. And then uhh shortly afterwards I went back to Florence. Kentucky and then from there to Utah where I committed the Utah killings snipings you know.

P: Right.

F: Which I've been convicted of. Out uhh anyway that's What happened to the rifle you know.

P: O.K.

F: Did you want anymore details an that Cincinnati case?

P: Now the rifle that you just described is the rifle that you used, that's not the same rifle that you used to commit this.

F: No no no uh uh.

P: Right. Okay what happened?

F That's was. the one I used was a .44 Magnum Ruger and it was a eh eh an automatic, one that I couldn't shoot.

P: O-K

F. Because of my vision.

P: Right. Alright, do you remember what type of shells that you Used?

F: Uhh lets see. 11 was the same th-th-they take Me same type that go in the pistol I'm pretty sure. You Know. Uhh, I forget exactly what brand bullet it was or what make bullet you know. But I do remember recall loading it you know. And uhh getting an escape route an' all that right up the railroad tracks, you know during the daytime. I think there was only one guy that saw me. 11 was some white guy that happened to be down the road, I was kinda just you know reconnoitering the area you know, that afternoon.

P: Hmm mmm.

F: And uhh I was standin' right there on the railroad tracks at the time and I an' I knew and you know my hair at the time was really light bro - blonde you know. I knew I would stand out because of that. And uhh kinda long you know 'bout collar length, you know not really long. So I just turned my head and kinda ducked and I was really thinkin' that I should just forgettin' it and leavin' cause of that one guy that saw me there you know.

P: When did he- he saw you during the daytime.

F: During the daytime yeah (Unintelligible)

P: And was the (unintelligible) on the railroad tracks, where was he?

F: Uhh he was down in the street and i was just standin' on top, I was actually I think right on the rails at the time.

P: Um

F: You know (unintelligible) that's the only guy who even could uhh could possibly have saw me, could even have got a glimpse of me everything else. No one saw me. You know, it's like all the other cases I was and i1rs like may as well have been invisible as far as the authorities went because no one sow me, no one got a description of the car or anything.

P: Right What did you do

F: (unintelligible) rifle I destroyed afterwards.

P: When did you arrive and where did you stay when you came to Cincinnafl?

F: Uhh let's see. I think I was in th-that that particular hotel where I sold the uhh uhh (unintelligible)

P Where's that located.

F In Florence, Kentucky.

P: OK umm do you recall when you arrived?

F. Its kind of it's kind of a ss, uhh version of the word Kentuolcy, Just a ind of a Country type version of the word Kentucky. I think it was Ken Tuck.


F: You know motel

P: OK What about the date that you arrived around?

F: I had been there for about a week before that. I had been you know arrived from indianapolis where I was spendin' a little time.

P: Right, in Ft. Wayne?

F; Yeah, Indiana. So

P. O. K.

F : When that first hit the news, they said that was uhh just uhh you know caused they said that the reason Jordan got shot was because he was involved a love triangle with Some people. You know, they didn't even want to make that appear racially motivated either. So that the first thing they said was you know you know Jordan, there

was a love triangle that Jordan was involved with somebody also's wife. So that kinda pissed me off too because the media was just flat out then. See so

P: They probably didn't know.

F: No uhh I think they were deliberately doin' it.

P: I see. OK um

F: Yeah. Before that though. of course, I committed the Vemon Jordan You'd be surprised



P: No, I I agree with you. Umm

F: The government basically controls the media in this country, you know, to a large extent. The government, the media is government controlled.

P: Right

F: You know

P: When you talked about that You there was a women that you sold the guitar and amplifier to?

F: well I yeah some lady yeah uh huh. I'd say she'd a been about 30, 35,

P: Do you remember when she came to took at the

F: Kind of a housewife iookin' type lady.

P: Was it before or after you had committed the murder?

F: Uhh

P: In Cincinnati.

F: Ooh, let's see. I believe that was just a day or so before.

P: O-K Did you talk to her or show her any any urn um of your any guns or anything?

F. I don't think I showed her any, No there was no need to uhh, she just knocked on our I told her you know, she called up and I gave her directions to the motel, you know. And she just uhh you know knocked on the door. I let her in just you know just to seethe uhh guitar and amplifier. She kinda just stood there and never took a seat in all time that she was there, while we discussed the price and all that She

told me she was gettin' for a little little boy, a neighborhood boy you know kid so I said o.k. so I sold it at a really you know inexpensive rate you know.

P: Do you remember?

