Omaha Two story: An explanation
The Omaha Two are Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice). Both men are imprisoned at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln where they are serving life sentences for the August 17, 1970 bombing murder of an Omaha police officer.
Both Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa deny any involvement in the death of patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. Minard, a 29 year-old father of five young children, was killed instantly when he handled a booby-trapped suitcase in a vacant house.
Minard had been lured with seven other officers to the vacant house on Ohio Street in Omaha by a false 911 emergency call reporting a woman screaming at the residence. Police immediately suspected the local Black Panther chapter, called the National Committee to Combat Fascism, of the crime and focused their attention on the Panthers.
Poindexter was Chairman of the chapter and Mondo was the Minister of Information. Both men had been targets of COINTELPRO, an illegal counter-intelligence operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover.
Hoover had been personally monitoring the COINTELPRO actions against Black Panther chapters across the United States. In December 1969 Hoover chastised the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Omaha office, Paul Young, for not getting the Panther leadership off the streets.
When the report of Minard’s death came in to the FBI office, Young sprang into action and proposed making a case against the Panther leaders offering to deal with the incriminating 911 tape. A recording of the killer’s voice was sent to the FBI crime laboratory for analysis with the instruction to make no report on the findings other than a phone call to the local FBI office.
When Ivan Willard Conrad, the FBI lab director, got the COINTELRO memo he called Hoover to verify he was to not issue a report on the identity of Minard’s killer. Hoover told Conrad to proceed as directed and the lab boss noted Hoover’s directive on the memo, initialing and dating he entry.
The jury that convicted the Omaha Two in April 1971 never heard the 911 tape nor were told of COINTELPRO and Hoover’s role in the case. Despite the later revelation of the withheld report and subsequent police conflicting testimony, plus new scientific analysis of the 911 tape, the two men have been repeatedly denied new trials.
EXAMINER is going to go back in time and relive the turbulent era in Omaha four decades ago in a continuing series of reports culminating in a day-by-day recap of the trial.
The series will begin in 1919 with a lynching in downtown Omaha to set the scene and then advance to March 1968 when George Wallace sparked a small riot in Omaha during a campaign appearance. From there the story will advance as events of the time occurred.
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