Rubin Carter
The Truth about Rubin "Hurricane" Carter

Carter's Life and the Triple Murders

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and an accomplice were rightly convicted twice of murdering 3 people in cold blood in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey in 1966. He became a civil rights celebrity loudly proclaiming his innocence and in 1985, US District Court Judge H. Lee Sarokin set aside the second conviction on the grounds they did not receive a fair trial.  The State of New Jersey appealed but in 1988, the charges were dismissed.  In 1999 a movie about Carter’s life, “The Hurricane” staring Denzel Washington, was released.  This movie was a propaganda film, with many proven errors of fact.  There are at least 3 books written about this case, including Carter’s autobiography.
The facts prove that Rubin Carter is a pathological liar, a sadistic sociopath and a cold blooded killer.
On April 20, 2014, Rubin Carter died and faced God for eternal judgement. He had no lawyers present.
Related links:
Carter’s biography and the Patterson murders - below


Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was born in 1937 in Clifton, New Jersey.  One of 7 children, he grew up in Paterson, New Jersey.  His parents had a stable marriage and provided well for the children. Only Rubin had serious problems with the law. Carter’s predatory instincts started early.

Carter attended Public School #6 in Paterson to the 7th grade.  He was referred several times to the Adjustment School. The Adjustment School at that time was Public School #22 to which students with discipline problems were referred from each of the other city schools in Paterson. The school records describe Rubin Carter as "very wild" with a "bullying attitude". The school's records state that he "terrorized boys and girls in class so that they were afraid to report him to the teacher." Carter was first referred to Juvenile authorities in 1946, when he was 9 years old. This information is from the 1957 Passaic County Probation Department report. (Exhibit H)

A Probation Department report prepared in 1977 (Exhibit I) states that Rubin Carter was arrested on March 21, 1949 as a juvenile and charged with larceny of T-shirts from a downtown Paterson store. Carter was given two months probation for this offense.

In May of 1951, a third juvenile complaint was filed against the defendant charging him with breaking into parking meters and stealing the contents. Carter was placed on probation.

In June 1951, at the age of 14, he attacked a man with a knife and hit him in the head with a bottle.  Carter then stole $55 and a wristwatch from the man.  Carter’s defense was that the man was a pedophile who was attempting to molest one of his friends.  There is no evidence to support this claim. Carter was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years in a juvenile facility.

Carter escaped from the reformatory in 1954 and joined the US Army at age 17 and after basic training, was sent to Europe.  Carter became interested in boxing and won two fights.  But his attitude problems resulted in him being court-martialed four times.  After serving only 21 months, he was deemed “unfit for military service”, and thrown out of the Army, well short of his scheduled date of separation.

After returning to New Jersey, he was arrested for his reformatory escape, and served another year in prison, being released in 1957.  About three months later, Carter robbed and brutally beat three people, including a middle-aged woman and 61 year old man. Carter was arrested, convicted and spent four years in state prison.  

Carter was examined numerous times in various prisons and every psychologist came to essentially the same conclusions as Dr. Henri M. Yaker (Director of Psychology).  Yaker examined Carter on August 30, 1960 and stated: Carter "continues to be assaultive, aggressive, hostile" and "sadistic." Exhibit N.  "This individual is as dangerous to society now as the day he was incarcerated." Exhibit N.  Doctor Yaker diagnosed the defendant as a sociopath who "thinks he is superior." “He has grandiose paranoid delusions about himself." Exhibit N.

While in prison, Carter resumed his interest in boxing and upon his release in 1961 turned pro. With quick fists and an aggressive style, he won many fights, often with knockouts and in December, 1962, made Ring Magazine’s list of top 10 middleweight contenders. Carter continued to win most of his fights and on December 14, 1964, fought Joey Giardello in Philadelphia for the championship.  Carter lost in a unanimous decision. Most of the press agreed with the decision as did most of the sportswriters at ringside. Carter did not protest the judging.

The next year, Carter went to London to fight Harry Scott, but was involved in an altercation at his hotel and fired several shots from a pistol.  The promoter of the event, Mickey Duff, reported that he paid hush money so British police wouldn’t arrest Carter (See Duff’s autobiography). Carter lost the fight to Scott. Carter’s career continued downward and by the summer of 1966, was no longer ranked among the top ten middleweights in Ring Magazine.


