When a Lone Wolf Assassin is Not Nuts or Alone
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat May 29, 2010 at 11:30:07 AM EST
Dr. George Tiller was serving as an usher at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas when Scott Roeder walked up to him and shot him in the head.

The media at the time quickly adopted the lone nut or "lone wolf" theory of the murder. Having studied a number of similar anti-abortion crimes over the years, I said that while the murder may or may not have been a criminal conspiracy, there were very likely at the very least what I call "concentric circles of support". Even when such crimes are carried out alone, they tend to be well-planned and often draw on networks of social, ideological and even logistical support, sometimes unwitting. The murder of Dr. Tiller is best understood, after all, as an assassination -- arguably one of the most high-profile political murders in recent years.  Such support can be hard to prove, especially by the standards of criminal law. But that does not mean it does not exist.

Now, a joint investigation by The Nation and Ms. magazine details what the circles of support around Roeder looked like. This ground-breaking work reveals much about the way that the revolutionary, antiabortion Army of God operates.

Here are a few excerpts:

When Scott Roeder arrived at Regina Dinwiddie's house with Eugene Frye in 1994 or 1995 to meet Michael Bray, he was nearly giddy, by his own recollection to me:

    Roeder: I think it was right after Paul Hill... [murdered Dr. Britton in Pensacola, FL] I got to meet [Bray] and I heard that he'd been on 60 Minutes. ...I just kept asking Mike [Bray] questions because I was so fascinated with him, you know... As a matter of fact, Gene [Frye] had to tell me to quit asking him

    Amanda Robb: [But] did you guys discuss justifiable homicide? If it was justifiable to shoot a doctor?

    Roeder: Oh yeah, yeah. We definitely discussed that, and like I say, Michael [Bray], he's been outspoken, and he's always said, as long as I've known him, he's always said it's been justified to do that.

Another admitted Army of God member that Roeder has become close to is Jennifer McCoy. In 1996, she was arrested and pled guilty to conspiring to burn down abortion clinics in Norfolk and Newport News, Va. During her two and a half years in prison, she was in contact with Bray, who honored her in absentia at the White Rose Banquet in Washington, D.C.--an annual event organized by Bray to recognize those jailed for their (mostly violent) antiabortion activities, and attended by many in the extremist network (including McCoy in 1996).

"We're like circles that overlap," McCoy told me in an anteroom in the Sedgwick County Courthouse near where Scott Roeder was being sentenced on April 1, 2010. "We all don't know each other--we may not agree on a lot of things, like religion, say--but we're all completely committed to one purpose: stopping abortion."

"Uh-huh," Dinwiddie concurred, looking up from the character statement she was getting ready to give on Roeder's behalf. "That's right."

In 2001 during the siege of Wichita "anniversary" many of the AOG people were present - Jonathan O'Toole, Regina Dinwiddie, Paul deParie, etc. What should have set off alarm bells was the friendly, high-five and hugs, interaction with the supposedly "peaceful" representatives from Operation Save America and Operation Rescue. Others such as Fr. Norm Weslin, marched with Troy Newman et al, Fr. Norm having befriended and not ever having condemned James Kopp, assassin of Dr. Bart Slepian. There is no distinction between peaceful protesters and violent ones if the former do not denounce and disengage from the latter. In Buffalo the police had clear evidence that the so-called peaceful leaders secretly celebrated the death of Bart Slepian. Troy Newman and his henchwoman, Cheryl Sullenger - a convicted clinic bomber - can barely contain their glee at Tiller's murder. Let's wake up to the profound presence of Christian Dominionists who think God has told them to form a Christian equivalent to Wahabbi extremism. Anyone who believes that there is no domestic terrorism needs to revist this again and again. If you look only at their own PR and not at their associations and actions, you are making a dreadful error. Frederick is correct - their are concentric circles that nourish and embrace, support, and motivate the so-called "Lone Wolves" who are anything but isolated. Be afraid of what our nation is descending to. These people will kill doctors, you, and me in the name of their fanaticism.

by Churchlady on Tue Jun 01, 2010 at 12:10:12 PM EST

WWW Talk To Action

Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (71 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (14 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (16 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (8 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (19 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (9 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (10 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (9 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (5 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (9 comments)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (14 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (7 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (8 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (22 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (29 comments)
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (12 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (12 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (53 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (11 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (11 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (6 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (9 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (15 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (11 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (10 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (6 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (12 comments)

More Diaries...

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.