F: Uh no uh uh. I told her I said I-I w-would well just give It to ya if I just didn't no-need the money right now.

P. Did she give you urn, did she pay cash?

F: Uhh yes She did uh huh

P: or a check

F: I would not have taken a check cause then I would a had to cash it And that would've uhh card me producin' a I.D. and I didn’t I didn't do that Sorta thing at all

just kinda (unintelligible) Protection,

P: Did you what name did you use when you registered at the hotel in Florence?

F. Uhh Uhh probably Joseph Somethin'. I used the first name Joseph a lot, Joseph Hart was one of my most Common aliases, you know

P: Afright,

F: That was one of William Quantros aliases, too, so. Hart (unintelliqlble)

P: I see.

F And I got it from him,

P: Was there any planning involved in the murder you comitted in Cincinnati?

F: Uhh, other nan just goiin’ over my escape route, you know.

P: How did You select that area?

F: Uhh, how?

P: Right

F: Uhh, whatta you mean?

P: Well let's talk about this. Left talk about your escape route.

F: Yeah, okay. Yeah well what I did was, a IWO ways down that uhh motel, I mean a little Ways down that railroad, uhh was a a business there that faced the street. And to the right of that uhh there Was a parkin' lot there, so I just backed the car in there, You know, have the front facin' outwards so I could just drive on off when I was through, you know. So, I found that walkin' down the railroad track like the railroad track is right here and this is where the snipings occurred. I had to run you know down this way here

P: To the to the left?

F -.Uhh no to the right to get to the car.

P: O. K.

F: But it was th the uhh the path there was just there was just so much shrubbery and stuff you could not even see it hardly from the railroad tracks, barely, so I I put a big somethin'. Somethin' there I put, a big piece of paper or somethin' to mark where, where my escape route was so I wouldn't run past it 'cause it was just so hard to see, you know. Especially at night, you know. And so, you know, I just ran there and once I saw the mark there then I just hung a quick right uhh threw the rifle in the trunk which I was able to do uhh observed you know the business was closed and uhh you know just drove on out of there, you know,

P: What kind of car

F: I may draw a map for ya a little later on just to make things clear.

P: That'd be great. What kind of car were you using.

F: Uhh, that's when I had the ss uhh Chevy the black Chevy Nova. I was gonna point out to you some of the mistakes on the time table there.

P: O.K.

F: I’ll do that a little later

P: Alright

F: Some of them, you know gave a description of nthe car at different towns that another cars that I using. They were innacurate, you know.

P: Was there anything um unique about the Chevy Nova?

F: Uhh, well it had mag wheels, you know, the back end of it was jacked up in the, jacked up in the back.

P: O.K.

F: Mag wheels and all that.

P: C.B. antenna?

F: No, B- no C.B..

P: No C.B.?

F: No uh uh. No, uhh it looked like just a soup, souped up race car type you know style. You know what I’m sayin’?

P: Right. And what was the color again?

F: Black.

P: O.K.

F: All black, black interior, uhh th-the one girl there uhh, Kathy Sewell?

P: Mm hmm.

F: She described it as a ’76 uhh black Malibu or somethin like that? But it wasn’t black at all, I mena it wasn’t a ’76 at all, it was a ’71, Nova that I had painted down in s-uhh Marietta, Georgia. See what, what it wasd I had the car… when I bought the car in Georgia initially it was light blue, and sothat bimbo said that she saw me with a CB you know in that Chevy

P: O. K.

F: Saw me, that was, uhh actually saw me in January, you know. She was just a woman, I remember pickin' her up. She used to uhh pick men up on the uhh interstate with her CBS's, you know.

P: Did you ever meet her in person?

F: I actually sat in the car next to her.

P: Where did that occur at?

F: Uhh, right there in a little Kentuckey suburb. Florence I guess it was. Near the mall. Florence Mall.

P: Was it like in a gas station?

F: No we-we didn't go to uhh, no we were at a, at a shopping center.

P: O. K.

F. You know. Sh-she had that wrong also, you know. But ohh you know why she would lie about that I don't know you know but she said that she had saw me in a gas station, but it was a shopping center parking lot, you know, She, like I said, she was just uhh. you know, a bimbo used to go around pickin' up men. She was married too you know steppin’ out on her husband, you know. On the freeway and I was just one of the men that she had you know stopped you know and uhh meet. You know what I'm sayin'?

P: Did you show her

F: So everything I, huh?

P: When was that January, 1980? Is that what you said?

