in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs
The wounded man looks up through his one dyin' eye
Says, "Wha'd you bring him in here for? He ain't the guy!"
by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy
Marins, 42... had been battling numerous health problems, including
Marins, who lived nearby in Paterson, was [shot] in the left temple
and [the bullet] passed through his forehead near his right eye
without killing him. He stumbled to the floor, and, he later said,
Kelly, The Record, Hackensack, NJ
March 26, 2000
-- Shooting at the Lafayette Bar & Grill. William Marins and
Hazel Tanis, two of the four victims, survive.
-- Hazel Tanis dies of her wounds, one month after the shooting.
-- Marins testifies at first trial that he cannot identify (or
exonerate) Carter and Artis.
- Carter writes The 16th Round, in which he admits
that Marins did not exonerate him.
Marins dies of causes unrelated to the shooting
-- Dylan releases the song Hurricane, which claims Marins
said, Carter "ain't the guy."
Marins' testimony is read at the second trial.
-- Carter is reconvicted and sent back to jail.
But apart from the bullet through the
head, Mr. Marins, how do you feel?
"If Mr. Marins had identified
Rubin Carter and John Artis as the two men who had been in that
tavern, who would have been the first to attack the identification
of the two men but the defense, bearing in mind all of the circumstances,
the gunshot wound through the head, the loss of sight in the left
eye and the fleeting glance that he had of these two individuals?"
Vincent Hull at the first trial, summation speech to the jury
was so scared. He was in surgery. They asked him, 'is that Carter?'
and Willie was so scared he shook his head 'no.' He didn't want
to know nothing. He was petrified."
Hi, Honey! How was your day?
A little after
8 o'clock on the evening of June 16th, Detective Edward Callahan
responds to a report of a shooting at the Waltz Inn. He goes in
and nearly trips over the body of Roy Holloway, the owner. He recognizes
the shooter, Frank Conforti, still armed with a shotgun. Callahan
draws his service revolver, leaps behind a pool table for protection
and talks Conforti into surrender.
Then, with the
help of some other policemen who arrive at the scene, he gets his
suspect out the door and through a large and angry crowd who shout,
"Give him to us!"
the victim's stepson, shows up at the police station and yells at
Callahan to do something about the murder: "You better do it, or
we will goddam do something about it."
A few hours
later, in the early morning, Callahan responds to a report of a
multiple shooting at the Lafayette Grill. After viewing the carnage
at the scene, he goes to see Mrs. Tanis, horribly wounded, at the
By five in the
morning Callahan's standing in the emergency department at St. Joseph's
Hospital with Carter and Artis. Carter calls him a "dirty sonafabitch"
and a "dirty motherfucker."
From the first
Tanis: "She stated that 2 coloured men entered the far door
of the tavern. The taller of the 2 was armed with a shotgun and
the shorter with a pistol. Neither spoke a word and the tall man
began firing the shotgun."
"Both men were Negroes, the one with the shotgun being about 6'
slim build light complexion and pencil line mustache. He could give
no description of the 2nd man as the first man blocked his vision."
the movie got it wrong
was the motive?
Carter claims the eyewitnesses
cleared him, but his own book proves him wrong
--and he's been getting away
with it for years
quotes this "didn't say we were, didn't say we weren't" judgement
of the New Jersey Supreme Court in The 16th Round
State failed in its effort to prove a dying declaration by Mrs.
Tanis. We know only that she and also the surviving patron (Willie
Marins) were unable to identify either defendant, but the testimony
does not suggest that either patron was able to say affirmatively
that the defendants were not the offenders."
also has this to say about Willie Marins in The 16th Round:
didn't say that John Artis and I were the guilty parties, but he
wouldn't say in court that we weren't, either. Throughout his examination,
Marins kept stressing that he was in a complete state of shock on
the morning following the shooting and couldn't possibly have known
what he was saying when he was being questioned at the hospital
by the police."
in front of his audiences for his motivational speeches, he tells
a different story.
though I did not remotely fit the description of the assailants...
even though the two surviving victims did not and could not identify
me and even said it was not me..... I was still convicted."
from The Hurricane
Rubin Carter and John Artis were apprehended by the police, they
were brought to St. Joseph's Hospital to see if Willie Marins,
shot in the head, could identify them. This encounter has been described
in sworn court testimony (below), in books (below), in song (above
left ) and in the Hurricane movie (below).
One, Take Five -- or,
Nice Bedside Manner, Carter!
