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Local Witness Remembers Executed Prisoner

A man who killed more than 20 people across the country also had targets in here Fort Wayne.
"I just simply happened to be at the scene when the shot rang out." - Greg Leatherman
A man who killed more than 20 people across the country also had targets in here Fort Wayne.

Tuesday morning, serial killer Joseph Franklin was executed by the state of Missouri. WFFT Local's Charnae Davenport spoke to a witness of Franklin's local crime from 30 plus years ago.

Joseph Franklin was known as a serial killer and Tuesday morning, like his victims, his own life ended. I spoke to a Fort Wayne native who remembers the night Franklin was in town.

"I just simply happened to be at the scene when the shot rang out." Greg Leatherman is the city of Fort Wayne's executive director for the redevelopment commission. He's referring to a night from 33 years ago where Franklin, a white supremacist, attempted to kill civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, who was visiting Fort Wayne. Jordan was shot in the back.

"I remember this vehicle." Leatherman was at the scene that night. He became involved in the trial as a witness two years later. However the jury acquitted Franklin of attempted murder. It was an interesting experience.  He admitted to the shooting while on death row many years later. Jordan recovered from the shooting that night in Fort Wayne but many other victims of Franklin's did not.

Franklin targeted African Americans and Jews. He recalled total death count to about 22. Tuesday morning's execution in the state of Missouri comes after 15 years on death row.
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