The Movie isn't the true story. The Song isn't the true story.  

"Hurricane" Carter hasn't told you the truth. 

Think you know all about Rubin "Hurricane" Carter and the Lafayette Grill murders? Think again. Most of what you've been told, is false.

This website examines Rubin Carter's credibility. It's easy to cry "racism," but the facts don't support Carter's claim that he was framed. This website takes no issue with the fact that many black people have been victimized and abused by the justice system. But Carter is an imposter -- he is not a civil rights hero and he is not a victim of a racist police frame up.

 

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
with Denzel Washington
at the 2000 Golden Globe Awards 
"This man is love," Denzel tells the cheering audience
"It is an affront to treat falsehood with complacence."
-- Thomas Paine

 

 

Carter says the police framed him for murder after he gave an interview for the Saturday Evening Post in 1964. Read excerpts from the article.

Update August 2004: Carter quits AIDWYC. The Directors of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted join the long list of former friends he has publicly trashed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    Myth #1
    Hurricane Carter was "wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit," and he's been "exonerated."

    Hurricane Carter and his co-accused, John Artis, have never been found "not guilty" of the Lafayette Grill Murders. They were twice convicted, and twice the convictions were set aside on the grounds that they didn't get a fair trial. The State of New Jersey decided not to re-try them a third time because so much time had passed, and withdrew the indictments against them.

    Myth #2
    Carter was framed because he "was well-known for his incendiary voice in the civil rights movement."

    It's amazing how many journalists have repeated Carter's claim that he was "well known for his views on black self-defense," or "known to the Paterson police for his civil rights activities," or that "he held a reputation as a black militant in racially tense Paterson," when there is zero evidence that Hurricane Carter was an activist, or that he even lifted a finger for the civil rights movement. This bogus claim is central to Carter's accusation that he was framed by the police, but it's gone unchecked and unchallenged for thirty years.

    Myth # 3
    Carter was framed by racist, corrupt police and prosecutors. "His temperament, his background, and the color of his skin made him the perfect scapegoat."

    This claim is frequently made, but is not proven. Carter and his defenders present a one-sided view of events and haven't told you about the evidence against Carter and Artis. This website, on the other hand, demonstrates that the evidence Carter provides to "prove" he was harassed and framed, is bogus. He changes dates and makes false and misleading statements but his paranoid version of events has been taken at face value. The movie The Hurricane shows Carter being railroaded by one racist cop -- this is pure Hollywood hokum. The Canadians did not "uncover... evidence that he had been framed by corrupt officials," and neither did anyone else.

Myth: #4
"The case against Carter was thick with racism and thin on evidence." Carter and Artis were railroaded by an all-white jury.

During the jury selection phase of the first trial, the prosecution and the defense examined a staggering 377 jurors.  The defense used up all of their challenges (exercising the right to refuse someone for jury duty.).  The prosecution only used eight of their challenges.  The first jury included one black man, although his name was not drawn for the final deliberations. "All-white" doesn't necessarily mean "all-racist." The second jury, drawn from a jury pool of 250, included two blacks. The defense gave all the potential jurors a list of over 40 questions to test them on their racial attitudes. Anyone who expressed prejudice during the jury selection process was instantly excluded from the jury by the judge. Even so, Carter and Artis were still re-convicted.

    Myth #5
    Carter and Artis passed lie detector tests.

    In his book, The Sixteenth Round, Carter quotes Sgt. McGuire (the officer who gave the tests), as saying, "Both of them are clean. They had nothing to do with the crime." In the book Hurricane, by James Hirsch, McGuire is quoted as saying, "he didn't participate in these crimes, but he may know who was involved." The actual report states, "This subject was attempting deception to all the pertinent questions. And was involved in this crime."

Myth #6
Like the Bob Dylan song explains, Carter and Artis were convicted on the word of Bello and Bradley, who were thieves and liars. And the surviving shooting victim, the one with "one dyin' eye," said "[Carter] ain't the guy."

Al Bello, the eyewitness who says he saw Carter and Artis fleeing the scene of the crime, was indeed a lookout man for a burglary. But his eyewitness testimony helped police track down Carter's car minutes after the crime. There was other evidence linking Carter to the crime. Even Carter and Artis's lawyers admitted there was a "mountain of incriminating evidence" against them. At trial, Willie Marins, the surviving shooting victim in the Dylan song, said he did not know if Carter and Artis were the killers. 

    Myth #7
    Carter and Artis had "rock solid" alibis for the time of the murders.

    Actually, they've got several -- take your pick. When Carter and Artis were first questioned, they gave conflicting versions of their activities that night. When Carter wrote his autobiography, The Sixteenth Round, he gave another version. James S. Hirsch reports a different alibi for Carter in the book Hurricane. At the second trial, four of Carter's alibi witnesses from the first trial testified that Carter asked them to lie.

Myth #8
Carter was stopped by the police only because he was DWB -- Driving While Black.

Carter claims that when Sgt. Capter stopped him, Capter said, "Awww, shit. Hurricane, I didn't know it was you" (as shown in the movie).  This is false. Sgt. Capter and his partner were looking specifically for Carter and his car because it matched the description of the getaway car given by two eyewitnesses. But Bob Dylan and Hollywood fell for Carter's version.

    Myth #9
    John Artis was about to go to college on an athletic scholarship
    when he was arrested for the murders.

    As the 1987 prosecutor's brief states: "John Artis had been out of high school for two years at the time of the murders in June 1966. He was not arrested until October 1966 and he had not begun college at that point. There was no evidence that he ever had submitted any papers towards college enrollment. There was no evidence to show that, at the time of the murders, John Artis had a college scholarship..." In fact, John Artis had been drafted into the Army. This is not pertinent to the murders, but just like Myth #10, it's something the defense keeps insisting upon.

Myth #10
Hurricane Carter was "at the peak" of his career, "slated to contend" or "about to challenge" for the world middleweight boxing title when he was arrested.

    Carter might have been hoping to re-challenge for the championship, but his career was on a downhill slide. Then-world champion, Dick Tiger, beat him like a gong the year before the murders. After that, Carter had nine more boxing matches and he lost five of them.

Visit the Lafayette Library for a complete site index

Also be sure to visit the Rogue's Gallery: a collection of links to stories of phonies, rogues, and academic hoaxes.

Acknowledgements: this website is written by Lona Manning with the help of the Hurricane Research team, including Cal Deal, whose site:

"Hurricane" Carter,
the Other Side of the Story

is a wealth of information about the Lafayette Grill murders.


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