The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
White nationalist Richard Poplawski was found guilty of murdering three Pittsburgh police officers in a 2009 ambush. The jury today began deliberating Poplawski’s fate. He faces the death penalty.
A skinhead leader pleaded guilty to the revenge killing of a Missouri man. Eric Fairburn, co-founder of the Vinlanders Social Club and a former skinhead musician, admitted to shooting William McDaniel, who had caused the drunk driving death of a friend of Fairburn.
The residents of a Michigan town were startled when they discovered members of the West Michigan Volunteer Militia training in the nearby Manistee National Forest. Local authorities allowed the military-style training exercises, but residents’ concerns have been revived due to a recent increase militia activity throughout the state. ( continue to full post… )
It’s hard enough trying to overcome a history of violence and race hatred for a new life of redemption and purpose. Imagine trying to do so with the evidence of your evil past etched indelibly on your face in the form of tattoos proclaiming racist and violent themes.
After spending 16 years as a vicious brawler and razor-carrying enforcer for white-power skinhead gangs operating in Indiana and Ohio, Bryon Widner (above) became a husband and father – and realized he didn’t want to raise his family in the hostile culture of white supremacy and violent lawlessness he once embraced and promoted. But the co-founder of the Vinlanders Social Club skinhead gang – at one time one of the largest and most notorious of the nation’s skinhead groups – knew that his marked face would forever frustrate his efforts to rejoin the respectable world.
Against daunting odds, Widner made a permanent break with his past, undergoing some two dozen horribly painful laser treatments over the course of two years to remove the tattoos on his face and neck. The expensive treatments were made possible by the Southern Poverty Law Center – the same civil rights and social justice organization that once tracked Widner’s career in hate.
The dramatic story of Widner and his wife, Julie, is captured in the one-hour documentary “Erasing Hate,” which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on MSNBC. The film recounts the couple’s life within the white power movement, the decision that led them to leave it, and the treatments he underwent to remove the tattoos. ( continue to full post… )
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit over “blatantly racist and offensive” comments made by white Philadelphia officers on the popular police Internet forum Domelights.com. The settlement requires the city to hire an anti-discrimination consultant as well as enhance anti-discrimination training within the department.
Two New York men pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to blow up a Manhattan synagogue. The two men, both immigrants from North Africa, are accused of attempting to purchase weapons from undercover NYPD detectives and planned to carry out a bomb attack on an unnamed synagogue. The men are suspected of being lone wolves, with no connection to international terrorist groups.
A member of the white supremacist group Battalion 14 of North East White Pride was sentenced to 30 months in prison Wednesday for attempting to sell guns to an associate of the Ku Klux Klan. William Bolton is the third man to be charged in the conspiracy to obtain weapons for other racist groups in order to raise the standing of the Connecticut gang in the white nationalist community. ( continue to full post… )
Seems the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) has some new allies these days. The group’s Tennessee chapter is co-hosting a June 18 barbeque with two notorious skinhead groups, Volksfront and Blood and Honour, according to postings on the chapter’s website and other racist forums. The event, whose contact is email@example.com, is being held for “networking together” and “discussing ideas and plans to make a positive impact on our region.”
The CCC is certainly racist, sometimes crudely so; at one point its website featured a pictorial comparison of Michael Jackson and an ape. But the group has usually been more of a suit-and-tie outfit, rather than the street-fighting types that are typical of racist skinhead groups like Volksfront. In the 1990s, the CCC even attracted mainstream politicians, including then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, as speakers for its events. That all ended after the SPLC documented the CCC’s racism in a 1998 exposé, though state-level politicians still occasionally appear at the group’s conferences.
Gordon Baum, the head of the CCC, told the SPLC that the Tennessee chapter was not supposed to meet with what he called “costumed Nazis” and that he would look into the situation. ( continue to full post… )
Early this morning, a man was killed and a woman injured in a shooting in Citrus Heights, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento. Law enforcement authorities said the man, who was shot in the head and torso, was found dead inside the home. The woman, who was shot in the leg, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Local media reports said that two children were believed by law enforcement to have been inside the home at the time of the shooting.
Law enforcement sources have confirmed to Hatewatch that the man who was shot was David Lynch, 40, and his death is being treated as a homicide.
Lynch was a clever and charismatic racist skinhead organizer whose history of racist activism dates back to the late 1980s, when he became the eastern states coordinator for American Front, a nationwide skinhead coalition modeled after Britain’s racist National Front. After American Front’s power waned in the mid-1990s, Lynch lived for a time in Canada, then relocated to Sacramento, where he gradually assumed control of the Sacto Skins, one of the oldest skinhead gangs in the country. ( continue to full post… )
Two men charged with attempting to kill police officers in Hemet, Calif., used what prosecutors are calling a white power “guerrilla warfare manual” to guide a nine-month campaign of terror and violence against the police department, its buildings and vehicles.
