Interview with William O'Neal

OK, I want to get you focused now. It's November 1969, can you describe to me the kind of information you were giving Mitchell about, about what was going on?


Well, he started, Mitchell became more specific during that time. He wanted to know the locations of weapons caches, he wanted to know if we had explosives. He needed, he needed to know who was staying at what locations, who spent the night where. His information didn't change so much as he requested more detail. And, I knew why: the, the, the shootout on the South Side had pretty much laid the foundation within the Party, within the Black Panthers, we knew that the police would react in some type of way.** We could just feel the stepped up surveillance. We could feel the pressure all the way around, and we knew something bad was going to happen, and I think we were all prepared for it. During that time, Fred was conducting quite a few speaking engagements, but even his attitude had changed somewhat within the Black Panther Party. He, he was becoming less, he was becoming more reluctant to, to speaking engagements, to making those outward appearances. He became more reserved, more protective of hisself[SIC]. He very seldom traveled anywhere by hisself[SIC], and he began taking five and six bodyguards with him, and so I f--he felt it also. Also, he felt like he was going to prison. He was pretty sure that the robbery conviction was going to take him out of the game, so he started preparing other members to take his role, um, pretty much.