BI-RACIAL "WHITE SUPREMACIST"
Boston -- A Boston couple planned to blow up Jewish and black landmarks in the hope of inciting racial warfare, several years ago. The two, Leo Felton, 31, above, and his mistress Erica Chase, 22, are being tried together on charges of conspiracy, counterfeiting and obstruction of justice. Both were convicted.
What makes this case so unusual, despite being a White supremacist, Leo Felton is bi-racial. His father is African-American.
The couple wanted to destroy the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, hoping their actions "would lead to an all-white Aryan nation," an assistant United States attorney, Theodore Merritt, said in his opening statement.
Felton told Thomas Struss, a fellow inmate at a New Jersey prison, that he planned to make influential blacks and Jews, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Steven Spielberg, his targets, Mr. Merritt said.
When he was released from prison in January 2001, Felton moved to Ipswich, Mass., Struss joined him a month later, and the two robbed a Boston bank of $1,100 on Feb. 20 to finance their supremacist activities, Mr. Merritt said.
Struss, who was arrested on Feb. 28 in New Jersey on a robbery charge stemming from another case, will testify that Felton planned to detonate a fertilizer bomb, Mr. Merritt said.
Felton and were arrested on April 19, 2001, while trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a local Dunkin' Donuts. The police searched their apartment in the North End of Boston and found a "mountain of evidence," including a "veritable menu" of books on identification changes and explosives, as well as newspaper clippings about the New England Holocaust Memorial, another target, Mr. Merritt said. The police also seized cartoons drawn by Felton that depict a white supremacist who goes to jail and, upon release, plants bombs at Anti-Defamation League offices and black housing projects.
Felton and Chase were members of white power groups, the authorities said. Felton belonged to the White Order of Thule, and Chase was affiliated with the World Church of the Creator. The two met after Chase wrote letters to inmates, persuading them to join the group with which she associated. The two corresponded for months, and in April 2001, Chase moved to Boston from Indiana.
Chase's lawyer, Timothy Watkins, said Felton manipulated Chase. "Leo Felton exercised his power over Erica Chase to persuade her to do the things he wanted," Mr. Watkins said.
A friend of Chase, Kathy McGaffigan, testified that after being arrested, Chase asked her to throw out some items from the apartment, including a bag containing 50 pounds of ammonium nitrate, wiring from a coffee maker and uncut counterfeit bills. McGaffigan was instructed to keep a gun and some personal belongings, including a silver box of letters, she said.
McGaffigan, a 22-year-old Harvard student, said she knew that Felton and Chase were planning to build a bomb, but did not seek more information about their plans.
"I was intimidated," she said. "Leo just got out of jail, and Erica was moving here on a whim. I didn't want to interrupt anything."
LEO FELTON'S BACKGROUND:
Leo's father, Calvin Felton (b. 1930), is African-American, while his mother, Corinne Vincelette, is a former nun who became involved in the black equality movement and had a Jewish grandparent. His parents divorced when he was two and his mother announced herself a lesbian and started a new life with a Jewish woman. He was institutionalized at age 10 by his mother (both he and his father agree that this was unnecessary) and thereafter he committed a series of petty thefts which he has attributed to a combination of institutionalization and "aggressive black DNA."
Felton spent eleven years (1990-2001) in prison for the attempted murder of a taxicab driver during a road rage incident. According to Felton, his incarceration provided him with an opportunity to observe how different races reacted when integration was enforced and societal stigmas over racism were not in action to civilize conduct. He claims that the whites in prison were under a continual state of siege by the other races, and that he was welcomed by whites, while blacks tried to rape him (his prison sentence was extended for attacking two blacks who made sexual advances). In prison, he became an organizer for white supremacist groups, organizing book reviews and exercise while obscuring his ancestry. He also found inspiration from the White Order of Thule.
[Dialogue (below) from the Showtime film “Echo Of Murder, which is based on The Atlanta Child Murders, a true story]
Klansman: “You wouldn’t believe the motherfuckers that are with us, big money too, we even got a "Black policeman" on our death squad.”
Informant: "Oh shit, a n----- in the Klan?"
Klansman: “That’s right boy, you don’t gotta be "White" to be one of us, you just gotta think right."
COMMENT ON STORY