The anonymously written “White Resistance Manual” was posted on the website WhiteHonor.org and contained do-it-yourself guides that Nicholas John Smit and Steven Hansen used to build such guerrilla-styled weapons as zip guns and “Panji boards” – spiked boards rigged with trip wires, according to Daniel DeLimon, a prosecutor with the district attorney in Riverside, Calif. “It’s basically a guerrilla warfare manual instructing people on different types of weapons, on creating weapons, on police investigations, basically how to conduct covert urban operations,” DeLimon told HateWatch in a telephone interview.
On July 4, 1998, two women invited anti-racist skinhead pals, Lin “Spit” Newborn, 25, and Dan Shersty, 21, to a late-night party in the desert outside of Las Vegas. But there was no party: Newborn and Shersty were shot to death in what police and prosecutors called a planned execution by the leader of a rival, neo-Nazi racist skinhead group.
One man, John Edward “Polar Bear” Butler, identified as a leader of the Independent Nazi Skins, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death (the sentence was later reduced to four life terms). But investigators were never able to amass enough evidence to bring charges against Butler’s girlfriend at the time, Melissa Hack, who they believed was one of the women (the other has not been identified) who lured the victims to their deaths that night.
That is, until now. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, federal cold-case investigators have charged Hack with one count of making a false statement in connection with the 1998 case, and are pursuing new evidence against her.
Poor Ron Edwards. Even racist skinheads don’t want to hang out with the former Klan leader.
Edwards — the Imperial Klans of America (IKA) founder who defended himself against a successful lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center — was arrested last week on federal drug charges, including methamphetamine distribution.
That was too much for the Supreme White Alliance (SWA), a skinhead group that had been assisting the IKA with its annual hate rock gathering, Nordic Fest. Less than a week before this year’s Nordic Fest — planned for Memorial Day weekend at Edwards’ compound in Dawson Springs, Ky. — the SWA announced it would no longer be involved with the event. “The Supreme White Alliance drops it’s [sic] support of the Imperial Klans of America, Ron Edwards, and Nordic Fest due to current events,” SWA Vice President Richard Kidd, a former IKA member, wrote on Sunday. “Even though innocent until proven guilty, in order to preserve our reputation as a club for our members, the SWA has always been a drug free club and always will be. This is not intended to disrespect Ron Edwards or the IKA, but we will not be affiliated with them until all legal charges have been dropped.” ( continue to full post… )
Three soldiers are among a group of skinheads accused of severely beating a homeless man with baseball bats and pipes in Cincinnati.
Police have charged two Iraq war veterans, Pvt. Riley Feller, 24, and Spc. Travis Condor, 25, with the felony assault of 52-year-old John Johnson at a homeless encampment earlier this month, according to news accounts. Feller is with the 16th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Knox in Kentucky, while Condor is a member of the 82nd Airborne Division stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
Michael Hesson, 24, who is not in the military, was arraigned Tuesday on the same charge. Authorities are looking for an unidentified fourth man, also believed to be a soldier. Johnson was treated overnight at a hospital for a head wound and other injuries suffered in the April 10 attack. ( continue to full post… )
The former leader of a violent racist skinhead group will serve nearly 3½ years in federal prison on a racketeering charge.
Jeremy Robinson, 37, was sentenced on Oct. 15 after pleading guilty to a felony charge of interstate transportation in aid of a racketeering enterprise, according to court documents. Though Robinson did not deal drugs, he tried to help his cousin distribute a large amount of marijuana. In court documents, Robinson acknowledged renting a car for another man to bring marijuana from Texas to Indiana. The man, a courier in the cousin’s large-scale drug business, picked up the load but failed to get far before he was pulled over by Texas police, who found 90 pounds of marijuana in the trunk. Robinson also let his cousin use his tattoo shop in Valparaiso, Ind., to receive shipments of marijuana from Texas.
Robinson was a founder of the now-defunct Outlaw Hammerskins, the group whose challenge in 1999 to the nationwide dominance of Hammerskin Nation signaled the beginning of the end of any unified skinhead movement. The Outlaw Hammerskins emerged after the Dallas-based leadership of Hammerskin Nation ordered an Indiana chapter of Northern Hammerskins to remove the “colors” (insignia) of a wayward member. Several Northern Indiana Hammerskins proceeded to beat the offender with a pool cue and threatened to burn off his Hammerskin tattoos with a blowtorch. The Dallas leaders ordered them to turn in their patches. A dozen or so of the Indiana crew left the Hammerskins to form their own renegade group, the Outlaw Hammerskins. ( continue to full post… )