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ZEBRA: Chapter One
The True Account of 179 Days of Terror in San Francisco
by Clark Howard

The "Zebra" murders were a string of racially motivated murders that took place in San Francisco from October 1973 to April 1974. A group of male Black Muslims calling themselves the "Death Angels" committed at least 15 murders and 8 attempted murders against white victims; some authorities believe they killed as many as 73 or more victims. "Zebra" by Clark Howard is a crime novel about the brutal Zebra murders committed by the Nation of Islam in California in the early seventies. The story has never been a TV movie and seems to have been conveniently forgotten. Here is the first chapter:

Day 1

The meetings were held in the loft of a San Francisco warehouse. They were conducted by a dignified black man with a VanDyke beard. He wore a business suit and spoke in a quiet, almost ministerial tone.

"The population of the white man in North America has reached one hundred and three million. The population of the black man is only seventeen million. But" - he held a stiff forefinger next to one ear - "the population of the white man throughout the world is only four hundred million, while the population of the black man throughout the world has now reached four and a half billion."

He turned and strolled at a measured pace before one wall of the loft. Facing him, sitting on old but comfortable club chairs and sofas, was an audience of a dozen black men. Their eyes followed him as he strolled.
"There are fifty-seven million square miles of land on the earth. The white man uses only six million square miles; the black man uses nearly four times that amount: twenty-three million square miles."
In two corners of the room, facing the audience, the speaker's bodyguards stood: two large, powerful black men with narrowed, darting eyes that constantly scanned the attentive faces. These men accompanied the speaker everywhere, one of them opening doors for him wherever he went.
"So on earth today," the speaker continued, "there are more black men than white, and the black men occupy and use more land than the white." He stopped strolling and his voice took on a noticeable edge. "Why then has the white man been able to set himself up as our superior? Why has he been able to control our race for four hundred years? To answer that question"---the forefinger went up again---"we must go back in time and learn how the white man came to be."
The speaker returned to the center of the wall and faced his audience. Something seemed to be happening to his eyes; they were becoming wider, and whiter.
"A thousand years ago, near the city of Mecca, there lived an evil black leader named Yakub. He desired to create a race of weak people that he and his ancestors could rule forever. To do this, he began to study the black race. He learned that in every black man there existed two germs: a black germ and a brown germ. He found a way to separate the brown germs from the black germs, and he put all the brown germs into all the healthy, strong girls among his followers who were at least sixteen years of age. As they produced babies, he had the black ones carefully nursed and raised to adults. Then he passed a law that blacks who were alike could not marry; only those who were unlike could marry. Black had to marry brown. Dark had to marry light, and light had to marry lighter.
"Yakub was pleased because he saw his people becoming weaker and weaker, while he and those who ruled with him remained black and strong. For six hundred years there continued this process of grafting brown from black, and lighter brown from darker brown, until finally the original black blood had thinned so much and become so weak that the germ it carried lost all its color and became white. Weak, wicked white."
From the audience came several low grunts of disapproval. The speaker nodded agreement with them.
"By the time the descendants of Yakub realized what had been done, it was too late. The grafted white devils had spread over the earth and were teaching lessons about a new, mysterious god that no one could see until after death. Soon eighty-five percent of the people on earth were being taught about this mystery god. They were being taught by ten percent who were clever and crafty and desired to lead them. Only a scant five percent of the earth's population remained righteously believing in the true god, Allah."
The speaker raised his forefinger like a vengeful sword. "For four hundred years these white infidels have spread their false religion over the land like a great dirty plague, trying to put out the light of Allah. Christians and Jews alike are guilty of setting up rivals to Allah. Both are black-slave-making religions dedicated to the mental destruction of the black man. They are the enemies of Allah and they are the sole people responsible for leading astray nine-tenths of the world's black population!"
"Evil!" one of the men in the audience said loudly.
The speaker's eyes widened even more. His voice grew raspy, hissing. "For four hundred years this grafted white devil has controlled the earth and manipulated the black man. For four hundred years he has castrated black men, raped black women, and stomped on the heads of little black babies!"
"Devils!" said a voice in the audience. It was the same man who had spoken before. He was a thick-necked black man with a clean shaven skull and eyes like bullet holes. The only soft feature of his entire presence was his long, almost feminine eyelashes. Under the overhead light, his shiny skull glistened. Call this man Head.
"For four hundred years," the speaker now began to rant, "we, the true followers of Allah, the true Muslims of the earth, have suffered persecution at the hands of this grafted white devil who came from our very own diluted seed! We have been relegated to ghettos, deprived of a decent education, victimized in the labor market, and sent to the white man's prisons!" The forefinger whipped across the audience. "There are some in this very room who can give witness to the injustices wreaked on us in the white man's prisons!"
"Right on!" said Head. He was one who could give such witness.
"All right!" said a young, light-skinned Negro next to him. So light that his skin had faint freckles on it, he was seven years younger than Head, who was twenty-eight, and handsome in a boyish way. Unlike Head, he could not give witness to anything about the white man's prison, because he had never been arrested, much less incarcerated. In the muted overhead light, with the dark contrast of Head next to him, he looked almost yellow-skinned. Call him Yellow.
"But we do not need the white man's prisons to prove to us that the white man is our enemy," the Vandyked speaker continued. "We need only to study our lessons from this-" He removed a small book from his inside pocket. "Message to the Black Man," he said, lowering his voice to a reverent tone to read the book's title. Opening the cover, he recited a prayer on the first page. "in the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful Savior, to whom all praise is due for raising up among us a Divine Leader, Teacher, and Guide, the most honorable Elijah Muhammad. As-salaam-alaikum."
"As-salaam-alaikum," the audience repeated in concert. It was a traditional Muslim saying, "Peace be with you."
"Turn to the subject of Islam in this book and you will find your answer as to who is the enemy of Allah," the speaker said. "Turn to the fourth question and the fourth answer and you will see, you will learn. Listen! The fourth question: 'Does Allah have enemies, and who are they?' The fourth answer: 'The enemies of Allah are known at the present as the white race or European race, who are the sole people responsible for misleading nine-tenths of the total population of the black nation.' That"---he stabbed the air above him with his forefinger--"tells us who our enemy is. Now you tell me!"
"The grafted white devil!" said Head.
"White devils!" said Yellow.
"Whites---whites---whites!" said the others in a low chant.
Only one man in the audience did not respond. He was the third man who sat on the couch with Head and Yellow. He was the same age as Head, and like Head had been in the white man's prison. The two had met in San Quentin; this one had only recently been released. Nothing about his appearance was unusual; he had neither the boyish good looks of Yellow, nor the cold-eyed countenance of Head. He was simply ordinary-looking. What was extraordinary about him lay underneath the surface, unseen. It rested in his hands, which were lethal, and his feet, which were deadly. He was an expert at kung fu and jujitsu. Call this one Judo.
"Now that we know the enemy," the speaker said, "what do we do about him?" He smiled, parting the hair around his pink lips. "Simply read the laws of Mohammed. Read the tenth lesson, which asks, 'Why does Mohammed and any Moslem murder the devil?' And answers, 'Because the devil is one hundred percent wicked and will not keep and obey the laws of Islam. His ways and actions are like a snake of the grafted type. Mohammed has learned that he cannot reform the white devils, so they must be murdered. All Moslems will murder the white devil because they know he is a snake. Each Moslem is required to kill four devils, and by bringing and presenting four at one time, his reward is a button to wear on the lapel of his coat, and free transportation to the holy city of Mecca to see Brother Mohammed."
"Praise Brother Mohammed!" the men in the audience said as one voice. Again except for Judo, who remained silent.
"The lessons are clear," the speaker said. His eyes were very wide now, the eyeballs quivering white globes that rolled over the faces before him. "The lessons say who the enemy is!"
"Right on!"
"The lessons say what to do about the enemy!"
"Right on!"
"Kill the grafted snake!"
"Kill it!"
"Kill the evil whites!"
"Kill them!"
"Kill the blue-eyed devils!"
"Kill! Kill! Kill!"
The chant was low, murmured, sloshing across the room like dirty water in a flooded basement. It came from Mechanized mouths below mesmerized eyes, robotlike, hypnotic, uncontrollable.
While the chant was going on, the speaker quietly left. His bodyguards opened the doors for him and followed him downstairs and out back to where the Continental was parked. They drove away into the night.
Behind, in the loft, the chant went on, created by the voices of all the men who had listened to the speaker. All but one.

