The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Frazier Glenn Miller, the longtime neo-Nazi accused of killing three people last spring at two Jewish facilities in suburban Kansas City, fired his team of experienced lawyers during a testy status hearing in the case on Thursday.
Miller, who is 74 and in poor health, told the presiding Johnson County, Kan., District Court judge that he thought representing himself was “the only damn way” he would be allowed to say what he wanted during his upcoming capital murder trial, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Miller, who suffers from chronic emphysema, was seated in a wheel chair with an oxygen tank at his side in court Thursday, as the judge cautioned Miller against representing himself in such a complicated proceeding.
“It’s my life and I’ll do as I please,” Miller said, according to The Kansas City Star. “The death penalty don’t bother me.”
After he has his say at the trial scheduled to begin Aug. 17, Miller told the judge, he “might climb up on the gurney and stick the needle in, myself.”
Miller is accused of gunning down William Corporon, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan., on April 13, 2014. Corporon had taken his grandson to the center to audition for a singing contest. Minutes later, prosecutors say, Miller shot and killed Terri LaManno, 53, outside of the Village Shalom care center, where she had gone to visit her mother.
Miller has said he drove from his home in Aurora, Mo., to Overland Park with one goal in mind: killing Jews. He told The Kansas City Star last November that he was convinced he was dying and wanted to “make damned sure I killed some Jews or attacked the Jews before I died.”
None of the three people killed that Sunday in April was Jewish.
The status hearing began with the Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe telling the judge that Miller’s court-appointed lawyers had twice told prosecutors that the elderly white supremacist would plead guilty in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table. The state declined both times, including the defense’s most recent offer on May 6, according to the Star. Moments later, Miller shouted that he was firing his attorneys and wished to represent himself. The judge, Kelly Ryan, called a recess to give Miller and his attorneys time to discuss the issue in private. When court resumed, Miller said he still wanted to represent himself.
Judge Ryan warned Miller that he would be held to the same standards and rules as a licensed attorney. He asked Miller if he thought he was competent to do so.
“My IQ is probably higher than yours,” Miller replied, according to the Star.
The judge asked Miller’s now fired attorney, Mark Manna, if he would remain in the case on a stand-by basis to assist Miller or if need be to take over again. Manna agreed to do so and the judge granted Miller’s request.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled on June 10.
It should be an interesting summer with Miller in charge of his own defense once his trial begins. According to the Star, Miller said one witness he intends to call is actor Mel Gibson.
A veteran sheriff’s deputy who, until a couple of days ago, investigated property crimes in Bibb County, Ga., was arrested and fired Wednesday for allegedly trying to commit a property crime of his own that came straight out of the antigovernment “sovereign citizen” handbook of scams and schemes.
The deputy, Albert Gordon Murray, 53, was seen last week, according to The Telegraph, changing the locks on a vacant $140,000 house he did not own after allegedly filing false liens and possession affidavits for the property – standard operating procedure for sovereign citizen real estate hustles. Sovereigns generally believe the government has no authority over them, and they are given to a variety of financial schemes including the seizure of homes that don’t belong to them.
A real estate agent with a prospective buyer in tow arrived at the house while Murray was still there, fiddling with the locks. Murray showed the agent a document. He said it was an “affidavit of possession,” Bibb County Sheriff David Davis told Hatewatch Friday afternoon, adding the agent was immediately suspicious, saying to himself, “Wait a minute, this ain’t right.”
The sheriff said as the agent was studying the bogus document, Murray pulled the client to the side and brazenly offered to sell him the house for $60,000 – a real steal, in more ways than one. As Murray drove away, the agent jotted down the plate number on the deputy’s unmarked government vehicle and notified authorities. “He’s out there in an unmarked sheriff’s car, conducting this business,” Davis said. “It’s disheartening.”
A few days later, Murray and three associates – Dimitrious Brown, 33, Clifford Greene, 58 and Lemroyal James, 51 – were in handcuffs, charged with making false statements and writings. Murray was also charged with violating his oath as a lawman and was fired.
When they were arrested, the sheriff said, “they all professed these sovereign citizen ideals about they’re not part of this government, they’re not bound by our laws.”
