Updated: Thursday, 21 Feb 2013, 10:47 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 21 Feb 2013, 10:41 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- An exclusive glimpse into of one of the most turbulent times in the city of New Haven's history. For the first time we're hearing a critical recording from the Black Panther Trials of the early 1970s.
It's chilling to hear this tape - and no one has heard it in nearly 40 years.
Teh recording gives us insight as well as reminds us of a time when new haven was a flashpoint between activists and the government.
Paul Bass/New Haven Independent
"I think this tape shows the way that hysteria and parnoia can lead to death," said Paul Bass, New Haven Independent.
Now you will get to hear the so called confession recorded in 1969 in the basement of an Orchard Street apartment.
The Black Panthers pouring boiling water over Alex Rackley, a supposed informant, then hitting the record button.
"I was scared brother, I was scared because brothers out there talking about shooting me," said Rackley.
He was shot. His murder resulting in the Black Panthers Trials and major demonstrations including over 10,000 rallying on the New Haven Green on May day 1970.
New Haven Independent's Paul Bass wrote a book about it.
"This case, this moment brought the entire movement to New Haven where there was going to be a showdown. President Nixon sent the national guard," said Bass.
The confession tape had only ever been heard during that trial, until now when a copy mysteriously appeared from an unnamed source.
"A few weeks ago I got a call from someone who found it in a basement, gave me a copy and because I had a court script, I was able to verify its authenticity," said Bass.
The trial, the May Day demonstration well known events in New Haven's history but the man whose killing sparked it virturally unknown, until now.
"I don't want history forgotten. I don't want Alex Rackley's voice to be buried forever. He counts too," said Bass.