Racist serial killer left trail in Atlanta

11:35 AM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
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Video: White supremacist serial killer Franklin executed

Joseph Paul Franklin in recent prison interview
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  • ST. LOUIS -- Missouri has executed Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist killer who targeted blacks and Jews, the Associated Press reported Wednesday morning.

    The execution came after the Supreme Court denied a stay of execution for Franklin. He received a stay Tuesday night, hours before he was scheduled to die.

    MORE | Missouri executes racist serial killer

    The self-proclaimed racist was convicted of nine murders that stretched from Tennessee to Utah. He has been connected to at least a dozen other racially motivated shootings. Some of those happened in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

    It was a three year killing spree from 1977-1980 that Franklin said he did because he wanted to start a race war.

    Franklin is most notoriously known for admitting to the 1978 shooting of Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. Flynt was on his way back to the Gwinnett County Courthouse in Lawrenceville where he was being tried on obscenity charges, when he was shot twice. Flynt would never walk again.

    In the past and in a recent prison interview Franklin said he shot Flynt after he saw an interracial couple photographed in Hustler. "I threw the magazine down on the coffee table and I thought I'm going to kill that guy," he said.

    Atlanta Police Major Keith Meadows traveled to Missouri to interview Franklin in 1999 about two unsolved cases in the city. Meadows was a homicide sergeant at the time. He said Franklin said he had information about the cases.

    "It was kind of unsettling," Meadows said. "He had this eerie air about him that just made me feel a little unsettled."

    Meadows, who is black, said Franklin refused to talk to him until he got a local female police officer to sit in on the interview.

    Meadows said he is convinced Franklin shot an interracial couple walking near their home on Blue Ridge Avenue in 1978. Johnny Brookshire was with his pregnant wife Joy Williams, who is white. Brookshire was killed, Williams was paralyzed from the waist down.

    Atlanta police also believe Franklin is responsible for shooting a black cab driver who was talking to a white woman near Piedmont Park in the summer of 1979.

    "He knew facts about the murders that only the murderer could have known," Meadows said. "He was able to tell us exactly what the victims were wearing at the time the shooting took place."

    DeKalb County Police have tied two murders to Franklin. In 1979 they say he killed Mercedes Masters, 15, because he believed the white teenager had sex with a black man.

    That same year, police say he killed a black restaurant manager, Harold McIver on Buford Highway because he was being cross with a white customer.

    Franklin was originally scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the murder of a man outside a synagogue in St. Louis in 1977.

    You can follow Kevin on Twitter @krowson11alive

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    (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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