One of the men even refused to sign his fingerprint card, declaring, “I don’t do this. I’m not part of your laws.”
Davis’ former deputy did not go nearly as far in his sovereign citizen pronouncements. “The other three were pretty resolute in what they were saying,” the sheriff said. “But I think they were all more in it for the scam and the houses than the ideology.”
Davis told The Telegraph that one of the men was arrested while “filing a lien at the courthouse” and authorities have reportedly found at least four other houses in the area that the men allegedly claimed as their own in a similar fraudulent fashion.
Investigators, Davis told Hatewatch, suspect the men may have filed phony liens on upward of two dozen properties in Bibb and in two adjoining counties. “It was sort of a big operation,” he said.
Murray had been in law enforcement for years before his colleagues locked him up. He joined the police force in Macon, Ga., in 2001 and became a Bibb County deputy sheriff in 2014, when the departments merged.
Davis said that during his days in the Macon police department, Murray had ties to the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors. That group was originally a putatively Muslim organization from Brooklyn, N.Y., that evolved into a cult, preaching not a “theology” but “factology,” mixing black supremacist ideas with worship of the Egyptians and their pyramids and a belief in UFOs.
In 1993, a large group of true believers moved from New York to a 476-acre spread in Putnam County, Ga., northeast of Bibb County. The Moors were led by an ex-con named Dwight York, who lived in a mansion on the property while his followers lived in cheap trailers. He charged them $25 a year for Nuwaubian “passports” that allowed them to get on and off the property.
As many as 400 other followers – also Nuwaubians – lived in the surrounding area. The group set up a network of chapters and bookstores called All Eyes on Egipt and members raised money through begging and holding jobs, including in the post office and in area fire and police departments.
The former deputy, the sheriff said, “was a member of the sect.”
In 2004, York was sentenced to 135 years in prison for molesting a huge number of children, among other crimes. That same year, according to The Telegraph, seven Macon police officers, supporters of York, resigned, saying police and government officials were ignoring new evidence of York’s innocence.
The police chief at the time, Rodney Monroe, told the paper that he did not want the officers to resign and each one had “served the department and city well.”
Davis said Murray and one other officer associated with the Moors refused to join the mass resignation and “the other guys got mad at them and kicked them out of the club so to speak.”
The year before, three suspected Nuwaubians were taken into custody after allegedly filing a bogus $283 million lien against U.S. Postal Service bank accounts and property. The police said the men then created fake checks – they called them “certified tender of payment certificates” – and tried to use them to buy two luxury houses in Decatur.
Authorities said the men, two of whom worked for the postal service, intended to sell the homes and use the cash to purchase land in Bibb County to establish a new home for the cult.
While their numbers have dwindled dramatically since the cult leader went to prison, Davis said there are still Nuwaubians in the area. “And,” he said, “they still believe in some of that ideology.”
An Arizona man once charged with trying to travel overseas to wage violent jihad and his roommate have been identified as the gunmen killed Sunday evening in Texas after they opened fire outside a contest that was being held to crown the best cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
The event, which was attended by about 200 people in the Dallas suburb of Garland, was sponsored by Pamela Geller, the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead. When the gunfire erupted shortly before 7 p.m., security guards whisked Geller to safety in the inner reaches of the building.
Extra security, including several off-duty Garland police officers, had been hired for what the organizers must have known was a potentially incendiary event, the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest. Under most interpretations of Islamic law, it is expressly forbidden to depict the prophet visually, and Muslims have historically reacted with violence when newspapers and magazines have done so.
In January, two French Muslim brothers killed 12 people during an attack in Paris at the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had occasionally published cartoons depicting the prophet.
Before they were killed, the gunmen in Texas, who did not make it past the parking lot of the Curtis Culwell Center, shot and wounded a security guard. The guard was treated and released. No one else was injured in the short-lived attack.
One of the fallen suspects, according to ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA), was identified as Elton Simpson, 30, who had previously been the subject of an FBI terror investigation. GMA quoted a senior FBI official saying investigators believed Simpson, of North Phoenix, is the person who sent out several Twitter messages prior to the failed Sunday attack.
