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June 20, 2013

Former Border Vigilante Leader Arrested For Child Molestation

chris-simcox

Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

Phoenix, Arizona police officers arrested once-prominent vigilante leader Chris Simcox, 52, on June 19 on child molestation charges.  Authorities have charged Simcox with two counts of child molestation, one count of attempted child molestation, and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.  According to police, Simcox had allegedly molested several victims, all girls under 10 years of age, within recent months.

The arrest marked a new low for Simcox, who at one point in the mid-2000s achieved national notoriety for his high-profile vigilante patrols along the Arizona-Mexico border as one of the founders of the Minuteman Project.  However, his fall from grace was just as rapid as his ascent.

Simcox spent his early adult years as a kindergarten teacher in California, before moving to Tombstone, Arizona, where he bought a tiny newspaper, the Tombstone Tumbleweed, in 2002.  Simcox used the newspaper as an outlet for his anti-immigration views and soon issued a call for a “Citizens Border Patrol Militia” to patrol the border with Mexico.  Simcox subsequently started an early border vigilante group, Civil Homeland Defense.  By 2004, he had received probation and a fine following a conviction for carrying a firearm onto a national park.

In 2005, Simcox banded together with Californian Jim Gilchrist to form the Minuteman Project, a high-profile effort to get mainstream support for border vigilante activities.  In this, Simcox and Gilchrist were at first quite successful, garnering national attention and spawning various “Minuteman” groups across the country.  For a brief period of time, Simcox could hobnob with politicians such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rick Perry. 

However, Simcox and Gilchrist could not get along and parted ways, splitting the Minuteman Project into two separate organizations.  Simcox’s half became the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC) and focused on border vigilante activity.  Because of Simcox’s lack of leadership skills, as well as financial scandals, the group went into decline, shedding members and chapters.  In 2009, Simcox attempted a different tactic, stepping down from MCDC leadership and announcing he would attempt to unseat Arizona Senator John McCain.  This was no more successful; by early 2010, he dropped out of the race.

The molestation charges against Simcox are the first such criminal charges against him, but not the first allegations against him related to children.  In 2005, Deborah Crews, one of Simcox’s ex-wives, told the Southern Poverty Law Center that in 1998 Simcox allegedly “tried to molest our daughter when he was intoxicated.”  No charges were apparently filed.  A second ex-wife, Kim Dunbar, filed a successful legal appeal for full custody of their son.  She alleged that Simcox had violent rages, including one incident in which she said Simcox slapped his four-year-old son hard enough to leave a mark lasting days.

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May 4, 2012

A Hater Until The End: The Last Messages of J.T. Ready

White supremacist and anti-immigration extremist J. T. Ready took his life in horrific and tragic fashion on Wednesday, killing four others, including an infant, before shooting himself in the Phoenix, Arizona, suburb of Gilbert. Though the investigation is ongoing, police believe that Ready initiated the murderous spree of domestic violence. 

The Anti-Defamation League has uncovered Ready’s final on-line messages, revealing that, even in the final hours before he took his own life and the lives of those closest to him, he was busy spewing hatred and anti-Semitism. Early in the morning of Wednesday, May 2, the day of the massacre, Ready posted a steady stream of messages to the video hosting site YouTube as well as to the white supremacist message forum Stormfront.

These messages from Ready drip with heavy-handed racism and anti-Semitism. “Hitler was right,” Ready responded (posting under his screen name of USBorderGuard) on YouTube to a comment from a British user. “And if you are too stupid to see that then you deserve to get pushed off your island into the sea by a bunch of foreigners. Jews like Jack Straw have sold you down the river[,] mate.”

In another post, he opined, “Too bad traitors from within are selling the UK down the drain and letting Pakis in at home to destroy the British race once and for good. I hope the soldiers revolt and take back their island from the scum.”

In response to a video of journalist Mike Wallace interviewing Morgan Freeman about Black History Month, Ready asserted that “Jews are not White. They hate White people. [T]hey genocide Whites from the planet.” He also repeated this opinion in another post in response to a different video: “The Jew parasites want to genocide Whites from the planet in order to enslave the rest of the races. All races should unite against this evil.”

Ready also posted to the hate site Stormfront at this time, though after the shooting spree that site’s moderators deleted his account. However, through Google caches or in responses from other posters who subsequently quoted Ready’s messages, his final comments on Stormfront could still be unearthed.

Not surprisingly, these posts also revealed his obsession with anti-Semitism. In them, Ready responded to news that five anarchists had been arrested in Cleveland for allegedly attempting to destroy a bridge. Ready seemed convinced that Jews were involved, either as perpetrators or as plotters in the government creating a set-up. “Have [the anarchists] not yet figured out,” he asked, “that they are both just tools in the same globalist tyranny toolbox?”

To another poster, who expressed doubt as to whether or not the anarchist suspects were Jewish, he responded: “Learn what a Jew looks like[,] then you won’t be so Jewblind. Calling a Jew a ‘hipster,’ [C]hristian, atheist, Buddhist, communist, capitalist, liberal, conservative, traitor, patriot, criminal, saint, democrat, republican, or anything else…still does not change the racial fact that a JEW is a JEW!”

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May 2, 2012

Arizona White Supremacist And Border Vigilante J.T. Ready Identified As Perpetrator In Mass Shooting

Update: The Anti-Defamation League has uncovered Ready’s final on-line messages, revealing that, even in the final hours before he took his own life and the lives of those closest to him, he was busy spewing hatred and anti-Semitism. 

The Arizona Republic reported on May 2 that the perpetrator behind a shocking mass shooting in Gilbert, Arizona, was J. T. Ready, a prominent neo-Nazi and border vigilante activist.  Ready reportedly shot and killed four people, including his girlfriend and an infant child, before killing himself as well.

Information is still emerging about the shooting incident itself, which will make headlines in the Phoenix area for weeks to come, but what is certain about J. T. Ready is his notorious past.  For almost a decade, J. T. Ready has been significant as a key nexus between the white supremacist movement and the extreme wing of the anti-immigration movement, able to move freely within both spheres.

J. T. Ready stepped onto the public stage in 2004 as an anti-immigration activist, associated with Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce as well as the border vigilante Minuteman Project. His ability to gain mainstream support suffered considerably after April 2007 when the Phoenix New Times and the Anti-Defamation League outed Ready as a white supremacist and neo-Nazi. Following this, he became openly involved with the National Socialist Movement, a prominent neo-Nazi group.

More recently, Ready parted with the NSM to concentrate more on anti-immigration and border vigilante activities, forming his own group, the U.S. Border Guard, which conducted numerous armed vigilante patrols along the Arizona-Mexico border.  These patrols attracted neo-Nazis from as far away as California. 

The Border Guard’s web page prominently quotes Ready as saying “Some of us have our fingers on the triggers; Soap box. Ballot box. Ammo box. These were given to us by our founding fathers and mothers.  We have just about depleted the first two options.”

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