The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Pennsylvania Racist Leader Dies at 69

By Sonia Scherr on May 20, 2009 - 7:01 am, Posted in Klan

Roy E. Frankhouser Jr., a veteran Ku Klux Klan leader, died Friday of natural causes at a nursing home in southeastern Pennsylvania, Berks County Coroner Dennis J. Hess confirmed earlier this week.

The 69-year-old Frankhouser found himself in legal trouble repeatedly during his decades-long involvement with hate groups and twice served time in federal prison. “[Frankhouser] at various times proclaimed himself to be a leader of the American Nazi Party and several Ku Klux Klan organizations, and was a member of at least four dozen right-wing parties,” wrote John D. Forester Jr. in a column published Sunday in Frankhouser’s hometown newspaper, the Reading (Pa.) Eagle. “He also claimed to be an undercover agent for several federal spy and law enforcement agencies and had ties to some of the most notorious crimes of the past century.”

In recent years, Frankhouser was best known for settling a housing discrimination complaint brought against him by a white woman and her biracial daughter. Bonnie Jouhari, who helped victims of discrimination file complaints as a housing specialist for a government-funded group in Berks County, contended in the 1998 complaint that Frankhouser loitered outside her office and photographed her, among other intimidating behavior.

Jouhari, who was represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, left Pennsylvania with her teenage daughter and moved to Seattle, where she says the harassment continued. The 2000 settlement required Frankhouser to attend sensitivity training, perform community service, broadcast fair housing public service announcements on his “White Forum” public access television show, and read an apology to Jouhari on his show. He was also supposed to pay 10% of his income to Jouhari and her daughter, though Jouhari said she has never received any money from Frankhouser.

Jouhari told Hatewatch that “he’s caused a lot of harm and a lot of pain to a lot of people,” but added that she hopes his death will lead the community to come together and learn to forgive. “This is an opportunity to close the book on a very bad part of Berks County’s history,” she said.

Part of that history occurred on Halloween, 1965, when Frankhouser, then the 25-year-old grand dragon (state leader) of the United Klans of America, hosted several Klansmen, including 28-year-old Daniel Burros. Upset about a front-page New York Times story that revealed his Jewish heritage, Burros shot himself in Frankhouser’s Reading home. As reported in Abe Rosenthal and Arthur Gelb’s One More Victim: The Life and Death of a Jewish Nazi, Frankhouser eulogized Burros at a Maryland Klan gathering, saying Burros had separated himself from the bad Jews. “To the good Jews, we offer our love and respect and understanding,” he said.

Frankhouser went on to accumulate quite a rap sheet. In 1995, for instance, he was convicted of obstruction of justice after he instructed a skinhead’s mother to destroy evidence pointing to her son’s involvement in the vandalism of Massachusetts synagogues and alleged assaults on blacks. Eight years earlier, Frankhouser had been convicted of conspiring to obstruct justice in connection with a federal fraud investigation into the 1984 presidential campaign of political extremist Lyndon LaRouche. Frankhouser was also acquitted in 1993 of stabbing a man who’d been hired to provide security during a Klan gathering at a hotel. Jurors decided that Frankhouser had acted in self-defense.

Despite his frequent run-ins with the law, Frankhouser claimed to be a minister; he ran the whites-only Mountain Church of Jesus Christ from his home in Reading, though the local NAACP chapter contended it was a front for the Klan. County officials twice denied him tax-exempt status for the so-called church.

Frankhouser had been living at Spruce Manor Nursing Home in West Reading for 2½ years before his death, according to the Reading Eagle. Jouhari said she’s working with clergy from various faiths to plan a memorial service for the Klansman, who has no known surviving relatives. “I think every human being deserves to have some kind of closure to their life,” she said, “no matter what they’ve done.”

  • Anna

    Rest in peace Roy.

  • Eric West

    A local hero. He will be missed. He stood against everything that has destroyed our once lovely city. RIP

  • Morpheus

    Bill: What did you do at Mr. Frankhouser’s funeral?? What activities did you assist with; what duties did you perform to assist in this …race traitor, this human race traitor, this traitor to the human race, ..having a proper burial!?

    I realize that Bill probably won’t see this comment, or my questions to him..bc, it’s not like my reply to his hate-filled diatribe will be forwarded to him. I guess we can’t respond to one another one here and I think that’s a shame. I would like to know what the answers are to my questions! But, alas… this isn’t YT…

    My language can get pretty strong when speaking to/speaking about haters of all kinds. But these race traitors, …these human race traitors, traitors to the human race, while some will say that adopting their crude language makes you no better than them, or perhaps not by much, it is apparent that they know nothing other than things that are the most offensive. So, to talk to them in a language that which is dignified or full of meaning seems rather pointless, to be honest.

