Racist Kills Interracial Couple in East Towne Parking Lot
August 7, 1977 – Madison, WI
Joseph Paul Franklin murdered an interracial couple in the East Towne Mall parking lot. It was almost a decade before he was convicted of the crimes. Franklin was in federal prison in Marion, Ill., in 1984 for killing two black men who were jogging with white women in Utah when he confessed to the Madison killings. He represented himself in the subsequent trial in Dane County Circuit Court, and was convicted in 1986 for shooting Alphonce Manning Jr., a black man, and Toni Schwenn, a white woman. He received two life sentences.

Franklin came to Madison in 1977 to kill Dane County Judge Archie Simonson. Franklin, self-described “protector of white womanhood,” thought Simonson, “the Jew judge,” had been lenient on three black youths accused of raping a white woman. (Simonson later lost a recall election due to his leniency in that case.)

Among Franklin’s many notorious crimes he shot Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler, in 1978. Franklin had said he shot Flynt, who remains paralyzed from the waist down, because Hustler published a photo of an interracial couple having sex.

Franklin was convicted of bombing a Tennessee synagogue, acquitted of shooting National Urban League president Vernon Jordan and tied to the murder of two black men in Indianapolis and the bombing of an Israeli diplomat's house in Washington but never tried.

Joseph Paul Franklin (27)