On June 17, 1966, at about 2:30 AM, two black males walked into the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson and started shooting - killing the bartender and one male customer.  A badly-wounded grandmother died almost a month later.  A third customer survived, but lost an eye from being shot in the head.  

Two witnesses saw two black men run out of the bar and described the getaway car.  They were Patricia Valentine (Graham), who lived above the bar and Alfred Bello, a petty thief going to the bar for cigarettes.  Bello had been the lookout for his partner, Dexter Bradley who was trying to rob a business nearby.  Bello was on Lafayette St when Carter and Artis left the bar and ran to their car.  Carter was carrying a shotgun and Artis was carrying a pistol.  They were laughing and talking loudly.  Bello initially thought they were detectives, but when he recognized Carter, he turned and ran for his life.  A nearby resident, Ronald Ruggiero, saw Bello running away and saw the killers car leave.

Within a short time, police found the specific car they were looking for - a white Dodge Polara with out of state plates - with Carter and his pal Artis inside.  They were brought to the scene in Carter’s car and questioned extensively.  At the scene, Valentine absolutely identified Carter’s car as the getaway car.  No one would positively identify Carter and Artis and they were released the next day, pending further investigation.  Although Bello knew Carter had committed the murders, he kept his mouth shut out of fear of Carter, and also because he was afraid of being charged with burglary.  As time went on and the threats continued, Bello became fearful for his life and went to the police four months later and identified Carter and Artis as the killers. Bello was promised protection and given the option of moving out of state.  Bello and Bradley had both seen Carter just minutes before the shooting cruising the neighborhood in Carter’s car. Carter had also been identified by one of the victims, Hazel Tanis, a grandmother who died 27 days later from her wounds.  Because she died before the trial, her information was inadmissible in court.

Carter and Artis were both given a lie detector test.  Both failed although Carter claims they passed which is why they were released.  The truth is that lie detector tests were not admissible and the police couldn’t hold Carter and Artis based on the results of a lie detector test.  The administrator of the test, Sgt John McGuire, who gave the test to Carter, concluded: “After a careful analysis of the polygraph record of this subject it is the opinion of the examiner that this subject was attempting deception to all the pertinent questions.  And was involved in this crime. After the examination and confronted with the examiners opinion the Subject denied any participation in the crime.”

Carter and Artis were charged with 3 counts of murder in October 1966. The motive for the killings was racial retaliation.  Earlier the same day, a white man had killed Leroy Holloway, the black owner of the nearby Waltz Inn in a business dispute. The stepson of Holloway, Eddie Rawls, was the bar tender at the Nite Spot where Carter was a regular and was friends with Rawls. Carter talked to Rawls when he arrived at the bar after leaving the hospital.  Immediately, Carter went looking for his guns that had been missing for most of a year from his training camp.

In the trial in 1967, Carter and Artis were both found guilty.  The jurors were all white, and naturally Carter and black activists blamed a biased jury.  Truth was Carter had no defense and hung himself.  While awaiting trail, he mailed a letter to two key alibi witnesses, telling them what to say.  The letter was intercepted.  One of the alibi witnesses was Anna Mapes who testified that Carter was with her at the time of the murders and remembers the times because she had to be at work in the morning.  Fact was Mapes was on vacation. None of the other alibi witnesses were believable.  Carter and Artis gave conflicting stories on their whereabouts that night.  Ammunition found in Carter’s car was similar to the type used in the murders.  Carter refused to testify in his own defense at the trial - despite loudly proclaiming his innocence to the public.  Carter was defended by Ray Brown, considered one of New Jersey’s best defense lawyers.

Carter continued to loudly proclaim his innocence and published his book, “The Sixteenth Round” From Number 1 Contender to #45472” in 1974.  Carter was rapidly become an international celebrity.  Also in late 1974, Carter’s supporters “persuaded” Bello and Bradley to recant their testimonies.  Bob Dylan wrote a song honoring Carter.  In 1976, the New Jersey Supreme Court vacated the murder convictions of Carter and Artis and ordered a new trial.  

