56 years have passed since the iconic activist and civil rights leader, Malcolm X, met a tragic end on February 21, 1965. His powerful voice advocating for justice and equality was silenced when he was assassinated during a speech at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, New York. The shocking incident unfolded in front of his wife, children, and a gathering of over 400 people who had come to hear him speak.
Twists in the Tale
The alleged perpetrators of Malcolm X’s assassination, Talmadge Hayer, Norman 3X Butler, and Thomas 15X Johnson, were swiftly captured by onlookers who witnessed the brutal shooting. Although all three were arrested, only one, Talmadge Hayer, confessed to shooting Malcolm X. The other two maintained their innocence for decades. In 1966, all three were convicted and sentenced for their roles in the murder. However, the recent turn of events in November 2021 shed light on the flawed investigation, leading to the overturning of the convictions of Muhammad Aziz (formerly known as Norman 3X Butler) and Khalil Islam (formerly Thomas 15X Johnson).
Unveiling Disturbing Details
As Malcolm X commenced his speech, three assailants approached the podium, armed with a sawed-off shotgun and handguns. Exploiting a momentary disturbance that diverted the attention of his bodyguards, the attackers mercilessly shot him. Initial reports suggested around ten shots were fired, creating chaos in the room. The assailants attempted to flee but were apprehended by vigilant attendees.
A Glimpse into the Autopsy
An autopsy conducted the day after Malcolm X’s death revealed the chilling details of the assassination. The medical examiner’s report concluded that the activist succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds, including shots to his heart and aorta. The autopsy uncovered the horrifying reality that Malcolm X was shot more than a dozen times. Seven bullets penetrated his chest, with additional shots hitting his chin, right leg, left leg three times, and left arm once. His right hand and right arm were struck by two bullets each, while several shots hit his right leg. In total, the medical examiner recovered eight projectiles from his body, comprising six buck pellets and two nine-millimeter rounds.
The Ongoing Investigation
The Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., announced the decision to overturn the convictions of Muhammad Aziz and Khalil Islam in November 2021, unveiling the potential miscarriage of justice surrounding Malcolm X’s assassination. This revelation prompts a closer examination of the events that unfolded on that fateful day and raises questions about the handling of the investigation.
As the world revisits the disturbing details found in Malcolm X’s autopsy report, the quest for truth and justice continues, seeking to bring clarity to a pivotal moment in history that shook the foundations of civil rights advocacy.