Profiles of 10 Racist Skinheads
Racist skinhead culture has long brimmed with violence and venom.
Randal Lee Krager, 32
At 6-foot, 2-inches and 240 pounds, with "FEAR" tattooed across the knuckles of his right hand and a large swastika stamped on his thick neck, Volksfront founder Randal Krager is an imposing figure whose continuing, heavy influence on skinheads in the Pacific Northwest has deep roots.
Krager has been involved in the skinhead subculture since at least 1989. That year, when he was 15, Krager was arrested along with several other skinheads and charged with racial intimidation for allegedly assaulting three teenagers near a park in Portland, Ore. During the attack, assailants pummeled a Hispanic girl in the face while shouting, "Why aren't you white?"
Krager was sent to a juvenile detention center.
The next year, he attended the civil trial of White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger -- who was being sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center for his role in encouraging the skinhead murder of a black man in Portland -- and told a reporter that Metzger was a "cool guy ... one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet."
By the time Krager turned 18, police had encountered him 28 times.
That year, 1992, Krager was sentenced to 27 months in prison for putting an African-American man into a coma with a single punch. During sentencing proceedings, Krager reportedly shouted "Fucking Jew pig!" at court officials.
Krager's white supremacist beliefs were reinforced in prison. While inside, he networked with skinheads outside, laying the groundwork for his Volksfront neo-Nazi gang. Krager assumed leadership of Volksfront immediately upon his release in October 1994.
But Krager didn't stay out of prison for long. Weeks after his release, he called a local anti-racist skinhead and threatened to kill him. Krager was arrested and pleaded guilty to first-degree intimidation. He served 14 months and was released in early 1995.
Led by Krager, Volksfront maintained a highly visible presence in Portland until 2001, when the gang essentially went underground, citing "police and governmental pressure" to explain its disappearance.
Volksfront resurfaced in 2001 and, to the amazement of many who knew Krager, officially renounced violence. "[K]icking in someone's head will not make them our political allies. ... We know that violence created by stupidity or machismo will and can destroy organizations," read a notice on Volksfront's website.
In a blatant and brutal violation of this supposed policy -- a policy that appears to have been a public relations gambit more than anything else -- Volksfront's Washington state chapter leader, Kurtis William Monschke, joined three other racist skinheads in 2003 in beating to death a homeless man in Tacoma using baseball bats and rocks. But this mindless violence hardly destroyed Volksfront. By 2004, Krager's gang has chapters in seven states.
That January at Aryan Fest, a white power festival in Arizona hosted and policed by Volksfront, representatives of Krager claimed to have purchased five acres of land in Oregon as the beginnings of a white homeland. Although Krager officially stepped down from his leadership position later in 2004, today he continues to control the group from the shadows.