Anthony Cornelius Harris, number B-35599, sat on a bench on the upper yard at San Quentin and watched the activity around him through narrowed eyes. It was the spring of 1973 and Harris was nearing the end of the second year of his second term in prison. This time he was in for burglary; earlier he had served nearly two and a half years for battery on a police officer. The battery had occurred when Harris and his brother Pinky had been fighting on the street in Long Beach. A policeman tried to break them up. Harris, a judo expert, had turned on the officer and disabled him in seconds. Arrested and tried, he was given a six-months-to-ten-years sentence and committed to San Quentin.
Some men hated prison, but Harris did not even dislike it, not really. In a way, being in prison was an easy life. Except for the absence of women, the only thing that disagreed with him was the boredom. He found the life extremely boring at times. Such as now when he had nothing to do but sit on the yard and watch other convicts who also had nothing to do. He had a job in the bookbindery, but it only took up part of his day. The rest of the time he was idle. He had tried to enroll in elementary-school classes---he only had a third grade education---but his request was denied because San Quentin's school enrollment was then out of balance ethnicwise. Too many blacks, not enough whites and Chicanos. Later, perhaps, he was told. So he sat on the yard, bored.
Harris leaned his head back and closed his eyes all the way. His lids shut out the glare of the Northern California sun that burned into the upper yard. He wished he had a nice cold bottle of pop right then. The canteen was open; all he had to do was walk down to the lower yard and buy one, but he only had a couple of dollars in his inmate account, so he decided against it. He rarely had much money for prison luxuries---pop, gum, candy, snack food to keep in his cell---because his wife would not deposit any money in his account unless he allowed her to visit him---and that he would not do. His wife was white; it would have been embarrassing, if not downright dangerous, to let her visit. The way things were in Q at that time---three distinct cliques: white, black, and Chicano---his position as a loner, a judo fighter who wanted to serve his own time, would have been seriously jeopardized if it got around that he had a white wife. For the first few months after he came back for his second rap, he had lived in dread fear that some inmate clerk in the records office would read his package and spread the word about it. Then, judo fighter or not, he would have had to take heavy flak from both the black and white communities. Better to do without cold pop on a hot day.
Anthony Harris opened his eyes. For a moment he stared transfixed at the ground in front of him. Then he sighed quietly, rose, and slowly walked off toward the auditorium. At least it would be something to do.

