Rubin Carter In 1963


San Francisco, CA– Having once met Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, I walked away from the meeting as perplexed afterwards as I was before the encounter. Although all I said was hello to him, I wondered could this be a man who murdered three people n 1966 with John Artis in a Patterson, NJ tavern? Having encountered mass murderers and murderers in my life as a police officer and in my personal life, this seeing my cousin once killed a guy on a night I sidestepped going out with him because of my mother’s warnings. After the Police called me to appear in a lineup two days later, something I refused to do because one of my cousins was almost identical to me in looks was involved, but not arrested.


Although veteran matchmaker, a former college educated journalist Eric Bottjer tells me that Rubin did indeed commit the three murders in the Lafayette Grill, Carter was eventually freed after 19 years on a “technicality” if you are of the Eric Bottjer ilk. Others say he was not retried because the evidence did not support a third trial. But Bottjer also feels Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed President John Kennedy, something I will prove was not the case in a book I plan to have ready for the publisher by October of this year.


If you rap with people who supported Carter during his incarceration, the prosecution decided not to prosecute the fighter known as “Hurricane” after two convictions the 60s in 1985 because they knew they had the wrong guy. The Lafayette Grill bartender, who was one of the three that was whacked, was said to be a racist who used the “N” word as often as the Republicans use the word “veto” when President Obama puts forth legislation. From what I’ve learned, seeing blacks were denied patronage at the bar, this was part of the equation that resulted in the murders.


I can write 10,000 words giving you reasons why Rubin did the murders and an equal amount of verbiage claiming he was innocent. I can tell you that a car, one that mirrored Carter’s to a “T” was described as the getaway vehicle. In closing, I’m going to leave this up to the readers who can read a bit before formulating an opinion. Personally, I think that Carter, who was in the bar ten minutes before the killings “looks good” for the triple murder, but you need to realize that I am an ex-cop, albeit an unusual one in that I believe black men and people of color have been jailed for crimes they did not commit and admittedly state that the system of criminal prosecution is slanted against people of color.

Rubin Carter In 2011


That being said, Carter who now lives in Canada, do you think Rubin killed three people in 1966? Was he an angry black man who after spending 19 years in jail skated, or was he innocent from the get-go? I ask that you do some research before submitting your opinion. As a professional fighter, Carter went 27-12-1, 27 KOs, twice dropping and winning a TKO 1 over former and future middleweight champ Emile Griffith.

Pedro Fernandez


  • Pedro Fernandez

    He was not cheated as u only saw the movie, not reality.

  • Mr. Pedro you are the journalist you should do your homework well before writing not the reader, the reader formulates his or her opinion after reading the piece. Mr. Carter was framed and railroaded fight from the ring to the penitentiary, look at how he was cheated in the 1964 WBC/WBA title bout against Joey Giaderllo, a fight that all and sundry adjudged to have been won by Carter but the PA ring judges saw otherwise because it will be unfathomable to see a black boxer beating a white boxer. Furthermore, the police chief whatever his name may be I am not interested in stating it here, has been gunning to incarcerate Mr. Carter by any means possible found a convenient tragic incident to accomplish this goal. Finally, my opinion in consonance with that of many is Mr. Rubin Carter (Hurricane) and John Artis were innocent Americans that were wrongly accused, and convicted for a crime they did not commit.

  • Pedro y did u have to bring politics into ths? My respect 4 u has diminished quite a bit and my visits 2 ur will also diminish. I’m not a Republican, I am independent, but I’m still insulted by a partisan like u, I’m sure I smell a democrat…….by da way use the race card next time to defend Obama.

    Carlos Cmpos

  • Pedro Fernandez

    That was Jimmy’s best night. I knew him real well and I woud be biased. RIP The Bayview Bomber.

  • Geoffrey Sadao Prenter

    Regarding Mr. Carter, I’m glad he has found a good life in Canada and that he hasn’t had legal problems since his release. From what I’ve read about him, he always struck me as a complex, intense, and intelligent man.

    Mr. Fernandez, who do you think would have won between Hurricane Carter (night of Emile Griffith fight) vs. Jimmy Lester (night of Florentino Fernandez fight)? I look forward to your response. I’ll say it’s pick em’ fight. I’m slightly biased towards Lester due to the fact that he was a Bay Area fighter, and I had a couple of positive encounters with him (Newman’s Gym in ’81 and S.F. Golden Gloves in ’91). I know that you knew Lester very well.


