Die Auserwählten, a little-known racist skinhead gang in Nebraska and several other states, is less than a year old. But in the last few days, the crew has been making a name for itself – in mayhem and murder separated by more than a thousand miles.
In a small college city in south-central Nebraska, the gang’s 28-year-old founder, Jonathan Schmidt, faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of a brutal assault Saturday night.
But that’s nothing compared to what another suspected member of the gang, Jeremy Lee Moody, 30, and his wife, Christine, 36, are accused of doing Sunday afternoon about 1,200 miles away in Union County, S.C. According to local news reports, the Moodys were each charged yesterday with two counts of murder in the slaying of Charles Marvin Parker, 59, and Gretchen Dawn Parker, 51.
Charles Parker was a registered sex offender and that is why he was shot to death in his home, Union County Sheriff David H. Taylor told Hatewatch today. “Moody told us he targeted this individual because he was a child molester,” Taylor said. “I was there when he made that statement.”
As for Parker’s wife, Taylor said Moody told him, “She was a casualty of war.”
Moody has the word “skinhead” tattooed across his throat and “white power” atop his shaved head. In addition, Sheriff Taylor said, Moody has “88” – the numerical symbol for Heil Hitler – tattooed on one hand and on the other a tattoo of the number 14 for the white nationalist creed of known as “The 14 Words.”
Taylor said Moody admitted to being “a white supremacist but didn’t say which group he was affiliated with.”
But shortly after Moody’s arrest, Schmidt, the founder of Die Auserwählten, which is also known as Crew 41, posted this note on his Facebook page: “Though I can’t blame them for their actions this in no way was ordered.”
On Facebook, Moody calls himself Jeremy Mengele after the notorious Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor who performed barbaric experiments on twins and other children at Auschwitz. Featured prominently on Moody’s page is a picture of a warrior’s mask with horns, lightning bolts like those used by the SS, and the number 41. Forty-one is the numerical symbol for Die Auserwählten.
Little is known about the origins of the crew or its size. Its German name translates, more or less, as "the chosen" or “the favored few.” On its Facebook page, it claims to have seven chapters, including ones in Nebraska, Utah and South Carolina. The founder, Jonathan Schmidt, whose face is a mask of tattoos displaying his hate and his sorrow, lives in Pleasanton, a small town in south-central Nebraska.
On Saturday night, he and a friend were in nearby Kearney, where a campus of the University of Nebraska is located. Saturday was Kearney’s annual Cruise Nite, an all day parade, party and celebration of old cars. “People come from all over,” said Kearney Police Capt. Mike Kirkwood. It goes from morning to five in the afternoon, when the parade turns into a blocks-long party near the college campus with plenty of drinking. “It’s a real pain in the rear for us,” Kirkwood said. “But it looks like a blast for them.”
Schmidt and his friend are accused of yanking a 27-year-old man out of a car and stomping and kicking him in the head, leaving him a mangled mass in the street. The local paper, the Kearney Hub, said the man’s skull was fractured but he will survive.
The paper said the victim was transported to a local hospital where he identified Schmidt in a photo lineup.
Schmidt has an exceedingly distinctive facial appearance. His face is covered in tattoos, including “5150,” police code for someone involuntarily committed to a mental institution, “FYL” for “fuck your life,” “RIP Donny Boi,” a tribute to a skinhead tattoo artist killed by California police during a shootout earlier in July, and runes, or medieval Germanic letters, on his left eyebrow that spell out “Hate.”
Schmidt was released on bond Tuesday. On his Facebook page, Schmidt said he is innocent of the charges and that “the mother fucker who was supposed to turn himself in and clear my name has backed out because of his old lady running her fat ass mouth…Not too sure what plan b is but they better fix this shit before it gets any more outta hand.”
Capt. Kirkwood of the Kearney police said Crew 41 is “completely new to us.”
“Years ago, in the early ’80s, we had some Posse Comitatus and sovereign citizen activity, but nothing too serious,” he said. “I think these guys are just trying to get people riled up.”
Sheriff Taylor, in South Carolina, said his deputies have been monitoring Moody for years. “We thought he was in the drug business,” Taylor said. “But we never had much trouble out of him until now.”
They tried to follow Moody’s social media trail, but Moody kept changing his page or was getting deleted by Facebook, which Moody complained about recently on his page when he wrote, “Getting banned every 2 weeks gets old.”
Taylor said the Moodys were caught on the Parker’s security camera parking in front of their home Sunday afternoon. Moody lifted up the hood of his car, pretending he needed service. Parker, Taylor said, “was a shade-tree mechanic,” meaning he did auto repair under the trees near his home.
Taylor said the Moodys then go into the home and come out a short time later.
There was a sign in the Parkers’ yard. It said, “Smile you’re on camera.”