LOCAL PRESS COVERAGE OF CARTER'S 1967 TRIAL

Images of 50 original newspaper clippings ... in pdf format
(requires free program Acrobat Reader)

ONE OF RUBIN CARTER'S MANY FALSE STATEMENTS about his triple murder conviction is that the local press was out to get him in 1967. To disprove that -- and to provide you with a nearly complete newspaper record of his first trial -- I've scanned all of the clippings from The Herald-News' coverage of the trial and posted them here in pdf format. Some of the clippings are incomplete (cropped), but that's due to the source material. Some clippings are missing ­ most notably the coverage of Al Bello's testimony ­ but attempts are being made to obtain a copy to fill out the record. The Herald-News was based in Passaic & Clifton -- cities to the south of Paterson. I believe most of these stories were written by Paul Alberta.

In his so-called autobiography, Carter says of the press coverage of his trial on Page 256:

"The papers had said at first that John Artis was my sparring partner. When that turned out to be false, he suddenly became my cousin. Then I was a Black Muslim who was religiously bent on killing all blue-eyed devils. The papers said that a white man had shotgunned to death my uncle in a tavern earlier on the night of the seventeenth and that I had gone to the Lafayette Bar and Grill and killed everyone in it for revenge."

In August 1975, I accompanied Herald-News reporter Jim Lanaras to Trenton State Prison, where Lanaras had arranged to interview Carter. Here are Carter's unsubstantiated and overblown claims about the local press' trial coverage:

Q. What is you opinion of the press coverage of the trial?

CARTER: Well the press coverage of the trial and the press coverage during that entire era was being skillfully manipulated on a national level by the police and on an international level by the CIA, as they are doing today. They very skillfully -- at that time -- knew how to paint people whom they like in the image that they know the public wouldn't like. ...

Q. What about the local papers' coverage of the trial ... the Paterson News, The Herald-News, the [Newark Star] Ledger, The [Bergen] Record ... the North Jersey press?

CARTER: That was diabolical ... that's what it was. The coverage was diabolical.

Q. How so?

CARTER: It was lies, vicious lies. They were playing on the the heat of passions. They were playing on the prejudices of people.


Now you can see for yourself that the local coverage of the trial was rather straightforward ... not at all like Carter's claims. The articles are listed in chronological order. In most cases the original headlines are used. Articles about the most significant events are in red. The names of all witnesses included in these reports are listed in the summaries below. ­ Cal Deal



ORIGINAL NEWS CLIPPINGS


Oct. 18, 1966

Carter, Artis Remain Locked in County Jail STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Mystery witness in custody
    • Conforti murder trial begins

Oct. 20, 1966

Jurors Hear 3 Witnesses On Slaying STORY

    • Doctors, Detective Testify in Case Involving Carter

Oct. 25, 1966

Carter Due in Court STORY

Dec. 1, 1966

Murder Indictments Name Carter, Artis STORY

Dec. 17, 1966

Carter, Artis Enter "Not Guilty" Pleas STORY

Feb. 4, 1967

Lawyer to Ask Bail for Carter and Artis STORY

March 11, 1967

Court Opens Bail Appeal for Carter, Artis; Hearings Private STORY ---- Top of Page

March 15, 1967

Judge Continues Appeal for Bail of Carter, Artis STORY

April 3, 1967

Carter Artis Trial Opens Today for Triple Murder STORY

April 4, 1967

Trial Set for April 17 STORY

April 8, 1967

Carter's Lawyer Seeks Dismissal of Indictment STORY

April 11, 1967

Judge Says Prosecution Can Offer Spent Shells STORY

April 13, 1967

Court Refuses to Bail Carter, Artis in Murder STORY

    • Judge to Hear Dismissal Appeal Today; Further Delays Likely

April 15, 1967

Judge Decrees Carter, Artis Must Stand Trial; Rejects Defense Motion STORY ---- Top of Page


TRIAL BEGINS WITH 17 DAYS OF JURY SELECTION

April 18, 1967

Carter-Artis Jury Box Empty After First Day STORY ---- Top of Page

 

April. 19, 1967

First Juror Is Seated for Carter-Artis Trial STORY

April 21, 1967

Second Juror Chosen in Carter-Artis Trial STORY

    • Jury gets first Negro member [a random drawing later excluded this juror and one other juror from the deliberations]
    • Defense Attorney Indicates He Will Prove Neither Defendant Near Scene of June Shooting

April 22, 1967

Judge Offers Alternate Method to Get Jurors; "I'll Sit Until July" STORY

April 25, 1967

Second Woman on Jury for Carter-Artis Trial STORY

    • Judge orders racist woman to leave

April 26, 1967

2 Join Carter-Artis Murder Trial Jury STORY

    • Paterson Police Commissioner's father excluded from jury because he's a friend of Carter!

