Interview with Flint Taylor
QUESTION 17
INTERVIEWER:

I want to go back to one thing that there were lots of allegations about, that whether or not Fred was drugged.

FLINT TAYLOR:

Uhum.

INTERVIEWER:

What were the things that were coming out? How did you first learn about the possibilities? What did you do? What do you think?

FLINT TAYLOR:

Well, it was always curious to us, uh, maybe that's not the correct adjective, but that Fred who was a strong man, who, when he preached something he didn't run and hide from it. And, uh, the Panthers preached self-defense, the police come to your apartment, get your gun and defend yourself. So it was, it was curious to us, or didn't make sense, that Fred would have been killed in his bed. Ah, he would have defended himself, but all the evidence showed he didn't, uh, so one question became was there some kind of drugging. So when we had an independent autopsy done, on, on Fred's body, because the official autopsy was, was a cover up. Ah, a tox--toxicological report was done by the head toxicolo--toxicology at Cook County Hospital, and she came back with, uh, what first shocked us, that, that Fred had a large amount of secobarbitol, or a downer, in his system, at the time he was killed. And then, knowing that Fred never used drugs, there was no question about that, I think friend and foe alike would never, accused him of being any kind of drug user. It became obvious that if this toxicological report was accurate and she was independent, she had, she was, had no reason to, to, uh--

INTERVIEWER:

Out of film!





INTERVIEWER:

Okay, what did you think about this very peculiar evidence of how--

FLINT TAYLOR:

Okay.

INTERVIEWER:

--how Fred behaved, of whether or not , okay, still rolling, okay--

FLINT TAYLOR:

Okay, well it seemed from the beginning very strange to us that, that Fred had been killed in his bed because Fred, uh, was a very active person, uh, he practiced what he preached, and what the Panthers preached and what he pre--preached was to defend yourself. The police came to your apartment, you defended yourself. They had guns in the apartment and we could never quite understand, and the Panthers couldn't never quite understand why he would have been assassinated in his bed. And hadn't defended himself. But then it started to become clearer, a little later on when an independent autopsy was performed, and this independent autopsy also had a toxicological exam done on the blood. And the, it was done at Cook County Hospital by the head of tox--toxicology, and she came back with the findings that there was a large amount of secobarbitol in Fred's system at the time he was killed. Everybody knew that Fred wasn't a drug user, he didn't touch drugs, and uh, that was uniformly understood, so then it became a question of how these drugs got in his system. That came to the question of William O'Neal ultimately, although at the time it was, it must have been an informant, everybody knew that there were informants in the party, and knew that there was, and to quote people, "That someone had dropped a dime on the apartment." And so that person who had dropped a dime, or who had informed on the apartment it was assumed also had been involved in drugging Fred Hampton. Later it was learned that O'Neal was involved, uh, with getting food for Fred earlier in the evening. And so there were a lot of questions about whether O'Neal had been involved in, in putting the drugs in Fred's system. Ah, there were two other toxicological reports done, uh, by the federal government, and one done I believe by the county. Neither of which found the, the drugs. And so its always been a battle, a legal battle and just a, a factual battle of whose toxicological report is right. Ah, but whether, uh, the, the, uh, the other people of course had a reason to find what they found. Ah, particularly the federal government, uh, so it's a very big question mark in the case, uh, and in, in, in the assassination. That to assure that they could kill Hampton, did they drug him? And there is strong evidence to suggest that, when it first came out it was shocking. Ah, I remember there was a press conference that we had with the, uh, pathologist, the independent pathologist. And when we released the, uh, results of the toxicological report, and, uh, it's, it's a very troubling, even to this day, question in, in the case.