Joseph Paul Franklin was a rare racially-motivated serial killer. Franklin drifted city-to-city and state-to-state in search of new hunting grounds in a quest to "cleanse the world", as he put it.
Franklin killed at random, possibly beginning in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1977 when he shot Alphone Manning and his white friend Toni Schwenn. in 1979 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, he killed another racially mixed couple. In Indianapolis, Indiana, the next year, Franklin shot and killed two black men in seperate incidents. Though brought in for questioning on the Indianapolis and Oklahoma murders, he was never charged because of lack of evidence. On June 8, 1980, Franklin gunned down Darrell Lane, 13, and Dante Brown, 14, two cousins on their way to a neighborhood store in Cincinatti, Ohio. His killing spree was finally ended in 1980 when he was arrested in Florida for the Salt Lake City, Utah killing of two black men the racist had spotted jogging with white women.
In total, Franklin has been tenuously linked to roughly 20 killings and numerous other crimes including bank robbery and possibly bombings. He has confessed to the shooting of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan and Hustler magazine's Larry Flint. He has also admitted guilt in a 1980 murder of two hitch-hikers in West Virginia, a crime for which another man has been convicted and is serving two life sentences. Franklin has garnered multiple life sentences himself and is currently incarcerated on Missouri's death row for the murder of a Jewish man outside a synagogue.