Malcolm X Assassin Granted Parole After 40 Years

By Jamilah King Mar 19, 2010

Thomas Hagan, the last of three man convicted of shooting and killing Malcolm X during a speech in 1965, was recently granted parole after his 17th try:

Mr. Hagan, who turned 69 in jail on Tuesday, was a militant member of the Nation of Islam on Feb. 21, 1965, when Malcolm X was shot while giving a speech at the Audubon, in Washington Heights. Mr. Hagan, then known as Talmadge X. Hayer, was captured by the crowd and shot at and beaten before being rescued by the police. Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz (then known as Norman 3X Butler) and Kahlil Islam (then Thomas 15X Johnson), were also charged with the murder. They maintained their innocence. Mr. Hagan did not, testifying at his trial in 1966 that he was responsible for the murder and that his co-defendants were innocent.

Hagan, who’s been on work release since 1988, has for the better part of 20 years split his time between visiting his family in Brooklyn and spending half the week locked up at Lincoln Correctional Facility in Manhattan, which overlooks Malcolm X boulevard. The New York Post ran a feature a couple years ago describing him as a man who shuns publicity and regrets his actions. "I’ve been incarcerated for 40 years, and I’ve had a good record all around," Hagan said two years ago, after being denied parole for the thirteenth time. "I don’t see any reason for holding me."