Profiles of some of the Vinlanders' most notorious associates.
Timothy "Timmy" Dumas, 24
Recruited into the gang through the Ohio faction, Timothy Dumas was a prized recruit, although valued more for his raw physical strength and taste for violence than his mental acuity. Both made him prime enforcer material. When Dumas was "patched in" (given a membership badge) at the founding meeting of the Council 28 held in October 2005 and attended by representatives of 17 white supremacist organizations, Vinlander Brien James raised some eyebrows by declaring that Dumas had earned his rank by "being so down, he would rape another man if he had to." Dumas later moved to Indiana to live with James at the VSC clubhouse in Indianapolis, working alongside him as a cable installer. He's currently serving a one-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony criminal recklessness for the March 2007 beating of a black homeless man in downtown Indianapolis.
Joshua Kern, 26
Joshua Kern entered the racist skinhead world full throttle after being discharged from the U.S. Army in 2004. After working with skins and neo-Nazis in Alaska, he joined up with the Golden State Skinheads when he moved to the Los Angeles area. Later, he became the bassist for the hate rock band Patriot's Call.
Kern's band played a show at Nordic Fest 2005 at the Imperial Klans of America compound in Kentucky, where he met several members of the Vinlanders. At the time, Kern was experiencing conflicts with his fellow Golden State skins and some American Front members in California. As a result, in 2006 he and his wife decided it would be an opportune time to switch his loyalties to the Vinlanders and move to Indiana.
Kern recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and served 60 days in jail. A condition of his release is that he refrain from associating with members of the Vinlanders or any other white supremacist organization.
Jason "Junior" Gregg, 26
Jason Gregg was part of the Hoosier State Skinheads (HSS) from the gang's early days, joining its New Castle chapter in 2003 after moving to Indiana from California. Young and rather short for a skinhead, he was the HSS's first "probate," or probationary member.
Despite his diminutive size, Gregg was considered a highly valuable gang member. That's because he was smart but didn't question orders and, the occasional arrest aside, was able to blend into mainstream society. Most importantly, Gregg managed to hold down a steady, well-paying job as a top salesman at a Lowe's home improvement store, where the articulate skinhead wore a long-sleeved shirt to cover the racist tattoos on his arms.
Gregg was among the group of Vinlanders involved in the beating of several National Socialist Movement members at Nordic Fest 2006 after one of the NSM attendees made a speech the Vinlander crew found offensive. Later that year, Gregg moved to Ohio, where his trouble with the law intensified.
According to a news report, he and Jon "Jean Claude" Carr, 32, who Gregg had nominated as a member of the Vinlanders, were arrested in February of this year in Newark, Ohio, and charged with felonious assault and abduction for allegedly shooting at an undercover Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification agent and another person in Thornville, Ohio, in 2006.
Adrian "Old Blue Eyes" Petty, 29
Adrian Petty may not have been a racist when he went to prison for burglary in the late '90s, but he definitely was one when he joined the Hoosier State Skinheads shortly after its formation in 2003.
Because Petty joined the Vinlander Social Club (VSC) during that gang's conception, he fell into the lucky position of being "grandfathered in," meaning he didn't have to go through a customary period as a probate before attaining full membership status.
Petty also has the distinction of being the only active Vinlander currently serving in the U.S. military. One of his MySpace pages lists his location as Iraq, and contains several photos of Petty in military settings. One, dated April 2008 and entitled "IED went off and missed my truck," shows Petty wearing a uniform with insignia designating his rank as corporal. Several photos show Iraqi children. One, depicting a smiling boy looking through a vehicle window, is captioned "Wanna be a Vinlander?" Another image, dated May 4, 2008, shows Petty clad in camouflage, sitting in a military vehicle and wearing a headset. Its caption reads, "On another VSC recruiting mission."
Nathan "Nasty Nate" Sliter, 32
Nate Sliter is considered a true old-school racist skinhead who "shaved down" in the early 1990s in his hometown of Mesa, Ariz. (The term "shaved down" describes a skinhead with punk rock roots who shaved off his longer hair upon embracing the racist skinhead lifestyle.) Sliter and fellow Mesa skinhead Matt Buell developed a reputation for violence after they claimed official Hammerskin status without any probationary period and used strong-arm tactics to run off the leader of the Mesa chapter of the Hammerskins.
This brazen show of force earned Sliter and Buell both their Hammerskin patches and respect from national Hammerskin leaders who decided the two roguish Mesa skins would make better allies than enemies.