A little while after the speaker left, the chanting in the loft stopped and the dozen black men dispersed. It was dusk. Head, Yellow, and Judo crossed the rear parking lot to a white Dodge van. Yellow got behind the wheel, Head took the passenger seat, and Judo sat in back on a stack of folded furniture moving pads.
Yellow turned to Head. "Where to, man?"
"Go south on Mission," said Head. He stretched his muscular arms and threw a tight smile over his shoulder at Judo. "I'm glad it's the weekend, man. Gives us lots of time to get even with the motherfuckers for all the nights we spent in Q." He half turned in his seat, waiting for an answer from Judo. When one was not forthcoming, he prompted, "Right, man?"
"Yeah, man, right, " Judo replied. He hoped Head did not notice the lack of enthusiasm in his voice. Head could be very vicious when he got mad.
Yellow drove along Mission Street, down the middle of the San Francisco peninsula. Head watched out the front and side windows, his bullet-hole eyes looking, scanning, searching.
"Hey, man, tell me some more about Q," said Yellow with boyish enthusiasm. It was a regular question with him. He was the kid asking the big guys about the service. Never having been arrested, he had a morbid curiosity about prison. It fascinated him.
"Ain't nothin' to tell, man," said Head. "It's a fucking white man's joint. I'm just glad to be out, man. I been waiting a long time to pay my respects to my white enemies."
"Hey, man, you tell me about it," Yellow said to Judo.
Judo sighed. The question was getting old. "what do you want to know, man?"
"Did you hate it in there?"
"I didn't hate it. It wasn't too bad."
Head threw him a contemptuous look. "Man, what the fuck's the matter with you? You been in that fucking place two times and all you can say is, 'It wasn't too bad.' Shit." He looked back at Judo. "You better get your head on right and start thinking vicious, man. You a black man and you've gone through four hundred fucking years of slavery." Head twisted around in the seat. "Sometimes I wonder about you, man. Sometimes I wonder what kind of heart you got."
"Don't worry none about it," Judo replied with an edge. "Ain't nothing the matter with my heart."
"We'll see," said Head. He faced forward again and his expression became set. "We each gonna try to get one white kid tonight. It be the first of four that we all need."
"Say, man, I want to ask you about that," said Judo. "The man tonight, he say four white devils. He don't say nothing about no kids. How come you looking for kids?"
"Because the man, he only be talking about what it take to be a regular Muslim. What we talking about is what it take to be a Death Angel."
Judo rolled his eyes upward. The Death Angels. They were back to that shit again.

Leaving that first Muslim meeting in San Quentin, Anthony Harris was approached by a thick-necked black man with a clean-shaven skull and eyes like bullet holes. His name was Jesse Lee Cooks. He was serving the last year of a seven-and-a-half-year sentence for armed robbery.
"Say, brother, what's happening?" Cooks asked.
Harris shrugged. "Ain't much."
You the one that knows judo and that stuff, ain't that right?"
"I know some, yeah."
"How 'bout teaching it to me?" Cooks asked.
"I don't know, man," Harris said hesitantly. "It takes a long time to learn."
"Hey, baby, I got the time, you know what I mean?" Cooks said. He smiled, but it was not a pleasant smile; it was cold, mechanical.
"What about the guards?" Harris asked, looking for a respectable way out.
"Fuck the guards," said Cooks. "Prisoners got rights too, man. Long as we don't do know disrupting, they can't stop us."
"What do you want to learn?" Harris asked. Maybe he could teach Cooks a few simple holds and throws, and let it go at that.
"I want to learn how to bust a heart with a punch to the chest," the thick-necked black said. "And how to come up behind somebody and snap their neck. I want to learn how to kill, man." He took Harris by the arm and led him to a private corner. "See, man, in San Francisco they got what's called the Death Angels. It's a special part of the Muslims. The job of the Death Angels is to off white chumps, see?" But you got to prove that you can kill before they'll let you in. So I want to learn how to kill. How 'bout it brother?"
Harris shrugged resignedly. "I guess," he said. Why not? He asked himself. It was better than being bored. And it did not look like he was going to get into the prison school.
So he began teaching judo and kung fu to Jesse Lee Cooks.

"Turn up Tingley Street," Head told Yellow. "There's usually white kids out playing in this neighborhood."
Yellow turned off Mission into Tingley.
"I still don't see why we need kids," Judo said from the rear of the van.
"Oh, man," Head said irritably. He slapped Yellow on the arm. "Explain it to the dude, will you?"
Yellow glanced at Judo in the rearview mirror. "Offing white kids is the quickest way to get into the Death Angels," he said. "See, they figure it's harder for a grown man to kill a kid or a woman than it is for him to kill a man. Killing men is easy. To get into the Death Angels, you got to kill nine white men. Killing women is harder, so you only got to kill five. Killing kids is the hardest; alls you need is four of them."
"Turn here and go over to the next street," Head instructed.
Yellow drove over to Theresa Street. They cruised the block, searching. There were no children out.
"Try the next street," Head directed. "Just keep going."
Yellow drove down Cotter Street. No children.
"Next street." Head's voice was surly; his patience was thinning.
Yellow drove along Francis Street. Near the corner they saw two white children in front of the steps of a house, and a third white youngster coming down the steps to meet them.
"Perfect," said Head. "One for each of us." He patted Yellow's arm. "Pull over an park, brother."

