The Blotter: Spring 2004
A large number of crimes were carried out by various types of radical-right extremists in 2003, ranging from the murder of a police officer to building up a huge, illegal arsenal. What follows is a representative selection of such crimes, with an emphasis on those connected to hate groups and organized extremist activities.
Tattoos of devil horns, lightning bolts and "Till Death, NLR" proved to police that Neal Beckman, 36, was a member of the Nazi Low Riders. A racist Skinhead group centered in California, the Nazi Low Riders are increasingly linked to the far more violent Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.
On March 7, after seeing his girlfriend arrested for allegedly trying to return stolen goods to Wal-Mart, Beckman shot a police sergeant four times and nearly killed him, then stabbed a store security guard. The wounded police officer managed to kill Beckman moments later.
Five pipe bombs packed with shrapnel were found later in the car Beckman had arrived in.
Twenty-six year old Antoni Williams was walking home on March 23 when three white men asked him if he'd ever been "beat up by a skinhead," yelled racial slurs and threw a brick at him. Keith Carney, 22, Steven Smith, 32, and Steve Monteforte, 34, were arrested and charged with ethnic intimidation and making terroristic threats.
Carney and Smith are members of the Keystone State Skinheads, an aggressive group in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that is trying to establish itself in the mostly white area where the attack occurred.
Monteforte later pled guilty and was sentenced to one year of probation. Smith, a former leader in the Pennsylvania chapter of the racist National Association for the Advancement of White People, also pled guilty and received a 1-year sentence. Carney, a former member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, was sentenced to one to three years in prison.
Carney had previously been arrested for placing Alliance stickers on graves at the Korean War and Vietnam Veteran memorials in Philadelphia.
Less than a week after the April 8 discovery of the badly decomposed remains of a murdered bisexual man, Robert Maricle, in a buried plastic drum, officials arrested Daymon Douglas Schrock, 21, Dominique Daniel England, 20, and Jeanne Soja, 30. All three were charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and torture.
England and Schrock, an admitted member of the Nazi Low Riders and the Peckerwoods, two racist Skinhead groups, both appeared gleeful in court. Soja's trial date has been set for this May 10. No trial date has been set for the others.
HAMPTON BEACH, N.H.
Russell Seace Jr., 33, the one-time Eastern regional office contact and pastor for the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations, was arrested after threatening a Hispanic inmate and his family saying "he could go fishing and use the man's body for chum," according to an FBI affidavit.
Seace, who'd served time in prison on a burglary charge, accepted a $500 down payment to kill the man in revenge for an attack on a white inmate. He was arrested on April 15 on federal murder-for-hire and weapons charges.
He was also a member of the neo-Nazi World Church of the Creator. After pleading guilty to a weapons charge, Seace was sentenced in December to five years and three months in prison.
On July 1, Lovell A. Wheeler, 62, a white supremacist whose wife is a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, was arrested after authorities seized 80 pounds of gunpowder in bleach bottles and paint thinner cans, guns, gun parts and 20,000 rounds of live ammunition in his home. Prosecutors said the ammunition was powerful enough to blow up Wheeler's Highlandtown rowhouse and the neighboring home.
Wheeler was held for nearly four months before pleading guilty to three misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, possession of more than three pounds of smokeless gunpowder and improper storage of gunpowder. Wheeler received a five-year suspended sentence with three years' probation and was forced to forfeit his weapons.
SAN LUIS, ARIZ.
Two men were arrested on July 31 for detaining at gunpoint a group of six illegal immigrants, including three children, near the Arizona border. They then turned the six over to the U.S. Border Patrol.
Matthew Hoffman, 23, and Alexander Dumas, 26, were initially each charged with six counts of aggravated assault and unlawful imprisonment, but the both pled guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy.
Hoffman was sentenced to four months, and Dumas to one month in jail. They were also placed on three years' probation and ordered to perform 360 hours of community service.
After a month of plotting, Joseph L. Druce, 38, reportedly a member of a white supremacist prison group, allegedly beat and strangled to death fellow inmate and defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, 68, on Aug. 23 inside the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, a maximum security prison.
Geoghan, who was serving a 10-year sentence for fondling a 10-year-old boy, had allegedly molested more than 100 boys over a 30-year period, and was at the heart of an investigation into sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic church the Boston area.
Druce was serving a life term for murdering a gay bus driver in 1988. Druce's lawyer has said in court he believes his client is mentally ill. The case has yet to go to trial.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.
Inspired by alleged abortion clinic bomber Eric Rudolph, Stephen John Jordi, 35, admitted to plans to firebomb abortion clinics, gay bars and churches, officials say.
Jordi, a former Army ranger with a flaming crucifix tattooed on his forearm, had purchased a gun, gas cans, propane tanks, gloves and flares on the day of his arrest. An evangelical Christian fundamentalist, Jordi attended doctor-killer Paul Hill's execution, where he was seen speaking with fellow hard-liners Neal Horsley and Joshua Graff.
Jordi was arrested on Nov. 11, after a three-month FBI undercover investigation, but only after trying to escape by jumping from a boat he shared with an FBI informant who'd earned his trust. He faces a term of five to 20 years when he is sentenced on April 30 on one count of attempted firebombing.
On Nov. 9, once it was discovered that a fellow inmate and gang recruit had had sex with a black woman, three jailed members of the fledgling white supremacist gang Fourth Reich allegedly cut off his swastika tattoo with a bent razor blade from a disposable razor. It left a quarter-inch deep and 1-inch wide cut on the victim's forearm.
Jonathan Gardner, 24, Caleb Iles, 22, and Link Heywood, 21, were charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony. Gardner pled guilty and was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison. Heywood pled guilty to reduced counts of assault and may serve up to five years.
Iles also pled guilty to a reduced count even though he told authorities before sentencing that he hoped to plea bargain and "get out early so he could take care of that punk."
TERRE HAUTE, IND.
On the night of Nov. 18, arson destroyed the CANDLES Holocaust Museum founded by Holocaust survivor Eva Kor. The museum is dedicated to the children who survived horrific Nazi medical experiments during World War II.
The words "Remember Timmy McVeigh" were scribbled on an exterior wall and a light-colored car was videotaped leaving the scene. The vehicle's description matched a car that belonged to convicted abortion clinic bomber Joseph Charles Stockett, 57, and officials say that Stockett told an informant days after the fire that he was on his way to "a major confrontation with the Jews" and that "the struggle to save my race from the Jews might require me to kill someone someday." The informant alleges Stockett was using anti-Semitic literature to recruit for a neo-Nazi organization.
Stockett, who has denied any involvement with the arson, earlier served five years for setting fire to an Oregon abortion clinic in 1976. He'd also been investigated for threatening former Vice President Dan Quayle and, more recently, President Bush. Stockett is being held pending a trial on federal firearms charges.