Joseph Paul Franklin Timeline
The state of Missouri plans to execute Joseph Paul Franklin by lethal injection at midnight on Nov. 20 for the murder of Gerald C. Gordon. Franklin shot Gordon on Oct. 8, 1977, as he stood outside the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Congregation synagogue in Richmond Heights, Mo. Franklin has been found guilty in seven additional murders. He has admitted or been linked to two bombings, at least 16 bank robberies and about a dozen other ambush-style attacks that left as many as eight people dead.
April 13, 1950 • James Clayton Vaughn Jr. is born in Mobile, Ala., to James Clayton Vaughn Sr. and Helen Rau.
1976 • Vaughn changes his name to Joseph Paul Franklin, after Paul Joseph Goebbels and Benjamin Franklin.
July 25, 1977 • Franklin bombs the Rockland, Maryland, home of Morris Amitay, a Jewish lobbyist.
July 29, 1977 • Franklin bombs the Beth Sholom synagogue in Chattanooga, Tenn. He is convicted of the bombing on July 17, 1984, and sentenced to 31 years in prison.
Aug. 7, 1977 • Franklin fatally shoots African-American Alphonse Manning Jr., 23, and Toni Schwenn, 23, a white woman, in Madison, Wis., shortly after robbing a bank. In 1986, Franklin receives two life sentences for the murders.
Oct. 8, 1977 • Franklin fires at a crowd outside Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Congregation synagogue in Richmond Heights, Mo., killing Gerald C. Gordon, 42, of Chesterfield, Mo., and wounding William Lee Ash, 30, of Akron, Ohio. He is convicted in 1997 and receives a death sentence.
Feb. 2, 1978 • Franklin kills African American Johnny Brookshire, 22, and wounds his white wife, Joy Williams, 23, in Atlanta, Ga.
March 6, 1978 • Larry Flynt, publisher of "Hustler" magazine, and his attorney Gene Reeves are shot while in Lawrenceville, Ga. Flynt is paralyzed from the waist down. Franklin later admits to the shooting.
July 29, 1978 • Franklin fatally shoots African American William Bryant Tatum and wounds his white girlfriend, Nancy Hilton, 18, in Chattanooga, Tenn. He confesses, pleads guilty and receives a life sentence in 1998.
July 12, 1979 • Franklin fatally shoots Harold McIver, 29, an African-American man and Taco Bell manager, in Doraville, Georgia.
Aug. 18, 1979 • Franklin fatally shoots Aftican American Raymond Taylor, 28, in Falls Church, Va.
Oct. 21, 1979 • Franklin fatally shoots Jesse E. Taylor, 42, an African-American, and Marion Bresette, 31, who was white, in Oklahoma City. He is charged with the crimes but the case is later dropped.
Dec. 5, 1979 • Franklin fatally shoots Mercedes Lynn Masters, 15, a white prostitute, after she tells him she had had African-American customers.
Jan. 12, 1980 • Franklin fatally shoots African American Lawrence E. Reese, 22, in Indianapolis.
Jan. 14, 1980 • Franklin fatally shoots African American Leo Thomas Watkins, 19, in Indianapolis.
May 2, 1980 • Franklin fatally shoots Rebecca Bergstrom, 20, a white woman, in Mill Bluff State Park, Wis. He admits the murder in 1984.
May 29, 1980 • Vernon E. Jordan Jr., president of the National Urban League, is shot outside a Marriott Inn in Fort Wayne, Ind. Franklin is later charged with attempted murder, but is acquitted after a trial in August 1982. Years later, Franklin admits shooting Jordan.
June 8, 1980 • Franklin fatally shoots cousins Darrell Lane, 14, and Dante Evans Brown, 13, both African American, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is convicted in October 1998 and receives two life sentences.
June 15, 1980 • Franklin fatally shoots Arthur Smothers, 22, an African-American, and Kathleen Mikula, 16, a white, in Johnstown, Pa.
June 25, 1980 • Franklin fatally shoots Nancy Santomero, 19, and Vickie Durian, 26, in Pocahontas County, Va., after one of the white women said she had had a boyfriend who was African-American. He confesses to the murders in 1984.
Aug. 10, 1980 • Franklin arrives in Utah, staying in various local motels.
Aug. 20, 1980 • Ted Fields, David Martin, Terry Elrod and Karma Ingersoll are crossing 500 East at 900 South at 10:15 p.m. after jogging in Liberty Park as shots are fired. Fields, 20, and Martin, 18, both African-American, are killed.
Aug. 22, 1980 • Franklin leaves Utah and travels to Nevada and then San Francisco, Calif.
Sept. 25, 1980 • Franklin is arrested in Florence, Kentucky, on car theft charges but escapes from the jail five hours later, setting off a nationwide manhunt.
Oct. 28, 1980 • FBI agents arrest Franklin at Sera-Tec Biologicals, a blood bank, in Lakeland, Fla.
Oct. 31, 1980 • A federal jury in Utah indicts Franklin for violating the civil rights of Fields and Martin. His bail is set at $1 million. Other states begin linking him to sniper shootings.
Nov. 5, 1980 • First-degree murder charges for deaths of Fields and Martin are filed against Franklin in state court.
March 4, 1981 • After deliberating 14 hours, a federal jury in Utah finds Franklin guilty of civil rights violations for murdering Ted Fields and David Martin. The verdict followed a two-week trial.
March 18, 1981 • Franklin is charged with 1979 Oklahoma and 1980 Indiana murders.
March 23, 1981 • Franklin is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in federal court for the Utah murders.
Sept. 18, 1981 • In a case brought by the state of Utah, Franklin is found guilty of first-degree murder. He subsequently receives two consecutive life sentences.
Feb. 3, 1982 • Franklin is stabbed 15 times by inmates three days after arriving at the federal prison in Marion, Ill.
Feb. 27, 1997 • Franklin receives a death sentence in Missourifor killing Gerald C. Gordon.
Sources: Tribune files; timeline created by Sam Brauer, Ryan A. Bruch; Ashleigh Benois; Wikipedia; "Dark Soul of the South: The Life and Crimes of Racist Killer Joseph Paul Franklin" by Mel Ayton; and other news reports.
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