    How truthful is Rubin Carter? Here’s one clear example:

    He claims today — as he claimed to The New York Times in 2000 — that he was held in solitary confinement for years. Not true.

    The NY Times — a big supporter of Carter — was forced to correct his claim on Jan. 19, 2000. The correction said, “He was held in solitary confinement sporadically for a few months during his 19-year imprisonment, not for the entire time.”

    Other distortions of truth from his current promotional materials:

    “Seemingly unstoppable boxing champion” — In the 18 months before the triple murder, his boxing record was a dismal 7-7-1. Ring Magazine headlined “Carter’s Skid” just months before the murders.

    “False conviction” — Two juries nine years apart convicted him — and that includes two black jurors who voted “guilty” in 1976. The convincing evidence still stands. Most people don’t realize that he was released due to procedural errors — “technicalities” — NOT because any evidence proved his innocence.

    “Poverty-stricken childhood” — His father “made good money with his various business enterprises,” reports James Hirsch’s book on Carter.

    “Troubled adolescence and early adulthood” — He was a juvenile delinquent and was repeatedly sent to reformatories. He eventually got sent to prison for beating and robbing people — “a whirlwind crime spree” the newspaper called it.

    The evidence makes it clear: Rubin Carter stood over a cowering grandmother and fired a shotgun into her! He has every reason to lie, and he knows most of you won’t bother to check up on him. Show him he’s wrong. Reporter’s evidence data base is at

  • Railroaded.

  • Thanks Jerome,
    my father is now licensed in NY State and refereed a pro bout in Poughkeepsie on May 12, 2012. There was a NY State Supreme Court ruling which addressed how badly my father was deliberately set up to ruin his career. It is past us now, however I think it would be imminently fair now for NYSAC to bring him back to the big fights.

    He showed very clearly how fast and knowledgeable he still is in that ring, and he is in the same shape he was when he was boxing. He is in amazing physical condition, ripped six pack and not an ounce of fat on him.

    He knows the game inside and out as a ref and former fighter, but so far no big fights coming his way. It seems very political which he is not, some guys the worse they do in there, killing a boxer through negligence, injuring others means nothing or being unable to move quick in the ring because of being over weight, means nothing, they still get all the work.

    None of it makes any sense.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    Thanks, O-Ren.

  • Hurricane did commit those murders. There were witnesses who knew Rubin who seen him there. He was known to collect for the mob, and one of the victims, a known criminal who Rubin was there to collect from, was known as a very BAD dude who carried a gun and wasnt afraid to use it. Rubin, knowing this guy would stand up to him and pull his piece came in blasting. It has nothing to do with race, Rubin was just as big a scumbag as the people he was dealing with, but knew his fists wouldnt be enough this night.

    true story from a Paterson resident, believe me or not, I dont care.

  • Ron Lipton was a very good boxing ref and it’s a shame that they black-listed him for doing any more fights. I’d like to see him back in there.

  • Here is my father’s website:

    See Testimonials.

  • No one alive and I mean no one, knows Rubin better than my father who was with him constantly back then. My father a pro referee and former fighter and retired police officer lived with Carter constantly in training camp for most all his fights and was at all the trials and visited him in prison for 19 years and 7 months each month.

    My Dad won a BLACK PRESTIGE LIFETIME CIVIL RIGHTS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and a 2007 NAACP MAN OF DISTINCTION AWARD. He is writing a book on his life and this saga was part of it. Rubin Carter is dying from advanced prostate cancer, so my Father will not comment on what he knows.

    The material on is very disturbing to anyone who dedicated themselves to helping Rubin. The myths and stories grow with each year with a total misunderstanding of that event or what the players were really like back then, not now, but back then. That includes Rubin and the cops.

    My father was his paid sparring partner and helped him prepare for many of his fights including the one with Joey Giardello.

    Here are films of Rubin Carter and my father Ron Lipton Retired Police Officer and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Investigator and active pro boxing referee.






  • Pedro Fernandez

    Veto was the wrong word. Block, refuse to approve, like taking away tax breaks to big Oil companies, not wanting to tax people that make over $250 K a year more. It isn’t the Republican Party I dislike. I would have voted for Nixon, the last “liberal” president we ever had. But the neo-consrvative side, the Bush Jr. cabinet, Cheney, Pearl, Wolfowitz, if you read Bush’s leading advisor Terrorist expert Richard Clarke, they purposely went into Iraq sans any real cause. I rest my case…Thanks!

  • Pedro, what have you got against Republicans? Don King is one, and I bet half your readers are also. By the way, the Republicans cannot veto anything that Obama does because Obama is the President; and only the President can “veto” something.

