And it seems Forward continues to be at the forefront of this reporting wave. When the initial reports of Bernstein’s death surfaced, I suspected the case might have “curious” tendrils, and my expectations have certainly not been dashed.
When Samuel Lincoln Woodward was arrested on suspicion of the murder, the events as related by him to police seemed dubious at best. Slowly, insidious connections of Woodward with far right, neo-Nazi elements were insinuated, and the most obvious narrative was that this was a “hate” crime based on religion, sexual orientation, or both.
And Forward brings us the latest.
Samuel Woodward, the high school classmate accused of murdering Blaze Bernstein, was an avowed member of the American neo-Nazi group “Atomwaffen Division,” according to a new report by ProPublica.
The group, whose name is German for “Atomic Weapons Division,” is “an armed Fascist group with the ultimate aim of overthrowing the U.S. government through the use of terrorism and guerrilla warfare.” Woodward attended a three-day training session with the group in Texas, shedding light on his apparent reenactment of a grisly neo-Nazi killing scene in the 1998 movie, “American History X.”
Police believe that it was Woodward who stabbed Bernstein more than 20 times on January 3 before burying him in a shallow grave in Borrego Park. He referred to [Bernstein, by an anti-gay slur and told police Bernstein had kissed him.
The group, who have “filmed themselves burning the U.S. Constitution and setting fire to the American flag” have also been linked to other murders, most notably the shooting of Scott Fricker and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker who were shot by their daughter’s boyfriend.
Given today’s polarized political and racial climate, this case, and ensuing trial, threatens to embody much of the conflict that is beginning to penetrate the soft tissues of our delicate, weakened American culture.
This is why I find the circumstances of this case very engaging .