Last week, headlines erupted upon word of a letter purported to include a New York cop’s deathbed confession about his involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X, who was fatally shot in Manhattan at the age of 39 in 1965. Now, that officer’s daughter has alleged that the letter in question is “forged.”
The daughter of Raymond Wood, the officer previously reported to have penned the letter in which—among other things—it was alleged that he had been pressured by NYPD supervisors, spoke with Spectrum News NY1 and claimed the letter was a fraud.
“I know that my father did not write this letter,” the daughter, named in the report as Kelly Wood, said. “I know that is not his signature and I know the envelope they’re using to somehow justify that the letter was mailed is also a fake.” She also alleged that her cousin Reggie Wood, who appeared alongside members of Malcolm X’s family at a news conference last month, “just wanted attention” in connection with his book project.
Elsewhere, the daughter said her late father “is not a coward” and “would have never, ever asked anyone to speak on his behalf” after his death.
“If he had something to say, he would have said it when he was alive,” she said.
Late last month, members of Malcolm X’s family made the letter—attributed to former NYPD officer Raymond Wood—public. In the letter, Wood was alleged to have revealed that he coaxed two of Malcolm’s security guards into crimes that ultimately lead to their arrest prior to the fatal shooting at the Audubon Ballroom in New York. The arrests of those two men, the letter stated, was a key element of a collaborative conspiracy between both the NYPD and the FBI that was aimed at ensuring Malcolm was killed. The letter was reported to have been initially penned back in 2011, with the request that its contents not be made available to the public until Raymond’s death.
“Thomas Johnson was later arrested and wrongfully convicted to protect my cover and the secrets of the FBI and NYPD,” the letter stated.
Muhammad A. Aziz and the estate of Johnson, as of Feb. 19, are now both represented by the Innocence Project and David Shanies of David B. Shanies Law Office. Both Aziz and Johnson (also known as Thomas 15X Johnson) maintained their innocence since being convicted in 1966.