By Christopher Zoukis Donald Spitz later told reporters that Paul “died with joy in his heart.  He knew what he did was right, he willingly gave his life for the unborn.”[1] In reality, Paul Jennings Hill was a narcissistic, religious madman.  Mentally and emotionally unstable, he found meaning for his inner emptiness in the zealotry […]

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By Christopher Zoukis  Army of God / Image courtesy

Two pro-life attorneys – Michael Hirsh and Vince Heiser – volunteered to orchestrate Paul Hill’s defense.  The first thing the attorneys did was file a motion arguing that Paul Hill’s murder of Dr. Britton and his escort was justifiable homicide.  To defend the unborn, Dr. Britton had to die.  Paul Hill’s actions were necessary to prevent mass murder. 

The judge rejected the motion and slapped a gag order on Paul Hill, because – in effect – if Paul was allowed to claim justifiable homicide, it meant Paul was above the law.  It would mean Paul decided what was lawful and what was not.  In Florida, abortion was legal under certain circumstances.  In other words, abortion was not murder.  On the other hand, Paul had committed murder twice over.  And in the state of Florida, murder was illegal under all circumstances. 

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Sin of Omission?

Image courtesy By Christopher Zoukis

Officer Bruce Martin was in his patrol car nearby.  When the police dispatcher broadcast a shooting at the Ladies Clinic, Officer Martin whipped a u-turn.  With his lights flashing and siren wailing, Officer Martin sped to the clinic.  Arriving, Officer Martin saw Paul Hill walking toward him.  Behind Hill, a small group of men pointed excitedly at Hill.  

Officer Martin stopped his patrol car and got out.  Drawing his gun, Officer Martin instructed Hill to lay on the ground.  Hill did so.  Officer Martin handcuffed him.

In his article ‘Defending the Defenseless,’ Paul Hill wrote, “Within a couple of minutes the police arrived.  I gave a hopeful and non-resisting look to the policeman who ordered me under arrest with his drawn handgun.  I was relieved when they cuffed me.  I did not want to be shot, and was glad to be safely in police custody.”

Officer Martin found three spent shotgun shells near the clinic’s entrance.  A black pump-action shotgun was found nearby.

The police took Paul to the Pensacola Police Station.  Paul was not questioned in the usual manner.  A police officer that had been specially trained in criminal psychology sat with Paul.  The two men talked quietly about whatever Paul wanted to talk about.  Paul did not want to talk about killing two men with a pump-action shotgun.  As he put it, “I did not discuss what had just happened.  I did not want to aid those who had sinned by swearing to uphold mass murder (as have virtually all those who have sworn to uphold the law of the land).”[1]  In other words, to Paul’s way of thinking police officers were nothing more than “sinners” who were accomplices to murder. 

Paul’s reasoning mirrored the reasoning of the church of Christian Identity, which stated that all government officials were the agents of ZOG.  ZOG stood for ‘zionist occupied government.’  Supposedly, the intention of ZOG was to make everyone a slave in the New World Order. 

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God’s Will?

By Christopher Zoukis

There was no denying that Paul Hill was articulate and persuasive.  He loved being on national television.  He enjoyed the limelight.  However, his message had the odor of manipulation about it.  Two wrongs never make a right.

It should be noted that Paul believed he was doing God’s will.  He was convinced of it.  There was no doubt in Paul’s mind.  To him, his rationale was beyond refutation.  Murdering those he perceived as murderers was right.  It was a defensive action; it also pointed to a psychopathic condition.

By this point, Paul Hill was toying with the idea of fighting back.  Dr. John Britton / Image courtesy

On July 21, 1994, “Taking this defensive action occurred to me.  Although at the time my thinking on these things had not crystallized, no matter how I approached the subject, everything seemed to fall together in an amazing manner.  I continued to secretly consider shooting an abortionist, half hoping it would not appear as plausible after I had given it more thought.”[1]

The next day was Friday.  As usual, Paul went to the abortion clinic – the Ladies Center in Pensacola – to protest.  Another protestor arrived.  Paul questioned his fellow-protestor, who told him that the abortionist usually arrived at 7:30 am.  A police security guard accompanied the abortion doctor.  However, the doctor had a habit of arriving a few minutes before the security guard.  Which meant there was room for a defensive action to take place.  If the matter was timed right, the doctor could be ambushed.

