US Neo-Nazi group celebrated murder of gay Jewish student, member denies charges
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A US white supremacist group celebrated the killing of a gay, Jewish student that is alleged to have been carried out by one of their members.
Blaze Bernstein, a 19-year-old student, was stabbed to death and buried in a California park late last month.
20-year-old Samuel Woodward, who is believed to have been a member of neo-Nazi group ‘Atomwaffen Division’, was arrested and charged with the murder of Bernstein after the victim’s remains were found in Borrego Ranch Park on January 9.
ProPublica today published details of messages sent by members of the extremist group via an encrypted messaging app Discord.
The group embraces a “Third Reich ideology” towards gay people and other minorities – with many celebrating the killing.
One propaganda poster produced by the group encourages LGBT people to take their own lives, saying: “Follow your fellow faggots. 30% of suicides are LGBT related.”
According to the publication, after news stories about the killing were shared in the Discord group, one member posting under the name ‘Heinrich’ wrote:: “I love this… one man gay Jew wrecking crew.”
A user posting under the name Khimaere added: “Samuel ‘Gay Jew Wrecking Crew’ Woodward. That’s his new name”
Some lamented Woodward’s arrest, with one member writing: “Sam did something stupid. Not that the faggot kike didn’t deserve to die. Just simply not worth a life in prison for.”
Woodward himself is believed to have posted hundreds of messages to the Atomwaffen chats before his arrest, according to the outlet.
In messages prior to the killing, Woodward allegedly railed at “mongrels and jews” and gays.
The group is believed to have around 80 members across 23 US states, and members across its cells have taken part in a string of assault weapon training events over the past two years.
ProPublica alleges that affiliates of the group have been charged in a total of five murders and one case of possession of explosives.
Woodward has pleaded not guilty to the killing. Prosecutors are currently investigating whether to pursue hate crime charges.
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Blaze’s parents previously said they believe their son was targeted because he was gay and Jewish.
His mother said: “Absolutely [he was targeted]. He was also a gay man so he was also not a very big person. [He was] a potential target for any crime.”
‘I want answers, I want to know what happened. I want to know the truth.
“It’s sad that a young person is so filled with hate that they need to collaborate with other people of like mind and they could be doing something good.
“Whether or not that has something to do with Blaze’s death has not been determined.”
His father Gideon added: ‘We ask ourselves every day. Why did this happen? We don’t have an answer.”