Remembering the Zebra Killings

I read this pre-9/11 Frontpagemag article for the first time about a year ago.

I’ve read it several times since.

I was 18 years old when the Zebra killers were terrorizing (white) residents of San Francisco, and my recollections are vague and incomplete. But you would think that more would have been written over the years in memory of the victims who died at the hands of the Nation of Islam.

MOST SERIAL KILLINGS in America take on a life of their own through movies, books and documentaries. The crimes of Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer and The Son of Sam are still well remembered years after they were committed. Yet there is one set of serial killings that has been almost completely forgotten and is rarely mentioned in popular culture.

The Zebra Killings occurred in the San Francisco bay area between 1972 and 1974 and left 71 people dead. They were dubbed the Zebra Killings because of the radio channel used by the police investigating the case (channel Z).

The name would take on a more sinister meaning as it became apparent that a group of blacks was systematically stalking and killing whites simply because of the color of their skin.

Zebra (1979) was written by crime writer Clark Howard and remains the definitive book on the murders. Using court records, police reports, witnesses and interviews with the killers themselves, Howard was able to piece together the horrid details of the murders and the unrelenting hatred that inspired the killers.

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

Howard describes the vicious and cowardly nature of the attacks, which were made at gunpoint and mostly carried out against women and weak or 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 they were abducted at gunpoint and forced into a van. They were bound and Richard was beaten over the head with a lug wrench and knocked unconscious. Quita was sexually molested and hacked with a machete. While begging for her life she was decapitated. 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.

Brutality and a lack of remorse on the part of the criminals mark the attacks. Vincent Wollin was shot in the back and killed on his 69th birthday. Mildred Hosler, an obese, older woman was shot while frantically trying to get away from her younger, faster attacker. Ilario Bertucci, a 135-pound, 81-year-old man, was killed while walking home from work. Marietta DiGirolamo, a 5’1″ white woman was shot and killed on her way to a neighborhood bar. 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.

There were even some high profile victims. Art Agnos, who would later go on to become mayor of San Francisco, was shot and almost killed by the Death Angels. A member of the California Commission on Aging, Agnos was attending a community meeting in a black neighborhood to discuss building a government funded health clinic in the area. In the same neighborhood the killers were hunting for whites. As the meeting let out, 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 Agnos barely survived.

>>>>Read it all…

24 Responses

  1. “other blacks blamed “unemployment” and “oppression” for the attacks. One man said, “the madness that drives black men to kill innocent people . . . involves a sickness that is as American as apple pie.” Black Panther leader Bobby Seale declared, “every black man in the Bay area is in danger of losing his life.” The Reverend Cecil Williams claimed that the entire black community was “under a police state that could erupt into a racial war.” Howard observes, “although they were responding only to a question about Operation Zebra, it was curious that none of the blacks interviewed took the occasion to condemn the unknown street killers or express sympathy for the victims.”

    A politically correct murder investigation was afraid to point the finger of blame for fear of offending the perps. Sounds like a somewhat familiar refrain.

  2. I refer you to the article at American Thinker I emailed you about. It’s the Offensive Ploy in action.

  3. Nuke.
    Spellcheck on aisle one, please.
    /there’s an ‘m’ missing in Remember

  4. Louis Farrakhan may be a racist? Involved in murders of white people? 😯

  5. Henh…whodathunkit. 💡

  6. It seems it’s only news if Whites pick on any other color. Sorry if that sounds un-PC, but sometimes the truth needs to be said.

  7. Wow, I’ve never heard of this. Thanks for the heads up, Nuke.

    I looked it up on wikipedia, and their numbers are a bit lower than 71 (15)…but very interesting, nonetheless.

    Does this mean ALL blacks are evil? No. Does this mean that ALL black Muslims are evil? No.

    Sounds to me like yet another group of warped and twisted individuals, regardless of race or religion.

    Am glad they were caught, tried, convicted and sent to prison for the rest of their lives.

  8. The truth is out. AP style tells journalists not to report color.

    It’s amazing that Art Agnos, one of the most liberal mayors in SF history, survived a shooting. Just yesterday, four people were shot at a BART station outside of San Francisco. I’ll check if race is mentioned.

  9. wiki says 15, and that’s probably 15 tied directly to the prosecutions. Reports have upwards of 200 that fit the same modus operandi.
    It’s similar to Saddam (but not on the same scale)–convicted of killing several hundred, but responsible for the deaths of many many more.

  10. Here you go: Even though police are not sure who the gunman was, or if one of the victims was the sole shooter, there is no description of race, age, names…

  11. RE: 10…

    does it really matter?

