Why We Think Bobby Gore is Innocent

A Fact Sheet

  • Bobby Gore, the spokesman for the 1960s Conservative Vice Lords, was arrested on November 14, 1969 for the murder of Thurman Williams three weeks before. Eyewitnesses to the killing told the court the shooter was Clarence Conn, who was known to have a longstanding grudge against the victim. The main witness against Bobby Gore was that same Clarence Conn. The victim was shot by a right-handed shooter and Bobby Gore is left handed. Witnesses placed Gore blocks away at the time of the shooting. Despite contradictory testimony, Bobby was convicted by an all-white jury.
  • Bobby’s choice of Attorney, noted Black lawyer Eugene Pincham, was forced to withdraw because the judge refused to grant a sinlge continuance. Bobby’s original counsel, Patrck Murphy, was not experienced in capital cases, and was then forced to trial without meaningful preparation. Other homicide cases, which occurred even later than Bobby’s case, had been routinely continued. Bobby’s trial leap-frogged over 62 other trials that should have been set before his. Lawndale residents at the time were told that Chicago Police knew Bobby had not done the shooting but “the old man,” presumably States Attorney Edward Hanrahan, had ordered Bobby’s arrest.
  • States Attorney Hanrahan and Mayor Richard J. Daley had declared “war” on gangs and the Black Panthers earlier that year. Several gang leaders, including Leonard Sengali of the Blackstone Rangers were arrested at about the same time for murder, but charges were dropped. On December 4, 1969, three weeks after Bobby’s arrest, Hanrahan led a raid that resulted in the deaths of Black Panther leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.
  • Bobby Gore at the time had been as visible public figure as Fred Hampton. He was in the forefront of transforming the CVL from a gang into a community organization. He was a well-known peacemaker between gangs and on the streets of Lawndale. He has given his life to his community.k
  • During his 11 years in Stateville Penitentiary and after his release, Bobby continued to work for peace and justice. His dream for the CVL, however, crashed with his arrest, and the CVL reverted to the streets. We are seeking a measure of justice and vindication for the 1960s CVL.
  • The complete story of Bobby Gore and the shattered dreams of Lawndale’s Conservative Vice Lords can be found on gangresearch.net

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