E111: The Zebra Murders Pt 2

This is Part Two of our story on The Zebra Murders, which were racially motivated murders committed by a group of black men associated with a splinter group of The Nation of Islam. The murders occurred in San Francisco, California between October 1973 and April 1974, and at least fifteen people were killed and eight others were wounded.

(note: time stamps are without ads & may be off a little)

We thank our listeners (4:53) and then dive back into the timeline (9:20).  Then, we get into the investigation & arrest (43:20), and the trial (49:50) followed by “Where are they now?”(52:20). We get into our Takes and what we think made them snap (56:30). 

As usual we close out the show with some tips on how not to get murdered(1:02:43) and some shout outs (1:05:36).  

Thanks for listening! This is a weekly podcast and new episodes drop every Thursday, so until next time… look alive y’all, it’s crazy out there!


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Wikipedia contributors. (12/15/2020). Zebra murders. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01/27/2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Zebra_murders&oldid=994352025

CBS SF Bay Area. (11/06/14). Zebra Murders: Remembering Fear That Gripped San Francisco 40 Years Later. Retrieved 01/27/2021 from https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/11/06/remembering-the-zebra-killings-40-years-later-racially-motivated/

Turner, Wallace. (05/02/1974). Seven Blacks Seized in ‘Zebra’ Murders. The New York Times. Retrieved 01/27/2021 from https://www.nytimes.com/1974/05/02/archives/seven-blacks-seized-in-zebra-murders-seven-blacks-held-in-zebra.html

Gartrell, Nate. (01/28/2020). Last two living ‘Zebra’ killers denied parole; tied to massive California murder spree targeting whites at random. The Mercury News. Retrieved 01/28/2021 from https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/01/28/last-two-living-zebra-killers-denied-parole-tied-to-massive-california-murder-spree-targeting-whites-at-random/

FindLaw. (03/25/1983). PEOPLE v. COOKS. Retrieved 01/28/2021 from https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1838717.html

Spotswood, Beth. (03/27/2013). 5 Interesting Facts About The ‘Zebra Killings’ From The 1970s. SFist. Retrieved 01/29/2021 from https://sfist.com/2013/03/27/5_interesting_facts_about_the_zebra/

Muller, Eddie. (09/17/2006). Zebra murders meant to start race war. SFGate. Retrieved 01/30/2021 from https://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Zebra-murders-meant-to-start-race-war-2469576.php

Delvin, F. Roger. (1/8/2020). The Zebra Killings. American Renaissance. Retrieved on 1/30/2021 from https://www.amren.com/features/2021/01/the-zebra-killings/

Hoad, Phil. (7/18/2012). Why Bruce Lee and kung fu films hit home with black audiences. The Guardian.  Retrieved 1/30/2021 from https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/jul/18/bruce-lee-films-black-audiences

SDSUnbound. (n.d.). Unidentified group of people in front of Muhammad’s Temple Number 26. Retrieved 1/31/2021 from https://digitallibrary.sdsu.edu/islandora/object/sdsu%3A42524

Historic Crimes. (n.d.). San Francisco’s Zebra Murders. Retrieved 02/01/2021 from http://historiccrimes.blogspot.com/2017/12/san-franciscos-zebra-murders.html

Criminal Minds Wiki. (n.d.). The Zebra Killers. Retrieved 02/01/2021 from https://criminalminds.fandom.com/wiki/The_Zebra_Killers

History Commons. (n.d.). October 20, 1973 – May 1, 1974: Racially Motivated ‘Zebra’ Killings Sweep through San Francisco. Retrieved 02/01/2021 from http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a10730574zebrakillings#a10730574zebrakillings

Bureaucracybuster’s Blog. (07/18/2016). Jessie Lee Cooks. Retrieved 02/01/2021 from https://bureaucracybuster.com/tag/jessie-lee-cooks/

Justia US Law. (03/25/1983). People v. Cooks (1983). Retrieved 02/06/2021 from https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/141/224.html


Sanders, Prentice Earl; Cohen, Bennett. (09/20/2006). The Zebra Murders: A Season of Killing, Racial Madness, and Civil Rights. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing.

Talbot, David. (05/08/2012). Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love. New York, NY: Free Press.

Howard, Clark. (01/01/1979). Zebra: The True Account of 179 Days of Terror in San Francisco. New York: Richard Merk Publishers.


Wikipedia contributors. (01/17/2021). Nation of Islam. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01/29/2021 from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Nation_of_Islam&oldid=1000999774

Sanders, Earl; Cohen, Bennett. (07/19/2016). The rhymes of the Zebra murders and shootings of police. The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 01/29/2021 from https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-rhymes-of-the-Zebra-murders-and-shootings-of-8392808.php

Rosoff, Matt. (05/30/2016). San Francisco is a wealthy tech haven today — but not long ago it was an apocalyptic madhouse. Business Insider. Retrieved 01/29/2021 from https://www.businessinsider.com/season-of-the-witch-san-francisco-history-in-the-1970s-2016-5

History.com Editors. (10/29/2009). Malcolm X. History.com. Retrieved 01/31/2021 from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/malcolm-x

History.com Editors. (11/03/17). Black Panthers. History.com. Retrieved 01/31/2021 from https://www.history.com/topics/civil-rights-movement/black-panthers

Grey, Eliza. (10/04/2012). Thetans and Bowties. The New Republic. Retrieved 02/01/2021 from https://newrepublic.com/article/108205/scientology-joins-forces-with-nation-of-islam

How Not to Get Murdered

SEO Copy. (08/05/2020). 7 CRUCIAL SAFETY TIPS FOR WOMEN WALKING ALONE AT NIGHT. Women on Guard. Retrieved 02/04/2021 from https://www.womenonguard.com/blog/2020/08/06/7-crucial-safety-tips-for-women-walking-alone-at-night/

Shout Outs


Miss Scarlet & The Duke


“Abyss” by Alasen: ●https://soundcloud.com/alasenhttps://twitter.com/icemantraphttps://instagram.com/icemanbass/https://soundcloud.com/therealfrozenguy
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

“One Way” and “VVS” by Yung Kartz https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Yung_Kartz
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

“Furious Freak” by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/3791-furious-freak
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/


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