April 27, 1967

Wayne Man Is Sworn As 6th Murder Juror STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Slow Process of Filling Panel in Carter-Artis Trial to Continue

April 28, 1967

Carter-Artis Jury Now Numbers Eight Members STORY

April 29, 1967

Ringwood Man Becomes Ninth Juror for Carter-Artis Case STORY

May 1, 1967

Carter-Artis Trial Jury Hunt Continues STORY

    • 226 Prospective Panelists Interviewed So Far Have Netter Only Nine Talesman

May 5, 1967

Murder Jury Still Incomplete STORY

May 6, 1967

Carter-Artis Trial Jury Hunt on Today STORY

    • Judge Sets Saturday Session in Hope of Starting Testimony Monday Morning

May 8, 1967

Carter-Artis Trial Testimony May Begin Today; Now 13 Jurors STORY ---- Top of Page


PROSECUTION BEGINS CASE

May 9, 1967

Testimony Begins Today in Carter-Artis Trial STORY ---- Top of Page

May 10, 1967

State Will Present 2 Witnesses Who Say Carter, Artis Left Bar STORY

May 11, 1967

Eyewitness to Murder Due to Testify Today; Identification Expected STORY

    • Al Bello to tell jury "what he saw and heard"
    • Shooting victim William Marins testifies about gunmen
    • Witness Pat Valentine testifies about seeing killers' getaway

 

May 13, 1967

Second Witness Fingers Carter, Artis as Being at Murder Scene STORY

    • Burglar Arthur Bradley testifies; Bello testimony recounted

May 15, 1967

State to Call Bergen Man to Identify Pair STORY

    • Dumont Resident Kent Kellogg Expected to Be Third to Place Carter, Artis at Death Site

May 16, 1967

Police on Stand Today in Carter-Artis Trial STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Kent Kellogg says he waited for Bello, Bradley during break-in, went to bar just before shootings.
    • Sylvia Smith and cab driver Vincent Lippi corroborate Kellogg's story
    • Telephone operator Jean Wall testifies she received the call from the murder scene at about 2:30 a.m.
    • Detective Jim Lawless recalls driving Bello, Bradley and Ronald Ruggerio to police headquarters.
    • Ace Sheet Metal truck driver Raymond Hilarcik says he discovered where Bradley broke into the plant.
    • Carmine D'Argenio, cabinet shop owner, says he found a tire iron outside his shop.
    • Patrolman Alexander Greenough says he and Patrolman John Unger were the first to arrive at the murder scene and he talks about seeing seriously wounded Hazel Tanis. He says Pat Valentine identified Carter's car as the one she saw leaving the murder scene.

May 17, 1967

Spent Bullets, Shotgun Shell in Spotlight Today STORY

    • Police Sgt. Theodore Capter testifies about stopping Carter and Artis twice. The second time Carter and Artis were detained for questioning.
    • Police Sgt. Robert Tanis and Patrolman John Nativo testify about seeing a white car turn from E. 18th Street onto 12th Avenue.
    • Police Lt. Al Lynch says he ordered a patrol wagon to take Carter and Artis to headquarters.
    • Patrolman Ed McSheffey says he drove Carter's car to the police garage.
    • Patrolman Philip Lapadura testifies about recovering spent bullets.

May 18, 1967

Composite Sketch Likely To Trigger Legal Battle STORY

May 19, 1967

Prosecution May Offer Sketch of Artis Today STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Judge refuses to allow the use of statements by shooting victim Hazel Tanis and a live shotgun shell found in Carter's trunk. Judge bars testimony by Detective Edward Snack, who prepared composite sketch resembling Artis from Tanis' description.
    • State Police Sgt. John Lintott testifies about spent bullets recovered at murder scene.
    • Detective Emil DiRobbio says he found the live rounds in Carter's car.
    • Other testimony: Roy Skillan, Lafayette Grill day bartender; Lawrence Burns, son of Hazel Tanis, John Anderson of the State Police lab.

May 20, 1967

Conflicting Statements By Carter, Artis Conclude State's Case STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Judge bars use of composite drawing that resembles Artis.
    • Judge allows use of conflicting statements Carter and Artis gave after being detained by police.
    • Detective Lt. Vincent DeSimone gives detailed testimony about the conflicting statements of Carter and Artis.


