‘The (Abraham) Zapruder film shows the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but doesn’t show the assassins. The Black Zapruder film doesn’t show the assassination of Malcolm X, but it shows the assassins…’
Norman 3X Butler of the Nation of Islam (NOI) is a most intriguing fellow. This former lieutenant at the NOI’s Harlem Mosque #7 was one of three persons convicted for the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. He was paroled in 1985 and has always maintained his innocence. His alibi during the 1966 assassination trial is that he was at home nursing an injured leg when the killing occurred. But as this startling video reveals, an individual who bears a striking resemblance to Butler (known today as Muhammad Abdul Aziz) can clearly be seen outside the Audubon Ballroom in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
In the event that the person in the video turns out to be Butler it would mean that Talmadge Hayer (aka Thomas Hagan), the supposedly repentant assassin who finally ‘told the truth’ in his 1977-78 sworn affidavits to attorney William Kunstler, may have lied in those affidavits when he explicitly exonerated Butler of any involvement in the Malcolm X assassination. It would also mean that Hayer may have committed perjury during the 1966 trial when he testified, under oath, that neither Butler nor his accused accomplice, Thomas 15X Johnson, had played any part in the crime. This could place Hayer, who was paroled in 2010, in some legal jeopardy owing to these apparent untruths.
Butler’s confirmed appearance in the Audubon video (dubbed the ‘Black Zapruder Film’ by author Karl Evanzz) would serve to substantiate eyewitness testimony provided by former NOI Mosque #7 member Sharon 6X Shabazz that an individual fitting Butler’s description was either one of the shooters or one of those involved in the “get your hand out of my pocket” ruse that was staged in order to distract Malcolm’s bodyguards.
It could also lend further credence to a theory first floated by filmmaker Omar Shabazz to the effect that the Malcolm X assassination plot involved two hit squads – one team from New Jersey Mosque #25 and a second ‘backup’ crew from Harlem’s Mosque #7 (the mosque to which Butler was affiliated) and whose job it was to administer the coup de grace in the event that Malcolm escaped the New Jersey killers. The behaviour of the Butler-like individual in the video strongly suggests that he is trying to force his way into the crowd to perhaps see if Malcolm is actually dead and, if not, to finish Malcolm off himself.
Having already served nearly two decades in prison for a killing that was carried out by the New Jersey #25 cell of which he was not a part, could Butler yet return to prison to serve time for the ‘diversionary’ role (as part of the Harlem #7 crew) that he may have played in the overall plot? Or might he perhaps get ‘time served’ owing to the implicit acknowledgement that his original conviction represented a miscarriage of justice, albeit one suffered by a man who was guilty of complicity in the broader murder conspiracy for which he was ‘wrongly convicted’? And if Butler is innocent (as he maintains) why hasn’t he ever sought to clear his name and secure millions of dollars in pecuniary damages for his unjust imprisonment?
In a final Hitchcockian twist to this sordid murder tale, Butler was appointed as chief of security for Harlem’s Mosque #7 in 1998 by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan – a position from which Butler was later forced to resign following an outcry from Black America. It seems perfectly plain that his appointment by Farrakhan was made as a reward for his silence and loyalty to the NOI during the period of his incarceration and this further suggests that Farrakhan is, in fact, aware of the criminal role Butler played in the events of the 21st of February 1965 – a role Farrakhan deemed worthy of reward.
2015 will mark the 50th anniversary of the brutal assassination of Malcolm X and we are calling on President Barack Obama and (outgoing) Attorney General Eric Holder to publish all federal government files and records, without alteration or redaction, relating to the 1965 crime. Please sign the petition and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ and YouTube.
*** The video features excerpts from the 2014 Karl Evanzz documentary The Black Zapruder Film which can be viewed in its entirety here. It also features excerpts from the 2011 Lance Shabazz documentary Malcolm X vs the Nation of Islam: the Naked Truth which can be purchased here.