As a result of the court order, Carter and Artis were released on March 20, 1976.  Just over a month later, on April 29, Carter assaulted a black woman named Carolyn Kelley who was actively involved in the legal defense of Rubin Carter!!  Carter slapped her across the face, knocking her down and then kicked her in the back.  All the while Carter was laughing hysterically.  The Prosecutor’s Office did not learn that this incident occurred until the end of May 1976.  Kelley later testified that efforts were made to pacify her and persuade her not to disclose the matter.

Bello recanted for several reasons.  Bello was angry at police officials because he didn’t receive reward money, and Bello did not get leniency from the police for subsequent problems with the law.  Bello was visited in prison by three people who pressured him to recant.  He was promised monetary rewards by Fred Hogan of the Public Defender’s Office.

With all the conflict about Bello identifying Carter, then recanting and unrecanting, we should look at another angle. Logic would dictate Bello told the truth when he identified Carter as one of the two men leaving the bar after the murders. Bello was a petty criminal who avoided confrontations. Carter was a thug who looked for confrontations. There is no reason to believe Bello would deliberately lie about Carter, knowing it would mean he is now dealing with a person who could tear him apart - for the rest of his life. The safe thing for Bello would have been to keep his mouth shut about Carter.

Prior to the second trial, Carter refused 4 offers to take another lie detector test and refused to have the original polygraph test from 1966 released.  
1) On August 28, 1975, Carter was interviewed at Trenton State Prison by Jim Lanaras.  This interview was published in The Herald-News, Passaic, N.J. in September.
2) In December 1975, Carter interviewed at Clinton State Prison by Bob Miller of WABC-TV in New York City. Read the transcript of that interview.
3) The Prosecutor sent a confidential letter to Carter’s attorney on Aug 31, 1976 with the offer of dropping murder charges if he can pass a polygraph test.  Carter’s attorney rejected the offer on Sept. 15, 1976.
4) On Nov. 16, 1976, Carter again refused to take a polygraph test on the Stanley Siegel TV show in New York City.

H. Lee Sarokin
The new trial didn’t turn out like Carter thought it would. There were 2 black jurors for this trial. All potential jurors answered 40 questions to test them on their racial attitudes.  Anyone who expressed prejudice during the jury selection process was excluded from the jury by the judge. Four of Carter’s alibi witnesses at the first trial admitted they lied at Carter's request. (See articles in the New York Times)  The prosecution was led by Burrell Ives Humphreys, a civil rights lawyer and member of the NAACP. Carter and Artis were convicted a second time of 3 murders.

After a decade of judge shopping, Carter’s defense team was able to present their case to a radical liberal democrat named H. Lee Sarokin.  In 1985, Sarokin vacated the second murder convictions of Carter and Artis.  Sarokin’s opinion was filled with gross errors of fact, and it is very possible that Sarokin’s decision was a deliberate political statement.  

Sarokin was a Harvard graduate and Finance Chair for New Jersey Democratic Senator Bill Bradley’s 1978 campaign.  He was appointed to the Federal Court in New Jersey by Democrat President Jimmy Carter and to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 1994 by Democrat President Bill Clinton.  

The state of New Jersey appealed but in February 1988, dropped charges against Carter and Artis. It was 22 years since the murders had been committed. Some witnesses had died and others couldn’t be located.

Exhibit H - A 1957 Passaic County Probation Department report containing excerpts from these school records. Rubin Carter's referral to the Adjustment School is noted on page two of that report. The Probation Department report also states that the defendant was referred to the Children's Bureau in 1946 and 1949. At that time, the Children's Bureau was the Juvenile Division of the Paterson Police Department. In 1946, the defendant was nine years old. Report Submitted to the court by JOSEPH A. FALCONE, PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR.

Exhibit I - A Probation Department report concerning Ruben Carter’s arrest on March 21, 1949. Report Submitted to the court by JOSEPH A. FALCONE, PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR.

Exhibit N - The examination of Rubin Carter by Dr. Henri M. Yaker. Report Submitted to the court by JOSEPH A. FALCONE, PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR.