A white supremacist who worked as a prison guard in Pennsylvania is facing murder charges and a possible death penalty.
A white supremacist who worked as a prison guard in Pennsylvania is facing murder charges and a possible death penalty for allegedly shooting to death his girlfriend and their 18-month-old son in a fit of jealous rage.
Michael John Parrish, 23, told police that he confronted his girlfriend, 21-year-old Victoria Adams, after she returned to the couple's Effort, Pa., apartment around 11 p.m. on July 6, apparently after a night of partying with other men. According to court testimony, Parrish said he initially fired a shot into the ceiling of his son's bedroom while Adams held their child in her arms, and then fired at her chest, striking both Adams and the boy.
Parrish told police he then continued shooting the mother and child as they lay on the floor, unloading the remaining 14 bullets in his semi-automatic handgun.
At the time of the shootings, Parrish was a "probate," or prospective member, of the Vinlander Social Club, a racist skinhead gang with a propensity for violence. Despite his multiple racist tattoos, including a swastika and the word "HITLER!" in block lettering on his left forearm, Parrish was employed as a correctional officer at the Monroe County Correctional Facility.
Prison officials said Parrish had cleared a background check and was nearing the end of his one-year probationary period after being hired in August 2008. Officials said the only tattoos visible during his interview process were on his neck, and they were deemed acceptable after Parrish described them as "Celtic pride" symbols.
A search of the apartment where the slayings occurred turned up a large cache of neo-Nazi memorabilia, several firearms and sculptures of twigs and branches fashioned into a life rune, a character from a pre-Christian Germanic alphabet that's popular with neo-Nazis.
Luis Gonzales, the boyfriend of Adams' mother Kim Adams, told police that Parrish began stockpiling ammunition, guns and food after Barack Obama was elected president. "He was a real fanatic," Gonzales said, "a real racist."
Victoria Adams apparently was also part of the white supremacist movement, despite being part Puerto Rican, a fact that her family says Parrish did not know. One of several videos Adams posted online was titled "Sorry monkey scum we hate you." Another depicts Adams showing off a swastika tattooed on her right arm as she thrusts it skyward in a "sieg heil" salute.
The day after the shootings, Parrish was arrested in New Hampshire along with a fellow racist skinhead, Conrad Jankowski, 23. Parrish was armed with a .357 Glock pistol and had two full clips of ammunition. Police did not say if it was the gun used in the killings.
Jankowski, who has a swastika tattooed on his chest, was charged with hindering apprehension and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail (later reduced to $75,000).
Parrish, jailed without bond, wrote a four-page letter to his victims' mother and grandmother, expressing guilt and pleading for her forgiveness. "Whatever punishment I receive will never be enough!" Parrish wrote in the letter, dated Aug. 4. "Taking Victoria and Sydney's life is unforgivable. The fact that I am alive is a sin."