LOS ANGELES (AP) — Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt, a former Los Angeles Black Panther leader who spent 27 years in prison on a murder conviction that was later overturned, has died. He was 63.

Lawyer Stuart Hanlon told The Associated Press Thursday that Pratt died at his home in a small village in Tanzania, where he had lived for at least half a decade.

Hanlon, who helped overturn the conviction, says Pratt’s family called him from Tanzania and told him Pratt died this week.

Pratt was convicted in 1972 of robbing and fatally shooting schoolteacher Caroline Olsen on a Santa Monica tennis court.

But he always maintained his innocence, claiming he was targeted by the government because it was out to persecute the Black Panther Party.

Los Angeles prosecutors announced two years after his conviction was overturned in 1997 that they would not seek to retry him.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
    1. BD McGee says:

      If you love him so much, why don’t you marry him?

      Just another dead jig.

    2. truth hurts says:

      who cares? He was just another glorified street thug that murdered someone. bye bye

    3. Saber 1 says:

      Just another dead thug mudflap. He was a loser and so are the rest of the group.

  1. rjsmitty says:

    I just hate all race based hate groups …..

  2. citizen says:

    One very strong black man. He stood up to those would hold black people. Like Daryl Gates. RIP G.

    1. smoking geronimo says:


      He is now one very dead black man, who also was a murderer.

      May he burn in hell with all of the other dead black panthers!!

    2. Saber 1 says:

      Daryl Gates was the best Police Chief this city has ever seen. The Police Chiefs after him are bending over for the ILLEGAL ALIENS and not going after even half of them.

  3. rjsmitty says:

    No big loss here , just a death of a racist.

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