In 1986 Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was killed.
More than 10,000 people were interviewed about the crime.
134 of them confessed.
"In June 1982, Rebecca Lynn Williams was raped and murdered in Culpeper, Virginia. In 1983, Earl Washington, a 22-year-old black man with an I.Q. of about 69, was arrested nearby for an alleged burglary and malicious wounding. Over two days of questioning, Washington "confessed" to five separate crimes. Four of the "confessions" were not pursued because Washington’s descriptions did not match the actual crimes and because the victims did not identify Washington as the criminal. In the fifth confession, however, Washington said that he killed Rebecca Lynn Williams, who could no longer set the record straight. Washington’s initial confession – before police officers helped clean it up – was riddled with errors. He did not know the race of his supposed victim (white), the address where she was killed, or that he had supposedly raped her. Nonetheless, Washington was convicted and sentenced to death in January 1984. He was exonerated by DNA 16 years later, in 2000."
Joseph Paul Franklin was very useful to the U.S. legal system.
Franklin was arrested as an alleged serial killer, and was executed by lethal injection in 2013.
There are strong indications that Franklin is not only 'not guilty' of most of the things he was accused of, but that an elaborate effort was made to create a history for him that would make it more plausible that he was guilty.
Shortly after he was executed a page was made on the FBI website promoting their fictional account of his life, including him supposedly donating blood to make money between his bank robberies.
Did he commit any of the crimes he confessed to? Murders, bank robberies, bombings?
"As officials reconstruct the past two years, Franklin has followed a frantic itinerary throughout the South and Midwest under at least 18 different aliases, changing guns and cars frequently and dyeing his hair so often it is close to falling out."
He was a 'holy grail' kind of prisoner, somebody authorities could use to solve almost any crime.
Like a lot of mentally ill people opportunistically arrested for crimes that somebody 'needed' to solve, he has a Forest Gump quality of being wherever somebody wants to place him. Police figured out quickly that as long as they got an attractive female to ask him to confess, he would confess convincingly to literally anything.
1) He 'admitted' to being the person behind a) the 1977 firebombing of the Beth Shalom Synagogue in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and claimed he was also the shooter at b) the 1977 Synagogue shooting in St Louis, and c) he confessed to being the person who dynamited the Maryland home of AIPAC's executive director Morris Amitay In 1977, so those three high profile crimes were finally 'solved' when he confessed and the investigators involved got promotions and prestige.
2) He claimed to be the person who shot Larry Flynt, so that high profile case was finally solved when he confessed.
3) He claimed to be the person who shot Vernon Jordan, so that high profile shooting was finally solved when he confessed.
On and on. He evidently was executed before he was able to confess to shooting JFK and burning Rome while Nero fiddled.
There are lots and lots of problems with his confessions if you watch YouTube videos of him, even more problems arise if you research any of his supposed killings.
The first high profile shooting in 1977 was done with a Remington 700 bolt action rifle. The police obviously helped him remember what weapon was used, since he is blind in one eye and almost blind in the other eye and wouldn't have used that rifle. He was blind in his right eye, and so would have fired the bolt action rifle on his left shoulder, using his 'good' left eye with 2300 / 20 vision and hitting a few targets quite a distance away quickly.
"On Tuesday, in Lawrenceville, Ga., District Attorney Bryant Huff of Gwinnett County said he planned to seek an indictment against Mr. Franklin in the Flynt shooting by mid-April, after the police tied up some ''loose ends'' in the case."
Loose ends? Oh, no.
A book was written about Franklin, and there are some clues in the reviews.
One comment that more than one reviewer makes is that only about a third of the book actually deals with Franklin. In other words a crime author researching a supposed prolific serial racial killer was not even able to find enough material to fill 50 pages, the paperback is 136 pages. But if you look at the sample pages of the little bit that is about Franklin, it's mostly rehashed media reports.
In other words law enforcement was not cooperative in helping that journalist get background info on Franklin.
It's not hard to guess what the various local police agencies, the FBI, and any other agencies were hiding.
An aspiring 'crime writer' could probably do a small amount of work, actually researching facts, and produce a lucrative book that would set facts straight at the expense of the predatory law enforcers who 'solve' crimes that way.
Nancy Santomero and Vicki Durian were two girls killed when they were hitch hiking. Police eventually made an arrest.
"For a time, a convicted serial killer was believed to have committed those slayings. But a renewed investigation of the case led this week to the arrest of seven men in four states, each of whom has now been charged with two counts of first-degree murder."
Note this 1992 article.
"Dale said the case was reopened six months ago after authorities learned that a convicted serial killer who had admitted the Rainbow killings had read about them in a magazine. Dale declined to name the killer."
So Franklin 'confessed' to police, but his confession was discredited by somebody with common sense. All an honest investigator had to do was make the slightest effort to find the truth. His confession was discredited conclusively, meaning somebody had found proof that he could not have been the killer. This would have been, for example, something like proof that he was physically in another state at the time.