The girl coming down the steps of her home at 41 Francis Street was eleven-year-old Michele Denise Carrasco. She was a slender child with huge, dark eyes and a quick, tentative smile. Her dark hair was parted in the middle and fell to each shoulder.
Inside the house, Michele's brother Greg was having a birthday party. Michele was out on the steps to see her friend, twelve-year-old Marie Stewart. The two girls attended nearby Corpus Christi School together. In the evening, Marie's fifteen-year-old brother Frank, a Unity Junior High School student, had walked over to Michele's house with her sister. The two of them were waiting on the steps when Michele came out. As they began talking, all of them noticed two black men walking toward them. The youngsters continued talking until the men came up to them and stopped.
"Say," Head said to Michele Carrasco, "where's Mission Street?"
Michele pointed toward the corner. "Up there, one block," she said.
Head looked around nervously. His hands played wit the front of his black leather jacket. The other man, Judo, slipped one hand inside the black Nehru coat he wore.
"Where's Mission Street?" Head asked again.
Michele frowned. "I told you: down there one block."
Her words were barely out when Head drew a gun form his waistband. He grabbed the girl roughly by her arm. "Just be quiet," Head warned, pointing the gun at her. "Just be quiet and follow us."
Judo was on the curb, blocking any possible escape by Frank and Marie Stewart. He still had one hand inside his Nehru coat.
The youngsters were marched three abreast along the sidewalk. Head walked on the inside, continuing to hold Michele's arm, the gun at her back. Judo kept to the outside, his free hand holding Frank Stewart's elbow.
"Hey, have you guys been drinking?" Frank asked. Maybe it was some kind of joke.
"Shut up!" Head snapped.
They walked toward the van, which was parked facing them on Francis just off the next cross street, Alemany Boulevard. Yellow was standing beside the van waiting for them. He was shifting his weight from foot to foot as if he had to go to the bathroom.
"Get the door open," Head told Yellow as they approached. Yellow hurried to the side of the van.
"Listen, is this a joke?" Michelle asked. The black man was hurting her arm and had a wild look in his eyes. He forced her toward the back of the van.
Suddenly Frank Stewart jerked away from Judo and yelled, "Cops!" His sister, who was in the middle being held by no one, darted to his side. They both started running.
"Oh, man!" Head said angrily to Judo.
With the black man's attention momentarily distracted, Michele jerked her own arm away and also started running. Because the black men and the van were between her and her house, Michele had to run in the opposite direction. She ran to the nearby corner and hurried down Alemany Boulevard.
Back at the van. Head glared at Judo. "Man, you fucked up!"
"No worse than you, motherfucker!" Judo snapped.
Yellow was already getting behind the wheel. "Come on, let's get the fuck out of here!" he said in a breaking voice. Now he did have to go to the bathroom; several drops of urine had already spotted his trousers.
Michele was still running. Down Alemany one block to Santa Rosa; around another corner and down another street; unable to run home, she was heading for the next safest place she new: the rectory of Corpus Christi Catholic Church.
Frank and Marie Stewart were safe by now. They had reached the Carrasco home and police were being called. On the next street over, at the church, a priest named Father Gerald took the terrified Michele by the hand and started walking her home.
And in the van, Yellow was making a U-turn and swinging north on Alemany Boulevard to get out of the Area. Next to him, Head was muttering, "Motherfucker! Motherfucker!"
Judo, in the back, was trying to keep his trembling hands out of sight.

Anthony Harris had first learned to fear Jesse Lee Cooks after he began teaching him Judo in San Quentin. Cooks was different from anyone Harris had ever known---although in what way he was different, Harris was not certain. At times, Harris thought it was simply because Cooks was more dangerous than other men, but there were time too when he was certain that it was because Cooks was less sane than other men. The man's capacity for evil thinking seemed to Harris to be without bounds.
"What I plan to do someday," Cooks told him, is raid a white orphanage and take all the little white kids by there feet and swing them like a baseball bat and smash their brains out against the wall."
Another time he said, "I'd like to raid one of those hospitals where old white people live. You know, man, one of those places where they just sit around all day slobbering all over theyselves. Man, I'd like to just go through a place like that and off them all, every one of the old motherfuckers, Use a blade and really hack them up.
It never occurred to Harris that perhaps Jesse Cook's dreams of carnage were all founded in cowardice. Cooks always planned to attack children or old people or women. Never anyone who might fight back. Always the weak, the helpless.
Harris continued to train Cooks nevertheless. He also began training other members of what was called the Dan Quentin Mosque of the Nation of Islam. As Harris had skeptically predicted, the prison guards did not like what he was teaching, but---as the institutionwise Cooks had told him---there was nothing they could do about it. The judo sessions were quiet and orderly; they broke no rules, caused no trouble. Still, the guards must have had uneasy feelings as they patrolled the exercise yard and watched someone like Jesse Lee Cooks learning to gouge out eyes, crush a larynx, snap a neck, and burst a heart with a single powerful blow to the chest.
While Harris was teaching, he was also learning. After formally becoming a member of the mosque, he was invited to attend lectures which came into the prison on cassettes. The lectures preached black superiority, reminded those who listened of the preceding four hundred years of abuse, and openly encouraged active revenge against the white devils. Prison officials often found the contents of the tapes repugnant , but they were unable to suppress them. Muslimism was a religion, and freedom of religious choice was a guaranteed right---even for convicts.
Gradually the taped lectures and other indoctrinations began to have a collective effect on Anthony Harris. He began to think less and less of his white wife, and daydreamed about marrying a black girl. He also shunned going to school when and opening finally became available. "I changed my mind," he told the counselor, don't want any part of the white educational system."
When he was being evaluated for possible future parole, Harris was asked to give his version of the crime that sent him to prison for the second time. "I was living with my wife in an apartment down in Santa Ana," he said. "A couple of guys my brother knew needed a place to stay, so I let them stay with us. Then me and my wife, we went down to San Diego for the weekend, see. An' when we come back, our TV and stereo and some of our furniture had been pawned to this here pawnshop, and the tow friends of my brother was gone. My old lady was pretty upset about it, but I didn't have no money to get the stuff back. Well, she kept bitchin' and yelling about it, so finally I said okay, goddamn it, I'll go out and steal the money to take the stuff out of pawn."
He had gone out that night and burglarized the Charles Haynes Realty Company in Long Beach. His loot amounted to one hundred dollars petty cash and a few postage stamps. A month later, while riding in a car with tow other men, the three of them were arrested on suspicion of armed robbery because they fit the description of a holdup trio. The charge was subsequently dropped, but during the proceedings the Haynes Realty burglary came up and was eventually blamed on Harris. He confessed and pled guilty to one count of second-degree burglary. He was sentenced to serve from six months to fifteen years, and returned to prison as a second-termer.
In San Quentin, Harris first worked in Food Service, dishing out food in the dining room. Then he was assigned to waterfront and worked on the docks. Eventually he was moved to Vocational Bookbinding. That was when he had asked to go to school but was refused because too many blacks were already enrolled. He also asked to learn to be a baker, thinking it would be a good occupation when he was released. But the counselors told him he was not smart enough for that trade. Finally he drifted into the Black Muslims.
In mid-August of 1973, Anthony Harris said good-bye to Jesse Lee Cooks when the latter was paroled. Harris himself was scheduled for parole within the next two months.
The two Black Muslims instinctively knew they would see each other on the outside.