F: Uhh it was around January, 1980. That was the first time I had ever been in Indianapolis, I remember, I recall that because uhh I had my CB then, and uhh, the car was light blue at the time, you know, and uhh uhh you know I eventually got rid of that CB. You know, (unintelligible)

P: Unintelligible,

F: Did not have one with the black Nova.

P: O.K. so you didn't have the CB or CB antenna on your car back in June of 1980

F: No, well see wh-when she saw me with CB you know I met her through the CB

P: Right

F: But once she once we met and talked once she heard uhh I guess the police must have told her to uhh or suggested that she set the date up to June 7 or (unintelligible) whenever she was supposed to saw me you know. It was really you know just to make it look like she saw me on that particular date, but really I saw her earlier on in January, right on the first of the year.

P: O. K.

F: You know

P Alright

F. Cause uhh it make - what makes it so easy for me to remember was my car was blue at the time in January, you know.

P: Mmm-hmm.

F: After I left Indianapolis, uhh, I decided to go down in Georgia and I

Painted the car black, you know because the car uhh because it was ss - you know some stuff I had done in Indianapolis, it was, it was a hot car there. So I wanted to change the whola color of the car.

P: Mmm-hmm.

F: You know, which I did, plus uhh by the time June come along, I-I'll

Even looked different myself. My hair, you know I got a now pair of glass,

different style and all that. My hair was a different length and color and all that. So I looked uhh, you know, different clothes. I would buy different clothes and trauh the ones that I committed a crime in, you know.

P: Right

F: So they could never tie me you know to a crime with those, you know.

Uhh, tennis shoes, if I left any tracks, I would just you knoW, usually throw away a brand new pair of shoes just so they couldn't uhh trace me to it. you know.

P: Did you do anything like that with the Cincinnati case or you did that in every case?

F: Uhh. let's see.

P; Do you remember?

F: Oh, every single case, you know.

P: So, in Cincinnati you got rid of all the clothing that you had worn and shoes?

F: Uhh, let's see, let me think, I-I-1 never really thought of the specifics on this one in a long time, you know? And so I'm gonna have to try to uhh log my memory here. You know I cannot even recall specifically destroying that weapon, I know I did it cause it was that was standard procedure you know to destroy a weapon after a crime, sniping was committed, you know. YOU know with few exceptions as I mentioned earlier being, you know, this one here in Richmond Heights. And uhh, you know, I can't recall specifically doin', the only thing I do remember buyin' the gun though in Louisville, Kentucky,

P: And what type of gun was it again?

F: Ruger, little short Ruger automatic.

P: O. K.

F: 44 Magnum, yeah,

P: So you bought it down in Louisville? Louisville, yeah, uh huh.

P.- But you know you destroyed this gun?

F- Either through a newspaper ad or through one of those little advertising papers like that Oregon Post or Trading Times, whatever.

P. Did you ever sell any of your weapons in the newspaper after you, ones that were used to commit sniper shootings?

F. Uhh, not in the newspaper, no no no.

P: O. K.

F: I would not do that, I told a reporter at that time that In Cincinnati that was full of-uhh disinformation I was feedin' to her.

P. I see.

F: You know, I did not go around, I didn't even make my fivin' at that time buyin' and sellin' guns like I told them.

P: Oh, I see,

F: That's what I told the FBI and everybody. Just to cover up for the

Bank robberies. But uhh, no I would never take a chance on doin' that That gun in the Georgia shooting, I dC3troyed it, you know, I would cut It uhh carry a little Black and Decker drill around with me all the time, various tools, screwdrivers an' all that and I would take 'um all apart and cut the barrel in half. You know, actually grind it

half on the, on the, you know and then take it and destroy it, you know. Scatter the parts of It in different places, you know. I w-would take apart what-what I could with the tools, you know.

P: Isee

F: What I couldn't take apart with the tools. w-which basically would

be the barrel and the part. the 1hick part underneath the forearm and I would just cut that In half, you know, just go trash each one of 'ern in different places,

P: O. K. Now

F: So

P: Um, you, were you at the location of the scene where that train

Trestle where the sniper shooting was committed?

F: Yeah.

P: That the just the day of the shooting?

F: Uhh

P: Or were you around that area any other days?

F: Uhh, I didn't spend very much time there in that, at that scene. I do recall that, you know.

P: Is there a reason why you picked the train trestle as a location?

F: Uhh, well I knew that it was a racially mixed neighborhood. I usually, I frequently operated in racially mixed neighborhoods, you know,

P: How did you got that information, that it was racially mixed? Did you just drive around, or did people tell you?

