The public foreclosure sale of property that was to be a new Aryan Nations and Ku Klux Klan compound in North Idaho is set for Jan. 14, court records show. The foreclosure will mean eviction for white supremacist Shaun P. Winkler, his wife and their small child, along with a small band of their racist associates who have been living on the site, unless they can come up with almost $70,000 by the scheduled sale date.
Winkler and his wife bought the land in Bonner County in early 201l, hoping to use the site to replicate the former Aryan Nations compound in adjoining Kootenai County. The buildings at the Kootenai County site were razed and the property turned into a cow pasture more than a decade ago, after it was sold in the wake of a court judgment against Aryan Nations, its late leader and several followers. Details of Winkler's plans for his land are contained in an article in the most recent issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, which was released on Tuesday.
In a follow-up interview Wednesday with a KREM-TV reporter from Spokane, Wash., Winkler acknowledged that he likely faces foreclosure and eviction. But he said he now has plans to continue working toward his goal after moving onto another nearby private property, which he said is being given to him by a retired Los Angeles police officer who he refused to identify.
The private timber company that sold the 17.3 acres to Winkler in March 2011 initiated foreclosure action this past September, about two weeks after learning he had logged and sold thousands of board feet of timber on the land in clear violation of the purchase agreement. Winkler also was several months delinquent in making purchase payments. When contacted by the Intelligence Report in August, Rick Dinning, president of Tungsten Holdings, Inc., said he had no idea the buyer was a long-time professional racist from Pennsylvania and former protégé of late Aryan Nations founder Richard G. Butler, or that Winkler had been logging the property.
Winkler, his sister and their itinerant associates also have been living on the property without a state-required “site permit” needed for discharge of human waste. Regional environmental health officials launched an investigation after learning Winkler and his racist friends were living on the property without that permit.
Dinning said in August that he had “no clue” that Winkler, who has a criminal record, was planning to use the site to build a “whites-only” housing complex to replicate Butler’s former Aryan Nations 20-acre compound.
That original compound hosted the annual Aryan World Congress for much of its two-decades-long history and became an international rallying spot for racists, several of whom went on to commit various high-profile hate crimes, including murders, arsons, bombings and other acts of terrorism. The compound was sold at a bankruptcy auction after the SPLC, representing a woman and her son who had been terrorized by violent compound guards in a 2000 civil suit, won a judgment for the plaintiffs of $6.3 million.
Several would-be successors to Butler have attempted with little success to take up the Aryan legacy since his death in 2004, but Winkler seems to have been the most visible in North Idaho, frequently hold racists demonstrations. He unsuccessfully ran for sheriff in Bonner County last spring, garnering only 182 votes.
In between slurs directed at Jews, black people and others, Winkler frequently says in interviews that he still admires Butler and wants to carry on his racist legacy. He says he isn’t a “hater” but rather a “lover” of the white race.
But Winkler’s plans seem to have hit a wall, at least for the time being.
“We have begun the foreclosure process,” Dinning told Hatewatch this week when reached at one of his company’s offices in Libby, Mont. His company filed a “notice of default and election to sell” the property in Bonner County District Court, and has published a required foreclosure legal notice in a Sandpoint, Idaho, newspaper.
The property will be sold on Jan. 14 or revert to the seller unless Winkler can come up with $68,977 still owed, plus interest and legal costs from Dec. 11, 2011, when the delinquent payments started accruing, Dinning said. The foreclosure sale is set for 10 a.m. at Sandpoint Title Insurance Co. in Sandpoint.
After that sale, Winkler could still face a civil suit for cutting and selling 30,000 board feet of timber — an estimated six logging truckloads worth as much as $10,000 — from the Tungsten property without permission from the seller. Dinning was noncommittal when asked if he intended to pursue such legal action against Winkler.