After the fiasco with the three white children, the men in the van were nervous and shaken up. Head was furious with Judo.
"Man, you fucked up!" he accused again, his naturally petulant mouth puffed into a sullen pout.
"No more than you did," Judo replied, detesting the weakness he could hear in his own voice.
Head picked up at once on that weakness. "You got piss for blood, man! You not fit to be a Death Angel!"
"Fuck you, motherfucker," said Judo. It was all he could think to say.
"Quit bitchin' at one another," Yellow said. He glanced at Head. "Tell me where to go, man."
Head looked out the window to get his bearings. They were on the Bayshore Freeway now, heading north, passing San Francisco General Hospital. "Keep on going," Head told him. "All the way to the end of the freeway." He ignored both of them then and sat muttering to himself.
Yellow followed the curving turning freeway toward its terminus near the Embarcadero. The men did not speak to each other for the fifteen minutes or so that the drive took. Yellow concentrated on his driving, keeping the van in a middle lane and well within the speed limit. Judo laced his fingers together and gripped tightly to control his trembling. He silently cursed Head for being so accurate in his evaluation. Judo had been frightened back there; in prison vernacular, he did have piss for blood. He glanced up and saw that Head's lips were still moving as the bald man continued to mutter under his breath.
Yellow drove off the freeway and cruised along Battery Street. "Where to go now?" he asked Head.
"Man, I don't give a shit where," Head replied crossly. He spotted a lone white man waiting to cross the street at Battery and Vallejo. "Pull over right there," he said. "I'll kill that motherfucker right on the corner."
Judo's mouth dropped open. "Man, you crazy! You just asking to go back to Q." He slapped Yellow on the shoulder. "Keep driving, man."
"I said stop here!" Head repeated. He snatched the pistol from his belt but did not point it at anyone.
"No, keep driving, man!" Judo ordered. "I ain't going back to the shithouse on account of this crazy motherfucker." Judo looked into Head's eyes and saw the glare of murder. He slipped one hand under his Nehru coat in case Head lost control and decided to start shooting. The feel of his own gun was reassuring.
"Hey, man, he's right," Yellow said to a now extremely agitated head. "This ain't no place to do one. Besides, I want a woman or a kid; it takes too many men to get Death Angel wings."
Death Angel wings were awarded to each man who killed four white children, five white women, or nine white men. Upon completion of the required quota, a new member's photograph was taken and a pair of black wings were drawn extending from the neck. The photo was mounted o a board along with pictures of other successful candidates, and the board was displayed on an easel at the loft meetings. At that time, there were fifteen accredited Death Angels in California. To achieve their collective membership, they had already quietly killed throughout the state 135 white men, 75 white women, 60 white children---or enough of a combination thereof to give each of them his required four, five, or nine credits. This was October of 1973. The California attorney general's office had already secretly compiled a list of forty-five of those killings which had taken place in the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Berkley, Long Beach, Signal Hill, Santa Barbara, Pal Alto, Pacifica, San Diego, and Los Angeles; and in the counties of San Mateo, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Contra Costa, Ventura, and Alameda. All the victims were white. Al the known suspects in the killings had been associated with the Black Muslim movement. The killings were even then continuing throughout the state.
"Come on, man, I want me a white woman or a kid, hear?" said Yellow, "I don't want to fuck with no men." He drove past the man on the corner. Head muttered something but did not object further.
Yellow turned left off Battery and began cruising the Telegraph Hill area.

In their apartment at 399 Chestnut Street, Richard Hague and his wife Quita decided to go for a walk after dinner. It was a pleasant evening. Richard put on a light cardigan; Quita pulled a yellow-and -orange South American woolen shawl around her shoulders, over the sweatshirt and cardigan she already had on. They left the apartment and walked west on Chestnut, toward Columbus Avenue.
Richard Hague, age thirty, was a mining engineer employed in the San Francisco office of Utah International Company. Quita, two years younger, was a reporter for the Industrial City press in South San Francisco. The previous month they had celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary. As they walked downhill on Chestnut, they held hands.
Richard and Quita Hague were both white.

"There you are , man," Head said to Yellow when he saw the young white couple. "there's a woman for you and a man for me."
"What about him?" asked Yellow, bobbing his chin toward Judo and speaking as if he were not even present.
"His heart ain't ready," Head replied with a sneer.
"Fuck you, man!" Judo snapped.
"Pull over there by the corner," Head instructed, ignoring Judo.
Yellow parked on the north side of Chestnut, near the corner of Powell. The young white couple was walking along the south side of the street, toward the same corner.
"You stay with the van like before," Head told Yellow. He turned to Judo. "You gonna help or not, man?" he asked coldly. Head and Judo locked eyes. Head's question was a direct challenge and Judo knew it.
"I'm right behind you, man," said Judo. At the moment he hated Head.
Head and Judo got out of the van and strolled across the street. They stepped onto the sidewalk a hundred feet in front of the white couple. They separated: Head stood at the curb, Judo leaned against a fence across the sidewalk. The white couple would have to walk between them.

Quita Hague frequently had trouble with people mispronouncing her name. Most people pronounced it as it was spelled, coming up with something like "Quee-ta." The correct pronunciation was "Kee-ta." She had developed a clever way to point out the correct pronunciation: She would say, "Just think of me as 'Quita Banana.'" It worked like a charm.
Quita was a vivacious, outgoing young woman with a keen, often infectious sense of humor. She was quick to laugh at her own misfortunes, such as running out of gas on the Bayshore Freeway at midnight. Her pixie grin and freckles often caused people to mistake her for Irish. But her maiden mane was Pirelli-Minetti, and one of the things she was most proud of in life was that her grandfather, a vineyard specialist, had been one of the earliest graduates of Stanford University, in the class of 1906.
As she walked with her husband this evening, Quita was looking forward to Christmas. She liked Christmas better than any other holiday. It was still two months away, but she habitually started thinking about it early. Whenever the season approached, she was always reminded of the first Christmas she and Richard had spent together. They had been married four months and were living in South West Africa where Richard was employed as a geologist. There was no such thing as an evergreen Christmas tree to be found, so Quita decided that they should decorate a camelthorn bush, which had an abundance of small green leaves as well as countless tiny thorns. It, along with an uncommonly tough turkey and sweltering temperatures, did little to bring them any of the traditional holiday spirit. They ended up celebrating Christmas at a local swimming pool to escape the heat.
It had not been much of a first Christmas, but for the sentimental Quita it was a memory she cherished. She held Richard's hand a little tighter as they walked down Chestnut---toward two black men lounging on opposite sides of the sidewalk.

