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

Louisiana KKK Leader Pleads Guilty to Killing Recruit Who Wanted Out

By Larry Keller on May 6, 2010 - 11:27 am, Posted in Klan

The murder trial of Louisiana klansman Raymond “Chuck” Foster ended abruptly Wednesday when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying of a new recruit and was immediately sentenced to life in prison.

Foster’s plea brings an end to a case in which seven people were arrested initially and four were indicted in connection with the November 2008 shooting death of Cynthia Lynch, 43, at a remote campsite in St. Tammany Parish about 50 miles north of New Orleans.

Lynch, who lived in Tulsa, Okla., was recruited over the Internet to join the Sons of Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Foster, 45, of Bogalusa in neighboring Washington Parish, was its leader, taking the title of imperial wizard. The Sons of Dixie Knights had about 30 members at one time, but many had quit by the time Lynch was initiated, Foster’s wife, Theresa, told the SPLC’s Intelligence Report last year. 

After Lynch, a loner diagnosed with bipolar disorder, arrived by bus in Louisiana, she stayed at the Fosters’ home (a local sheriff’s deputy was their landlord) for a few days before the initiation ceremony at a wooded campsite nine miles to the south. That’s where she was shot and killed by Foster, who was accompanied by four men and two women who were Sons of Dixie Knights members.

In trial testimony this week, one of Foster’s co-defendants, Frankie Stafford, said that Lynch alternated between being happy, sad and angry. She was initiated at a Saturday night ceremony where robed Klan members lit torches and shouted “White Power.” But the next day, she angrily cursed Foster in a long tirade at the campsite and yelled, “I want out.” She asked to be taken to a bus so she could return home. Stafford said he turned away when Foster shoved the woman to the ground. After he heard a gunshot, he turned to see Lynch grab her neck, fall onto a nearby tent and cry for help.

Stafford said he helped clean up the crime scene but refused to help Foster cut the bullet out of Lynch’s body. After entering his plea, Foster apologized to Lynch’s mother, Virginia Lynch, who attended the trial, and asked for her forgiveness.

The murder came to light after Stafford and one of Foster’s sons, Shane, drove to a convenience store and asked a clerk how they could get bloodstains out of their clothes.

Foster’s co-defendants were charged with lesser crimes, and all of them entered guilty pleas earlier. Stafford, 22, is serving a four-year sentence for obstruction of justice. Danielle Jones, 25, was sentenced to a year in prison for being an accessory after the fact. Shane Foster, 22, had “cognitive deficits,” according to a court-appointed psychiatrist, and had to undergo tutoring before being declared competent to stand trial. His mother told Intelligence Report that he suffered a brain injury when he was struck by a car at age 4 and that her husband manipulated him into joining the Klan. He  pleaded guilty in March to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to three years in prison.

  • Shaka Zulu

    Dam black people always doing some type of evil to those God loving,God fearing white people.White people don’t commit crime,use or sell drugs,kill people,rape people,use welfare,blow up buildings,eat people,thay work the hardest on job sites,thay love every why would a got dam devilish blacks come along and do some shit like that,HANG HIS BLACK AZZ……..Oh he was white.I don’t think he is that badnow.just misunderstood……(in my KKK voice)….SMDH@yall.It’s going to keep biting klansmen in their butt until thay get real and put the REAL savior with the shin like bronze and hair like wool first.

  • beholder

    I agree in principle but not in practice, Bob Cooper.

    We cannot regulate morality or conscience, only the actions and conduct that may result.

    Thus I don’t think we can legally ban the Klan nor do I think it would do any good. To fight this kind of social ill we must foster education and mobilize society around the issue to discourage the formation of such groups through moral coercion (which is the origin of all law).

    I do believe however that we could safely regulate the formation of so-called “militia” groups affiliated with the same ideology on the grounds that such organizations represent an armed threat to the established social order and the keeping of the peace.

  • Bob Cooper

    The klan should be banned and treated just the same way we treat Islamic terrorist groups.

  • Alan Aardman

    How can this sad crime possibly be perpetrated by the same vicious terrorist group that once put so many in fear of their lives?

    I can’t help but think the Klan has become irrelevant and other movements are now the ones to be watching.

  • Martha

    A sad end to a sad episode. It’s fairly clear now that all that’s left of the Klan is the mentally ill and incompetent. As long as there’s one evil person to manipulate the unfortunate ones, there will still be hateful murders and literally crazy acts done by these people.

  • Robert McLernon

    They went to a convenience store and asked a clerk how they could get bloodstains out of their clothes.

    Have you ever noticed how smart these people are?

  • DS

    I’m sorry Mr. Keller… What is relevant about Foster renting from a Deputy Sheriff?

  • IslandGyal

    Ah, I should feel sorry for Lynch, but I don’t.

  • skinnyminny

    That’s it! Chuckie gets life in prison? What happened to the death penalty in this case? Why life in prison, when at a later date Chuckie can have his conviction reduced or overturned? Interesting that if the participants were minorities, they would have received far more longer and stiffer sentences or punishments, actually!