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

Minuteman Co-Founder Accused of Threatening Family

By Heidi Beirich on June 4, 2010 - 2:39 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman movement and a principal nativist leader, threatened to kill his wife and family last year, according to a petition filed in Maricopa County Court in mid-April by his estranged spouse, Alena Simcox.

According to Phoenix New Times’ Steve Lemons, who broke the story yesterday, a Maricopa County court commissioner granted the petition April 16 and ordered Simcox to remain 200 yards away from Alena, their two children, and Alena’s child from a previous relationship. The order prohibits Simcox from possessing, receiving or purchasing firearms or ammunition.

The filing describes several violent incidents, Lemons reports. On Nov. 29, 2009, Alena alleges, Simcox was “drinking” and threatened her “with a gun. Repeatedly pointed it at me, saying he was going to kill me, and my kids, and the police. Kids were present and saw him. Very verbally abusive to me throughout the incident.”

On Aug. 22, 2009, Alena alleges, Simcox again confronted her with a weapon: “On our wedding anniversary, he was drinking and angery [sic]. Got a revolver gun and loaded with kids present. Then proceeded to ask me to ‘shoot him.’ I said ‘no,’ so then he said he would shoot entire family and cops.”

In late April, Alena Simcox file a petition for divorce from Simcox after five years of marriage. She was temporarily granted legal custody of the children, pending resolution of the divorce. A reply to the court, filed by Simcox’s lawyer John Acer, denies the allegations of domestic violence. The two were married in late 2005, when Simcox was 44 and Alena was 25.

This isn’t the first time Simcox has been accused of violent and bizarre behavior by a spouse. In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center revealed that Simcox’s second wife, Kim Dunbar, had filed an emergency appeal in September 2001 to obtain full custody of their teenage son because she feared that Simcox had suffered a mental breakdown and was dangerous.

In a sworn affidavit, Dunbar testified that throughout their 10-year marriage, Simcox was prone to sudden, violent rages. “He once took a knife from the kitchen and threatened to kill himself,” she testified. “When he was angry, he broke furniture, car windows, he banged his head against the wall repeatedly and punched things.”

Dunbar also said that when their son was 4 years old, Simcox slapped him so hard that a mark remained on his face for two days. Another time, she testified, she grabbed her young son in her arms and jumped out a window because Simcox was throwing furniture at them.

In addition, in 2005, Simcox’s first wife Deborah Crews told the SPLC that Simcox “tried to molest our daughter when he was intoxicated… . When she ran out, he tried to say he was just giving her a leg massage and she got the wrong idea.” At the time, Simcox refused to comment, telling SPLC, “My personal life has nothing to do with” the Minutemen and the SPLC was trying to discredit the movement.

The Minuteman movement, which Simcox co-founded with Jim Gilchrist, was a big media hit in 2005, when volunteers from across the country traveled to Cochise County, Ariz., for a “border watch” event. Simcox and Gilchrist soon split, and Simcox for several years headed a group he christened the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC). Though it came in with a bang, Simcox’s organization disbanded with a whimper this past March when Carmen Mercer, a defendant in the Arizona attorney general’s recent lawsuit alleging a property tax scam, shut it down. MCDC had been plagued by infighting and legal difficulties.

  • American Wetback

    for those of you who havent heard of hitlers new info about his prison days, look it up. chris simcox will merely be entertained in jail by one of his own. then he will get get out and be elected president of the united states. sounds farfetched? it happened in the 30s and we had to fight a great war because ignorance and hatred ruled the day. it wasn’t only jews who were murdered, it was a host of other human beings that rarely get mentioned. it can happen again. this time though they are starting with the hispanics. remember’ when they come for you, no one will say anything because there will be no one left. if people of good will don’t come together now, it can be too late when the juggernaut gets rolling. look up richard land the president of the southern baptist convention. of all groups too take a stand against hatred this one stands out, as they are staunch conservatives and yet they see beyond the rhetoric and double speak of the ultra right wing fanatics and put the words of the bibles to use in the service of those who cant defend themselves. i thank God for people like this and the S.P.L.C. that make this a better world by shining a light on the on the hatred and being a beacon of hope for those of us who feel helpless as this environment of hatred grows ever more intolerant. we stand on the shoulders of giants.

  • beholder


    Can you provide examples of your claim that SPLC is against diversity?

