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

Violent IKA Activist Lashes Out Again

By David Neiwert on November 15, 2010 - 9:30 am, Posted in Extremist Crime, Klan

Jarred Hensley is a white supremacist who likes to hurt people. He did prison time for it. And now he’s figured out a way to hurt people and even break a country’s laws without having to do jail time. Along the way, he’s also caused something of an international uproar on the Internet.

Hensley is a Cincinnati-based activist in the Imperial Klans of America (IKA), one who already brought serious trouble to the organization. In 2006, he and fellow IKA member Andrew R. Watkins brutally assaulted a 16-year-old in rural Kentucky because they thought he was Latino. The pair spent three years in prison for the attack, and the SPLC brought a lawsuit against the IKA that resulted in a $2.5 million judgment against the hate group.

Now, Hensley — out of prison and evidently with a lot of time on his hands — has joined the ranks of Internet “trolls” who haunt the Web and harass people for various reasons, including leaving ugly messages for bereaved family members and friends of the deceased. (A recent New York Times Magazine piece explored their weird world in depth.)

This kind of activity, as it happens, is illegal in many nations, including Great Britain (where one “troll” was recently jailed for polluting a tribute site for a former reality-TV star) and Australia. Which is where Jarred Hensley came in.

In the past month, Hensley has been vandalizing Facebook tribute sites to two different young Australians — Chantelle Marie Lowe, a 16-year-old murder victim, and Cameron Lowe, a 17-year-old who died after an assault. The vandalization included crude and vulgar messages, as well as pornographic and graphically gruesome images.

When a cousin of Rowe’s left a message hoping that authorities would take care of the matter, Henley taunted: “I won’t go to jail … i’m not in Australia, therefore I cannot break the Australian law”.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “two concerned Australians” infiltrated the chat room where the trolls were discussing their handiwork, and then baited him with insults, inducing him to show himself on a webcam in order to give them the finger:

“He was only too proud to give out his name and he said come and get me, because he knows that international laws aren’t there for Australians to do anything,” one of the two said in a phone interview.

Using the webcam image and the name, it was easy to verify the identity of Hensley, thanks to the distinctive tattoos covering his arms. Hensley is pictured online in formal KKK regalia giving a Hitler salute with a Nazi flag in the background.

Hensley

Even though Hensley has been fingered as the culprit, he remains defiant, apparently continuing to vandalize other Facebook tribute sites — though mostly in the U.S.

Australians have been prosecuted for these kinds of acts; earlier this year, a 22-year-old Queensland woman was given a three-month suspended sentence for vandalizing a dead woman’s Facebook tribute page. The recent incidents involving Hensley outraged Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who wrote to Facebook executives demanding to know what they intended to do about it. Facebook responded to sending out a warning to its Australian members with instructions on how to make tribute pages safe from cyber-vandals.

  • Anonymous

    We are Anonymous! Zero tolerance we say to dirt bags like you. You disrespect websites of those that have passed away. Therefore we will come and get you and all those racist good for nothing KKK members. We “will” bring you down!
    We are Anonymous, we are Legion!

  • Sherry

    If you are not doing something to contribute to life then your life is meaningless. If you are doing something to make life harder for anyone you may as well not have lived. You have no purpose. None.

  • zuzu burford

    How come this Australian hasn’t been deported? Australians cannot obtain a visa into the USA if they have a criminal record. Last year the number of Australians stopped at the border and returned for not filling out their entry papers was considerable. As an Australian I find that this person is allowed to stay and not be deported strange indeed. Maybe some authorities are slow to move for whatever reason. It doesn’t make sense.

  • Greg deGiere

    This is irrelvant to the subject, but just as a factual correction, the old version of the Georgia flag shown in the untrimmed photo includes the Confederate battle flag (the one we usually see displayed by racists etc.), not the Stars and Bars (which some people consider less offensive, and which is the basis of the current Georgia flag).

  • Mitch Beales

    For what it’s worth an untrimmed photo at http://www.politicalarticles.n.....ensley.jpg makes it clear that there are two flags, a nazi flag and the pre-2001 stars and bars version of the Georgia flag.

  • Mitch Beales

    Rarian Rakista
    Freedom of speech has little to with the sort of heartless attacks on the family and friends of private citizens who have died that this post describes. The sort of speech described here may constitute assault under the laws of many nations including the USA. Do you believe vandalism of grave markers or painting swastikas on synagogues is also protected under freedom of speech?

    I’m not sure why you call the SPLC crybabies. Babies cry when they themselves are in pain or in need. It is in fact very adult to cry upon witnessing needless injury inflicted upon another. Perhaps you are too much of a baby to understand that.

  • Mitch Beales

    A google search for “white power flag” will give you plenty to choose from. The flag pictured does not appear to be the flag of the State of Georgia from the 1920-1956 era. http://www.sos.ga.gov/archives.....0_1956.htm It more closely resembles the flag that flew over Georgia between 1956 and 2001. http://www.sos.ga.gov/archives.....e_1956.htm That flag incorporated the confederate battle flag so it really wasn’t too much of a stretch to replace the stars and bars with a swastika to create the sort of “white power flag” that might well have been produced by those who took issue with removing the stars and bars from Georgia’s state flag in 2001. I think Mark was right the first time.

