An outbreak of alleged Skinhead violence hit biracial couples in Florida early this year, and now a young woman and a 6-year-old girl are dead.
For two college students who'd been sweethearts since high school, what began as just another date ended in death when a man, who'd been tailing their car and yelling racial epithets, unleashed a volley of seven shots into their vehicle.
Jody-Gaye Bailey, a 20-year-old health administration major and Jamaican immigrant, died soon after the Feb. 24 attack. Police say the only reason for the Oakland Park, Fla., murder was the color of Bailey's skin and her relationship with Christian Martin, her white fiancé.
Days later, police arrested Robert Boltuch, who reportedly had the word "skin" tattooed inside his lip, and charged him with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Police said that two witnesses in a Pompano Beach bar heard Boltuch say he wanted to "go out and kill a nigger" just 25 minutes before the slaying.
In St. Petersburg, Fla., Jesse Joe Roten was charged with first-degree premeditated murder after allegedly firing an assault rifle into the home of a biracial couple where four little girls were sleeping. Ashley Mance, 6, died in her bed, and her twin sister, Aleesha, was critically wounded after being struck in the shoulder.
Roten, 17, collected neo-Nazi paraphernalia and was a self-proclaimed Skinhead. But he said that it was only after arguing with friends that he had fired off an SKS semi-automatic assault rifle while standing in an alley behind the girls' house. He claimed that he meant to harm no one.
A relative of the slain girl said that when her parents moved into their mostly white neighborhood a year ago, four people who lived nearby shouted racial insults at them. The relative said Skinheads had warned the couple to move out of the area.
Interracial couples long have been the targets of white supremacists who see them as "mongrelizing" the white race. In just the first three months of this year, interracial couples were threatened or harassed in California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa and Washington.