CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (Feb. 8)
A former member of the Ku Klux Klan, a suspect in at least 13 homicides in seven states, Joseph Paul Franklin, was indicted yesterday for the bombing of a Chattanooga synagogue on July 29, 1977.
Franklin, 33, has been serving a life sentence in the federal penitentiary in Marion, III. since 1982 for the sniper slaying in August, 1980 of two Black youths who were jogging with two white girls in Salt Lake City.
Douglas Fisher, a Chattanooga police spokesman, said Franklin had confessed the Chattanooga synagogue bombing, telling police he came to Chattanooga “to kill Jews.”
No one was killed in that explosion, which razed the Beth Shalom synagogue. Fisher said Franklin told him he had hoped to blow up the congregation but when only eight Jews showed up for the service, it was cancelled.
An early adherent of the American Nazi Party, Franklin wore armbands with swastikas. In 1970, he joined other American Nazis in picketing the White House when Israel’s then Prime Minister, Golda Meir, visited Washington.