All in the Family
James Leshkevich, a staunch white supremacist who promoted events calling for the deaths of public officials, turned violent toward his own family this winter when he strangled his wife before killing himself.
In a rambling blog post concluded on Feb. 18, the 52-year-old Leshkevich accused his wife of having an affair. Leshkevich, who called himself "Yankee Jim" on his blog, wrote the post over 10 days and called it "I Caught My Wife Sleeping with Another Man…"
"This will be the last post on The Hudson Valley Freeman for a while," wrote Leshkevich, who lived in the Catskills town of West Hurley, N.Y. "I'm just too depressed over all this to continue. Hopefully that will change in the future."
The final post was a departure for Leshkevich, who generally used his blog to encourage hatred of blacks, Jews and immigrants. He also wrote numerous letters to the local newspaper and hosted a radio show.
Police found the bodies of Leshkevich and 55-year-old Deborah Leshkevich on Feb. 19 in their home. Leshkevich had beaten his wife, then strangled her with his bare hands. Deborah Leshkevich was a teaching assistant at nearby Woodstock Elementary School and had been a religious education teacher at St. John's Roman Catholic Church in West Hurley.
A country singer and former truck driver, Leshkevich joined the neo-Nazi group National Alliance in 2000 and attended the Aryan Nations World Congress in 2002. He quit the National Alliance in March 2005 along with many other rank-and-file members during a leadership corruption scandal but remained a deeply dedicated racist.
A frequent call-in guest on an Internet radio show hosted by neo-Nazi Hal Turner — who was revealed to be an FBI informant earlier this year — Leshkevich was perhaps best known in recent years for helping Turner organize a white supremacist rally outside a high school in Kingston, N.Y., in 2005.
At times, Leshkevich's enthusiasm was too much even for those who shared his views. He was banned from the white nationalist online forum Stormfront for, as Stormfront founder Don Black put it shortly after Leshkevich killed his wife and then himself, "refusing to stop promoting Hal Turner's various events calling for assassinations of government officials and other homicides.
"He knew our policy, but kept doing it, despite warnings by moderators who liked him," Black wrote. "I think that personality trait may be related to his end."