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For much of his life, Franklin was a drifter, roaming up and down the East Coast looking for chances to "cleanse the world" of people he considered inferior, especially blacks and Jews. He supported himself by robbing banks and often sold or traded the guns he used to k!ll others. Despite being partially blind in his left eye and completely blind in his right eye, Franklin was a proficient marksman, and k!lled most of his victims from more than 100 feet (30*m) away. He attacked the majority of victims from a distance. He was a highly organized k!ller who would plan in advance several escape routes and techniques in which to leave no evidence.
Franklin's level of violence escalated; before he committed his first known murder, he fire-bombed a synagogue and sprayed mace at a racially mixed couple. Starting in 1977, he went on a murder spree, while continuing to rob banks. He has admitted his racist ideology; God, he said, wanted him to start a race war.
His target were mixed-race couples, which he called "MRCs." In interviews, he explained that he planned the murders and his exit in advance, often changing his hair style and color, as well as changing clothes and vehicles often. He would listen to a police scanner during his escapes.
On one occasion, he threatened to k!ll President Jimmy Carter for his pro-civil rights views. He had also intended to shoot Jesse Jackson, but felt that Jackson's security detail made an a.ssassination attempt impossible. He shot Vernon Jordan in 1980 instead, nearly k!lling him.
Due to his careful planning, he eluded law enforcement for years. He was eventually caught when a nurse in Florida taking the blood he was selling recognized a bald eagle tattoo on his arm as one publicized for the suspect in several murders. She contacted the police. Arrested in 1980, Franklin provided detailed confessions. He has been tried and convicted in several states. Convicted in a murder case in Missouri in 1997, he was sentenced to death.
Franklin has been linked by either indictment or confession to 20 murders, six aggravated a.ssaults, 16 bank robberies and two bombings. He has confessed to eight murders, and has received six life sentences and a death sentence. He made several confessions in 1997 on the condition that he confess to "an attractive white female investigator."
List of crimes