By Devin Burghart and Justin Massa in Chicago
Searchlight, July 2001
As the six-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing passed on 19 April 2001, public attention focused on the decline in the mass-based militia movement and the circus-like atmosphere surrounding the impending execution of Tim McVeigh. While the militia movement has declined as a mass phenomenon in the American heartland, terror from small groups of racist revolutionaries continues unabated.
On 19 April, a pair of young would-be Aryan warriors was quietly nabbed for passing counterfeit money at an east coast donut shop, foiling their plot to blow up a Holocaust memorial and a Jewish museum. Meanwhile, a police investigation into neo-Nazi gun-running would end a few weeks later in a car chase, a hail of gunfire that left three police officers wounded, and a white power skinhead dead on a grocery-store meat locker floor.
The two incidents are reminders that while much of the movement may be focused on wooing the mainstream, there is an ever-present threat of violence from the vanguardist wing of the white supremacist movement in the United States.
LEO FELTON AND THE WHITE ORDER OF THULE
At thirty, Leo Felton was already a tragic figure when he left prison in January. Although he was the child of an inter-racial couple, Felton had a lengthy history of racist violence. The heavily tattooed young man spent the previous eleven years in prison for nearly killing a black cab driver in New York and for slitting the throats of two fellow black inmates. During his stay in prison, he discovered two things: the White Order of Thule and Erica Chase.
The White Order of Thule (WOT) gave Felton’s racist rage focus. WOT is an esoteric neo-Nazi outfit that published Fenris Wolf and was known inside prison walls for its violence. Felton received copies of Fenris Wolf while in a New York penitentiary and became a WOT member. (For more on the White Order of Thule, see Searchlight, October 2000).
The White Order of Thule also gave Felton a partner-in-crime. Through the pages of Fenris Wolf, Felton became prison pen pals with Erica Chase, a teenager who moved from New Hampshire to Indiana after high school. The two quickly began plotting their “racial holy war.”
Like The Order, the infamous neo-Nazi terror group, the two began
counterfeiting money to bankroll their terror campaign. Upon his parole in January, Felton purchased a computer and set to work producing bogus bills, which he sent to Chase in Indiana. Chase used the money to get to Boston, where the two lived together until their arrest on April 19 after passing phony currency at a Dunkin’ Donuts.
On 20 June, Felton and Chase were indicted in an alleged plot to bomb the New England Holocaust Memorial and several other targets. According to the indictment, Felton had purchased 50 pounds of ammonium nitrate and other bomb-making supplies. The pair will stand trial later this year.
The full tragedy of Felton’s story is spelled out in a handwritten 4-page letter to the Boston Herald, where Felton denounced his parents and by extension himself, “What they did in comingling (sic) their blood was wrong. Evil, even. A government that permits such conduct is also, to that extent, wrong.”
Felton closed the letter written from his jail cell with an homage to the writings Order member David Lane, with the phrase, “I remain, damned and defiant.” However, with his “secret” racial identity exposed, fellow racists immediately ostracized Felton. Nonetheless, he remains steadfast, “I am what I am. Contaminated, falsely condemned, and alienated from my comrades. But a
lover of Nature (sic) nonetheless, and a lover of the West, and ever an unrepentant enemy of the multicultural myth,” he wrote.
Leo Felton was no hero, but Eric Hanson became one instantly in a blaze of gunfire.
ERIC HANSON AND THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE
While Felton and Chase were passing counterfeit money around Boston, twenty-seven year old former Marine Eric Hanson was driving from Illinois to Georgia, with a carload of his new recruits, to attend a National Alliance-sponsored anti-immigrant rally.
Like Felton, Hanson did prison time for racist violence. In 1999 Hanson threatened an inter-racial couple for which he received a year in prison, with another year added for weapons violations.
Both Felton and Hanson were attracted to the white power skinhead scene. While Felton came across the WOT, Hanson found the National Alliance – the neo-Nazi organization lead by William Pierce, the author of The Turner Diaries. Over the past year, Hanson distributed National Alliance literature
throughout the Chicago area, recruited new members, and attended several white supremacist events.
At a December Ku Klux Klan rally, eyewitnesses claim Hanson attacked a black woman as she walked back from protesting the event. Hanson also attended World Church of the Creator rallies in Illinois and the big NordicFest white power concert in Kentucky.
What lead to Hanson’s downfall was not passing phony money, but dealing in illegal weapons. After an investigation, plain clothed police officers approached Eric Hanson as he sat in his vehicle outside his home on June 4th. When the officers notified Hanson that he was under arrest, he sped off. Officers followed him to a grocery store parking lot where Hanson opened fire on the officers, hitting one in the neck and thigh and the other in his bulletproof vest. Hanson then entered the store, came out again to shoot at police, returned to the store, ordered everyone out, and hid. At
3:00am a remote-controlled bomb squad robot entered the store but could not locate Hanson. After nearly three hours of searching, a tactical weapons team located him in a meat locker. Hanson began shooting and police returned fire.
Unlike Felton, whose arrest alienated him from his erstwhile cohorts, Hanson ’s death made him a legend. A barrage of National Alliance emails memorialized Hanson noting, “Make no mistake about it, this is how they are waging their war and Eric was an intended casualty… He joins the growing number of brave warriors in the Record of Martyrs” and “We are patriots, not terrorists, but rest assured. Eric will be avenged!”
for more information on the White Order of Thule and national socialist black metal, read National Socialist Black Metal Leader Arrested in the U.S.