Serial Killer Sunday 2: When True Crime Meets The Gridiron
The NFL is abundant in so many ways and in the second edition of Serial Killer Sunday, we’ll discuss when true crime meets the grill in the form of another league-affiliated serial killer.
The first edition of Serial Killer Sunday was about Randall Woodfield. He’s usually the first NFL you’ll hear about, and he gets covered a lot. But Randy was the typical remorseless psychopathic serial killer who hates and loves his mother too much and preys on women (Ed Kemper, Ted Bundy, David Berkowitz, Fred and Rose West, Mary Bell, etc.). This article will cover the far more complex individual who is the oft-overlooked member of the NFL’s serial killer list.
The origin story of the serial killer
In this case, there is none. Not much is known about Robert Rozier Jr’s upbringing other than he was born in Alaska and raised in California. The youngster attended college in Washington and California despite having an incredibly low GPA of 1.32 and no degree. Robert was described as a military brat and a talented athlete in high school and college.
Rozier was something of an athletic prodigy. While at Cordova High in California, the teenager was crowned an “all-league, all-conference, all-Northern California” player as a defensive end. After a short stint at Grays Harbor College in Washington to solve the problem of the lack of a diploma, Robert is recruited by Berkeley. He was described as “the best athlete on the team” by his team captain there. It’s the only quote that any former teammates, friends or family have publicly said about Rozier.
Rozier was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round as the 228th overall pick in 1979. He played in 6 games, as a defensive end. He was reportedly fired due to problematic behavior and joined the Canadian Football League in 1980, playing for two different teams that year. Rozier then returned to the United States to sign with the Oakland Raiders, a team known for collecting troublemakers. He was Raider for about two weeks.
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There are few details about the rumored crimes that caused Robert Pink to be slipped by the Cardinals – just drug use and “petty” misdemeanors.
However, Rozier’s short CFL career is known to have been littered with bounced checks. $20-30,000. He received 32 warrants for fraud in Canada in 1986. At the time, checks were the primary form of payment before credit cards became the norm in the early 2000s. Most checks for regular everyday purchases were not verified on site. The account information was read from the check and the store contacted the bank. This often took at least a few days, hence the use of a “checkbook” to track your account balance. It was easy to bounce checks, although usually not for that amount.
Conversion and crime
In 1982, Robert discovered the Temple of Love in Miami. After serving a six-month prison sentence for unspecified crimes, Rozier moved into the Temple of Yahweh ben Yahweh. There he was renamed “Neariah Israel”, which can be translated as “Child of God”.
Yahweh ben Yahweh was the leader of the Nation of Yahweh – a belief system that still exists today.
Mr. Yahweh was born into a family of 15 children, raised by his Pentecostal preacher father. After serving in the military and law school, Yahweh became a member of the Nation of Islam in the early 1960s. He was removed from the group in the late 1960s due to alleged embezzlement and unseemly physical acts against children. Yahweh ben Yahweh decided to change direction and become a prosperity preacher for about 10 years until he was sued for fraud by his congregation and his business partner was the victim of homicide.
At this point, Yahweh ben Yahweh moved to Miami and recruited members into his new creation: the Nation of Yahweh. He declared himself Son of God and spiritual leader of the Nation.
Mr. Yahweh’s belief system has as its main tenant that African Americans are the original Israelites and should return to Israel as God’s chosen people. The Nation of Yahweh should not be confused with other black Hebrew Israelite groups. It is important not to attribute the beliefs of the Nation of Yahweh to the many groups from which Mr. Yahweh drew inspiration and from which he formed his own religious movement.
Described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Nation is said to hold anti-Semitic views and other racially motivated biases, including a disturbing sense of supremacy. Yahweh’s inner circle, the brotherhood, would have had to take a person of European descent and bring back a body part to become a member of this elite group.
This is where we find Robert Rozier, who joined the brotherhood in 1986.
His first kill was when he followed a drunk man home and attacked the man and his roommate. His next effort was to find and end the life of a passed out man in his car in a bar parking lot with another member of the group. They picked up one ear to bring back to Mr. Yahweh, lost it and had to come back for the other.
What would be a misdemeanor was treated as a felony due to California’s new three-strike law, and Robert was sentenced to 25 years to life.
Rozier is currently in jail at Mule Creek State Prison. If this facility name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Scott Peterson is currently at this facility and other infamous characters like Lyle Menendez, Suge Knight, and Tex Watson have lived there in the past. Robert was eligible for a parole hearing this year, but was denied. He can try again in 2027.
That’s all she wrote about Robert Rozier.
The Nation of Yahweh has done many good things for the Miami community. Many restoration projects in low-income African-American communities in the Miami area have been facilitated by the Nation. Yahweh ben Yahweh received a humanitarian award in 1987 for his work in the community, and was even given a “Yahweh ben Yahweh Day” holiday in 1990 by the then mayor. Yahweh also boosted Miami’s economy by creating a multi-million dollar empire. The group owned hotels, grocery stores, apartments, schools, buses and Rolls Royce vehicles.
These good deeds were overshadowed by the dark side of the Nation of Yahweh in 1992. There was a trail of dead white men without ears, firebombs and the head of a person who did not appreciate the separate group of his body with a blunt machete. Eventually, this led officials to the group.
Between the debauchery that was almost exclusive to the brotherhood and the “Son of God” truth bombs exposed during the 1992 trial (an alleged pension for killing, defrauding underage girls and federal racketeering) fired most of the members . Yahweh was sentenced to 18 years in prison and served 9 years for his transgressions, before being paroled in 2001. He was banned from speaking with his former Nation of Yahweh followers and died quietly in 2007 from prostate cancer.
The group still exists today although the workforce has been greatly reduced and almost all of the assets have disappeared. The group no longer says the controversial parts out loud, but the belief system would be much the same. Mr. Yahweh is still considered the Messiah of the group.
Yahweh ben Yahweh was seen as incredibly controlling of his congregation. The leader dictated everything down to what clothes were worn and who could sleep with whom. Former member Khalil Amani writes a very visceral and uncensored version of his time with the group. He described the brainwashing that Yahweh was so good at, and Dr. Jekyll/M. Hyde nature. Amani also shares his esteemed position in Yahweh’s inner circle where he was referred to as a “spiritual son” and “eldest child,” who granted him his own temple to rule in New Jersey. His full article can be found here. It offers a unique perspective on the group of which Robert Rozier was a member during his journey as a serial killer.