other notable deaths

other notable deaths

May 10, 2007

YAHWEH BEN YAHWEH, 71 Former cult leader

Yahweh Ben Yahweh, former cult leader who was linked to nearly two dozen gruesome killings in the 1980s and was said to have ordered victims' ears cut off as proof they were killed, died Monday in Miami.

The self-proclaimed "Black Messiah" founded the Nation of Yahweh and preached religious separatism for blacks. The group was praised for its rehabilitation of Miami neighborhoods, promotion of family values and stance against drugs. But he was later accused of sending close followers to kill "white devils."

He served 11 years of an 18-year federal prison sentence for a racketeering conspiracy conviction stemming from his role in up to 23 killings and was released in September 2001. He was never convicted on murder charges.

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