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December 3, 2015

Bonnie and Clydes Rare—But Not Unheard Of—In Violent Extremism

Syed Farook

Syed Farook

Background information on Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the married perpetrators of the tragic mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, is still sparse, as is clarity concerning the motive behind the vicious attack that left 14 dead and 21 wounded.

However, according to media reports from the in-progress investigation, there is growing concern among law enforcement officials that the shootings may have had a connection to Islamic extremism or that there might have been a mixed extremist/workplace motive behind them.  The FBI has said that it is now treating its investigation of the killings as a counter-terrorism investigation.

One thing that is exceedingly rare in traditional workplace shootings is for there to be multiple perpetrators, as there was in this case.  As one law enforcement official told The New York Times, “You don’t take your wife to a workplace shooting, and especially not as prepared as they were.  He could have been radicalized, ready to go with some type of attack, and then had a dispute at work and decided to do something.”

Multiple perpetrators are certainly common in extremist-related crimes, of course, despite the existence of the “lone wolf” phenomenon.  Women are also frequently involved in extremist-related criminal activity in almost every extremist movement in the United States.

However, when one examines recent criminal cases in the U.S. involving domestic Islamic extremists, one finds that female partners of male perpetrators—even when themselves involved in criminal activities—have not typically engaged in violence.  Overseas, women have sometimes taken on more violent roles, including as suicide bombers.

If an Islamic extremist motive is confirmed in the San Bernardino shootings, the fact of husband-and-wife shooters would be a new wrinkle in the history of the violent tactics of that movement in the United States.

Extremist-related violence involving husbands and wives—or non-married partners—is actually not unheard of in the United States, but it tends to come from a very different source:  right-wing extremism.  Though not what one could call a common phenomenon, such violent “Bonnie and Clyde” couples do emerge with regularity from within both the white supremacist and anti-government extremist movements in the United States.

In fact, right-wing extremism even produced an example of the exceedingly rare phenomenon of a married couple both of whom were on death row:  anti-government extremists Linda Lyon Block and George Sibley.  In 1993, the two sovereign citizens non-fatally stabbed Block’s ex-husband, then while on the run murdered an Alabama police officer in a shootout.  Both were executed in the 2000s.

In more recent years, extremist couples have been involved with everything from standoffs with police to hate crimes to terrorist conspiracies.  But some of the most shocking “Bonnie and Clyde” incidents have involved multiple homicides committed by white supremacists and anti-government extremists:

  • Jerad and Amanda Miller, a young married couple who adhered to the anti-government ideology of the militia movement, targeted two Las Vegas police officers for assassination in June 2014, killing them at a pizza restaurant as they ate their Sunday lunch.  The couple crossed the street to a Wal-mart in anticipation of a final shootout with first responders, where Amanda killed an armed civilian trying to stop them.  As they had intended, they did both die during a shootout with law enforcement at the store, with a wounded Amanda killing herself after Jerad was shot.
  • Jeremy and Christine Moody, white supremacists from Union County, South Carolina, killed a nearby married couple in July 2013 in a particularly grisly double homicide in which both victims were shot and stabbed.  The Moodys had targeted the victim because they wanted to kill a registered sex offender and found the male victim’s name and address on the Internet.  They killed his wife because she had married a sex offender.  Both pleaded guilty to murder in 2014, receiving life sentences with no parole, but were unrepentant, with Christine Moody calling the day of the murders “the best day of my life.”
  • Holly Grigsby and David Pedersen, a white supremacist couple from Oregon, embarked upon a multi-state murder spree in 2011 that totaled four killed before police could find and stop them.  The pair traveled to Washington to murder Pederson’s father and stepmother, each killing one victim, then killed a young man in Oregon to steal his car and because they thought he might be Jewish.  They killed an African-American man in northern California in another carjacking attempt, though they did not end up taking the vehicle, then were finally apprehended by the California Highway Patrol.  Grigsby told the arresting officers that they were to Sacramento to “kill more Jews” when they were stopped.  Both pleaded guilty to a variety of crimes and received life sentences.

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August 1, 2013

Suspected Killer Of Sex Offender Published Book Advocating Killing Sex Offenders

Jeremy Moody, the racist skinhead charged along with his wife, Christine Moody, in the murder of a registered sex offender and his wife in Jonesville, South Carolina, on July 21, previously published a book in which he called for the killing of sex offenders.jeremy-moody-book-post

Moody’s 85-page self-published book, Yesterday, Today & Forever, is in most respects a typical white supremacist screed. Its title was borrowed from the name of an album from the Florida-based Oi! band Children of the Reich. 

