Manhattan DA Vance’s office will revisit murder of Malcolm X as new Netflix doc airs

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More than a half-century after the killing of Malcolm X, Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s office is reviewing the case and whether the men convicted in the 1965 shotgun slaying at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem were responsible for the crime.

Word of the new review comes as Netflix is set to stream a six-part documentary series, “Who Killed Malcolm X?”

One of the assistant DAs assigned to the case is Peter Casolaro, who worked on the investigation in the early 2000s that cleared the five wrongly-convicted suspects in the 1989 rape of a Central Park jogger, said Vance’s spokesman, Danny Frost.

Another is integrity bureau deputy chief Charles King, said Frost.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. (Barry Williams/for New York Daily News)

Representatives of the Innocence Project — which seeks to exonerate wrongly convicted people — are among those who have discussed the Malcolm X case with Vance.

Vance “has determined that the district attorney’s office will begin a preliminary review of the matter, which will inform the office regarding what further investigative steps may be undertaken,” said Frost.

Questions about the convictions in the case have swirled for years.

A book by Columbia University professor Manning Marable published in 2011 identified one of those men as Al-Mustafa Shabazz, who appeared in a 2010 campaign video for Cory Booker, who was then Newark’s mayor and is now a U.S. Senator.


Shabazz, an ex-con who turned his life around after marrying Carolyn Kelley, a powerful Newark activist, denied any involvement in the killing. He died in 2018.

Three Nation of Islam members were arrested and convicted of killing Malcolm X.

Thomas Hagan, then known as Talmadge X Hayer, was captured at the scene. He confessed but maintained the other two — Muhammad Abdul Aziz, then known as Norman 3X Butler; and Kahlil Islam, then Thomas 15X Johnson — were not involved.

Islam died in 2009. Aziz, now 81, was paroled in 1985.

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