As the Hagues started to walk between them, Head reached out and grabbed Richard by the arm. "Hold it man. Don't move. You coming with us."
Judo stepped away form the fence and leveled a gun at them. He was standing downhill, looking up at them. Richard froze. But not Quita.
"No, no, no." she said, frightened, her voice breaking. She bolted past Judo and ran several yards downhill.
Now Head drew a gun. He pointed it at Richard's chest. "Get on back up here, woman," he said to Quita, "or I'll kill him."
The eyes of Quita Hague and her husband met for a split instant in the dull gray of the streetlight.
"They already have us," said Richard. "Let's cooperate. They won't hurt us."
Reluctantly, hesitantly, Quita walked back up to where her husband was being held. Judo took her arm.
"Over to that van," Head said. Still holding Richard's arm, he guided him across the narrow street. Judo followed a step behind with Quita.
Yellow saw them coming. He hopped out and ran around to open the cargo door on the passenger side.
"Get in there," Head ordered, shoving Richard toward the van. Hague climbed into the van. "Move over there and lay down," said Head. "On your stomach." Hague crawled over and stretched out facedown next to the furniture pads stacked in the bed of the van.
"Now you." Head nodded to Quita.
"No!" she said, terrified again. She started to run a second time. Yellow, younger and faster than either Head or Judo, reached out and grabbed her by the hair. He jerked her back and slammed her against the side of the van. She groaned and started to go limp.
"Get in there!" Yellow snapped, grabbing her under the arm, up close to the shoulder, and manhandling her into the van. He made her stretch out behind the passenger seat, facedown like her husband was lying. "You lay there, bitch!" he said in his ugly, boyish voice. The urine had dried on his trousers now and he felt better. More like a man.
Then suddenly he heard something that made even his bowels queasy.
"Shit, man!" Judo hissed. "A fucking cop car is coming!"

Police officers Bruce Marovich and Ben McAllister were driving the black-and-white radio car; Marovich was in the passenger seat, routinely checking the street. As they passed the middle of the block, Marovich observed some activity on the sidewalk next to where a light-colored Dodge van was parked. He frowned, studying the situation, as the radio car slowly passed the van. Marovich had been a policeman for more than five years. He could see nothing really suspicious occurring at the van, and yet---
"Hold it a minute," he said to McAllister. "Back up next to that white van."
McAllister backed up. As they halted parallel to the van, Head walked around to them.
"What's going on?" Marovich asked out the passenger window.
"Everything's okay, Officer," Head said with a smile. "We had a flat and we're fixing it."
Behind Head, Marovich could see another black man. He was vaguely aware of still a third person around by the open cargo door. But nothing seemed out of order. The two blacks he could see up close were neatly dressed, well-groomed men; certainly not hubcap thieves.
Marovich thought about it for a moment. Then he said, "Okay."
He nodded to his partner and they drove on, continuing their patrol.