Then things shifted again, and authorities started accepting all of his confessions as facts, even the most absurd ones. So additional efforts were made to bolster the credibility of Franklin's confession in the 'rainbow murder' case, and he was brought back into the mix in 1999.
"Jacob Beard of Florida, was convicted and imprisoned in 1993 on these charges. He was freed in 1999 and a new trial was ordered based on Franklin’s confession."
And then somebody did a supposed 'investigation' and wrote a book just about the Jake Beard / Joseph Franklin issue.
Note the reference to Franklin coming up with 'confessions' when he is being interviewed by women.
Worse, there are actually psychological profiles of Franklin online, by supposed experts, detailing how he 'fits the mold'. It is another side of the fictional psychological profiles given to real serial killers like Ted Bundy, who would carefully figure out what an interrogator wanted to hear, then provide it. Bundy's interviewers wanted necrophilia and pornography, so that's what he offered. Franklin's interviewers wanted dead blacks and Jews, but Franklin wasn't as violent, nor as gifted at lying, as Bundy, and unlike Bundy, Franklin has never actually been involved in any of the murders he confessed to, so his confessions are riddled with inconsistencies.
There are lots of abused or mentally ill or otherwise vulnerable individuals police regularly use to 'solve' difficult crimes.
Here is a woman, who confessed that her boyfriend murdered another woman, but the real killer wasn't happy that he wasn't getting credit for the killing. There was proof at every step that the woman was not actually involved in the killing.
"After 14 hours of deliberation, an allwhite jury of 10 women and two men returned guilty verdicts tonight against 30-year-old Joseph Paul Franklin for civil rights violations in the sniper slayings of two young black men as they jogged in a Salt Lake City park last August."
"Mr. Franklin, a former Klu Klux Klansman and a member of the American Nazi Party, returned to the courtroom for the first time since he was ejected yesterday morning after an outburst and a verbal exchange with the judge. He bit his lip but was silent as the jury foreman read the guilty verdicts in the slayings of David Martin, 18, and Ted Fields, 20, who had been jogging with two white women. The maximum sentence for each conviction is life in prison."
"Federal District Judge Bruce S. Jenkins set March 23 as the date he would hear a presentencing evaluation report. No jurors would comment immediately on their deliberations."
"The prosecutor, Steven Snarr, a deputy United States Attorney, had tears in his eyes after being thanked in the courtroom hallway by the Rev. Theodore Fields, the father of the slain Mr. Fields. Mr. Snarr said that he was pleased by the verdicts and that they were consistent with the evidence."
"Mr. Franklin's sister, Marilyn Garzan, 23, asked if there would be an appeal, burst into sobs and said, ''I don't think so.'' The prosecution conceded from the beginning that its case was circumstantial because no eyewitnesses had identified Mr. Franklin as the slayer, although the testimony of two hitchhikers placed him near Liberty Park an hour before the shooting occurred there. The murder weapon was never recovered."
"Thus, The Government presented testimony from a number of witnesses that was intended to demonstrate Mr. Franklin's pathological racial hatred, bolstered by testimony of others that he boasted of the slayings to them."
"A prostitute testified that she had spent an evening with Mr. Franklin in which he talked at length about his racial beliefs, referring to blacks as ''dumb apes'' and telling her that he could kill two black men and ''get away with it.''"
"Other witnesses, who said they encountered the defendant in Salt Lake City between Aug. 10 and Aug. 20, the day of the slaying, also testified to his avowed hatred of blacks."
"Two inmates who said they had met Mr. Franklin while all three men were being held in the Salt Lake County Jail testified that he had described how he planned and carried out the killings. Mr. Franklin's 17-year-old former wife, Anita Cooper, testified that he admitted the killings to her in a telephone call after his arrest in Lakeland, Fla., last Oct. 28."
"The Government also presented witnesses who said they had seen a car like Mr. Franklin's 1975 Chevrolet Camaro near the scene of the slayings."
"The defense sought to discredit the testimony of the prosecution witnesses by various means. In the case of the prison inmates, the defense tried to get one man to admit that he had testified in the hope of ''favorable'' consideration in his case and suggested the same was true of the other inmate. Mr. Franklin's former wife also conceded under cross-examination that later he repeatedly denied shooting anyone."
"In cross-examination. the defense attempted to show that some witnesses, such as two hitchhikers who placed Mr. Franklin near the crime scene, might have been motivated by a $25,000 reward offered by one victim's employer."
"The defense seemed to rely most heavily on testimony from an ophthalmologist and an weapons instructor for the Army's Special Forces. They testified that it would have been extremely difficult for a man with Mr. Franklin's visual impairments to have fired a rifle with the speed and accuracy indicated by the wounds in the two men's bodies, who were felled by six rapid shots. Mr. Franklin is blind in the right eye and tests 20/2300 in the left, which is correctable with glasses."