Aryan Family Values

Racist preacher gets 30 years in kidnapping

After abducting his own grandchildren and indoctrinating them for years with white supremacist ideology, anti-Semitic Christian Identity preacher Gordon Winrod was sentenced in March to 30 years in prison.

When police arrested Winrod and two of his children in May 2000 near his farm in Gainesville, Mo., six grandchildren barricaded themselves in his tiny basement, telling authorities to keep their "Jew hands" off them. The standoff lasted four days, until Winrod was convinced to coax them into surrendering.

One grandchild, Erika Leppert, 18, who escaped Winrod's farm after three years in 1998, testified that Winrod had whipped them and put them in solitary confinement for misbehavior, and had preached racist sermons daily. The grandchildren have since undergone mental health therapy.

Winrod and several of his children kidnapped the grandchildren in 1994 and 1995 from brothers Tim and Joel Leppert in North Dakota, who divorced two of Winrod's daughters in 1992 and were each awarded joint custody of their children.

The January trial was marked by Winrod's stubborn demand to represent himself and his accusation that the prosecutor, police and judges ran a "Jewish child sex ring." Winrod was found in contempt of court for repeatedly asserting, despite the judge's warnings, that the Leppert brothers had sexually molested their children.

Two Winrod daughters, Quinta and Sharon, are already serving time in North Dakota on charges relating to the kidnappings. Daughter Carol awaits May sentencing after reaching a plea bargain on related charges, and son Steven's trial on six kidnapping charges began in March.