Netflix Documentary Inspires Reopening of Malcolm X Assassination Investigation
By Yousuf Ali
Netflix released a 6-part documentary series entitled “Who Killed Malcolm X?”, featuring the story of a historian seeking what he believes to be hidden truths behind the killing of the famed activist and orator El-Hajj Malik el-Shabbaz or Malcolm X on Feb. 7. The documentary has gathered much interest since its release prompting advocates to look into the case of Malcolm X’s murder.
In the first episode, Abdur Rahman Muhammad said, “[t]he first time I saw those bullet wounds, I thought, ‘Why doesn’t someone want to get to the bottom of this?’ So I started asking questions. … What is the real story?” The documentary featured several forms of investigation including growing through court documents, interviews with former Nation of Islam Members, old newspaper stories and more. The questions highlighted in the documentary raised doubt on the official story of Malcolm X’s death and inspired a re-opening of the investigation into the assassination, NPR reported.
The initial trial resulted in the conviction of three men. The conviction of these men was one of the many questions brought to surface. According to court records, those convicted and sentenced to life were the following: Thomas Hagan (who had also been called Talmadge Hayer and Mujahid Abdul Halim), Khalil Islam (known then as Thomas 15X Johnson ), and Aziz”. Even though Hagan confessed to the murder, he argued that the others were not involved with the Nation of Islam.
Later Hagan gave the name of four other men, who he claimed were accomplices in the assassination. Despite this, no investigation was opened at the time. This and other developments attracted the interest of the Innocence Project, which specializes in exonerating wrongly convicted individuals, specifically those convicted of murder. This inspired District Attorney [Cy] Vance, who met with the advocacy organization and legal representation in regards to the issue.
“I hope these investigations will bring about clarity and transparency regarding this devastating, criminal act against my family and all the devoted followers of a beloved Malcolm. My father lived his life advocating for and in the pursuance of truth. He deserves the same dedication to truth from all of us,” Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz said