Trail of Death Follows White Supremacist Gang Led by Chevie Kehoe
Trail of death follows white supremacist gang
Chevie, Karina, Angie and one child spent a couple of weeks in a small cabin near the Canadian border, north of Kettle Falls, Wash. Soon they headed to Elohim City, where Chevie's polygamy was accepted by others pursuing a similar lifestyle.
After 54 days of marriage, Angie grew homesick, tired of the marriage and the domestic violence that accompanied it. With the help of another woman at Elohim City, she planned her flight. But she soon learned she had an ally in Gloria Kehoe, who convinced her son to allow Angie to return home to her parents in Spokane.
While at Elohim City, a community to which his parents had originally introduced him, Chevie met up with a group of like-minded white supremacists. Authorities now believe that beginning in 1994, Chevie began supplying firearms to members of the Aryan Republican Army, a group that would steal $250,000 in a series of 22 bank robberies in the Midwest.
It's unclear if the group, with a name remarkably similar to the Aryan Peoples Republic Chevie was striving to create, was connected to him in other ways.
Soon, Chevie was staying at The Shadows and, in a parallel to McVeigh, traveling the gun show circuit. It was in this period as well that authorities now believe he was involved in the murders of two neo-Nazi Skinhead associates.
In the summer of 1995, prosecutors allege that Kehoe ordered Faron Lovelace to murder Jeremy Scott. The reason: Kehoe had convinced Scott's wife to join him in a polygamous marriage and Scott stood in the way.
Prosecutors say the other man, Jon Cox, may have been killed because Kehoe believed he was telling friends of Kehoe's alleged plans to rob a series of armored cars, just as Mathews had done a dozen years before. Members of Mathews' Order had also killed a suspected informer, Walter West, whose body, just like Cox's, was never recovered from the wilds of the Pacific Northwest.
By late 1996, after Nancy Mueller's handgun was found in Seattle, investigators were closely examining Chevie and Kirby Kehoe in the Mueller case. They also were looking for one of their alleged associates, Timothy Coombs, who remains a fugitive in the attempted assassination of a Missouri state trooper shot through his kitchen window.
The Muellers had lived in a home that was once owned by Coombs.
The Net Begins to Close
Another big break in the case came on Dec. 10 of that year, when a Spokane Skinhead was arrested while getting a traffic ticket in South Dakota. In Sean Haines' vehicle, police found a Bushmaster .223-caliber assault rifle stolen from Mueller.
When Arkansas and federal investigators began talking to him about the possibility of being charged in a triple murder, Haines quickly rolled over and implicated Chevie Kehoe.
Apparently hearing of the arrest, Kehoe hit the road. First he moved from The Shadows to another Spokane recreational vehicle park. Then he convinced his brother, Cheyne, and Cheyne's young family, to join him and his wife in leaving Spokane in a motor home that allegedly was purchased with proceeds from stolen goods.
The families moved fast, passing through Nevada, Texas and Alabama, before checking in to an Ohio campground. Then, on Feb. 15, 1997, two Ohio police officers stopped a Chevrolet Suburban with expired Washington plates.
Cheyne came out shooting.
In a dramatic exchange of fire captured on a police car video camera and broadcast around the nation, no one, amazingly, was killed, and the Kehoe brothers escaped. A few minutes later, Chevie opened up on other officers, again escaping unhurt.
A nationwide manhunt was on. Officials put up a wanted poster and offered a $60,000 reward. But the Kehoes had disappeared, moving through a murky antigovernment underground, selling Mueller weapons as they went, and ending up in southern Utah. There, the brothers and their families found ranch work under assumed names.
The Final Target: Chevie's Own Family
They might have remained hidden, officials say, if not for Chevie's tendency to extreme violence. While at the ranch, he allegedly began speaking of killing his parents to secure a pricey gun collection.
Cheyne remembered well how Chevie had spoken calmly to friends of killing his own wife, Karina, after learning she might be part Native American.
To top it off, Chevie had developed an unhealthy interest in Cheyne's wife.
So Cheyne fled. In June 1997, he drove straight through to his family's old hometown of Colville and, accompanied by Identity minister Ray Barker, turned himself in to local authorities. The next day, armed with a map Cheyne had provided, FBI agents arrested Chevie as he walked into a feed store in Gunlock, Utah.
Cheyne cooperated fully, and federal officials asked a state judge for leniency. But the judge handed him a 24-year sentence on charges stemming from the Ohio shootout, pointing out that Cheyne had guns stolen from a murder victim and had tried to kill several Ohio police officers. Cheyne's wife reportedly got the $60,000 reward.
Lovelace is now on death row after a state conviction in Jeremy Scott's death. Chevie, his father Kirby and Danny Lee go to trial in February on the federal racketeering charges. And Cheyne is being hidden by prison officials who fear he could be killed at the hands of imprisoned white supremacists who see him as a traitor.
Like his fallen hero, Bob Mathews, Chevie appears unrepentant. Suckled on the theology of Christian Identity, he has promised to fight to his dying breath.
In an undated letter to his wife seized by authorities in Utah, Chevie allegedly wrote that he would "rather die on my feet than live on my knees." He told Karina that he "had to represent the ideals that I [have] so long honored." Then, in a postscript to federal agents, he added that he would "'forever and always' seek to destroy you and yours.
"I will see to it on earth if alive and will see to it in the heavens if made a 'GOD,' either way my fears and pains [will] torment you and yours forever."