CARTER'S DEFENSE BEGINS

May 22, 1967

Defense Opens Its Case In Carter-Artis Trial STORY ---- Top of Page

    • More about conflicting statements of Carter, Artis.

 

May 23, 1967

Carter Denies Part in Triple Murder STORY

    • "I had nothing to do with the killings," Carter says. When asked about the Lafayette
      Grill, which was five blocks from his hangout, The Nite Spot, he says he "didn't know it existed."
    • Carter details his alibi story. [He no longer uses this story because in 1976 his alibi witnesses admitted that they had lied for him at the first trial].
    • Carter friend and Nite Spot manager Elwood Tuck testifies that the last time he saw Carter in the bar was at 2:15 a.m. -- 15 minutes before the murders, which occurred just down the street.
    • Kathleen McGuire and Anna Mapes corroborate Carter's story that he took them home just before the murders. [Both women admitted in 1976 that this testimony was a lie.]

May 24, 1967

Testimony Nearing End In Carter-Artis Trial STORY ---- Top of Page

    • John Artis testifies: "I never shot anybody in my life."
    • Merritt A. Wimberley Jr. corroborate's Carter's testimony, says he was with Carter until 2:30 a.m.
    • Welton Deary says he recalls seeing Carter in the Nite Spot after 2 a.m. [Deary admitted in 1976 that his testimony was false.]
    • U.S. Secret Service Agent Joseph Rush said Carter's reputation, to his knowledge, was good.
    • Judge prohibits use of Saturday Evening Post article in which Carter talks about shooting cops.
    • Edward "Big Ed" Allen, Nite Spot bartender, says he saw Carter there at 2:15 or shortly thereafter.
    • Ensan Karadag, who operates Carter's training camp, says Carter was well thought of.
    • Anthony Petronella, National Boxing Association president, says Carter has a good reputation. He's surprised when prosecutor asks whether he knows of Carter's time in prison.
    • Mrs. Carmine Tedeschi testifies about Carter's good reputation.
    • Gwendolyn High corroborates' Artis story about being with her that night.
    • William Hardy Jr. testifies that he gave Artis and High a ride that night.
    • Nathan Sermond Jr. co-owner of La Pettite Club, says he talked with Carter that night.
    • Sam Skelly, Paterson Tavern Owners Association president, testifies about $500 reward for conviction of killers.
    • Howard L. Bristow, clerk of the Paterson Board of Finance, testifies about city's $10,000 reward.

May 25, 1967

Carter-Artis Summations Today STORY ---- Top of Page

    • John "Bucks" Royster testifies about being with Carter, Artis. He admits drinking before his morning testimony.
    • Edward Migliaccio, Kennedy High School track coach, describes Artis as "non violent."
    • Mrs. Elfreda S. Van Rensalier, Kennedy High English teacher, and Roger L. Douglas, church pastor, also praise Artis.
    • Defense rests.
    • Henry Ludeman says Carter alibi witness Anna Mapes was on vacation at the time of the murders. [She had testified that Carter took her home because she had to get to work the next day.]
    • Count Detective Eugene Frederick says Mrs. Mapes told him she was at Carter's hangout on the night after the murders.
    • Burglar Arthur Bradley, who testified that he saw Carter and Artis at the murder scene, is recalled to read the charges still pending against him, denies that any promises were made for his testimony.


CONVICTION

May 26, 1967

Fate of Carter, Artis Rests in Jury's Hands STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Closing statements

 

May 27, 1967

Carter, Artis Guilty; To Get Life Sentences STORY

 

    • Jury deliberates just 5 hours and 35 minutes.

May 31, 1967

EDITORIAL: A Well-Handled Murder Case STORY

June 29, 1967

Carter And Artis Get Life Terms STORY ---- Top of Page

    • Murder Sentence Means Boxer Must Serve 30 Years
    • Judge says verdict was "fully warranted"


UNSUCCESSFUL APPEALS, ETC.

September 6, 1967

Carter, Artis Appeal Conviction, Sentence STORY ---- Top of Page

September 15, 1967

Board Gets Request for $10,000 Reward from Bello STORY

    • Note: Bello never got the money.

June 3, 1969

Decision Reserved On Murder Appeals STORY

    • N.J. Supreme Court seeks more information.

July 15, 1969

Hurricane Carter Loses Appeal STORY

March 4, 1970

Carter, Artis Are Denied New Hearing STORY ---- Top of Page

    • U.S. Supreme Court turns down their petitions for a review of their convictions.

 

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