Who Was James X Cook?

In his epic 1993 presentation on the Malcolm X assassination, famed scholar Zak Kondo quoted from a redacted FBI document that was believed to have made reference to the possible role played in the killing by Boston Temple #11’s Captain Clarence 2X Gill. I recently discovered the unredacted version and it reveals the (previously concealed) name of the person whom the authorities were seeking to be one ‘James Cook’. 

Cook's full name would appear to have been James W. Cook, Jr (or James X Cook in the Nation of Islam or NOI) and he may prove to be the long sought-after olive-complexioned 'second man' whom Herman Ferguson, a prominent member of Malcolm's Muslim Mosque Inc. and later his Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), had apparently seen being taken into police custody outside the Audubon Ballroom following Malcolm's slaying. Police may have later released Cook having been persuaded (by him) that he was an innocent bystander who had sustained gunshot wounds in the post-assassination melee.

The 22nd February 1965 edition of the New York Herald Tribune had also featured an article penned by the late Jimmy Breslin and in which the journalist described the NYPD’s arrest of two suspects in connection with Malcolm's killing – only to have the story later altered to reflect the arrest of only one suspect in the afternoon edition of the same paper, in spite of the fact that several eyewitnesses corroborated and confirmed the earlier version of the story.

Cook may now turn out to have been one of the would-be assassins who may have been sent to participate in Malcolm's murder by none other than Minister Louis X Walcott (aka Louis Farrakhan) of Muhammad's Mosque #11 in Boston. Following Malcolm's killing, Cook is suspected of having fled to Miami where he would likely have been harboured by Fruit of Islam (FOI) captain Samuel X Saxon, a member of Elijah Muhammad's so-called 'Honor Guard'. 


Paul Bitakaramire is a freelance writer based in Manchester who has previously been published in Britain’s Spectator magazine and has launched a petition to secure the declassification of the FBI and CIA files on the Malcolm X assassination. That petition can be found here.