The last message, sent about half an hour before the shooting, the official said, used the hashtag #TexasAttack.
The Guardian described one tweet as saying that “the user and his ‘bro’ had pledged allegiance to Amirul Mu’mineen, Arabic for ‘commander of the faithful,’ and possibly a reference to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
The New York Times reports that in 2010 federal prosecutors charged Simpson with plotting to travel to Somalia “for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad” and then lying about his plans to federal agents. The Times said a judge found Simpson guilty of lying but ruled the government did not prove the rest of its case. Simpson was sentenced to three years’ probation.
Simpson’s 34-year-old roommate, Nadir Soofi, was identified as the second gunmen as FBI agents combed the Phoenix area apartment complex where it is believed the men lived, according to The Washington Post.
Appearing on CNN this morning, Geller said the attack “will wake up the American people” to the realization that the “war is here.”
Geller, the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim group, also told CNN that her organization had to spend upwards of $50,000 for added security for the contest that offered a top prize of $10,000.
Weeks earlier, in justifying putting on the controversial cartoon competition, Geller said: “After the Charlie Hebdo massacre – and after the violent Muhammad cartoon riots a few years ago – there should have been cartoon exhibits all over the free world, to show jihadists and their stealth groups … that we will not kowtow to violent intimidation.”
Dutch politician Geert Wilders, best known for his criticism of Islam, delivered the keynote address. A cartoonist who calls himself “a recovered Muslim” won the $10,000 prize.
The event was almost over when the gunmen drove up to near the entrance of the parking lot, jumped out of their car and shot the security guard in the ankle.
That’s as far as they got. They were shot and killed by a police officer in a brief exchange of gunfire. Their bodies lay where they fell next to their car throughout the night and into Monday morning as police, using a robot, slowly examined the vehicle for booby-traps and bombs. None were found.
Geller has been a verbal bomber thrower for years, relentlessly shrill and coarse in her broad-brush denunciations of Islam. She also makes preposterous claims, such as the assertion that President Obama is the “love child” of Malcolm X.
Geller uses her website to publish insults of Muslims. She posted (and later removed) a video implying that Muslims practice bestiality with goats and a cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad with a pigs’ face (observant Muslims do not eat pork).
After the shooting at Geller’s event in Garland Sunday night, Alia Salem, head of the Dallas chapter of the Council on Islamic Relations, told The Daily Beast that she had for weeks “passionately urged” Muslims to ignore Geller and her provocative contest.
On her Facebook page on April 25, Salem said Geller’s goal was “to incite our community and rile us up and I do not want to give her the satisfaction or media attention she thrives on. Without our reaction she has no story at all and no draw for the media which is what keeps her going and allows her to get publicity.”
Salem asked, “Let’s not fall for it. Please.”
At least two men did not heed her plea.
Post updated at 4:07 pm CST, May 4, 2015.
FBI terrorism task force agents investigating an antigovernment bomb threat in Miami last week went looking for a man named “Rabbit,” but ended up arresting “Squirrel,” instead.
Today, Morris R. “Squirrel” Whitehead sits in a jail without bond, accused in U.S. District Court of willfully making a telephone threat to damage or destroy an Internal Revenue Service office in Miami.
The threat was made on April 20 when someone called the FBI’s Miami Field Office and said — while being recorded — that “the IRS Building in Miami should be evacuated within two hours because it was going to go up in smoke.” ( continue to full post… )
Old, sick and and behind bars for more than a year, neo-Nazi and accused triple-murderer Frazier Glenn Miller is apparently ready to officially confess at least some of his crimes and sins.
In a telephone call from jail on Monday, Miller, 74, reportedly told The Associated Press (AP) that he now intends to plead guilty to killing three people at two Jewish facilities in suburban Kansas City last spring. The rampage ended with the longtime white supremacist handcuffed in the back of a police car, screaming, “Heil Hitler.”
