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August 12, 2016 Off

California White Supremacist Convicted of Murder

On August 11, 2016, a jury con­victed white suprema­cist Billy Ray Mount, of Clear­lake, Cal­i­for­nia, on charges of second-degree murder.

Billy Ray Mount

Billy Ray Mount (Lake County Sheriff’s Office)

Mount, 36, a mem­ber of the racist skin­head orga­ni­za­tion Volks­front, killed Steven Galvin in a drive-by shoot­ing on July 2, 2015, appar­ently in retal­i­a­tion for Galvin’s alleged theft of a tablet computer.

Accord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors, David “Cyclops” Cox, a mem­ber of local racist skin­head group Modesto Hard­core, allegedly called for the attack on Galvin, and was in the car with Mount when the mur­der occurred. Cox, pro­tected by a series of immu­nity agree­ments, pro­vided key tes­ti­mony against Mount dur­ing the trial, recount­ing the mur­der in detail, and telling the jury that Mount had con­fessed to killing Galvin.

Volks­front is a vir­u­lently racist and anti-Semitic group founded in Port­land, Ore­gon, in 1994, whose pri­mary agenda was to estab­lish a whites-only region in the Pacific North­west. Although the group claims to be non-violent, a num­ber of their mem­bers have been con­victed of vio­lent crimes. While it is now essen­tially defunct, the orga­ni­za­tion saw a period of growth between 1999 and 2012. Their Cal­i­for­nia pres­ence has been inter­mit­tent, based on the com­ings and goings of key lead­ers, but many Volks­front adher­ents still iden­tify with the orga­ni­za­tion and social­ize infor­mally. A num­ber of mem­bers also cross-identify with the white suprema­cist group Blood and Hon­our.

In addi­tion to the second-degree mur­der con­vic­tion, Mount, who has a prior crim­i­nal his­tory, was also found guilty of assault with a firearm, dis­charge of a firearm from a vehi­cle, felon in pos­ses­sion of a firearm, and a num­ber of “spe­cial” alle­ga­tions. Pros­e­cu­tors expect Mount’s sen­tence, to be handed down on Sep­tem­ber 6, to range from 25 years to life.

 

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August 8, 2012 3

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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