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Black Hebrew Israelites

News Summaries from ICSA Periodicals

Peter Moses, Jr., the leader of a Durham, North Carolina, group that claims to be affiliated with the Black Hebrew Israelites, was convicted of murdering 4-year-old Jadan Higganbothan because Moses, whom his handful of followers called “lord,” believed the child was gay. Moses, who received two life sentences, is said to have shot the boy in the garage of the group’s home while Jadan’s mother watched and a recording of the Lord’s Prayer in Hebrew played in the background. Moses reportedly decided that Jadan was gay when the toddler hit another boy on the buttocks. Moses was also convicted of having Antoinetta McKoy killed when he learned she could not have children and that she had said she wanted to leave the group. It is likely that Moses’ previously diagnosed bipolar disorder—for which he was receiving treatment while in jail—contributed to his violence. His attorneys said the murders occurred after Moses lost his Medicaid benefits, and that his untreated illness “made him do something monstrous.” (Christian Post, 7/5/13) [IT 4.3 2013] 

LaRhonda Renee Smith has pleaded guilty to taking part in two 2010 murders that allegedly involved a black-supremacist group led by Peter Moses, who is said to have been guided by the tenets of the Black Hebrews. Smith was sentenced to between 23 years and 29 years in prison. Prosecutors said she helped cover up Moses’ murders in 2010 of a child and an adult he suspected were homosexuals. (News & Observer, 2/18/13) [IT 4.2 2013] 

Alleged Black Hebrews leader Peter Lukas Moses, Jr., pleaded guilty in June, in Durham, North Carolina, to murdering a woman and a 4-year-old boy in 2011. Moses avoided a possible death penalty by agreeing to testify against his codefendants. It is said they shared a home with other adult members of the group and their children, and that they practiced polygamy. It is believed that one of the deceased—both were buried in the back yard—was killed when trying to escape, the other because Moses thought the boy was gay. (Herald Sun, 6/11/12) [IT 3.3 2012] 
Local Black Hebrew Israelites leader Peter Moses, Jr. and follower Vania Sisk are being held by police in Durham, NC, while authorities search a wooded area for the bodies of 5- year-old Jadon Higganbothan, Sisk’s son, and 28-year-old Antoinetta McCoy. Sisk, originally from Water­loo, Iowa, earns between $45,000 and $60,000 annually as a customer sales representative. Moses, who allegedly fathered three children on Sisk and is suspected of ordering her to kill McCoy, was arrested when detectives investigating the disap­pearances of Jadon and McCoy found him hiding in the cabinet of a home in which he resided with nine women and nine children. Sisk’s remarks to relatives about the com­ing apocalypse probably stem from the teachings of the Black Hebrews, an anti-Semitic and polygamous “identity”-based movement whose African-American followers believe they are the true descendants of Jesus. There are numerous Black Hebrew sects worldwide, including the one led by Peter Moses, Jr. Sisk’s grandmother, in Iowa, says: “She fell right into Pete, and Pete found her weakest part, and he’s brainwashing her. Her actions are showing that she’s in some kind of cult.” Cult expert Rick Ross believes Moses “manufactures an impending crisis to draw people into isolation, to create a panic, crisis mentality.” (Daily Beast, 4/18/11) [IT 2.2 2011]

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