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February 19, 2013

Was Hatchet Wielder An Insane Clown Posse Fan?

Mug shot obtained by KUSA 9News

Currently facing criminal trial in Denver, Colorado, is Jason Gemkow, 34.  According to Denver television station KUSA, Gemkow allegedly used a hatchet to attack his former roommate last June, striking the victim twice in the head.  The victim, who was fortunate to survive, later described the attack, saying that “there was blood all over me.  It was like a fountain of blood.” 

Following the attack, Gemkow fled to the Pacific Northwest, where a Lincoln County, Oregon, sheriff’s deputy apprehended him in July 2012 at the Beverly Beach State Park.  Eventually, authorities extradited Gemkow back to Denver, where he has been charged with assault.

Gemkow’s mug shot reveals a prominent “WP” neck tattoo, which is most commonly a white supremacist tattoo standing for “White Power.”  Examination of an old Myspace social networking profile belonging to Gemkow leads to another revealing photograph:  a photo dating from 2010 or 2011 that shows Gemkow wearing a cap with the logo of the Insane Clown Posse (ICP).  ICP’s logo features a man running with a large hatchet.  

ICP is a cult favorite white hip-hop duo from Michigan whose members dress as clowns, as sometimes do its fans, who are called Juggalos.  Juggalos are typically not racist (in fact, many are anti-racist), but a small minority of Juggalos do have ties to white supremacy.  A minority of Juggalos also engage in violent or criminal activity, to the extent that some law enforcement agencies have—controversially—identified some Juggalo groups as street gangs.

There has been at least one previous incident in which a white supremacist Juggalo used a hatchet in a violent attack.  In 2006, Jacob Robida used a hatchet to strike patrons of a gay bar in the head.  He then pulled out a pistol and began shooting the three victims, who survived the attack.  Robida fled to West Virginia, where he picked up a woman, and together they fled west.  On February 4, 2006, Robida shot and killed a Gassville, Arkansas, police officer who had pulled them over.  Following a chase, Robida eventually killed the woman and then himself.

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