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August 8, 2012

Girlfriend of Suspected Sikh Temple Shooter Arrested

On Tuesday, authorities investigating the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting arrested the former girlfriend of Wade Page, the suspected shooter, on a weapons charge. Misty Cook (whose formal name may be Brenda Misty Cook), 31, was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm after police allegedly found a weapon in the house she shared with Page.

Misty Cook (on right) with Volksfront members, circa 2007-2008

According to court records, Cook had a felony conviction in 2005 for fleeing and eluding police in Milwaukee County. She received a sentence of 18 months’ probation and served 97 days in jail. Cook was not involved in the deadly shooting, but like Page, was a white supremacist.

Cook’s connections to the white supremacist movement date back a number of years. According to a posting she made on April 18, 2012, to an on-line forum for supporters of the Hammerskins, a racist skinhead group, she “heard Pastor Butler speak 8 years ago and it was very inspiring.”  “Pastor Butler” is Richard Butler, the deceased founder of the notorious neo-Nazi group Aryan Nations. 

In the mid-2000s, Cook had a strong association with the hardcore white supremacist group Volksfront, which has a presence in the Chicago area, where she lived at the time. A Volksfront spokesperson even admitted to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that she had dated several Volksfront members. However, for unknown reasons, she broke with that group around 2008.

By 2009, she had become an active supporter of the Hammerskins, joining Crew 38. Like other hardcore racist skinhead groups, the Hammerskins do not allow women to become members.  Crew 38 (the 38 stands for “Crossed Hammers”) is a “support group” they started for women, hangers-on, and people who wished to become Hammerskins someday.

Cook posted frequently to the Crew 38 site, authoring over 850 messages in a three-year period. In many postings, Cook expressed support for the Hammerskins, stating in one post, for example, “I have a lot of respect for what the Hammers do. I just tend to enjoy brothers who are local and I see them all the time.” On her screen avatar for that forum, she identifies herself as “Crew38 Wisconsin.”

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