Five versions of what happened at Marins' bedside
offensive and bigoted language
autobiography, The 16th Round.
not claim that Marins said anything.
he talk, Doc?" asked the bull-faced cop who a few minutes earlier
had acted like he was Quick-Draw McGraw....With the aid of one of
the nurses, [the doctor] raised the victim's head. The man was weak,
pale and seemed nearly dead; he had a ragged hole in his face where
his left eye had been...
"Are these the two men who shot you?"
For what seemed an eternity, the injured man stared at me intently
with his one remaining eye, glanced at John, then stared back at
me some more. I almost cried with relief when he began to shake
his head from side to side.
"But sir!" The cop said urgently. "Are you sure these are not the
Then I saw it coming.... because to this critically injured man
teetering there on the brink of death, all black people would look
the same, especially those the cops had brought in..... I closed
my eyes and clenched my fists in rage, and at that moment I might
indeed have been able to commit murder. "Dirty sonafabitch!.....
Lazarus and the Hurricane
(amazing mind-reading) Canadians
do not state that Detective Callahan or Marins used the n-word,
they just accuse Callahan of thinking it. Again, Marins
doesn't say anything.
he talk, Doc?" asks the detective who appears to be in charge, Sergeant
"Can you make out these guys' faces?" asks Callahan. The wounded
man nods weakly. "Are these the two that shot you?" The injured
man stares at Rubin, glances at John, then stares back at Rubin
again. Finally, he shakes his head from side to side, no.
"But, sir! Are you sure these aren't the guys? Look carefully now!"
"Dirty sonafobitch!" snarls Rubin to the cop, hearing the "you-know-all-niggers-look-alike"
tone in his voice. "Dirty motherfucker!"
The victim keeps shaking his head.
the sworn court testimony of Detective Callahan, as reported in
the newspaper, Dec. 5, 1976
said he brought Carter and Artis to the hospital to see the second
victim, William Marins, who survived the shooting but has since
died. According to Callahan, Marins was sitting in a treatment room
at St. Josephıs Hospital and Medical Center with a large, blood-soaked
bandage over the side of his face. After looking at Carter and Artis
straight on, Callahan said Marins told him, "I can't tell, I don't
Rubin Hurricane Carter and the American Justice System,
(the first paragraph implies that Marins cleared
Carter and Artis, the second paragraph implies he didn't.
Artis "were brought before (Marins) in the St. Joseph's hospital
emergency room. With the suspects standing at the foot of his
bed, Detective Callahan asked Marins if these were the two men
in the bar, and he indicated by shaking his head that they
were not, even after Callahan repeated the question a second
the prosecution had chosen to omit a final comment by William
Marins that evening in the emergency room. When he indicated to
(Detective) Callahan for the second time that he could not
identify the suspects, he stated he had trouble distinguishing
black people because "all n*ggers look alike."
the movie: Hurricane
does not speak.
The real-life detective, Vincent DeSimone, was not at the
hospital. In fact, he hadn't been called in on the case yet. He
first talked to Carter back at the police station.
Are these the two men who did it?
Marins shakes his head.
Carter: He said, 'no.'
Detective (to Carter): Move closer
Carter: He said, 'no.'
Della Pesca, the evil detective, steps out of the shadows.
Della Pesca: Take another look, sir.
Carter: (to Della Pesca) Dirty sonafabitch!
Is this any way
to plan a frame-up?
If the police were framing Carter,
they did a real lousy job when it came to Hazel Tanis. She survived
the shootings for one month, but her testimony was excluded from
the trial, on Carter's lawyer's motion.
was 51 years of age. She had just come from a banquet hall where
she worked as a waitress. Her upper right arm was struck by a
blast from the shotgun. She was fired at five times with the handgun
and was struck by four of the bullets. "Miraculously, Tanis would
struggle to live another month before finally succumbing to an
embolism. But during that time she would give police a description
of the killers... Tanis' daughter, Barbara Burns, now 55, recalls
her mother telling her later in the hospital: 'You don't look
a man in the eyes and plead for your life and forget what he looks
like.' But the police say Tanis chose photos of other men -- hence,
another thread of mystery."
Kelly, The Record,
Hackensack, NJ. March 26, 2000
lawyer] was successful in blocking the introduction of [Tanis'
posthumous testimony] into the trial record by showing that it
did not qualify under the provisions of the "dying declaration"
statutory requirements. Judge Larner also supported Brown's motion
to block the introduction of a rough composite sketch... It was one of the judge's
few rulings throughout the entire trial that favored the defense.
Carter and the American Justice System
Hazel Tanis' daughter and granddaughter
in 2000. (update: we are sorry to note that Hazel Tanis' daughter
has passed away)