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'Zebra Killer' J.C.X. Simon Found Dead in Prison Cell

J.C.X. Simon was found dead in his prison cell at San Quentin late Thursday night, prison officials said Friday.
Image: J.C.X. Simon
This May 17, 2012 photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows J.C.X. Simon. AP/California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

One of San Francisco's infamous "Zebra Killers," a gang of four convicted of a slew of racially motivated murders in the 1970s, has been found dead in his cell at San Quentin prison, officials said Friday.

J.C.X. Simon, 69, was found unresponsive in his single cell and pronounced dead late on Thursday at the prison where he was serving a life sentence.

"The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy," according to the prison statement.

Simon and his accomplices were convicted of a string of racially motivated killings that took place in San Francisco. The four black men were convicted of targeting white victims during a six-month spree between October 1973 to April 1974 that left 14 people dead and wounded seven more.

Simon was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon. The three other men convicted in the killings — Larry Green, Manuel Moore and Jessie Lee Cooks — are serving life sentences at separate California prisons.

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— Jillian Sederholm