The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Ken Mieske – who lived up to his heavy-metal-music moniker “Ken Death” by savagely beating an Ethiopian immigrant to death with a baseball bat in Portland, Ore., in 1988 – died Tuesday in an Oregon hospital.
Mieske and two other members of a racist skinhead group called East Side White Pride (ESWP), Kyle Brewster and Steve Strasser, were involved in the beating and subsequently pleaded guilty to murder, assault and racial intimidation in the attack on graduate student Mulugeta Seraw and another Ethiopian man. The case provided the basis for a landmark Southern Poverty Law Center civil suit against White Aryan Resistance (WAR) founder Tom Metzger, one of most notorious and influential American white supremacists of the last 30 years.
Mieske, 45 – known as “Ken Death” during his days as a death-metal rock musician – had been imprisoned since his arrest. Prison officials did not give a cause of death, but according to The Oregonian, Mieske had long suffered from Hepatitis C.
New evidence was released by prosecutors to bolster their position that members of the Alaska Peacekeepers Militia should not be granted bail. The evidence confirms the group’s plans to kidnap and even kill police officers and government officials if they attempted to arrest any of the militia’s members. It also includes a photographic inventory of the group’s arsenal of small arms and grenades and a white board detailing how the militia’s “security team” should deal with law enforcement officials.
A Boulder, Colo., woman has been charged with attempting to extort a Latino couple by threatening to turn them in to immigration authorities. Abigail Jane Suber allegedly told the couple that if they did not admit fault in a vehicle collision, which she was responsible for, and pay her $400, she would call immigration authorities on them. Suber has been charged with felony extortion.
A neo-Nazi skinhead, with a body covered in racist tattoos, is in jail under $75,000 bond on felony malicious harassment charges because he didn’t read the back of a T-shirt worn by a man he’s accused of assaulting.
The skinhead, identified as Daren C. Abbey (right), 28, formerly of Sacramento, Calif., is accused of verbally confronting and then assaulting Marlon L. Baker, a 46-year-old African American, inside a Bayview, Idaho, bar on July 3, authorities said Friday.
Not wanting a confrontation, Baker left the bar and walked toward a marina on Lake Pend Oreille about 9 p.m. Sunday to watch an Independence Day “boat parade” on the waterfront, said Kootenai County Sheriff’s Major Ben Wolfinger. “He didn’t want trouble, so he walked away,’’ Wolfinger said. ( continue to full post… )
DNA evidence has been presented in the trial of two Illinois men alleged to have beaten and robbed a woman because of her sexual orientation. The defense is seeking a possible plea deal over the evidence, which may provide a definitive link to the crime in which the two assailants made anti-gay slurs at the woman before they punched, kicked and robbed her.
The FBI has begun an investigation into a possible hate crime in Nevada. As previously reported, a Native American family claims to have been targeted and assaulted by a group of three skinheads, which led to the arrest of one of the victims, Johnny Bonta, but not the attackers. The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office is disputing the claims, but concerns have arisen over one of the attackers being the son of a former deputy. ( continue to full post… )
White supremacist Mark Stroman will be executed in Texas next month after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review his case. Stroman was convicted for killing two people and shooting another in a post-9/11 revenge spree targeting people of Middle Eastern descent.
A “general” in the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has been sentenced to life in prison for ordering the murder of a fellow gang member and his girlfriend in a dispute over a drug debt.
The state trial of sovereign citizens accused of plotting to kill several government officials may be delayed until federal charges are resolved. The defendants are members of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, led by Schaeffer Cox. Militia members plotted a campaign of murder in the event Cox, a fugitive at the time, was captured. ( continue to full post… )
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… )