The official story of Malcolm X's death is that he was killed by factional enemies in a power struggle over the leadership of the Nation of Islam.

That story has always been in dispute: America's law-enforcement and intelligence agencies loathed X, and had a long history of political assassination. They had motive, means and opportunity.


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Raymond Wood was an NYPD undercover officer who infiltrated racial justice groups between 1964-71. When he received a cancer diagnosis in 2012, he penned a letter describing the "deplorable and detrimental" work he did for the NYPD during that period.


Wood died in Nov 2020, and his cousin Reggie Wood passed the letter to X's family, who revealed its contents last Saturday. In the letter, Raymond Wood accuses the NYPD and FBI of colluding to murder X and then pin the killing on innocent men.

The three men arrested and convicted for X's killing served lengthy sentences. Wood's letter says that the NYPD concocted a Statue of Liberty bomb plot as a pretense for arresting X's security detail, leaving him undefended.


Wood was present at the killing. He wrote that "[Khalil Islam] was later arrested and wrongfully convicted to protect my cover and the secrets of the FBI and NYPD."

Beyond the killing of X, Wood's letter describes a campaign of illegal dirty tricks to sabotage the cause of Black liberation.

"I was told to encourage leaders and members of the civil rights groups to commit felonious find evidence of criminal activity, so the FBI could discredit and arrest its leaders."


The NY AG reopened its investigation of X's killing following the 2020 Netflix documentary "Who Killed Malcolm X?" The NYPD says they have provided all relevant records to the AG's office.

Our current discourse over conspiracy puts a heavy emphasis on "algorithmic radicalization," the supposed ability of recommendation systems to draw vulnerable people into conspiratorial communities.


But sorely lacking from that discourse is asking why so many people vulnerable to conspiratorial explanations. Asking that question means confronting the real conspiracies, the corruption of the rich and powerful who distort public policy to preserve their privilege.

From the 737 Max to the opioid crisis to digital redlining and robo-signing foreclosure mills, we live in a golden age of conspiracy without consequence, where the powerful commit murder, grow rich, and walk away scot free.



Interesting thread. It's hard to credit these deathbed confessions half a century after the events occurred.

It would be nice to have an additional corroborating eyewitness/participant.

There's a movie out now called "Judas and the Black Messiah," which claims that J. Edgar Hoover personally and directly ordered the assassination of Black Panther Fred Hampton.

Having researched the case extensively, I find the claim far-fetched.


That is the heart of the problem right there - the culture of impunity among those at the top. Rule of law for thee but not for me.

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