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Overview (4)

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Died in San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, California, USA  (executed by lethal injection)
Birth NameStanley Tookie Williams III
Nickname Tookie

Mini Bio (1)

Stanley Tookie Williams III was one of the founding members of the Crips, a notoriously violent street gang in South-Central Los Angeles. Williams had started his own gang and united it with an existing one called the Baby Avenues, a union that came to be known as The Crips (Williams later claimed that the Crips were initially formed to "cleanse" the neighborhood of other violent street gangs, but that it got out of control and wound up becoming the kind of gang he had set out to eliminate). The Crips became known for engaging in a wide range of criminal activities, crimes, including robberies, hold-ups, drug sales, auto thefts and murders. They also became known for extreme violence and their willingness to attack and kill any who they thought were getting in the way of their criminal activities; oftentimes innocent civilians were caught in the crossfire of their attacks and seriously wounded or killed.

Williams was convicted of the 1979 murder of Albert Owens, a clerk in a 7-11 store in Whittier, California, during a robbery by Williams and other gang members that netted them $120 (at his trial his accomplices testified that Williams had laughed about the dying noises Owens made after Williams fired two blasts from his shotgun into him, after making Owens lie down on the floor, and that Williams had bragged he had killed Owens because he was white and Williams was out to kill all white people).

On March 11, 1979, Williams entered the Brookhaven Motel in South Central Los Angeles holding a shotgun, broke down the door to the office and shot and killed manager Yen-Yi Yang, 76; his wife Tsai-Shai Yang, 63; and their daughter, Yu-Chin Yang Lin, 43, all of whom were immigrants from Taiwan. After the murders he emptied the cash register and left. It turned out that there was only $100 in it. Police investigations of these murders and the earlier Owens killing led to the arrests of Williams and several fellow gang members. He was tried in 1981 on four counts of capital murder, and although he maintained his innocence and claimed that the police and the prosecutors were framing him, the jury convicted him and sentenced him to death.

While in prison Williams remained defiant and was constantly involved in fights with inmates and guards. He was disciplined for threatening to have several guards and their families killed, and once threw a chemical in a guard's face that resulted in the man being taken to the hospital with severe burns. Another time Williams was observed engaging in sexual behavior with a female visitor. When both were ordered by a guard to stop, Williams threatened to have the guard killed. On another occasion prison officials learned that Williams had ordered inmates who were fellow Crips members to kill another inmate. The man was subsequently attacked and stabbed, but he survived. For these and other offenses Williams was placed in solitary confinement, where he spent a total of 6-1/2 years.

After his release from solitary Williams seemed to have changed his attitude. He renounced his gang affiliations and apologized to the residents of Los Angeles for his part in the formation of the Crips. He wrote an autobiography in which he urged young black males to not make the mistakes that he did and to stay away from gangs, and he also wrote several children's books. He gained attention and praise from several notable writers and public figures, and a movie was made of his life, Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story (2004), starring Jamie Foxx as Williams. In 2004 he helped arrange a peace agreement to end a long-running and bloody feud between two rival gangs, the Crips and the Bloods, in Los Angeles and Newark, New Jersey, and was presented by US President George W. Bush with a national "Call to Service Award", given to those who have helped to make their local communities a better place to live. In addition, each year from 2001 to 2005 Williams was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Many community leaders asked Bush to pardon Williams, but that was not possible because Williams was convicted in a state court, not a federal one, and only the California governor could pardon him. Williams appealed his conviction several times, but in each instance the appellate courts upheld it. He then appealed to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for clemency, and a closed-door clemency hearing was convened, but on December 12, 2005, Schwarzenegger denied the clemency petition, saying "there was no reason to second-guess the jury's decision of guilt", and citing, among other things, Williams' steadfast refusal to assist authorities in their investigation of numerous crimes committed by Crips gang members and that his book, "Life In Prison", was dedicated to several notorious criminals, among them George Jackson, a Black Panther who organized a prison escape in which he and several guards were killed. Schwarzenegger stated that these were strong indications that Williams had in fact not reformed nor was remorseful for his past actions, and was in fact still a hardcore gang leader and a danger to society.

On Decemer 12, 2005, Williams was taken to the execution chamber at San Quentin State Prison and put to death by lethal injection.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A. Nonymous

Trivia (1)

One of the founders of the notorious L.A. street gang The Crips.

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