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Wave of Skinhead Violence Hits Denver

Since November 1997, several violent incidents have been perpetrated by racist Skinheads in Denver, including the murder of a police officer and the alleged murder of an African refugee.

Skinhead violence hit Denver last November as Matthaus Jaehnig gunned down officer Bruce Vander Jagt following a high-speed chase. Jaehnig then killed himself with the slain officer's service revolver.

In the days that followed, a dead pig was dumped at the police substation where Vander Jagt worked; another police officer was ambushed by a possible Skinhead; and two Skinheads allegedly murdered an African refugee standing at a bus stop and permanently paralyzed a white woman who tried to help him.

One of the two, Aryan Nations organizer Nathan Thill, bragged about the murder in a television interview, saying he killed Oumar Dia because he was "wearing the enemy's uniform" — a reference to Dia's black skin.

Meanwhile, an upsurge in Skinhead activity was reported in Salem, Ore., with organizing focusing on one high school. Nationally, Skinheads have been blamed for 49 murders since 1988.