F: Uhh, just through, just through cruisin'. I would cruise around lookin' for places like that.

P: Did you see anything like that umm, back in June of 1960 in Cincinnati?

F: Uhh, whatta you mean?

P: Well, what gave you the impression that that area or that neighborhood was racially mixed?

F: Uhh, I just recall drivin' trough there and seein' blacks, I guess. you know and white also.

P: O. K.

F: I didn't want a totally black neighborhood because then I would be really conspicuous, you know.

P: Right,

F: I would never you know operate inside of a you know black neighborhood. Never went into it, you know. You know, not at, at least not an purpose. I may have actually wound up in 'em but I would try to get out You know, 'cause they would I would just be too obvious in a black neighborhood. If it's a racially mixed, it's ideal because you don't stand out. You know you've got the y-your targets there, i.e. the blacks and the umm you know uhh MRC's you know mixed race couples.

P: Yes.

F: So, basically you know but then still you don't -stand out either just bein' a white male

P: Sure. So do you recall the time that you arrived at the train trestle that night? Around?

F: Uhh I don't recall exactly,

P: Did you wait until

F: But I had to seem like

P: Was it dark?

F: I had a long time to wait, you know I was basically just waiting for the first blacks or inter-reciaL couples to come by.

P: Did you see any?

F: What?

P: MRC's? Mixed

F: No, no I did not see any of those. That would've been ideal. I preferred those, you know. I got one of those in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. like I was sayin’

P: Right,

F: You know. Uhh, but at that time I was waitin' for anything too. I had that whole area staked out. Let me go in uhh run this down to ya real quick. o.k.?

P., Alright.

F: Cause the police in that 9 the police In that jurisdiction wanna talk to rne. I’ll give them a r-report too.

P: O. K.

F: Confession. You know. Uhh anyway this was just like I Said, Shortly after the uhh Cincinnati case I was there. But I spent a lotta time in that Particular area of Johnstown, I actually saw somebody or you know s- viewed me there too, you know somebody saw me there,

P: Mmm Hmm

F: But I squatted down on the ground, turned around and squatted down on the ground and uhh made it out like I Was writing something on the you know road you know. It was like a dirt road down in that area. So evidently they saw me not looking at them and they kept on goin', you know. uhh, they did see the car I-I spent several days there which was really not a wise thing to do, you know. Just kinda lookin' for a place, you know, position and uhh I just had this area staked out with a .35 caliber rifle, I do recall that. It's really big green weapon, large green weapon. Remington, I think, you know. And uhh, you know I just kept waiting there. By the way I wasn't lying down there either. I was just s-sitting down there crouched you know with that rifle uhh. I think I just rested a rifle right on my Knee while I was you know talkin' you know that typical you know military type stance.

P: Right.

F: But uh s really gettin' desperate for a target when all of a sudden I uhh had been lookin' through the scope. You know I, quite honestly I was I would've shot the first black that come by. You know, I would've been just been as satisfied with shooting a black person. you know, But uhh you know and then there w- you know well I don't want to get into that but eventually I was I just happened to be glancin' through the scope through the scope and I could not believe my eyes when an inter-racial couple passed by, you know. (laughter) It was a some (unintelligible) I just uhh, you know, I wanted to make sure they were together. They were kinda separate as they crossed the street, but then I saw that they were actually in fact together, you know, standin' and they were crossin' right an that bridge, crossin' a little bridge over there. So I just throw the gun up uhh on my knee man and just umm fired really quick you know. Just 'fore they could got out of my view you know. By the way there was a lot of traffic stopped right there too. I was actually at a Main intersection an the side of the hill, shootin' from the hill you know, inside of a bunch of bushes and trees and all that you know. So people listenin' and couldn't have (u M intelligible) view it had no idea where the shots were coming from, you know. Nobody ever looked my way.

P: Right.

F: That’s the thing about snipin'. They never tell, can tell where the shots are coming from, where you're at, you know. So that's one reason it's so easy to got away with s- you that type of murders, you know snipinqs, stuff like that.

P: Right.

