by Jon Blackwell

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Hurricane Carter

Look mean and come out swinging. That was the boxing strategy of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, whose scowl, shaved head and goatee radiated pure intimidation. His trademark inside the ring was a flurry of punches that gave him his stormy nickname. By the early 1960s he was the No. 3 contender for the middleweight championship and the talk of Paterson, New Jersey. An ex-convict turned local celebrity, he bopped around black bars every night, dressing in flashy suits and loudly holding court among his admirers.

… One night in 1966, following the murder of a black man by a white man, some patrons at Carter’s favorite hangout overheard him talking about how to get some guns. His penchant for arms was well known. In 1963, Sports Illustrated had quoted him as saying: “I’ve done bad things. I used to shoot people. I mean at them.”

 The words would come back to haunt him when the Hurricane ended up going on trial for a triple murder …