The only man who admitted to assassinating Malcolm X — in cold blood — is now free after spending 45 years of his life in prison. For those of us who read “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” in high school or college, which is a brilliant journey from anger to brotherly love and revelation, or saw Denzel Washington’s incredible portrayal in the movie Malcolm X, it’s a bitter pill indeed.

Malcolm X was killed after he returned from the Hajj and no longer hated white people nor wished to adhere to Elijah Muhammed’s distorted and disturbing views. Nation of Islam leaders, it’s alleged, ordered Malcolm X’s voice snuffed out in response to perceived insult and rivalry.

From the New York Times:

The man, Thomas Hagan, the last person still serving time in the 1965 killing, was freed from a Manhattan prison where he spent two days a week under a work-release program, said Linda Foglia, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Correctional Services.

Mr. Hagan, 69, has said he was one of three people who shot Malcolm X as he began a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem on Feb. 21, 1965. But Mr. Hagan has said the two men convicted with him were not involved. They maintained their innocence and were paroled in the 1980s. No one else has ever been charged.

According to Roland Martin:

Thomas Hagan has been held since moments after shots rang out in the Audubon Ballroom in 1965. He has been on work release for more than two decades, but he still spends two days a week locked up at the Lincoln Correctional Facility on West 110th Street in Manhattan.

I’m all for paying one’s debt to society and then being allowed to re-enter that society as a tax-paying citizen. However, it troubles me that Hagan clearly knows who the other assassins are — or at least purports to know them — and yet he is the only one who was apprehended (according to his affidavit). Is it possible that some or most of Malcolm X’s murderers have never been brought to justice? And if so, why?

Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, an historian and independent scholar based in the Washington, DC area believes he may have uncovered the whereabouts of one of Malcolm X’s killers. You’ll have to judge for yourself. Here’s a bit of what Muhammad has to offer:

Let the historical record forever reflect that the man pictured above, William Bradley 72 (approx.) (known today as Mustafa Shabazz) is the sawed-off shotgun assassin of Malcolm X (El Hajj Malik El Shabazz). He is the man who fired the first and deadliest shot which ripped through the chest of the powerful Black leader on that cold 21st day of February, 1965. Time has caught up with him, and he can no longer lurk in the shadows waiting for his eventual end without having his dastardly deed made known. Mr. Bradley must now face the historical music in the land of the living. Then how ironic is it that “Willie” Bradley appears in a recent public safety campaign commercial for Mayor Cory Booker. […]

In light of the recent outrage over the parole of  Talmadge Hayer (aka Thomas Hagen), the only one of the five real assassins to be tried and convicted for the murder of Malcolm X, and the fact that other media outlets had gotten  hold of our research and were planning to break this story, it was decided by myself and a committee of eminent scholars to publish it now. The five assassins came out of the Nation of Islam Mosque number 25 in Newark (now Masjid Ali Muslim) located at 257 S. Orange Ave, and are Benjamin Thomas, Leon Davis, Wilber Mckinley, Talmadge Hayer, and William Bradley. It was Bradley who was especially chosen by Thomas, the ring’s leader, to handle the sawed-off owing to his infamous reputation on the streets of Newark, N.J. as a ”stick up man” and bank robber, the city where he still lives today “hidden in plain sight”. He can be found on almost any given day, a large grandfatherly type figure, at the First Class Championship Development Center, a gym located at936 Bergen Street which is owned and operated by his wife, long time activist Carolyne Kelley-Shabazz.She has her own interesting story. A one time supporter and intimate acquaintance of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, she emerged later to become one of the most well-connected cronies of former Mayor and convicted felon, Sharpe James. In addition to the gym she owns quite a bit of real estate, providing for herself and her husband – the killer of Malcolm X – a very comfortable standard of living. Are you outraged yet?

I don’t know enough about Muhammad’s research to make a Final Call (if you pardon the pun). However, I applaud him for doing what the police and feds have failed to do — make a real attempt to find Malcolm X’s killers. Certainly, I’ll drop a dime anytime to Atty. General Eric Holder to dig deeper and ensure that justice is served for Malcolm X and his family. The nation deserves nothing less.

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