The shooting rampage at two Jewish community centers in suburban Kansas City yesterday afternoon that left three people dead, including a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather, also left the radical racist right casting blame and pointing fingers at each other.
Much of that blame is being directed at Alex Linder and the gutturally racist website Vanguard News Network (VNN) he founded in 2000. The site declares, “No Jews. Just Right.”
The alleged neo-Nazi gunman, Frazier Glenn Miller, who was arrested shortly after the shooting and shouted “Heil Hitler” from the back of a police car, has posted over the years more than 12,000 times to VNN, a site one white nationalist critic calls “a swamp.”
But the 73-year-old Miller is not the first VNN user to turn to murder and mayhem.
Brad Griffin, the editor of the white nationalist website Occidental Dissent and who writes under the name “Hunter Wallace,” posted on his site today that VNN is “the same swamp that gave us the Curt Maynard, Yankee Jim, and JT Ready murder suicides, Joe Snuffy the Spokane bomber, Todd Van Biber who blew himself up with a pipe bomb, and Craig Cobb’s plot to take over Leith and his ‘patrol’ of the town.”
Maynard, who used the screen name “Melcur” when posting on VNN, shot his ex-wife to death before killing himself following a police chase in 2010. In July 2008, Maynard posted to VNN, urging Miller to “lead by an example.”
“I’ve heard you and dozens of others condemn blogging as a waste of time, and constantly encourage others to sacrifice themselves,” Maynard wrote to “Rounder,” Miller’s screen name on VNN. “Why don’t you do it, I mean why don’t you strap on some explosive and walk into a room full of k---- and blow yourselves to Kingdom come.
“I say this in the nicest and most respectful manner possible, why don’t you lead by example and relieve us, this world, of a dozen goddamned Jews.”
In 2008, the body of VNN poster James “Yankee Jim” Leshkevich, 52, a prolific white supremacist blogger, letter-to-the editor writer and radio host, was found hanging in a garage attached to the home he shared with his 55-year-old wife, Deborah. She was found beaten and strangled to death in the couple’s bedroom, the victim of an apparent murder-suicide.
VNN poster “Joe Snuffy” is really Kevin Harpham, who was sentenced to 32 years in prison in 2011 for building and planting a bomb – “a weapon of mass destruction” – along the route of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Wash.
The bomb was concealed in a backpack. The lead sinkers in the radio-detonated device were coated with Warfarin rat poison, evidently intended to increase bleeding.
Had it gone off, dozens of men, women and children would have been killed or injured.
A bomb did go off in the face of Todd Vanbiber, a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. In 1997, Vanbiber was planning to detonate 14 pipe bombs on a major route in Orlando, Fla., to divert attention from two bank robberies Vanbiber and his comrades were planning in the city. He was tinkering with one of the bombs in his storage shed when it exploded in his face.
He was sentenced to 60 years in prison, but his prison time was drastically reduced when he testified against his accomplices. After his release from prison in 2002, for several years he offered offered advice on stocks and other topics on VNN.
The last poster Griffin mentions in his post about the VNN swamp is Craig Cobb, the neo-Nazi who tried to buy up the tiny North Dakota town of Leith and turn it into an all-Aryan enclave named “Cobbsville.”
But Cobb was arrested last November and charged with seven felony counts of terrorizing his neighbors as he and a follower “patrolled” the streets with rifles. Cobb has been in jail ever since, but could be released soon under a plea agreement, a deal Leith officials oppose.
Research by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) shows that having multiple murderers associated with a racist forum is not surprising. A forthcoming two-year study by the SPLC will show that nearly 100 people have been murdered in the last five years by active users on another prominent racist web forum, Stormfront.org. Maynard and Leshkevich were avid users of Stormfront as well.
Griffin also posted his theory about why Miller allegedly murdered “a random 14-year-old child and his grandfather in cold blood.” A 53-year-old woman was also killed in the afternoon attacks.
“First, Glenn Miller thought the 14-year-old child and his grandfather were Jewish, and his hero Alex Linder has consistently advocated his ‘principled solution’ of exterminating the Jews for 10 years now, so Glenn assumed that by acting to exterminate the Jews he would win the admiration of his peers at VNN Forum.”
Griffin added that Miller “swallowed” Linder’s “psychopathic nonsense” about “Christian morality as a major obstacle to the dehumanization and extermination of the Jews” and “as a result he wasn’t restrained by the Ten Commandments when he opened fire on the 14-year-old child and his grandfather.”
The boy and his grandfather were killed in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. The center was packed with hundreds of teenage singers, auditioning for a singing contest while young performers were trying out for a part in “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
A poster on VNN identifying himself as Tom Sanders said he liked Miller and was “glad he will go to heaven for sure now.
“These Bolshevik brats,” Sanders wrote, “were rehearsing the play ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ which is about a scum lawyer who gets a black rapist of a white women off, and is portrayed as a hero.
“He acted appropriately. That kind of filth is disgusting and they should all be shot more than once.”
It is indeed a dark and scary swamp.
Laurie Wood contributed to this report.