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

Alleged Serial Killer was Member of Neo-Nazi National Alliance

By Heidi Beirich on August 3, 2010 - 5:24 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Neo-Nazi

William Dathan Holbert, who was arrested last week in Nicaragua along with his girlfriend, Laura Michelle Reese, has reportedly confessed to killing five Americans so he could take over their businesses and other properties in a Panamanian resort area. Holbert, a native North Carolinian, has so far been charged with a total of nine murders that took place in the Panamanian resort of Bocas del Toro.

A Panamanian official quoted Holbert, who was deported to Panama to face murder charges, as saying he established friendships with two of his victims by posing as a potential investor, then shot each in the head, buried them and took over their money and other property. The National Police in Panama said they found nine bodies on the property of Holbert and Reese, which included a hotel.

Holbert and his girlfriend had been on the run for more than two years, since they fled after being pulled over on Feb. 5, 2006, in Sheridan County, Wyo., for speeding in a stolen car.

Some of Holbert’s white supremacist history has been made public in news reports, including the fact that he has a swastika tattoo on his upper back and “Aryan Pride” on his arm. But a key piece of that history has not. In August 2002, Holbert joined the neo-Nazi National Alliance (NA), which at one time was the most important hate group in America. At the time, the Alliance was suffering from a leadership crisis caused by the death a month earlier of the group’s longtime leader, William Pierce. Under the leadership of Erich Gliebe, who followed Pierce, the NA would eventually fall apart, leaving only a few weak and scattered remnants.

Yesterday, on the racist online forum Stormfront, “whitegirl” posted that Holbert showed up at an NA meeting in 2003, saying he was the organization’s “Western Regional Coordinator.” “Whitegirl” said he tried “to take over the whole meeting” and tried to “get into a leadership position immediately.” She added that Holbert popped up a year later at a white nationalist cookout claiming to represent a new racist group.

Two years later, in 2005, Holbert, as has been reported, opened a racist store in Forest City, N.C., called Southern National Patriots, which sold books, CDs and pamphlets promoting his white supremacist views. On Stormfront, “whitegirl” wrote that Holbert tried to recruit local skinheads to frequent his store. The Southern National Patriots store was also the site of meetings where Holbert and others advocated for the rights of white Southerners.

Those meetings attracted extremists and a local leader in the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV), an organization for the descendants of Confederate soldiers that has been roiled in the past decade by a power struggle between extremist members and those calling for the group to ban racists. Creighton Lovelace, who was in 2005 the commander of the local SCV chapter, Rutherford Rifles, spoke that year at an event held at Holbert’s store. During the rally, speakers reportedly praised the history of the South and repeatedly chanted, “Save the South.” According to a press report, Lovelace said in his speech that southern white Christians should be “separated from other peoples,” something he claimed the Bible demanded.

Lovelace was at the time pastor of the Danielton Baptist Church. Lovelace posted to LiveJournal in April 2005 that Holbert and Reese had joined his church. “It was a very happy day,” Lovelace proclaimed. He also referred to himself as having been for a time the couple’s “spiritual advisor.” But by May 2005, Lovelace had quit his association with Holbert and Southern National Patriots.

That same year, Lovelace and Danielton Baptist Church achieved national notoriety for placing provocative anti-Islam messages on the church’s sign. At one point, the church featured a sign that read, “The Koran needs to be flushed.” E-mails for comment about Holbert and Reese to Lovelace, who now runs Bible Defender Ministries, were not immediately returned.

Before fleeing the U.S., Holbert already had racked up a serious criminal history. In January 2006, a warrant had been issued for Holbert’s arrest for theft using false pretenses. In October 2005, while posing as a doctor and using a false driver’s license, Holbert opened a bank account in the name of Luke Gregory Kuhn. Holbert then allegedly sold a house he did not own in Oak Island, N.C., for more than $200,000. Over the following two months, he withdrew the proceeds from the illegal home sale from the bank account in small increments and then fled to Kentucky, where he obtained a false Kentucky’s driver’s license in the name of Donald Lee Bruckert. It was a just a few weeks later that Holbert and Reese fled the country.

  • Charles Lemos

    Reading the Panamanian press, William Holbert aka Wild Bill Cortez is now suspected of 20 murders, 5 American expats including 3 members of one family and 15 Panamanians.

    Odd that a white supremacist would flee to a country that is 70 percent mestizo and 20 percent black.

  • Robert Carr

    I am shocked as well. I live in this area, Asheville, NC, and it has always been of some concern that I have no idea what some of the people I must deal with are doing. It is of special concern that some churches are fronts for Neo-Nazi activities, which may explain why I have been unable to find a satisfactory Christian church here. Worse, the comments of my employer, as well as attitudes towards myself and others, are indicators of racist sympathies.
    Tradition American values indeed!

  • Edie

    Well, I’m shocked, shocked I tell you; of course, to not find low lives in such a gang would be shocking!
    Right-wingers of any sort are extremely harmful to the human race and bear watching.
    Thx very much, for keeping tabs; and, helping us do the same.

  • Anya

    Regina 1959 is 100% correct

  • Herbert E. Larson

    To paraphrase Treasure Of The Sierra Madras, truth, truth!, we don’t need no stinking truth, nutwing thinking.

  • Regina 1959

    Racism is carefully taught by their parents. Until and unless we can get parents not to influence their children with hatred for human kind, this will continue. It really shows their stupdity that they think they are superior, when all of these guys have been in jail for one crime or another. In actuality, paleonthologists have been studying human DNA and researching history and their findings turn to the one point that these racists hate. That is: they have come to the conclusion that we as humans, started our existence in Africa and from there spread out throughout the globe to the points we know today. So in essence, we are all descendants of the African race.

  • american wetback

    these white boy are very canny, now if they could use those smarts to advance the human race we woulndt be having this discussion.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    A lot of Latin American countries still have large European populations; in the case of Argentina, a majority. The irony is that this is a major piece of evidence contradicting the WN claims that the white race is dying out.

    Of course the short answer to your question is that a lot of these guys move to poorer countries to take advantage of prostitution. They are not known for their savvy with women.

  • skinnyminny

    This is something that always puzzle me, why is it that these so-called white supremacists/nationalists always end up in some Latin American country? Whether it’s Mexico, Central America, South America, what’s up with this? I mean really, they stress separation, but here is where they end up, why not European countries!

  • Difluoroethane

    Also, Creig Lovelace links to a “geocentrist” website on his blog. Presumably, this means he thinks Galileo was wrong!

  • Difluoroethane

    “According to a press report, Lovelace said in his speech that southern white Christians should be “separated from other peoples,” something he claimed the Bible demanded.”

    Lovelace has obviously never read the Bible if he thinks that. White people, as a group, are _never_ mentioned in the Bible.

    Jews, Greeks, Italians (Romans), Iranians (Persians), Assyrians, Chaldeans (both of whom still exist as minority groups in Iraq), and blacks (Ethiopians) are all mentioned.

    But not the “southern white Christians” Lovelace speaks of, most of whom are of English or Scottish ancestry, not Mediterranean or anywhere close.

    Unless this Lovelace guy is an Anglo-Israelist or a Christian Identity guy, in which case he believes “his” people are the true Jews and the _real_ Jews are impostors. Of course, there’s no evidence in the Bible for that either.

    Who does this guy think he’s fooling?