Miller, who suffers from chronic emphysema, told the AP he had wanted to go to trial quickly so he could explain in open court – more like rant and rave – the motive for his attack on three unarmed people, including an elderly man and his 14-year-old grandson. ( continue to full post… )
A Pennsylvania supporter of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy has pleaded guilty in federal court to threatening a Bureau of Land Management enforcement official during Bundy’s armed standoff last year with federal officials.
Will Michael, 24, pleaded guilty this week to threatening a federal law enforcement official as well as making interstate communication threats, the Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday. He will be sentenced in July.
While Michael did not travel to Nevada during the April 12, 2014, standoff, he did leave a profanity-strewn telephone message with Mike Roop, the chief Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ranger for Washington and Oregon, in which he said, “We’re going to kill you,” according to federal court documents cited by The Times.
Bundy, who last weekend celebrated the anniversary of his standoff with BLM agents, seemed concerned that this would send a troubling message to his supporters. Michael is the first person arrested or charged in connection with the Bundy case, despite widespread calls across the nation for justice.
“I’m concerned,” Bundy told the Times. “It looks to me like they’re looking for someone easy to pick on. This guy was back in Pennsylvania. He wasn’t even out here in Nevada. I don’t even know what he said.” He added, “It sort of seems like this could be the government’s first move – I hope not.”
After the standoff, the Southern Poverty Law Center released a special report that, based on interviews with militia commanders on scene that day, documented a plan to coordinate the dozens of militias that responded to Bundy’s call for help, the Bundy family and other supporters to face off with the BLM.
The shotgun killing of a print shop supervisor at Wayne Community College yesterday in Goldsboro, N.C., is now being investigated as a hate crime, with a 20-year-old neo-Nazi in custody in Florida.
Kenneth Morgan Stancil III, of Goldsboro, was arrested early Tuesday while sleeping on the ocean beach in Daytona, Fla. – 540 miles from the community college print shop where Ron Lane was fatally shot as he arrived for work, authorities said.
Goldsboro police said today they are investigating the homicide as a hate crime, but are not publicly discussing a specific motive.
Police Sgt. Jeremy Sutton told reporters that the suspect had a calculated plan that he carried out with one blast from a 12-gauge pistol-grip shotgun before fleeing the Wayne County college campus on a motorcycle. The motorcycle was later found abandoned on Interstate 95 near Lumberton, N.C.
Brent Hood, who was the supervisor of the shooting victim, said Lane was gay, Greensboro, N.C., television station WITN reported.
The suspect has the number “88” — signifying “Heil Hitler” because the eighth letter of the alphabet is H — tattooed on his cheek. He also has a German Iron Cross tattoo on his neck, which can be a neo-Nazi signifier as well.
Police say they believe Stancil’s “88” facial tattoo was done as recently as last weekend — perhaps a symbolic act as he contemplated taking the life of another person in furtherance of his white supremacist beliefs.
Sutton, of the Goldsboro police department, said investigators are aware of the tattoo and its connection to white supremacy.
Lane had been employed in the college print shop for more than 16 years, and the suspect previously was a work-study student there.
Dr. Kay Albertson, the president of Wayne Community College, told media outlets that Stancil was fired from his work-study job on March 3 for “poor attendance.”
It’s not clear at this point how the suspect got from Lumberton, where he abandoned his motorcycle, to Daytona Beach, where Volusia County Beach Patrol found him sleeping on a beach around 1:20 a.m. this morning with a knife in his possession. They took him into custody for further investigation.
One year after hundreds of heavily armed antigovernment “Patriots” swarmed the Nevada desert to help rancher Cliven Bundy in his fight with the federal government – an event that nearly ended in bloodshed – the Bundy family is ready again.
Beginning on Friday, the family plans to hold a three-day celebration to mark the anniversary of the April 12, 2014, standoff with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) agents, and the subsequent decision by the federal government to abandon efforts to confiscate Bundy’s cattle as payment for more than $1 million in unpaid grazing fees.
Dubbed “the Battle of Bunkerville” by the antigovernment movement, the standoff led to widespread animus toward the federal government in a movement already fixated on conspiracy theories that covered everything from the secret introduction of endangered desert tortoises to push Bundy of public lands, to the idea that the federal government had secret plans with the Chinese government to turn large swaths of Nevada into solar farms.
