Hayer affidavits

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Hayer affidavits  (1964) 
Three men had been convicted as the assassins of Malcolm X. One of them, Talmadge Hayer, claimed that Norman 3X Butler and Thomas 15X Johnson were totally innocent, instead claiming that Leon David and Wilbur McKinley had participated in the crime in the following two affidavits:


State of New York County of Ulster

I, Thomas Hagan, being duly sworn, dispose and says:

1) I am one of the persons indicted for the murder of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom, N. York. N.Y. Feb. 21 1965.

2) That I have been sentenced to life in prison for my part in the crime.

3) That I am now incarcerated at Eastern Correctional Facility.

4) That I am writing this affidavit in the hope that it will clear my co defendants of the charges against them in this case. My co defendants are Thomas 15X Johnson and Norman 3X Butler.

That sometime in 1964 Malcolm X was said to have gone against the Leader of the Nation of Islam, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad.

By the following year Malcolm X was declared a hypocrite by the Nation of Islam.

That in the summer of 1965 1 was contacted by a Brother named Lee and another Bro. named Ben.

These brothers asked me what I thought about the situation with Mal. X? I said I thought it was very bad for anyone to go against the teachings of the Hon. Elijah, then known as the Last Messenger of God. I was told that Muslims should more or less be willing to fight against hypocrites and I agreed w/ that. There was no money paid to me for my part in this. I thought I was fighting for truth & right. There was a few meetings held concerning this. Sometimes these were held in a car driving around. Bro. Lee, Bro. Ben, a Brother named Willie X, the other Brother's name was Willbour or a name like it. From these meetings it was decided that the only place that Mal X. was sure to be was the Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965. Therefore the plan was to kill this person there. On Feb. 21st 1965 we met at Bens house Sunday morning. On Feb. 20th 1965 we had gone to the Ballroom to check it out.

One Sunday morning we, the above named, got in this Bro. Wilbour's car and drove to N.Y.C. We parked the car a few blocks away and two at a time drifted into the Ballroom early. Me and Bro. Lee took seats down front in the first row.

Bro. Willie and Ben sat right behind us, and Bro. Willbour took a set far in the back. It was his to throw the fire bomb & pretend that someone was picking his pocket. I used a 45 weapon. Bro. Lee had a lugar and Willie X had the shotgun. The plan was that when the shooting started people would be running all over the place & with this we could get out of the Ballroom.

So when the shotgun went off Bro. Lee & me fired our guns at Mal X. & ran for the door. I was shot in the right leg but was able to keep moving on just one leg. I was able to get down stairs by sliding down railing to the floor. I was captured right outside Ballroom by a police officer.

This affidavit is factural to the best of my knowledge. Thomas 15 Johnson and Norman 3X Butler had no thing to do with this crime whatsoever.

Thomas Hagan

Sworn to before me this 30th day of November, 1977 William M. Kunstler




State of New York County of Ulster

I, Thomas Hagan, being duly sworn, disposes and says:

That this affidavit is an addition to my first affidavit. And that the statements made herein are more in detail and hopefully will clear up any doubt as to what took place in the killing of Malcolm X and the innocents of Norman Butler and Thomas Johnson.

It was some time in the summer of 1964 that I was approached concerning the killing of Malcolm X. The time must have been a month or so before the Hon. Elijah Muhammad spoke in New York City in 1964.

I was walking in down town Paterson when two brothers, both Muslims, was driving by in their car. I knew these men well. They asked me to get in the car. They wanted to talk to me. Both of these men knew that I had a great love, respect and admiration for the Hon. Elijah Muhammad.

They started talking about what was going on with Malcolm X and how this man was defaming the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. This was the feelings of most men in the N.O.I. at that time. . . .

I know that it was Ben who spoke to Leon first and then they spoke to me. I learned from them that word was out that Malcolm X should be killed. I can't say for I don't know who passed that word on. But I thought that Ben knew.

We soon got together with two more men. Both lived in Newark, N.J. Ones name was William X. . . . I never knew his last name.

The other man was a Bro. named Wilbur or Kinly. I don't know his full name. But we used his car on Feb. 21, 1965.

We met a few times to discuss how to carry out this killing. Some times we talked while driving around. Or at Bens or Lees house. Some times we drove around for hours.

We tried to get as must information on the movements of Mal. X as we could.

We, the people above stated, drove out to Mal X. house one night to see what security was there. We found it heavyly guarded. We soon decided that the only place that Mal X would be was at the Ball Room where he was making speaches to the people there. In fact we attend one of these meetings to see what security was there. We learned that no one was searching at the door for weapons. This was in the winter of 1964-65.

We talked about this on the way back to Jersey. We drove back in Ben's car. We knew that the only place that Mal X was sure to be was at that Ball Room. And we decided that with a crowd there we had a good chance of getting in there and out after the move was made, the shoting that is.

We decided to visit the Ball Room the night before the killing to set this up. It was a dance that night and we came there like everyone else, got a ticket went in and looked the place over. This was Feb. 20, 1965.

This night we used Bens car and on the way home we discussed what everyone thought. Everyone agreed that we would do this the next day Feb. 21, 1965. The next morning we would meet at Leons house and Bens to go over our plane. We decided after looking at the place that we would get there early. Drift in and take sets. Leon and me up front and left side facing stage. Ben and William right behind us. I had the 45 auto. Leon the Luger. William had the shotgun. Wilbur or Kinly had the set in the back of the place. His job was to accuse someone of picking his pocket and throw the smoke bomb. This was timed to happen when Mal X started to greet the people. Almost at the same time William would fire the shotgun and Leon and I would fire our guns at Mal X. and run for the door.

On Feb. 21, 1965, we drove to N.Y.C. in Wilbur or Kinly's car, a blue Cat., about 1962 or so. We parked a few blacks from the Ball Room on a street heading for George Was. bridge. We figure that with all the people there we could make it out in the crowd.

As for the weapons I got them from a man who had them for sale I bought them from him. This person had nothing to do with the crime. I made the smoke bom that was used. 1, Thomas Hagan have written this affidavit in the hope that the information wold exonerate Thomas Johnson and Norman Butler of the crime that they did not commit. This affidavit is factual to the best of my knowledge. And I am willing to state what took place in the matter before any court of law.

Thomas Hagan Sworn to before me Witnessed by this 25th day of February, 1978 Nurriden Faiz