Inspired by Neo-Nazi Tracts, Youth's Rampage Ends in Death
Jacob Robida's world, contained in a small room in his mother's home in New Bedford, Mass., had all the trappings of a contemporary American neo-Nazi. The 18-year-old kept a trove of Third Reich memorabilia, books about the Third Reich and the Holocaust, swastika flags and other Nazi symbols, a sword, notebooks filled with racist notes and symbols, and a copy of The Turner Diaries -- the neo-Nazi race war novel that has inspired terrorists including the Oklahoma City bombers.
The homemade coffin he kept there was, presumably, an extra.
On Feb. 2, Robida left his tiny world and went to Puzzles Lounge, a gay bar in his home town. After a bartender confirmed that Puzzles was a gay bar, Robida had one more shot of liquor before attacking two men with a hatchet and shooting a third with a 9mm pistol. Two of the men were critically injured.
Robida fled the bar and the state, driving to Charleston, W. Va., where he picked up 33-year-old Jennifer Rena Bailey, described by authorities as a former girlfriend. It was unclear if Bailey joined Robida willingly, but she did withdraw money from a bank ATM and drop her three children off with relatives.
The pair then drove to Gassville, Ark., where they were stopped for a traffic violation. Robida shot officer Jim W. Sell to death and then led police on a 16-mile chase that ended when Robida crashed his car. Police say he then turned to Bailey, embraced her, and shot her twice, killing her. As police opened fire on Robida, he turned the gun on himself and fired a single shot. He died a few hours later.
It wasn't clear what sparked Robida's rampage, and police were investigating the possibility that he had an accomplice in the Puzzles attack. But officials have blamed a number of earlier race killings and similar crimes, in part, on the influence of The Turner Diaries, written by neo-Nazi leader William Pierce in 1978.