    Bigotry & hatred of any kind can be combated perhaps in many ways, …and I am unsure of how best to lock horns with the such human garbage. But there are a handful of things that are quite clear! Racial supremacy of any type, of any kind whatsoever, regardless of the justifications used to condone or explain it, is a politically correct justification for incest & bestiality!! And inevitably all of the bigoted scum who subscribe to this human race traitor ideology, regardless of the different types that it may have, based on the different types of ppl that are infected with it and the different justifications used to condone or explain it, are ppl who are infected with the Double Whammy!!

    The Double Whammy is a phenomena that occurs when ones mommy-grandmother/mommy-sister, etc., got drunk, high, or otherwise impaired when they, the yet unborn child, were in the womb! So perhaps in a way these developmentally stunted massively low IQ inbred crackhead babies (Alcohol Fetal Syndrome, Down Syndrome, etc., …more birth defect afflictions to be added as they become apparent!) don’t know any better?! I don’t really care!! They seek the destruction of the entire human race by the very inbreeding in which they hype as the one thing that will save that which they covet!

    It WILL destroy them!!

    And tho I do believe that evil destroys itself I will not sit around waiting for them to die out!

    “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing!”

    (There is a phenomena called Triple Whammy, where the inbred crackhead gets kicked in the head by a mule/the inbred methbaby gets hit by a car and their head hits a telephone pole, that kind of scenario..but, those are rather uncommon.)

    “History suggests the Klan will not disappear. They have died many deaths only to be reborn…”

    “A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero only one” – William Shakespeare

    The Road goes ever on and on
    Down from the door where it began.
    Now far ahead the Road has gone,
    And I must follow if I can.

    Pursuing it with weary feet,
    Until it joins some larger way,
    Where many paths and errands meet.
    And whither then? I cannot say

    – J. R. R. Tolkien

  • Warren Smith

    A number of good folks on here have posted some very hateful remarks. Roy was a human being. If you are going to post hateful remarks, even towards a Klansman, you should not post it on Hate Watch. The World has enough hate, it’s time for love and understanding. Expressing hate towards people like Roy Frankhouser, has not gotten rid of them, nor has it converted them. It may in fact, gain them sympathizers and supporters. And strengthen their resolve. How else did he survive all those years ?

  • Bill

    I dont know WHERE you find your ‘fantasy’ reports, but this Jouhari had ~N O T H I N G~ what-so-ever to do with Roy’s funeral, or sevices, here. I KNOW – as I was part of it. Whatever she ‘might ‘ be doing for “Publicity” somewhere else, is anybody’s guess….Just ANOTHER lie, obviously NOT the first (Or last) that I would expect from this ‘person’. You should get your “FACTS” from people who KNOW the truth. NOT depend on desperate lies from desperate liars, to try to help make someone into something they OBVIOUSLY are not. Credible.
    Next time, try asking someone who was around when it all happened. You might be surprised at the “Truth”. Or, DO you REALLY want to know ?????
    NOTE disclaimer : “SPLC may also choose not to post your comment”. Does the word “discriminatory” fit here? OR is that ONLY when it benefits them?

  • carrisima

    Out with the old in with the new — hopefully changed

  • Gregory

    If burying a dead racist qualifies as “healing”, then I am all for it.

  • Khadijah Evans

    Patricio Bridges said,
    The world is a little bit better off now that you’re gone Roy.

    There’s probably a dozen men standing in line to take his place. The hate, no doubt, will go on.

  • Andora

    I, too, would like to commend Ms. Jouhari’s gracious response in planning a service for Mr. Frankhouser.

    Too often, when the ugly pendulum of racism comes our way, we push back, giving that pendulum energy to continue it’s damaging path swinging from one side to other, a vicious self-repeating cycle. Too infrequently, do we find people who will, instead, grab hold of that pendulum as it comes their way, taking the risks that come with absorbing it’s power, and then slowly and creatively stand tight in returning a different response that diffuses hate and injustice. Ms. Jouhari, by her response, has taken Mr. Frankhouser’s life of ugly thoughts and deeds, and turned it into a chance for healing and hope. Well done!

  • Carter

    Bonnie Jouhari said she’s working with clergy from various faiths to plan a memorial service for the Klansman, who has no known surviving relatives. “I think every human being deserves to have some kind of closure to their life,” she said, “no matter what they’ve done.”

    That’s pretty powerful stuff;. to be able to find it in one’s soul to express empathy with the human side of a man who dealt in hate. Perhaps people like Bonnie are made from a different roll of cloth that many others.

    I have a very tough time imaging oneself on one’s death-bed & only having hate to show for a lifetime of activity…..That must be a horrible place to be.
    However most people know that you get back what you give in human interaction……it seems like one of the loneliest existences to me imaginable.

  • Patricio Bridges

    The world is a little bit better off now that you’re gone Roy.