F: So anyway, uhh, uhh, I just uhh like I usually do I just put the gun on the black guy first. I remember he had a baseball cap on, you know. And sh- and fired the first shot off as fast as I could, But I missed, I missed the dude. You know, wait a minute nah nah no. Now wait. No I-I got him on I tagged him on the first one. It was a hit on the first shot. Uhh, you know I put it on there very carefully and shot. Yeah, it was the one I w- I fired a quick shot with th-that broad. You know the that girl that was with him, It was some blond haired kind of a dumb lookin' broad, you know, goofy lookin'. And so I got him on that one shot and he just rolled over right off the sidewalk onto tile gutter. And uhh I just - It was a pump action you know with the forearm, you know slide action on the front you know. So I-I racked the action real quick and fired uhh a a a quick shot at her before she could get away and I uh wound up missin' her and I found out later that shot just took a big chunk out of the bridge, you know, but missed her. But she remained standin' there, you know. You know usually if I shot uhh the woman first, the black would usually run off and I wouldn't get a chance to get him, you know. This is what I found out startin' out. So I changed from then on and always shot the black guy first 'Cause when she was standin' there uhh she would always stay with him to try to help him but he would always run off when she was shot. You know, so anyway uhh I did I got a good shot on the black guy and uhh you know missed her on the first shot but she still stayed there. did not even run, you know - which is fortunate for me. But uhh, I just you Know racked the action and put it on her again and this time I got her. And she dropped right there and uhh I racked the action one more

time and Shot him again and then one more time and shot her again, you know, So once uhh once I saw I got both of 'em I just started runnin' you know, I just took off truckin', jumped in my car you know had an escape route already planned that uhh you know had planned out So I took that right out and left. So, but uhh I never did buy a rifle

there they mentioned there that I bought a gun there. I did not buy a rifle there in Johnstown, PA at all, that 30.06. I did buy uhh a Remington 742 uhh 30.06 automatic in Cincinnati, though.

P: You did?

F: I do, yeah, I will verity that, I bought it from a guy. In fact, I think it's some (unintelligible) it's one of two 30.06's that they found in my in the trunk of my car. I think I still have that same 30.06. I had a in addition to that that Marlin you know I got rid of after Salt Lake City. So, so anyway after I left there I made a quick swing over to the Washington, D.C. area and didn't really stop there very long you know because I was

kinda low on money, you know. But after I left there I went and robbed that bank In Burlington, North Carolina. Spent by the way a few days there too. Somebody was able to identify the black Nova that I had 'Cause I had been spending so much time in the area you know and I think they saw me leavin' too that's what the poli-FBI said. It's in

one of the reports that s-somebody spotted a black Nova. But 'after I left there, I headed s-you know directly over to north and wont up to West Virginia where I later picked up uhh two girls hitchhiking, right?

P- Right.

F: And uhh, well actually first I went to Virginia Beach, Virginia and just stayed there just for a little while 'bout a couple hours or so and decided I didn't want to stay there. And I left and went uhh I decided to go to Kentucky so I just went and cut right through West Virginia, you know, and uhh you know I picked those two girls up and when they you know said that they had dated blacks or would or whatever you know, you know I kinda steered them onto the conversation you know just to see if they were race mixers.

P: Right.

F: You know. So

P: I saw that interview that you gave Debra about that.

F: Yeah, uh huh. Because earlier I had done that same thing, you know in Wisconsin but be that as it may uhh

P: So tell me about Cincinnati.

F: You mean how I wound up killin' them.

P: Right,

F: And so it was you know o.k. well uhh

P: So tell me how

F: Whatta you want to know about that?

P: Well tell me about Cincinnati.

F: O. K. well you wa (unintelligible) you went to ask me any questions on It?

P: Well, we've kinda talked about

F; Any specifics?

P: The train trestle. You were there earlier in the day

F: Yeah because I remember there were a bunch of rocks down there, yeah go ahead.

P: You had on escape route.

F: Yeah.

P: And umm, Then tell me about how you how long were you waiting when, you were waiting to or did you have to (unintelligible)

F: I had the area staked out, you know I would usually just stake an area out. Just like there, Johnstown, Pennsylvania,

P: Right.

F: The one, the Rainbow killins' were a little different than my old 'cause I just picked them up hitchhikin you know, Somethin' I had not planned.

P: Right,

F: You know.

P. But this one in Cincinnati

F: But this one here I had it staked out It seemed like I had to sit there for at least an hour or two. It seemed like quite a long time, but I can't remember now cause I don't rernember even checkin' the time at all, you know.

P; What did you see?

