History's most notorious assassinations

Two men convicted of assassinating Malcolm X have been exonerated

Stars Insider

18/11/21 | StarsInsider


Assassinations have been carried out since antiquity. Just look at how many Roman emperors fell victim to the sword, knife, or poison. In fact, most assassinations are politically motivated, with presidents, prime ministers, and members of royalty all having been targeted throughout history. But some killings remain senseless and inexplicable, those of musicians for example, or advocates for peace and equality.

The shooting of Malcolm X is one of the most famous assassinations of the 20th century. He was killed in 1965 while making a speech on stage at the Audubon Ballroom in New York. His wife, Betty Shabazz, and four children were in the audience. Three men were arrested shortly after the murder. One of the men, Mujahid Abdul Halim, confessed to the murder, but the other two, Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, maintained their innocence. Halim supported this version of the story and said that they weren't involved. Regardless, all three men were convicted and spent decades in prison labeled as killers of a civil rights hero. 

More than half a century later, Aziz and Islam have finally been exonerated. A renewed investigation into their convictions showed that FBI evidence supporting their innocence was withheld during the trial. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has offered a public apology to the two men and their families for the failure of law enforcement. Aziz is now 83 years old and was released from prison in 1985. Islam was released in 1987 but sadly passed away in 2009. Attorney Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project declared that it was "one of the most blatant miscarriages of justice" he had ever seen. 

Click through for a gruesome timeline of victims of assassinations, and the murderers that hit their mark.


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