While an inmate at San Quentin prison, Anthony C. Harris became a devout member of the Nation of Islam.
At that time, the spiritual leader of the Nation was Elijah Muhammad, who preached a gospel of black separatism and superiority. Muhammad taught that whites were literally the incarnation of evil, a race of “blue-eyed devils.”
To test the worthiness of His Chosen Black People, proclaimed Muhammad, Allah had allowed their 400-year persecution by these “bleached-out, grafted snakes.”
But that great testing period would soon come to its end. Then would follow the literal, heaven-sent destruction of all whites. At the conclusion of this divine slaughter, Allah would create a paradise earth for His Chosen Black People.
It was also in San Quentin that Harris met two other inmates who would radically change his life: Manuel Moore and Jessie Lee Cooks.
Both men asked Harris–a fifth-dan kung-fu expert–to teach them the martial art–so they could kill whites.
Harris agreed to supply the lessons.
The three men had a conversation in the temporary Muslim temple in the prison–about “killing people and cutting their heads off–just white people,” Harris later testified in court.
After Harris was paroled on October 15, 1973, he drifted into San Francisco. There he made a new friend–Larry Craig Green, who helped him into a job at the Black Self-Help, a Muslim-owned, furniture-moving company in the city.
Yet another new friend he made there was J.C. Simon.
Soon he was reunited with Jessie Cooks, who had been paroled in July. The release of Manuel Moore followed in November–as did his own arrival in San Francisco.
In September or October, 1973, Harris and 12 to 13 other Muslims–including Simon, Cooks and Green–met at J.C. Simon’s San Francisco apartment.
“They asked me,” Harris later testified, “was I able to kill anyone? Did I have my mind together? They wanted me to work in the [Muslim] temple” as a kung-fu instructor.
At a second meeting at Simon’s apartment, a large, velvet-lined case was prominently displayed. In it were two machetes, three pistols–a snubnose .38 revolver, a .357 Magnum and an automatic–and a shotgun.
“They asked me, how did I feel about white people? Did I feel they were my enemy? Was my mind together enough to destroy my enemy?
“And I just told them, ‘I don’t know what you mean by destroying my enemy.'” Harris told the other Muslims that he had no enemies.
“They wanted me to go out and kill some people, to show them I could be trusted among them. They told me I would have to make some kind of move sooner or later.”
Once again, Harris found himself under cross-examination: was he ready to take his first step towards joining the elite of Allah, the Death Angels? Was he willing to assist his brethren in destroying the blue-eyed white devils?
To drive the point home, the Muslims showed Harris photographs of his brother, stepbrother, mother, sister and fiancee.
“They told me I knew too much about the organization, and something could happen” to Harris himself and his family unless he joined the group of future killers.
Still, Harris refused to commit himself to the coming plot to slaughter whites.
So his companions decided to enlist him in their cause in one dramatic–and lethal–move.
On the night of October 20, 1973, Americans were glued to their TV sets. President Richard Nixon had just fired Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox and disbanded the Watergate Special Prosecutor’s office.
On that same evening, Harris stood at a bus stop, waiting to be taken home from his job at the Black Self-Help, when a panel truck driven by Larry Green pulled up in the bus zone.
Next to Green, in the passenger’s seat, sat Jessie Lee Cooks. Both men offered Harris a ride home, and he accepted.
The truck drove around for awhile, then parked in the shadows near Powell and Chestnut Streets, in a residential neighborhood.
A few minutes later, the three Muslims spotted a young–and white–married couple, Richard and Quite Hague, strolling nearby.
Hague, 30, worked as a mining engineer for the San Francisco office of Utah International. Quita, 28, was a reporter for the Industrial City Press, in South San Francisco. The previous month they had celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary.
Cooks stopped the Hagues, asking for directions. Then he shoved a pistol into the back of Richard Hague and forced the couple into the rear of the panel truck.
The Hagues were bound, beaten and driven to a remote spot in the San Francisco industrial district. There they were yanked from the van. Larry Green seized a machete and, with one stroke, nearly decapitated Quita Hague.
“He got blood all over him,” Harris would later testify.
“Larry came over with the knife and said something about, ‘You ought to have seen all the blood gush out of her neck.'”
Green handed the machete to Cooks, who slashed Richard Hague about the face and back of the head. Left for dead, Hague would eventually recover–and testify against his wife’s killers.