The book, which Moody claimed “will live on through the ages,” includes sections that deny the Holocaust, that claim whites are more intelligent than non-whites, that engage in 9-11 conspiracy theories, that rail against homosexuality, and that elaborate on Moody’s Christian Identity beliefs.  Christian Identity is a racist and anti-Semitic religious sect that claims that white people are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel; Moody writes about a future time when “God’s chosen White Adamic men and women” will “attack…Zionist and negro whores.”

But Moody also includes content on another subject, what he terms “the lowest of all the species.”  That subject is “child molesters.”  Indeed, Moody goes so far as to include a special section entitled “Child Abuser (I Seek Your Death).”    He admitted that “this topic does not flow with the overall theme of this book,” but explained that “it’s a topic that I’m passionate about just the same.” 

After taking some time to recite alleged statistics about child abuse in the United States, and asserting that “it is not possible to rehabilitate a child molester,” Moody gets to his proposed “solution” to the problem of sex offenders.  “The only cure for child abusers and molesters,” he proclaims, “is to have every member of their immediate family killed.”  Moody’s rationale for killing not only sex offenders but their families as well is that “these nefarious crimes and people should not be allowed to procreate.”  By destroying the family, asserts Moody, “you purify the bloodline.”  This is the only way, Moody writes, that sex offenders or their families cannot ever hurt children again. 

Anticipating criticism, Moody claimed that his suggestion was not “immature.”  Rather, he wrote, “I think it’s the only answer, and if you don’t agree, then you too should be destroyed.”

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July 26, 2013

Racist Skinhead Couple Arrested For South Carolina Double Homicide

Deputies from the Union County, South Carolina, Sheriff’s Office arrested racist skinheads Jeremy Lee Moody, 30, and Christine Moody, 36, for the alleged murder of a local couple, one of whom was a registered sex offender, on July 21. 

Deputies had found the victims’ bodies two days earlier.  One victim, Charles Parker, the registered sex offender, had gunshot wounds to the neck and chest; his wife Gretchen had a gunshot wound to her chest.  The bodies also had multiple stab wounds.jeremy-and-christine-moody

Law enforcement officials characterized Jeremy Moody as a possible vigilante, reporting that he had told them he had gone to the Parker residence because Charles Parker was a registered sex offender (the names and addresses of registered sex offenders are easily accessible on the Internet).  Jeremy Moody reportedly had intended to kill another sex offender on the day of his arrest. 

Both Moodys had been white supremacists for some time; Moody claimed earlier in 2013 that he had been a skinhead for 16 years.  He sports numerous white supremacist tattoos.  The Anti-Defamation League first became aware of Jeremy Moody in 2010.  At that time, Moody identified himself as a member of Crew 38, a “support group” for the Hammerskins, a large and violent racist skinhead group. 

Around this time, Jeremy Moody also penned an 85-page self-published screed, Yesterday, Today and Forever, explicating his bigoted views about Jews, blacks, homosexuals and others.  Moody sold copies of the book for the symbolically important amount of $14.88 (“14” is a reference to the white supremacist slogan known as the “14 Words,” while “88” is white supremacist code for “Heil Hitler”).

Both he and his wife Christine frequently adopted the last name of “Mengele” in their on-line postings; Josef Mengele was the infamous Nazi doctor who performed medical experiments at Auschwitz.  Both Moodys had a history of making racist comments that often resulted in the subsequent deletion of on-line profiles they had created.  In comments on a Facebook profile, they also both expressed a love of the popular television show Dexter, about a serial killer who engages in vigilante-style killings of other murderers.

In early June 2013, the Moodys joined a new racist skinhead group, Die Auserwahlten Skins, created by a disenchanted member of another white supremacist group, the Aryan Terror Brigade, in early 2013.  As of January 2013, the group claimed some 25-30 members around the country. 

The Moodys expressed interest in creating a South Carolina branch of the Auserwalhten Skins.  Christine Moody took on the role of a recruiter for the group, though she complained in late June that it was hard to find recruits “when all the white bitches down here have fu–ed ni—rs and the men are all a bunch of drug addicts.”  Ironically, both Moodys were arrested in 2012 on narcotics distribution charges.

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