Minutes later, the van was on the freeway again, heading south toward the railroad yards below the Central Basin. Yellow was driving. Head was in the rear, astraddle Richard Hague, tying his hands behind him with heavy twine. Judo was next to him, astraddle Quita. Her hands were already tied. Judo had her rolled onto her side; one hand was up under her sweat shirt, feeling her breasts.
Yellow glanced the rearview mirror and saw head looking through Richard Hague's wallet. "we not allowed to steal, man," he said.
"You just drive," Head snapped. "I ain't doing nothing but just looking." He closed the wallet and shoved it back into Richard's pocket. Then he rolled Hague over and started going through his front pockets.
Hague raised his head and saw that Judo was doing something to Quita. "What are you doing to her?" he asked.
Judo, angered at being watched by the white woman's husband, reached over and hit him in the mouth. "Shut up, motherfucker!" He glanced at Head. "Man, make him keep his fucking face down."
"Keep your face down, motherfucker!" Head ordered.
Hague raised his head again, blood running over his bottom lip form Judo's backhand. "What is he doing to her?"
Head reached behind him and picked up a straight lug wrench. "I done told you to keep your white motherfucking face down!" He swung the lug wrench and smashed Richard Hague's jaw. Hague's head flopped back as if his neck were broken; blood gushed from his nostrils. Head hit him again, breaking his jaw in two more places. "I told the motherfucker once," he mumbled. "I don't tell no motherfucker twice." He hit him with the lug wrench the third time.
"Rick---" Quita said. It was a little more than a plaintive whisper.
"Shut up, bitch," said Judo. He had Quita on her back now, sweat shirt and cardigan pushed up around her neck, fondling her exposed breasts with both hands.
Head got off the unconscious Richard and moved over to them. He put his hand between Quita's legs and started rubbing her through her jeans. Quita's hands were tied behind her back and she was lying on them. She had made fists and was arching her body up to relieve the pain in her wrists. Head thought she was pushing her lower body up because he was rubbing her. "You like that, baby?" he asked with a lewd grin. He looked around Judo at her face. You suck dick, baby?"
"Hey, man," said Yellow at the wheel, "we supposed to kill the white devils, not fuck with them."
"Head ignored him. He was trying to unbuckle a wide leather belt that Quita wore on her jeans, but he could not manage it because Judo was sitting too far back on her. He tried to get his hand to the zipper to unzip the fly, but he could not reach that either. "Shit, man," he said in frustration. He unzipped his own trousers and released his erection.
Yellow looked over his shoulder. "We don't supposed to be fucking with these white devils," he warned again. "We only supposed to kill them."
Head had one hand curled around his hard penis. "Ain't no rule says I can't fuck a white devil before we kill her," he argued. "Ain't that right, man?" he asked Judo, slapping him on the shoulder.
"Don't ask me, man," Judo replied. "I don't know no rules." Judo maneuvered around until he was not on top of Quita anymore but was kneeling beside her, near her neck. He bent and sucked one of her nipples.
At the wheel, Yellow was becoming increasingly agitated. This was not the way it was supposed to be. Not sucking on the white devil's tits or trying to get inside her clothes. He glanced at the next off-ramp sign: PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE. There were lonely, isolated railroad spurs just east of Pennsylvania Avenue. Yellow stepped down on the accelerator and changed to the off-ramp lane.
Quita Hague's face was turned to the wall of the van. Tears streamed down her cheeks, trailing into her mouth and onto her neck. Her hands felt numb. She could feel Judo's lips sucking her nipple raw; she could see Head walking toward her face on his knees, trousers open, black penis erect. And from the front of the van was the constant, whining voice talking about killing white devils.
"Please---please---" she begged. "Rape me---take my money---but please don't kill me---please--"
"We won't, baby," said Head, "leastwise, not until we through with you---"
Yellow got off the freeway, doubled back up Pennsylvania to Twenty-third Street, and drove under the freeway toward the industrial area. As he had surmised, the neighborhood was quiet, devoid of activity. Past Indiana Avenue he drove, to Minnesota. He swung into Minnesota, feeling gravel replace pavement under the tires. In seconds he was past Twenty-fourth Street. He drove alongside a single-track railroad spur until it turned down a narrow alley of warehouses and loading docks. There he jammed on the brakes and skidded to a halt.
"That white devil belongs to me!" he yelled.
Yellow leaped from behind the wheel and ran to the cargo door. He threw it open with a vengeance and reached under the back of the passenger seat. When he drew his hand out again, it held a sixteen-inch machete. He made several chops at the air with it, as if testing it.
"Say, man, be careful with that motherfucker," Head said, covering his erection protectively.
"This white devil is mine!" Yellow declared again. His voice was a loud hiss; the boyish features of his face were distorted: lips twisted, eyes narrowed to slits, Adam's apple throbbing. "I want her! She's mine!"
"Yeah, right, man, take her," Judo agreed quickly. "Just watch out with that fucking sword."
Yellow took Quita Hague by her thick, dark hair and dragged her from the van. She came out on her side and fell heavily to the ground. Yellow dragged her up to her knees, dragged her on her knees for several yards, then angrily, impatiently, pulled her to her feet.
"Oh, please---oh, no---" she pled, choking and crying.
Yellow jerked viciously at her hair to make her keep up. She stumbled, staggered, almost fell. Her tied wrists were raw from the twine, her knees throbbing form falling on them and being dragged on them, her scalp a mass of pain as her hair was literally being pulled out by the roots. But she probably felt none of that agony because her entire being had to be laced with the terrible fear of impending death. She could see the machete in Yellow's hand. She must have known what he was going to do with it.
"Oh, please---oh, no---"
When Yellow got her where he wanted her, next to the railroad spur, he let go of her hair and used a hip throw to drop her to the ground. Judo, watching from next to the van, realized that it was a throw he himself taught Yellow when he, Judo, first came out of prison. It was easy when applied to a terrified woman, forty pounds lighter, with her hands tied behind her back.
"Oh, Please---oh, no---"
Yellow grabbed her by the hair again and dragged her across one of the rails. When he let go, a handful of hair came out, entwined in his fingers. Yellow stared at it in revulsion; he frantically shook his hand until the hair came loose and drifted to the ground.
"Now your head is mine, white devil," Yellow said.
"Oh, please---oh, no-please---"
It was the last time Quita would beg for her life.
Yellow raised the machete high in the air and brought it down with all his strength on the throat of Quita Hague.

Head and Judo were standing by the parked van when Yellow came running back over to them.
"I did it! I did it!" Yellow shouted triumphantly. He threw his hands into the air, still holding the bloody machete, and did a brief victory dance. It was, Judo thought, not unlike the quick little dances that football players do in the end zone following a touchdown. Judo stared at Yellow's wild-eyed, frenzied grin. "You ought to see the blood gushing out of that devil's neck!" Yellow said. "It's wonderful, wonderful! I got to get a picture of it!" He shoved the machete into Head's hand and ran around the van. From under the driver's seat, he removed a Polaroid camera with flash attached. He hurried back to the railroad spur with it.
Head stared at the bloodstained blade he held. "Blue-eyed devils," he muttered. "I wanted that bitch to suck my dick." He peered in at Richard Hague in the van. "I bet she sucked his dick," he said indignantly. "Blue-eyed motherfucker!"
With sudden ferocity, Head reached in with the machete and hacked at the unconscious Richard Hague's face. He hacked twice. Three times. Then, drooling slightly over his puffy lips, he dragged the limp form out of the van and across the ground.
Judo, wide-eyed, watched Head walk away, pulling Richard Hague by one arm behind him. Crazy, Judo thought, the motherfucker is crazy.
When Head approached the railroud spur, he saw a flashbulb explode. Then another. Yellow taking pictures of his kill, he thought sullenly. He gots a woman and I only gots a man. Shit.
Head dragged Richard Hague to the opposite side of the tracks from where Quita lay. A man's better than nothing, he thought. Leastwise, better than what Judo was getting tonight. As indifferently as if he were chopping wood, Head began hacking away at Richard Hague's face.
Across the tracks, Yellow finished taking pictures. He too thought briefly about Judo, waiting back at the van; Judo, who would get credit for no kill tonight. Then Yellow remembered a ring he had seen on Quita Hague's finger: a white gold ring with a green stone. He knew that Death Angels were not supposed to steal form their victims, but he decided to take the ring anyway---for Judo. His friend was getting married in a few days; maybe he could use the ring. Bending, Yellow rolled Quita sideways enough to expose her limp, tied wrists, and worked the ring off her finger.
As Yellow stepped back across the tracks, he saw Head still hacking away. "Hey, brother, you want a picture of that devil?" he asked.
"Don't need no picture, man," Head muttered. "If I say I killed the motherfucker, then I killed him. Don't need no picture."
"Okay, brother." Yellow hurried back to the van.
When he was alone again. Head took Richard Hague's wallet and slipped it into his own pocket. No one would ever know, he told himself.
Several minutes later, head returned to the van, tossed the bloody machete into the back, and got in.
Without headlights, the van drove slowly away form the railroad spur and the carnage that had been spread over it.