In the months after the standoff, patriot paranoia spread across the American West, too – a trend that was documented in a Southern Poverty Law Center special investigative report, War in the West, that tracked the spread of Bundy’s ideas and revealed that the April 12 standoff was part of an orchestrated, planned militia effort, not an organic uprising of populist fury.
The Bundy’s have said the weekend celebration will include camping, hiking, shooting, cowboy poetry and a barbecue. Speakers at the weekend celebration include former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack, Nye County (Nevada) Sheriff Sharon Wehrly and Nevada Councilwoman Michelle Fiore, who has taken on Bundy’s fight with the feds in the state legislature. Bundy will deliver remarks about the last year on Saturday evening.
The anniversary of the Bundy standoff is more than a moment of celebration for the antigovernment movement, though. It is also a reminder that a year has passed during which the federal government has done nothing to hold Bundy accountable for those who committed crimes that day, and has let Bundy stand in bold defiance of a federal court order.
The BLM has yet to respond to dozens of requests in the last year for comment.
An antigovernment extremist who espoused killing police officers, judges and using napalm to burn down a county courthouse has been arrested in Montana after buying a fully automatic shotgun during six-month FBI sting.
William Krisstofer Wolf, 52, who broadcast his extremist views on a weekly webcast called “The Montana Republic,” was arrested Wednesday by FBI agents in Livingston, Mont., after paying $725 and taking possession of a sawed-off, fully automatic Russian Saiga-12 shotgun capable of shooting 10 rounds in two seconds, court documents say. His arrest came without incident.
The case will be presented to a federal grand jury for indictment while West remains in jail without bond on a charge of possession an illegal fully automatic machine gun.
Wolf allegedly expressed a desire to buy the illegal gun during a series of meetings he had, beginning last November, with an FBI informant who introduced Wolf to an undercover FBI agent, the documents say. It’s likely those conversations were secretly recorded by the FBI, although that’s not specifically detailed in public records.
During those meetings, Wolf also discussed building a “blowtorch gun” with a range up to 150 feet “for the purpose of protection against law enforcement officers wearing body armor.”
The court documents also say Wolf discussed using his blowtorch gun to destroy a “BearCAT” armored vehicle recently acquired by the Bozeman Police Department for use in SWAT operations. He allegedly said the most-effective way of destroying the police armored vehicle “would be cooking it from the inside.”
As the FBI continued monitoring West’s activities, agents learned that possession of the type of flamethrower described by Wolf wouldn’t violate federal law, the court documents disclose. But during those discussions, they say, Wolf also expressed his desire to acquire the Russian-made fully automatic shotgun.
Wolf began broadcasting “The Montana Republic” in November 2013 “to bring like-minded Patriots from across the country” together to discuss ways to counter local, state and federal officials who Patriots consider to be “overstepping on constitutional rights,” the documents say.
In several of his webcasts, West talked about “taking out bridges or power grids and seizing law enforcement vehicles and weapons,” they say.
“Over the next 12 months, Wolf repeatedly espoused his contempt for local judges, law enforcement, the county attorney, city and county commissioners and agents and agencies of the federal government,” the documents say.
When a “sovereign citizen” was arrested in Montana, Wolf urged his fellow Patriots to make citizen’s arrests of judges involved in the case and “stated his intention to use a means of force if necessary.”
Wolf advocated targeting police officers suspected of violating their oaths of office — comparing “shooting law enforcement officers to gopher hunting,” the documents allege.
Last October, in another broadcast, Wolf said federal judges who overturned gay marriage bans also “are now viable targets because they violated the Constitution.”
“As it sits folks, please understand, I firmly believe that all agents of the government, all judiciary, and all police officers are targets,” he said on the broadcast.
At a Patriots “committee of safety” meeting that Wolf hosted in late January, he discussed destroying the Gallatin County Courthouse in Bozeman, Mont. “My preferred method, I’m serious … would be to drop 500 pounds of napalm through the roof of the courthouse and burn it to the ground and roast some marshmallows on it.”
“I don’t believe in doing anything that’s not extreme and right now, wiping that place out would be my extreme movement and then my next [question] would be, ‘OK, which county, city building is going to be next?’”