Sliter continued as an Arizona Hammerskin until the late 1990s when he moved to Minnesota to be with family. (Buell stayed in Arizona, where he founded a mixed martial arts training school with his brothers; the school's logo is a Celtic cross and the Nazi-originated phrase "Hail Victory.")
Upon his arrival in Minnesota, Sliter aligned himself with the Northern Hammerskins in the St. Paul area, though his image with the gang was tarnished somewhat by his excessive drinking and wanton violence. Sliter found a new friend in Jeremy Robinson, head of the Northern Hammerskins' Michigan City, Ind., chapter. The two founded the Outlaw Hammerskins after an infamous split with the leadership of the Hammerskins.
Although the most widespread version of the story behind the creation of the Outlaw Hammerskins is a skinhead urban legend, the truth, while a bit tamer, is still dramatic. The myth goes that in 1999, after several members of the Northern Hammerskins' Indiana chapter were ordered by Hammerskin leaders in Dallas to confiscate the colors from a wayward member, they removed the offender's Hammerskin tattoo with a blowtorch and then, for good measure, sodomized him with a pool stick.
In reality, what happened is that Sliter, Robison and others in the Indiana crew of the Northern Hammerskins beat their fellow Hammerskin so severely that he complained to the Dallas higher-ups about the level of violence. The pool stick was only used to administer the beating, and the attackers gave the member who was having his colors stripped a choice between covering his Hammerskin tattoos with other tattoos or having them removed with a blowtorch. Wisely, he chose the former.
After the beating, legend and truth coincide. The Dallas leaders were so troubled by the overkill that they gave the Indiana enforcers 24 hours to turn in their own Hammerskin patches. This ultimatum prompted Robinson, Sliter and a dozen or so other Hammerskins to form their own renegade Hammerksin crew, which became known as the Outlaw Hammerskins.
Infighting caused the Outlaws to disintegrate by 2002, but they managed to make a big impact in the skinhead scene in a short time — not only by challenging the long-time dominance of the Hammerskins, but also by forging a closer connection between the skin and biker worlds.
After the Outlaw Hammerskins disbanded, Sliter hung around with the South Bend, Ind., Hell's Angels motorcycle gang chapter for a while, then joined with some of his former OHS comrades to create the Hoosier State Skinheads. This led to a close interaction with Blood & Honour USA, including acting as a bodyguard with that group when its members traveled overseas. Sliter then turned his attention to his own crew, coining the name Vinlander Social Club. To this day, he remains a core member.
Bryon "Babs" Widner, 31
[Editor’s Note: Bryon Widner left the movement in 2006 and eventually renounced his white supremacist views publicly. In June 2011, he and his wife, another former racist activist, were featured on MSNBC in a documentary, “Erasing Hate,” that chronicled the couple’s redemptive story. The film focused on how Widner, with the help of the SPLC, underwent an excruciating series of laser treatments to remove the racist tattoos that covered his face and hands.]
Originally from New Mexico, Bryon Widner found his way to Indiana, where he served several stints in jail before meeting Brien James around 2000. In February of that year, both were arrested for aggravated assault following the beating of a partygoer at a racist skinhead get-together in Indianapolis. The charges were eventually dropped for lack of evidence.
Widner joined the Outlaw Hammerskins (OHS) around 2001 and moved to the Lafayette, Ind., area with fellow OHS members Jeremy "Sid" Maske and Nate Sliter, but ended up leaving the group after a disagreement with another member around two years later. He went on to found the Hoosier State Skinheads with James, Sliter and two former OHS "hangarounds" who never gained official membership status, Donald "Popcorn" Weirich and Eric Fairburn.
Widner also was involved in the creation of the Vinlander Social Club and in forging a tight alliance with Blood & Honour USA. Along the way he developed a reputation as a heavy drinker and an even more dedicated brawler who would fight at the slightest provocation.
Widner also gained notoriety for the myriad of tattoos covering his face and body, reflecting his occasional occupation as a tattoo artist. Photos show Widner's tattoos multiplying as his activity with the Hoosier State Skins and Vinlanders deepened. Of special interest is a prominent one on his face: a warrior rune, symbolizing the wearer as a warrior for the white race, willing to kill for his people. (Runes are the letters of pre-Christian Germanic languages, and are often used by white supremacists.)
Widner got married and left the Vinlanders around 2006 (Internet posts indicate the parting was not amiable). It's unclear at this point whether he maintains any contacts with his former comrades or is still active in the movement.