Warren Kimbro, 74, Black Panther triggerman, is dead

Warren Kimbro, a community activist and former Black Panther whose arrest on murder charges led to the headline-grabbing New Haven Black Panther trials, died Tuesday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. He was 74.

In May 1969, Kimbro shot and killed Alex Rackley, a fellow Black Panther who was suspected of being a police informant. The ensuing trial of Black Panther national leader Bobby Seale — whom prosecutors said had ordered the slaying — created a national sensation, drawing protesters from around the world to New Haven.

Kimbro himself pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and served more than four years in prison until receiving a state pardon. He would then turn his life around and became among the most prominent community activists in the Elm City.

After leaving prison, Kimbro earned a graduate degree from Harvard and upon his return to New Haven founded Project MORE, an organization aiming to help ex-offenders like him. Up until his death, he continued to work on initiatives in New Haven, including a “ban the box” movement to remove any questions from city job applications that ask whether a person has been convicted of a felony.


  • Robert '69

    Not all the news we get each day is bad news!
    The world is a better place now than it was yesterday.

  • ElmIvy

    Mr. Kimbro was so much more than your sensational headline suggests. He was a scholar, an advocate for social justice, and a champion for civil rights for all people. He learned from his mistakes and dedicated his life to helping people make positive contributions to our communities. I hope that you will go beyond the sensational and learn about the man. RIP Mr. Kimbrow

  • Yale 10

    Mr. Kimbro once did a terrible thing. But he managed to contribute as a productive member of society, due to his compassion, care and hard work — far beyond what most people accomlish in their lifetimes. He is model citizen. I feel honored to have once spoken with him — may he rest in peace.

  • Yale 09

    model citizen??? are you joking???? the man TORTURED a 19 year old boy for two days before EXECUTING him for being an "informant". Kimbro then became an informant himself, covering his own sorry ass so he would only have to serve four years. I am ashamed that a fellow student could ever admire such a man.

  • Yale 09?

    RE: Yale '09

    1. I hope you arent really a Yalie with a close-minded and outdated attitude like that -
    2. He committed an attrocity and he spent the entire rest of his life trying to make up for it. Redemption, if there is such a thing, is something we should all hope for but very few among us work as hard towards it as this man did.