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These two affidavits were excerpted from "Malcolm X, the
Assassination" by Michael Friedly. There is no evidence
that the authorities ever followed up on the information presented
by the only known participant (Hayer was the only assassin caught
at the scene) in the murder of Malcolm X.
Author's [Michael Friedly] Note:
The following affidavit was filed by Talmadge Hayer in November,
1977. He signed the original, handwritten document with the name
Thomas Hagan, which was considered to be his official name in
the New York State Correctional system. The document appears here
exactly as written, with all spelling and grammatical errors intact.
State of New York
County of Ulster
1, 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
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 payed 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 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 sets 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 shot gun. 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
Sworn to before me
this 30th day of November, 1977
William M. Kunstier
This second affidavit was filed in February 1978 and goes into
more detail than the original affidavit. Again, all spelling and
grammatical errors have been retained. The full names and addresses
of Hayer's accomplices, however, have been deleted.
State of New York
County of Ulster
1, 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 of 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 tryed 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 attened 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 alse, 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 bom. 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
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.
Sworn to before me Witnessed by
this 25th day of February, 1978 Nurriden Faiz
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