    I think the only intolerance is against intolerance itself. And this IS pro-diversity.

    There is an incredibly active and robust intellectual community here, with a wide range of views and no single agenda.

    Why do you not contribute to this dialogue instead of come here to vandalize the image of a group that encourages open debate?

  • Lee

    “Diversity??? So, are we to believe that white supremacist organizations who foment hatred against “other than white” people, against Jews, against Catholics, against anything they are NOT, are simply innocent folks with a “different” view and should be regarded as an example of “diversity?”” – Martha

    I do not agree with these groups but YES, if you “enjoy diversity”, then you accept diversity in ALL of its forms, including people who think things like this.

    What do you expect, that you can have “diversity” WITHOUT people like this? Part of diversity is that people will think things like this. Just as religious diversity embraces the sexist doctrines of Sharia law and Judaism embraces the anti-Goyim positions in many areas. If you accept “diversity” you simply MUST accept this form of intolerance.

  • PSzymeczek

    As long as Chris doesn’t come back to Cochise County. Can we send Glenn Spencer up to Phoenix with him?

  • Mama

    I find it disturbing that all of this smug hatred is brought down on people who have been charged, alleged, etc., but not ever convicted. We certainly make noise when the other side does that, so why is it OK for us?

  • Martha

    Diversity??? So, are we to believe that white supremacist organizations who foment hatred against “other than white” people, against Jews, against Catholics, against anything they are NOT, are simply innocent folks with a “different” view and should be regarded as an example of “diversity?” This is a transparently ignorant remark from someone who obviously is one of the haters. This is the view of someone who defends carrying concealed weapons without a license to do so, of people who beat their wives and children and generally terrorize them? Defending people who threaten to kill their family and any police officers who try to intervene?

    I’m just happy that this occurred in Maricopa County…this time they’ll actually have a deserving person locked up in Sheriff Joe’s tent city, wearing a pink chain gang outfit, and wow, even just at the beginning of the hell-temperature summer in Arizona! I hope he enjoys his time there on the chain gang. Maybe he’ll get a chance to do some REAL public service in Maricopa Co., digging irrigation ditches and latrines.,,

  • Lee

    The SPLC loves diversity! Yet if anyone thinks in a manner even SLIGHTLY diverse than the way they think, the SPLC labels them a member of a hate group.

    Yeah SPLC – You sure do love diversity! Not.

  • Fraud Hunter

    There will be a warrant for Simcoxs arrest within 30 days.

  • Andy

    Such propaganda. This is all about the 1070 law. Illegal aliens will not get amnesty.

  • beholder

    CID agent,

    So you are saying that there is no such thing as a racist hate monger?

    I find it curious that you dip deeply into stereotype and overgeneralization (what exactly is a “white radical left wing liberal” anyway, did you forget to throw progressive, Marxist and socialist in there for good measure?) while saying nothing to condemn those who are clearly racists. If the minutemen are not like this, where is the healthy dose of self criticism about their own?

    Or should we just turn a blind eye, just nativists being nativists, no cause for alarm?

    I’d say there is a lot of hero worship in the nativist movement. When the truth becomes known, instead of taking a second look at who is whipping up the hatred against Latinos in America and why, it seems the SPLC is to blame for mentioning it at all.

    That’s odd, considering it was a Phoenix New Times reporter who “found the dirt on people”.

    Curious indeed.

  • mortmorges

    These are people who create their own idea of reality. Watch this music video. It sums it up pretty well. Great parody of Faux News and the Tea parties.;fmt=22

  • skinnyminny


    I just looked that up – Carl Braun. Seems this (Braun) guy is an analyst for Homeland Security Policy Institute Group, and I’m willing to bet this group receives government funding or/and grants! He (Braun) also endorsed Chelene Nightengale for California Governor and has written articles for newspapers – thanks for the info.

  • CID agent

    Frightening, if you hate your X, you are labeled a hate monger by the SPLC.

    The SPLC is digging way to deep looking looking for dirt on people.
    Keep with your agenda, if your not a person of color or a white radical left wing liberal, your a racist hate monger.

  • Voz

    Don’t forget the Brown Shirt Nazi brigade formed, funded, and fueled by Simcox known as the Border Patrol Auxiliary in San Diego. They are currently lead by a pudgy Hilter looking guy named Carl Braun.