F: Uhh well, I kept standin' there and I would hear voices you know like they sounded like same blacks were around but I couldn't uhh you know I couldn't see anybody walkin' by, you know? So finally I heard somebody yellin' and uhh looked down there and uhh saw a couple of dudes comin' down the sidewalk, you know? So. uhh any one of 'em was about my height uhh taller than the other one. The other I guess two or three inches shorter than him, you know. Uhh, you know, I just put the gun right on the the biggest dude first, you know. And uhh, you know fired one shot with that .44 Magnum. And uhh so you know I just heard somebody go a make a sound like a you know like they just got shot, you know. As soon as the other guy bolted and it was just like through a miracle that I got him, man, you know. I did not even aim the gun at him and I just as soon as uhh he heard that shot he just bolted and started runnin' and I aimed the gun without even, just in the dark there, just on the hope that I would get a lucky shot and hit him, you know. And sure enough it actually got him man. It was strange.

P: So he turned around, the second one, the smaller one turned around?

F: No, he didn't turn around uhh

P Which way was he running?

F: The smallest guy, no he was ru-he he uhh the other guy was facin' me a little bit toward me and uhh the second one when he started runnin’ he bolted toward the street, like he was gonna run across the street you know, kind of an angle, you know? Not directly toward me 'cause then he would've been an easy hit. you know? I juts, you just s-s kind of veer off to my left you know which would have taken him across the street and I, it was just so fast I would've never had time to aim especially at night with this you know with the scope, the vision, you know, problem that I have I could've never done it. So I just shot randomly and uhh I was just amazed when I read on the news that hit both of them. I didn't even stop to look at 'em after, I just t-took off runnin', you know, and, but I-I.

P: How many shots did you fire?

F: I just - I seemed like I fired off, I think I fired at least uhh three, three shots, maybe four, you know, It seemed like I fired just nearly all that the whole clip, everything the gun held.

P: Now in other cases

F: But I'm not sure, I may ha-have had one or two left over. I didn't want, once I saw that they were down I didn't went to stick around. you know I just took off and started runnin', you know. I forget what I was wearin' but it seemed like I may have had some sort of military coat on at the time, too, fatigue uhh camouflage jacket or somethin' like that. And uhh, you know a beach hat like the type I used to wear during bank robberies. You know, you know what I'm talkin' about a little brim?

P: Right

F: And all that

P: Right

F: So, but anyway

P: Did you um I know in other ones that you told me about, you shoot the one, then you shoot the second one then you go back and shoot the first one.

F: Yeah (unintelligible)

P: Did you do anything like that in this one?

F: I believe I did a-shoot the-the first one again, you know. And uhh it seems like I shot the second one also. I may have just shot each one of them once just to make sure.

P: O.K.

F: You know? Because uhh

P: Did you - go ahead.

F: Have a lot you know uhh otherwise you know there's, it's very likely you know after the after that Larry Flynt shooting I wanted to make sure that from then on, you know cause I want him, that I pretty well emptied the magazine into him, you know. Because, uhh, after the Larry Flynt shooting I just b-w-came very upset about that, you know. about you know, not shooting, you know killing Larry Flynt. And now I'm really I regret actually even shootin' him now, anyway.

P: Right

F: So, it was really a tragedy.

P: While you were

F: But at the at the time I just wanted to you know just wanted to kill ‘em really bad. I just considered that if it was just wounded I-I was a complete failure.

P: Right

F: You know

P: Right. When um, while you were waiting

F: (unintelligible)

P: for a period you were up on the train trestle for a period of time.

F: Uh huh yeah there were a lot of

P: Now do you think, did you see anybody right before or near the time that you shot those two dudes?

F: No n-none at all

P: No. Did you remember that there was a car coming down the road at any point near or at shortly before or after?

F. Uhh, I didn't see any. Seem like it was fairly late you know uhh there was like maybe 11 or 12 around that time.

P. At night.

F: Yeah

P: O. K.

F: Because it seem it seem like the streets were pretty well deserted. You know it was fairly late. There was hardly anybody around. I don't remember seeln' any cars or anything on the road and so it was gettin' I was actually fixing to leave that area too 'cause I had been waitin' so long without seein' anybody. So I just decided to just go ahead and split when all of a sudden they walked up, you know, And I wouldn't even known they were comin' but they were yellin' on their way down the street, you know, yellin' to somebody or seem like they might have been goin'to meet some other people,

P: Did you see which direction they came from?

F: Uhh, just that same way where I shot 'em.

P: O. K.

F: You know th-it was the way I was facin, you know. So I figured that would be a good way to piece to get a good shot.

P: O.K. Anything specific about the train trestle that you remember, um, as far as where you positioned yourself?