Shortly after eleven o'clock that night, John Battenberg and his wife Beverly were in their car driving west on Twenty-fifth Street. Battenberg was a forty-one-year-old professor of art at San Jose State University. As the Hagues had done earlier, the Battenbergs decided to get some air before going to bed. Unlike the Hagues, they drove instead of walking.
As their car passed the intersection of Minnesota Avenue, the Battenbergs saw a figure lurch from the shadows and stagger toward the street.
"Looks like he's drunk," said Beverly Battenberg.
"Looks like," her husband agreed. Then John Battenberg took a closer look. "Wait a minute. That man's hands are tied behind his back---"
Battenberg pulled over and got out of the car. He hurried toward the lurching figure. It was Richard Hague.
In shock, badly hacked about the face and head, Hague had done the incredible: he had clung to life, struggled to his feet with hands still tied, and set out on foot looking for help for his wife.
Battenberg was appalled at what he saw. Richard Hague's head was horribly mutilated. The flesh had been hacked open down to the bone. His skull was open and exposed. Ghastly strips of skin hung form his face, dripping steady rivulets of blood. He was muttering incoherently.
Battenberg untied Hague's hands, dropping the rough twine to the ground. He guided Hague to his car. Not sure where the nearest hospital was located, he drove to the nearby Potrero District police station.

The van, meanwhile, had sped south on the freeway. It parked behind an apartment in the Hunters Point section. Judo went to the door of the apartment and knocked. The door was answered by a plump, round-faced young black woman dressed in Muslim robes.
"As-salaam-alaikum," Judo said, speaking the Muslim greeting.
"As-salaam-alaikum," she replied.
"I need a favor," Judo said. "My friends and I need a place to wash up."
The woman noticed dark spots on his Nehru coat and the pink shirt he wore under it. "What have you been doing?" she asked.
Judo smiled. "We been out killing white folks," he said. His voice was half serious, half joking. He took the young woman's hand. "Listen, I don't want you mixed up in this. You go on in the bedroom and stay until they're gone. Don't ask no questions, hear?"
She studied his eyes for a long moment, then she nodded and went into her bedroom.
Head and Yellow washed up in the bathroom, scrubbing the Hague's blood off their hands and arms. Then the three men filled a small garbage can with water and took it out to the van. They removed the furniture pads and sluiced down the cargo floor, cleaning out Richard Hague's blood. Yellow used the excess water to wash off the machete, and put it back under the passenger seat.
When Yellow and Judo were away from Head momentarily, Yellow gave Judo the ring he had taken from Quita Hague. "Just so's the night won't be a complete loss for you," he said. "Maybe you can use it at your wedding."
"Thanks, man," Judo said. "I appreciate it."
In the light of the kitchen, Judo examined the ring. Inside the band it was engraved: REH to QPM 9-17-66 ALL MY LOVE.
Judo rubbed several tiny specks of red off the white gold and slipped the ring into his pocket.
At the police station, John Battenberg ran up to the first occupied patrol car he saw and banged on the window. "I've got a man over here who may be dying!"
Officers Donald Hensic and John Chestnut hurried to the Battenberg car. They took one look at Richard Hague and immediately radioed a request for a Code Three ambulance---emergency lights and siren. Within ten minutes, Hague was on his way to San Francisco General Hospital.
The two policemen, along with another team and a sergeant, returned with the Battenbergs to the intersection of the Twenty-fifth and Minnesota. They began to search the area. The first thing they found was the length of twine that John Battenberg had taken off Richard Hague's hands. Nest they found a small pool of still-wet blood where Richard had lain. Then they found several patches of brown hair lying between the rails.
Finally they found Quita.

Back at the Hunters Point apartment, Head and Yellow had left and Judo and the Muslim girl were alone.
"You shouldn't be over here without a chaperone," she told him. "We're not married yet."
"We will be in three days," Judo said. "Anyway, I got a present for you and I wanted us to be alone when I gave it to you."
He put Quita Hague's white-gold-and-emerald ring on her finger.
"Oh, honey, it's so pretty!" she praised, holding the back of her hand up to see how it looked on her. "My, it must have cost something!"
"It wasn't cheap," Judo said.

At the railroad spur, Quita Hague was being photographed in death for the second time. Standing around her body were men from the Crime Lab, Photo Lab, Operations Center, and Homicide details, and a representative from the coroner's office. Quita was still lying across one rail of the tracks. Her hair, face, and upper torso were matted with her own drying blood. Her head lay back at a grotesque angle, its neck open, almost severed from the body. Her windpipe and most of her major arteries had been cut open, and her backbone and spinal cord had been lacerated.
Her hands were still tied behind her back.
Quita Hague was pronounced dead at 11:45 P.M.

At the end of Day One, there were two victims.
Quita Hague was dead, hacked to death.
Richard Hague was still alive, in shock, his face and head horribly mutilated.

End of Chapter One.