Paul interpreted this as a sign from God.  “God had opened a window of opportunity, and it appeared I had been appointed to step through it.”[2] 

The following week, Paul’s wife took their three children on a planned visit to his parents.  Before they left, the family enjoyed an outing at the beach.  Paul played with his son, who was nine, and his two daughters aged three and six.  Paul knew this would probably be the last time he saw his family.  To control his emotions, he “lifted my heart to the Lord in praise and faith.”[3]  God answered him.  “I was reminded of God’s promise to bless Abraham, and grant him descendants as numerous as he stars in the sky.  I claimed that promise as my own…”[4]

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Army of God

By Christopher Zoukis

After he left the ministry, Paul moved his family to Pensacola and started his own business – auto detailing.  His new work gave him great satisfaction.  Physical labor made him feel alive, which gave him a sense of meaning and purpose.  And the results of his labors were immediate and empirical – the cars were clean and shined.  The family moved to Pensacola so they could be near a reformed Presbyterian church Paul wanted to join.  This church practiced infant baptism and infant communion.  Both these rites were extremely important to Paul, who had developed an extraordinary empathy for the sanctity of new life.  Paul believed passionately that ‘Life’ began at the moment of conception.  Which meant he opposed any type of abortion.

Somewhere in here – no one knew precisely when – Paul hooked up with the Army of God.  The Army of God was an extremist anti-abortion association.[1]  The group openly advocated violence to stop abortion.  Adopting the concept of leaderless resistance, the Army of God encouraged ‘lone warriors’ to take up the banner of God and do whatever was necessary to halt the mass murder of unborn infants.  Newsday reported that the Reverend Michael Bray claimed to be “the chaplain of the Army of God.”[2]

The Army of God might have borrowed their convoluted, pathological creed from the Phineas Priesthood.  Composed of psychopathic, religious nutcases, the Army of God demonstrated the worst facet of religious fanaticism.

Michael Bray had strong connections to the church of Christian Identity.  Bray believed the Bible was the inerrant Word of God.  He held that homosexuals and adulterers should be executed, because that’s what the Bible said.  Bray introduced Paul Hill to Christian Identity.  From that point on, Paul Hill’s life was never the same.   Michael Bray / Image courtesy

Paul became an activist.  “In God’s amazing providence, I began to engage in pro-life activism at the Ladies Center in Pensacola.”[3]  A few months later, Michael Griffin – who was a pro-life activist – shot and killed Dr. David Gunn.  Dr. Gunn performed abortions in a medical clinic.

Two days after Dr. Gunn’s murder, Paul called the Phil Donhue Show.  He told the show’s producers who he was and stated that he upheld the killing of Dr. Gunn.  The producers immediately invited Paul to appear on the show.  Paul believed this opportunity was made possible by God’s intervention.  Which meant – as far as Paul was concerned – that God disapproved of abortion and sanctioned such acts of retribution.

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Unfruitful Ministry

By Christopher Zoukis

For the next two years, cadet Paul Hill marched and drilled.  He wore a uniform and attended classes, where he sat erect and took notes.  He learned how to handle firearms.  And every afternoon – whether he wanted to or not – he went to chapel. 

It was there, in 1973, right before graduation that Paul found Jesus.  He got religion.  And with religion he got self-discipline and balance in his life.  Exactly as his father wanted.

Paul later wrote, “God graciously converted my proud and rebellious heart when I was seventeen.”[1] 

Paul enrolled in Image courtesy, which was a small, private Christian college.  The curriculum at Bellhaven had “Jesus at its core.”  Which meant the administrators and professors were Christians.  Everything was presented from the Christian perspective.  Bellhaven College and its students were separated from “the World.”  No one drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes or played cards.  Everyone was serious about being serious for Jesus.

Paul met his future wife at Bellhaven.  Her name was Karen.  Karen was pretty in a plain, pious way common to the females at Bellhaven.  Prim and proper, Karen knew her place:  submitted to Jesus first and her future husband second.  She knew and subscribed to the Biblical passages about women being “helpmates.”

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An Eye For An Eye

By Christopher Zoukis

“Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God made he man.”  Genesis 9:6

“So ye shall not pollute the land wherein yea are:  for blood it defileth the land; and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.”  Numbers 35:33

 ________________  Photo courtesy

His name was Paul Jennings Hill.  He was born in Miami, Florida in February of 1954.  Hill grew up in Coral Gables, which was an affluent city with white stucco buildings, red tile roofs, tennis courts and swimming pools.  There were very few minorities in Coral Gables.  It was pretty much a white enclave for rich people.

Paul Hill was a nice boy, who lived in a nice city.  He went to nice schools, where he was an average student.  Considered popular, he had a lot of friends.  Some of his friends smoked dope, popped bennies and snorted cocaine.  They thought it was cool.  Like most teenagers, Paul wanted to be cool too.  So he started using drugs. 

Paul’s father – who flew planes for an airline and whose name was Oscar – found out Paul was using drugs.  Oscar confronted his 17-year old son.  “What the hell are you thinking?” asked Oscar.

Paul looked at the ground and shrugged. 

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