  12. age, name, race, descriptions are not important? I call BS. Why bother printing a news story if you are not going to answer the questions who, what, when, where, and (if known)why

  13. It matters if the shooter is still on the lose or if it was a gang. Yes, that matters. It’s why the Zebra killers got away with it for so long.

  14. Shooter not on the loose.

    Here is the link to the story in the SFGate.


    Honestly, I don’t see how reporting race is important here.

  15. SFL, as a former police officer, I can tell you it matters a great deal, and that info is indeed shared within the ranks. It has to be, and you can call it profiling if you like, eventhough it is need to know info, as you won’t have anything to work with it if you are actively trying to prevent crime. That the sex, race, and age info is witheld from the public, whether by a PC paralyzed police department, or a PC mandated editorial board, is a disservice to the community, as they then become blinded with fear with every person they see, that they don’t know. What has happened, as you can observe from some of the comments above, is many of us have learned the code speak, which is if the age, sex, and race of a perpetrator isn’t mentioned, we know instantly the person/s being sought are in a minority race category. This trend has basically become universal, with Frances street crime being a good example. Everyone knew it was young muslim males burning the cars and buses, attacking firemen responding to fires, and even in some cases, murdering innocent people on buses and trains. When the French press would only say ‘youths’ they were failing in their responsibility to keep the public informed, eventhough any thinking person was already aware of who was commiting the crimes. The same is true here in the U.S., just watch it in the news or in the papers for a while, you will see, that generally if a white male or female is involved in the crime, it is made public knowledge.
    A police report, just like a journalist report, should always include the basic info, that nuke specified above, who, what, when, where, how, and (if possible)why. To do less is not only a disservice, but potentially a deadly one, as police will be overwhelmed with public tips on every paranoid induced suspicious person they see, instead of public tips that could actually be beneficial in bringing the criminal/s to justice.

  16. N2L, So many good points there, but the great point is the fact that without knowing the race of a criminal, it’s makes it easier for the situation to continue. If certain people come up and knock on a door, a person will open it according to their opinions. If it comes to them through the news that a person of certain looks, and yes race, my be in your neighborhood as a threat, it would be good to know that fact also.

  17. Yup. What N2L said. It is also a matter of public safety as well. If a (nonspecified) group of people have been robbing convenience stores and killing the clerks, for example, it would have the police spread awfully thin if they had to respond everytime a group of teens showed up in the parking lot and the police were called. Not to mention that it would be nice if the convenience store workers/owners knew that they should be be aware of persons of a particular sex/approximate age/approximate height/race.

  18. Robert D., that is what I was getting at. Without making all information public, the average citizen that gets their news from the paper, radio, or tv, will be panic stricken, and suspect everybody. In the event of a serial killer/ings, the police will be bombarded with paniced calls, and won’t be able to focus on those citizen reports that may actually help.
    A classic example of useful information, that is often dismissed as police profiling, is found in the U.S. Department of Justice · Bureau of Justice Statistics
    If an officer has to pull over a vehicle for a traffic violation, it is good for him/her to know, that young black males from the ages of 16-24yoa, are responsible for more homicides than any other demographic group, and yet represent only about 1-2% of the total population. That isn’t being racist, or targeting those young men in the car, it is essential info for the officer as he approaches the vehicle. The same is true for all males in that age group, that they commit a disproportionate number of homicides for their percentage of the population, and once again, the officer needs to know this from information that is disseminated, and not just intuitively. Conversely, females from any demographic, in the 55-65 yoa group, are so unlikely to commit violent crime, the officer can and should, take a different approach when making a stop.

  19. SF Lib,

    You see why citizen journalists are winning over more readers? Your PC whitewashing of the news has hurt mainstream media credibility.

    The BART shootings story that I read, makes it clear that there was more than one shooter.

    Thanks N2L, you have really nailed a hot subject.

  20. Excellente! No2Libs, you’ve given me some inspiration for the PC whitewashing, sadbastards.wordpress.

  21. […] on January 31st, 2007. Remembering the Zebra Killings « Nuke’s news & views […]

  22. […] But wait….all the victims were white…..never mind.  Remembering the Zebra Killings […]

  23. […] But wait….all the victims were white…..never mind. Remembering the Zebra Killings […]

  24. […] Remembering the Zebra Killings The Zebra Killings occurred in the San Francisco bay area between 1972 and 1974 and left 71 people dead. They were dubbed the Zebra Killings because of the radio channel used by the police investigating the case (channel Z). The name would take on a more sinister meaning as it became apparent that a group of blacks was systematically stalking and killing whites simply because of the color of their skin…. […]

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