F: Uhh, let's see. I was directly tri-I tried to get as a view right over that sidewalk where people would be walkin' by, you know. You know, I wanted to be where I would have a good shot but also be where I would be concealed, you know. That was the main you know

P: Right

F: Concern too. What of the main concerns

P: Do you recall um any, describe where your car was again, it was down along side the train trestle?

F: No, uhh I didn't even park in on the trestle. I just uhh there was a little park uhh business area that had their own parking lot

P: Was there a road or driveway that came off of the main

F: Yeah, uh huh.

P: Road there?

F: Yeah, uhh it was act-it actually ran perpendicular to that road. It cros-it cris-crossed it. I was back in that area.

P: Was it paved or was it

F: It was paved.

P. It was paved.

F: Yeah, it was all paved. A little business I- I was concerned that uhh a cop would come along and see that car there and think maybe a burglary was in progress. So I was hopin' somethin' you know I was you know anticipatin' that might occur also you know? And I was really concerned about that, you know. As I should be if it was a cop you know then I would have to have a shoot-out right then.

P: Right.

F: You know. But uhh you knew or at least somebody would see me but there was not a soul around.

P: O. K.

F: You know, and uhh, by the way uhh I usually kept a-a revolver with me you know just in case I happened to run into a situation like that. I-I used to go over every, visualize every little detail of the uhh of what I would be doing you know beforehand and I would also uhh go over what I would do if this happened, you know. Say a cop walks up and says what are you doing here? Course I woulda had to just shoot him dead right on the spot you know and I carried I had my .357 with me uhh then loaded, you know in my waistband. So, I usually did carry only the rifle I was using and I always had gun a gun with I to. Just the same as in Salt Lake City, In case I got stopped by somebody else. In the Salt Lake City case I actually had two rifles uhh another loaded with a Remington loaded in the back, you know, in case anybody any cops were chasin'.

P: O. K.

F: So, but you know-that’s basically what happened but I had no everything went very smoothly and not like I said they wou-there was not a soul around and it was just like completely deserted area and all you know. So

P: O. K. um let me think what else.

F: But

P. Where did you, after you pulled out of the business you went down your escape routes to your car

F: Yeah

P: To the rile in the trunk. Did you stay around the area um just to make sure those two people that you shot were dead?

F: Um, no uh uh, no.

P: Did you

F: Uh M-M-My uhh my method was to get out of the area as soon as possible you know. Yeah that was my you know. Yeah that just to you know. It was just you know there's just a move fast. you know what I'm sayin'? As soon as you do somethin, like that you get out and put as, much space between you and that scene as possible, you know. That's how I did when I left Florence, Kentucky, too. I wasn't. I didn't stick around that area at all. I mean I just tried to put distance between me and that area. It's just the way I operated, you know. I didn't believe in sticking around in the area, you know. Bank robberies, all that too, you know, bombings whatever. But anyway um uhh I just went on back to the motel room in Florence, Kentucky, you know and try to got rid of that gun as soon as possible, you know. If I'm not mistaken I think I stayed there one night, one more night, you know and then left the next day. I would usually leave th-leave town right after somethin' like that ha-happened also. I didn't even want to take a chance on anybo- may have s-you know who may have seen the car and got a description of who I didn't see myself, you know? But at the time I did not have a CB, you know, I decided uhh you know a CB is just too big of a problem for one thing uhh as well as a scanner you know?

P: Right.

F: ‘cause it attracts attention

P: Sure.

F: You know? So, you know, I've had a situation where I had somebody tried to steal my uhh CB before you know? You know what I mean? When I was at a motel?

P: Right,

F: And the alarm went off or something and uhh I knew had they called the cops and the ro-and I you know I had to discuss with them somebody breakin' into my car they would've wanted to see my I.D. and I always usually registered in motels under different names.

P: Right.

F: You know, And that would attract suspicion on me which might mean they start would start investigating me. So anything that might get me cause any sort of brush with the law I avoided, you know. I did you know have a CB earlier along with a scanner, but they were a ki-a kinda pretty much out of s-style by 1980 anyway. So you know I had one just briefly just for little while and then got rid of it shortly afterwards, you know. I guess around January that year. So '77 I had one I kept for a long time though. I used to go by the handle "the bushwacker".

P & F: (laughter)

F: You know

P: Alright.

F: You know kinda of appropriate, I heard somebody some other people on my CB one time when I was givin’ ‘em my handle you know, they were talkin' about it. They said uhh bushwacker? Isn't that one of those people who waits behind bushes and shoots people? (laughter)

P: My goodness.

