July 24, 2014

Executed serial killer had Wisconsin victims

A white supremacist serial killer whose first two victims were killed in Madison has been executed at a prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Joseph Paul Franklin was executed moments after the United States Supreme Court lifted the last stays issued earlier by two federal district judges. Franklin was executed for murdering a man outside a St. Louis synagogue 36 years ago. He admitted it was one of 22 murders he committed. The federal judges had issued stays questioning Franklin’s mental competence to be executed, and the proper procedures used in making the drug compound used to kill him.

AUDIO: Missourinet’s Jessica Machetta reports (:42)

Franklin shot and killed Madison residents Alphonse Manning and Toni Schwenn, while driving away from a bank robbery on August 7th, 1977. Manning was black and Schwenn white, and Franklin subsequently targeted many mixed-race couples. In addition to his Madison victims, Franklin confessed to or was linked to 20 murders, six assaults, 16 bank robberies, and two bombings. Despite being partially blind in his left eye and completely blind in his right eye, the 69-year-old Alabama native was a skilled marksman who killed the majority of his victims at long range.

Franklin was a self-described white supremacist who roamed the country targeting blacks, gays, and Jews. He confessed to shooting Hustler publishing mogul Larry Flynt in 1977  but he was never convicted of that. He shot and seriously wounded civil rights activist and Urban League president Vernon Jordan, Jr. in 1980. Franklin initially denied any part in the crime and was acquitted, but later confessed

Thanks to Missourinet