Execution Date Set for Infamous Racist Serial Killer
After 33 years in prison, Joseph Paul Franklin, one of the most notorious and prolific racist serial killers of modern times, now has a date with the executioner.
The Missouri State Supreme Court yesterday ordered that Franklin be executed by lethal injection on Nov. 20, almost 36 years after he murdered Gerald Gordon outside a synagogue following an Oct. 8, 1977, bar mitzvah.
Franklin, 63, is to be executed for the Gordon killing. But he has been convicted of a total of eight racially motivated murders in Ohio, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Missouri between 1977 and 1980, and confessed to or was implicated in 13 additional racial murders. He also confessed to the 1978 attempted murder of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his lawyer, saying he was infuriated by an interracial porn shoot in Flynt’s publication, but was never tried in that case. He was acquitted of the 1980 attempted murder of Urban League President Vernon Jordan Jr., a black civil rights activist.
Franklin has said he was attempting to start a race war by targeting victims who were Jewish, African-American or involved in interracial romantic relationships. Although he didn’t use the term, his crimes were what other racists would come to call acts of Phineas Priests, based on a Bible story describing Phineas’ killing of a man and a woman of different tribes who were having sex. Many white supremacists see this story as proof that God approves of murdering “race-mixers.”
The late William Pierce, founder of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, attempted to immortalize Franklin’s racist killing spree by dedicating to him the 1989 novel, Hunter, which Pierce authored under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald. The book depicted a man, Oscar Yeager (an Anglicization of Jäger, German for hunter), who hunted down and murdered interracial couples and government officials.