When someone in the group urged West to exercise restraint and caution, the court documents say, he responded that if “they wanted to put him in jail, they had better bring a coroner and several body bags.”
The oft-delayed Arizona trial of erstwhile Minuteman leader Chris Simcox on child-molestation charges has blown up once again, thanks primarily to Simcox’s insistence on having the right to personally cross-examine his alleged victims — two young girls aged 7 and 8.
Simcox had previously raised the possibility that this might occur when he announced that he intended to represent himself at his trial, something he has a constitutional right to do. However, Maricopa County prosecutor Yigael Cohen requested before the trial began that Superior Court Judge Jose Padilla require that Simcox’s two “advisory” attorneys question the girls, one of whom is Simcox’s daughter.
Now, according to a report by Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times, Judge Padilla has conceded to Simcox’s counter-argument — namely, that he should be permitted to directly cross-examine the two girls because doing so is “a crucial cornerstone of his desire to present his best defense.” Padilla ruled in a hearing Thursday afternoon that Simcox would be allowed to question the girls, who were 5 and 6 years old when the crimes allegedly occurred.
But Padilla refused to remove himself from the trial, which Simcox had also requested.
According to The Associated Press, prosecutors plan to immediately file an appeal of Padilla’s ruling, meaning the trial — which had already been delayed nine times since Simcox’s arrest in July 2013 — is likely to last into the summer. Lemons reported that deputy county attorney Kelli Luther argued strenuously against allowing Simcox to “control his own victims in the courtroom,” pointing to U.S. Supreme Court and federal appellate court rulings allowing for special accommodations to be made in similar instances.
However, Padilla said he would need evidence that the children are traumatized at the prospect of being interrogated by their alleged molester, and brushed aside letters from the girls’ mothers attesting to that effect: “With all due respect,” he said, “[the mothers] are simply not qualified to make that assessment.”
In the filing made this week, Simcox argues that the children “were never subjected to … harm in the first place,” so the county attorney is “asking the court to find the defendant guilty … before the trial has even begun.”
Simcox was originally charged with also molesting a third little girl, whom Simcox allegedly bribed with candy to expose her genitals, but those charges were dropped after the grand jury chose not to indict him in that case. However, that girl is expected to be a prosecution witness as well.
Simcox’s trial was most recently scheduled to begin March 24. However, when attorneys gathered in Padilla’s courtroom that day, they were informed that Simcox was in the hospital, for reasons that could not be disclosed under medical-privacy laws, and would be there for a week. At a pretrial conference on Thursday, Judge Padilla scheduled jury selection to begin on April 6.
But if the prosecutors proceed to take the ruling on the girls’ testimony to an appeals court, that schedule seems unlikely at best.
These developments are the latest in a long and twisted road to trial for Simcox, who previously had suggested he would present a “grand conspiracy” defense that he had been targeted for prosecution, and the evidence against him invented, because of his prominent role as a leader and co-founder of the nativist extremism group called the Minutemen. The judge later informed him that such a defense would not be allowed.
At the height of the border vigilante movement, Simcox was president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a nationwide, anti-immigration organization that led armed “citizen border patrols” in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, along with a smattering of states on the Canadian border where Minutemen had deployed to protect America from northern invaders. Never modest, the cigar-chomping Simcox was a hyper and relentless self-aggrandizer who came across with the smug egotism that quickly earned him the nickname “The Little Prince.”
He was known for over-the-top claims, like his repeated assertion that he had seen Chinese Red Army men at the Mexican border, preparing to attack the U.S. Nevertheless, he was featured repeatedly on Lou Dobbs’ CNN show and a plethora of shows on Fox News, where he was treated as a serious critic of immigration policy.
But even then, there were allegations of sexual abuse. As the SPLC reported in 2005, Simcox was accused by his first wife of molesting another daughter when she was a teenager, although no complaint was ever made to police. His second wife also sought custody of their teenage son because, she said, Simcox had become violent and unpredictable. His third wife — the mother of his current accuser — took out a restraining order against Simcox in 2010 when she divorced him.