A Louisiana grand jury today indicted a reputed Ku Klux Klan leader for second-degree murder in the killing of a woman at a Klan initiation ceremony gone awry. Raymond Charles “Chuck” Foster, 44, was charged in the Nov. 9 shooting death of Cynthia Lynch, 43, at a remote campsite near the village of Sun.
Foster, of Bogalusa, is alleged to be the imperial wizard of the Sons of Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Seven others were arrested with him in November and booked on obstruction of justice charges. The St. Tammany Parish grand jury, however, indicted only Shane Foster, 20, and Franky Lee Stafford, 21, on those charges. Shane Foster is Chuck Foster’s son. Another defendant, Danielle Jones, 24, was charged with accessory after the fact.
The jury returned a no true bill against the remaining four, including Andrew Yates, 20, who is mildly mentally retarded and was collecting Social Security disability checks at the time of his arrest, according to his lawyer. “I really don’t think he knows what the Klan is,” said the attorney, Ernest Barrow III, of Covington. After Lynch was killed, Chuck Foster stole Yates’ boat and his cell phone “so he couldn’t call police,” Barrow said. “I think he [Yates] was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Also arrested in November but not indicted were husband and wife Timothy and Alicia Watkins. “She was there with her husband,” said Nancy Yeager, the attorney for Alicia Watkins, 23. “Her part was very passive.” Alicia Watkins did not see the shooting, and Chuck Foster threatened her and others if they called for help, Yeager said. Some of Foster’s Klan materials indicate that Alicia Watkins held the title of imperial kaithropp or kalthropp. Yeager said she didn’t know about that. “I think they were involved with the Klan. I don’t really know what her role was in that.”
Lynch lived in Tulsa and took a bus to Louisiana to join the Sons of Dixie Knights, authorities say. Foster and seven followers took her to a wooded campsite about nine miles south of Bogalusa. When Lynch at some point said she wanted to leave, Chuck Foster allegedly got angry and shot her, then dug the bullet out of her body with a razor blade and instructed his followers to burn Lynch’s belongings.
The attempted cover-up began to unravel around 4 a.m. the following day when Shane Foster and Stafford stopped at a Circle K a few miles away and asked a clerk how to remove blood from clothing. She called the sheriff’s office. Lynch’s body was found about a quarter of a mile from the campsite.
Investigators found Klan robes and documents at the campsite. The latter included a Klan “blood oath” in which the person signing agrees to “be Klannish in all things” and to “maintain the purity of the white blood and natural superiority with which God has ennobled it.”
Last year, fliers were distributed in Bogalusa for a crawfish boil at the home that Foster rented from a sheriff’s lieutenant. The flier read in part: “Bring a friend! [Whites Only!]”