Is letter claiming FBI and NYPD conspired to kill Malcolm X fake? Raymond Wood's daughter says 'not his signature'

Is letter claiming FBI and NYPD conspired to kill Malcolm X fake? Raymond Wood's daughter says 'not his signature'
American civil rights activist Malcolm X (1925 - 1965) speaks at a podium during a Black Muslim rally in Washington DC, circa 1963 (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The daughter of Raymond Wood, a deceased former undercover New York Police Department officer, hs claimed that a letter written by her father — where he alleged that the NYPD and FBI were behind the assassination of Malcolm X — is fake. 

In an interview with NY1 on Friday, February 26, Kelly Wood debunked the authenticity of the letter that was made public last weekend by Reggie Wood, the cousin of Raymond Wood, at the scene of the Harlem murder.

In the letter, which was released as part of a joint effort by the daughters of the civil rights leader, Raymond claimed that he was pressured by supervisors to lure two men from Malcolm X’s security detail into committing crimes, a few days before the assassination on February 21, 1965. The arrests kept the two men from managing door security at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights on the day when Malcolm was shot dead, as revealed in the letter. 


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Kelly told NY1 the letter was forged and her father’s cousin only read it out so that he could gain publicity for himself. “I know that my father did not write this letter,” she told the cable news station. “I know that is not his signature and I know the envelope they’re using to somehow justify that the letter was mailed is also a fake.”

She also added that it was not like her father to allow the release of the letter in public only after his November death, to avoid facing its consequences. “My father is not a coward. He would have never, ever asked anyone to speak on his behalf after his passing. If he had something to say, he would have said it when he was alive,” she told NY1.

To top it off, Kelly claimed that the signature on the letter was not her father’s. The letter, was read on Saturday, February 20, at a press conference attended by three of Malcolm's daughters Qubiliah Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz and Gamilah Shabazz, civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump, Ray Hamlin and Paul Napoli and members of Wood’s family.

Apparently Raymond first shared his confession with his family when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2011. At the time, he asked his cousin, Reggie, not to share the letter until after he died.

Human rights activist Malcolm X reading stories about himself in a pile of newspapers, circa 1963 (Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Historians and members of Malcolm X’s family have expressed doubts over his real killers despite the fact that three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted in the shooting. In light of this new alleged evidence, Malcolm's family wants the whole investigation reexamined.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said last year that his office would reopen the case to investigate if the wrong suspects were arrested. After the letter was made public, Vance’s office released a statement saying its “review of this matter is active and ongoing.”

Meanwhile, the NYPD told the New York Post it is cooperating with prosecutors. “Any evidence that provides greater insight into the truth behind that terrible tragedy should be thoroughly investigated,” said Ilyasah Shabazz, one of Malcolm X’s daughters at the Harlem press conference.

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