F: Somethin' like that, you know.

P: Didn't think about that, did you?

F: Huh?

P: I said did you think about that when you picked your name?

F: Oh yeah, I had that in mind! I just thought it was appropriate, you know

P: That's right.

F: I used several handles (unintelligible) when I was uhh you know the CB you know.

P: Sure.

F: That's was that was just one one of ‘em you know

P: O. K.

F: (unintelligible) I didn't want like to use the same n-name at all times you know or for very long.

P: Is there anything else you want to tell me now since we have the tape going about Cincinnati? Any other facts that you can think of?

F: I can't think of any off hand. Let's see. O.K. O.K. I just arrived there and found that spot and then I went over there at night. You know it would have been inappropriate place if I'da waited to do the shooting b-during the daytime, you know, So, that’s why I picked the nighttime for that one.

P: Did you, when you went over there to kind of check the area out did you got to any of the businesses in that area?

F: I would never have done that.

P: Alright.

F: Very security breech, you know.

P: Sure

F: So, I-I would no-never even have talked to anybody even so much as to ask 'em; for directions in th-the area of the sniping. 'Cause I knew what that could lead to

P: O. K.

F: You know with potential witnesses

P: Right

F: Eyewitnesses, so

P: Exactly.

F: I would never do anything like that, but anyway I, after runnin' down there and just got jumpin' in the car and leavin', that's all there is to it.

P: O. K.

F: To be quite honest

P: Alright. I’m gonna end the tape now. O.K.

F: O.K. uhh let’s see. Oh yeah I did tell you uhh I had a scope put on my rifle, right?

P. Oh.

F: I had that dome down in Huntsville, Alabama

P: O. K.

F: You know? Uhh. I bought, recall buyin' the gum down in Louisville. Either through some add either the Louisville newspaper courier journal or whatever it is or one of those small type of (unintelligible) advertising (unintelligible) papers, you know? And I bought it there. It’s just amazing, I remember in Louisville because uhh most places I bought so many guns I would forget where I bought them, you know.

P: Right

F: But I do recall buyin' the Ruger in Louisville through an ad uhh was later down in Alabama and stopped in Huntsville to either have a scope put on it or repaired. I can't remember which at a gunsmith, you know and uhh did you know eventually just you know I can't remember

P: When you said you destroyed and then scattered the pieces all over would that have been between Cincinnati and Johnstown?

F: Uhh

P: Would have gotten rid

F: I wouldn't even have left town without leavin' any pieces of it even bein' In the car.

P: So, it's somewhere scattered around Florence?

F: It would have to be around that area uh huh, yeah. I I would take the wood parts like (unintelligible) and I there's a lot of wood on that particular model of Ruger, I believe, you know.

P: Right.

F: Are you familiar with it?

P: I've seen a photograph,

F: Yeah, OK. It seem like there’s a lot of wood in this (unintelligible), it look like a little M-1 or M-2.

P: I might even have that drawing.

F: Let me see it.

P: Right here.

F: Oh yeah, uh huh, yes

P: Is that it?

F: Uh huh.

P: Is that the type of gun?

F: Definitely.

P: Except there's a scope.

F: Looks like the one, yeah, uh huh. So I would just like a for example that little (unintelligible) pad there with the screws?

P: Right.

F: I would take that off you know that band around the forearm?

P: Right

F: Uhh anything that I could unscrew with a screwdriver and then I-I just would just take the barrel which is just basically that whole piece there.

P: Right

F: In that section and cut it in half, you know. Usually one you know I would just cut it and one time would be enough and I would just cut it In hag. So.

P: So then

F: I would I would get rid of it I would take the uhh metal parts and uhh you know uhh I would take therm and throw them in the woods somewhere. Put 'em in a wooded area so that no one could uhh you know that it would eventually get so rusty that it could never be traced, You know and chances are they wouldn't even know it was part of a gun that they found.

P: Sure.

F: You know? 'Cause of just the way it looked, you know. You know I would take all the wood knowin' they would be burned eventually just throw the wood into uhh a dumpster somewhere inside of a brown paper bag.

P: O. K.

F: I would always do that with the wooden parts.

P: I see

F: Put 'em in the bag and throw 'em all away. You know I was always bein' careful too not that to let see me, see what I was doin' you know.

P: Sure.

F: So usually

P: Do you want me to stop this tape now?

F: Uhh, yeah

P: O. K.



Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin

Joseph Paul Franklin shot Dante Brown (left) and Darrell Lane sniper-style.