A man who went on a murder rampage against white people in San Francisco 40 years ago has died at San Quentin. NBC News reports that JCX Simon, 69, one of four notorious "Zebra killers," was found unresponsive in his cell. An autopsy is pending. Simon and three others were convicted of killing 14 random white victims and wounding seven others from October 1973 to April 1974. Most were shot in the back or execution-style while walking down a street, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. They were dubbed the "Zebra" killings because investigators used the Z channel radio band to communicate, explains the newspaper.
At one point, the manhunt was so intense that police stopped and questioned any black men who remotely resembled the suspects—until a federal judge ruled that the stops were unconstitutional. The LA Times reports that the men hoped to "run all the whites out of San Francisco" and make the city headquarters for a group known as the Death Angels, an offshoot of the Fruit of Islam, which provided security for the Nation of Islam. The other three killers are still serving life sentences without parole at separate prisons. (Read more San Quentin stories.)