Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Unholy Homicide, Part One

Extreme Solutions

Over the last decade, there was a drastic increase in violent crimes committed by anti-abortion extremists.  These individuals and the groups they support have been known to use violence to advance their political agendas, which have resulted in the deaths of several health-care workers.  Some activists have embraced violence as the way to get their message across. One of the most well-known of these anti-abortion extremists was a Presbyterian minister.

On July 29, 1994, Reverend Paul Hill shot and killed Dr. John Britton and his driver James Barrett outside a Pensacola, Florida, abortion clinic.  Barrett's wife, June, was also wounded during the shooting.  Hill was quickly arrested for his crimes and, following a lengthy trial, was convicted and sentenced to death.

Following his conviction, Hill's supporters created a Web site on the Internet, which Hill used to reach out from behind bars to promote his cause.  On this site, which is hosted by The Army of God, a high-profile anti-abortion extremist group, Hill explained what led him to kill and what he thought would be accomplished by his actions.   

Photo: Paul Hill in jail
Paul Hill in jail

Regardless of what he thought his crimes would accomplish, in the end they changed nothing, and on September 3, 2003, Reverend Hill was executed by lethal injection.  According to Time, Hill left behind a manifesto in which he described how to stalk and kill doctors, and in a statement before his execution, Hill said he felt no remorse for his actions, and that he expected "a great reward in Heaven."

Unholy Homicide, Part 2 deals with a case of a Roman Catholic priest who is facing trial for ritual murder and sexual assault of the most unholy kind.

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