  • Rarian Rakista

    Freedom of speech, as abhorrent as it is – it is very – please don’t mess it up for the rest of us by whining every time a bigot trolls someone. When did the SPL become a bunch of reactionary crybabies and who said people have a right not to be insulted on a public web page?

  • Chris

    You Americans deserve people like this. You created him, now you can live with him.
    Have fun with that.

  • Mark Potok

    You’re right on the flag, of course. I’ve corrected that line. Thanks.

  • Skipper

    Kevin: And your point is…..?

  • A sane Ohioan

    Please accept my sincere apology for the behavior of one of our despicable denizens. As stated in the article, he has been in prison once for his hatred and it will, no doubt, land him in prison again. Take solace that this poor excuse of a human will die bitter and alone as his hatred consumes him. An unfortunate side of the internet is that more people have to endure his bile. Again, my deepest apologies.

  • Jafafa Hots

    “but that is not a white power flag but the state flag of Georgia.”

    In other words, it’s a white power flag.

  • William

    I’m certain quite a few lucky individuals are saying, “mmm-hmm, I want me some of that” when viewing this outstanding specimin..

  • notrelevant

    Britain and the USA have extradition treaties (not sure about Australia). The USA has applied for and so far has won the right to extradite a British subject (who never left Britain) for vandalism/damage to American computers. If this scumbag did anything to British sites, why can he not be extradited to Britain to face charges?

  • mag

    People, its 2 different flags. One is the 1920-1956 State of Georgia flag, and the other is a Nazi flag. There is no white power flag.

  • http://louiszwu.blogspot.com/ Michael Powers

    It has been my experience that if someone does you harm, it is for no other reason than that they can. I alway knew this to some extent, but it really hit home a few years ago, when I ended up in prison. Not an experience I’d recommend, BTW. It’s nothing like the brochure.

    Crazy skinheads, surly prison guards, sometimes one in the same person. Circumstance would give someone the opportunity, and sometimes the authority to do harm without any repercussions. They would always go for it, without thought. In their minds they could always rationalize it later. Some disconnect in their brains, or perhaps simply a lack of imagination, keeps them from feeling empathy or compassion.

    It is much as it’s always been, except, as of late, some don’t even bother with trying to rationalize it anymore.

  • Diane

    My guess is that , although he was released from prison, he is still on parole and that this online behavior probably violates his parole .

    Someone should check on this – if he is on parole then it is possible he can be sent back to prison – where he belongs.

  • ian

    I think Kevin was referring to the flag in the background on the left side of the photo. It is not a white power logo. It is the state seal of Georgia.

  • http://agrippinaminor.com/scarabus/ Wayne Dickson

    A question for the lawyers:

    My understanding is that if a person travels to another country and commits a crime, then the laws of that other country obtain. What I’m foggy about is a crime that’s effected virtually simultaneously across national borders.

    Extreme case thought experiment: Person A stands on one side of an international border and shoots lethally Person B, who’s standing a few yards away on the other side of the border. The crime was initiated in one country and effected in another. So what’s the law?

    But let’s make it trickier. In Person A’s country it’s legal lethally to shoot someone, but in Person B’s country it’s not. Now what’s the law?

    The application is obvious. Hensley “shot” from the U.S. (where the law probably varies across jurisdictions) and “hit” people in Australia, where his actions would definitely be illegal. He boasts that he can’t be held to account because he’s acted by typing at an internet terminal in the U.S. rather than one in Australia.

    No question that Hensley’s behavior has been morally reprehensible. But are he and persons like him subject to civil and/or criminal liability for such behavior? for crimes initiated in one jurisdiction and effected in another, nationally or internationally? for crimes effected “digitally” rather than physically?

    What’s the law?

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Uh, Kevin, look at the right side of the photo.

  • Cm

    Kevin: look at the swastika in the lower right.

  • Kevin

    you said “Hensley is pictured online in formal KKK regalia giving a Hitler salute with white power and Nazi flags in the background.” but that is not a white power flag but the state flag of Georgia.

  • Douglas Graham

    And why is Facebook allowing this sort of thing to go on?

  • linny miller

    People like this, with mindless hate…this is why we have to stand up…no matter how long.

  • Johnny

    I sincerely hope our government (good luck) will crack down on low lives like Hensley. I grew up in the “deep” South and I’m all too familiar with people like this.

    Good for the Australians and Brits for taking immediate action and making this news.

  • Bobbelieu

    Cowardice is the nature of their ilk.

  • Albatross

    It is sad that this man is so cowardly and so empty inside that this is how he chooses to spend his time. He is little different from the Fred Phelps/Westboro Baptist Church crowd, except they at least show up in person.

    Hopefully he will develop a conscience.

  • stormkite

    Bright this guy ain’t. Look VERY VERY closely at the photograph and you’ll notice that he has issues with the whole “Right Hand, Left Hand” thing. We can therefore assume that this is a back-end time for his flunking out of school… somewhere before that lesson arrived. (Most of us covered that in Pre-K or before.)

  • Paen

    What a gutless coward.