  • Pedro Fernandez

    I never said that I thought he was guility, I said I could write 10,000 words on each side. Jason, the word of the day is comprehension!

  • Scott thank you for being the voice of reason. Pedro sounds like the Dean Koontz book I just read about bad police work. If bad police work makes you feel a person is guilty that just makes you a Mayweather Fan. I would love to know the details of why pedro feels he’s guilty.

  • Read a lot about it over the years and can’t make up my mind either. There is some compelling arguments either way.

    I didn’t like the way the movie made it look like he got robbed against Giardello, but I guess that’s Hollywood for you.

  • @Mr. Scott Granville. Absolutely Great Post and insight. Sounds like you know what you are speaking of. Peace.

  • While I’m not 100% sure he did it either the their is a web site that details the myths about the movie and trail that are quite compelling. The thing that bothered me is I once read an article in the ring that said carter actually beat up the women that spent so much time getting him freed. Maybe it’s prejudice on my part. Maybe tho i just feel that the man is a liar. He lied about being a social activist. He failed a polygraph. He was the only person that thought he beat joey giardello but acted like racism was the reason he lost. His story changed about a dozen times and lets face it he was convicted twice. The second time under plenty of public scrutiny. It’s a hard call but I lean towards guilt.

  • You know Pedro, Carter, along with Griffith, Billy Douglas, and Joey Giardello,all were some tough, talented hombres, back in the 60’s. My Q, regarding Rubin is this: What was his Motivation in Killing three people, whom I do Not think he knew? No Robbery? Carter was not suspected as being a Pro-Hit-Man, as in Mafia terms. Why would he have had, Artist a young 18-19 yr old in the car, if he was going to ‘NAIL THREE PEOPLE’? Makes absolutley No NEXUS??? I believe the victims were two men, and one woman? WHY, one must ask? Where is the LINKAGE? What about the COP, admitting he advanced the Time line, by 15 mins. to make the CASE against Carter, hold water??? Hell that in and of itself, SMELLS? Rubin’s never changed his story, over the last 46 years. Finally ‘Sticks & Stones can break my bones! But Names will never hurt me’! Being black, and living in NJ./PA, back when Rubin was coming up, he probably was immune to Negative Name Calling, as tough as he was. Before a ‘Cat’ like Carter would use a Gun, he would drop a dude with a Left/Right hand, who had ‘Bad Mouthed’ him. Period.

  • Pedro, I think it is impossible for us to make heads or tails of what happened in 1966 in a PA tavern. I also saw Rubin Hurricane Carter at the IBHOF. He appeared stand offish towards the public. I don’t know if he’s very private or bitter about having been incarcerated in the past. I hope he didn’t kill anyone that night. It does sound like the people who were killed were low life scum bags, typical of white America in the 1960’s, hard to have sympathy for them either way.

  • yea i do need to do some more research but from i hear he sounds guilty but wasn’t given a fair trial, not being given a fair trial doesn’t mean he didn’t do it, i will research it some more on wikipedia..

  • Scott Granville

    Carter lives in Canada because it was Canadians that helped free him. I was the first electronic journalist to interview Carter in the early 90’s and when asked why he chose Canada to live his quote was…

    “I’m canvassing the Universe trying to find me a place where people understand other people. And Canadians understand other people.”

    These Canadians also helped a young black man from the Bronx get his education and help with the cause of freeing Carter. Although there were obvious Hollywood plot lines in ‘Hurricane’, as a former cop you should be able to smell the stink of this

    I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of the worlds greatest sportsman including Ali, Pele, Leonard etc but no one has left me with the sort of impression Carter did. His intensity is incredible. Consider this, John Artis a well known track athlete could have got off with a snap of the fingers, all he had to do was finger Carter who not even a friend, but a guy who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He didn’t and spent 10 years in prison and has never once wavered.

    I think if you are going to ask readers whether or not they think he’s guilty or innocent more info should be given to be fair (you are the journalist not the readers-it’s up to you to do the research). Not mentioned was that 2 white men were found in the bar after the shootings one with his hand in the cash
    register. These 2 career criminals should raise your ‘cop’ alarms, especially when their testimony/story changed more often than Joan Rivers cheekbones!

    I’m glad I’ve never experienced being around murderers as you and other cops have, but based on everything I’ve read, and everything instinct I have says Mr. Carter was railroaded and I’m glad Canada can help him because the USA certainly didn’t!

  • Don’t know wasn’t there or born around that time

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