FBI Investigating Sikh Temple Shooter’s White Supremacist Past
By Chuck Sudo
Chicagoist, August 7, 2012
More details on Wade Michael Page’s ties to white supremacist groups have begun to surface as investigators search for a motive as to why he opened fire on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Sunday, killing six before he was killed by police. (Maybe Page’s suspected embrace of White Power was motive enough.)
Page was a member of two bands, End Apathy and Definite Hate, whose lyrics and imagery contained Neo-Nazi imagery, and his leadership of End Apathy landed him on the watch list of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which had been monitoring Page since 2000. The center’s Marl Potok told the New York Times they never alerted authorities to Page because before Sunday they didn’t think he was capable of acting on his words.
End Apathy was at one point signed to an independent record label, Label56, that has a history of signing and promoting white supremacist bands. (Label56 is owned by a member of the Maryland Skinheads named Clemie Richard Haught, aka Rick Haught.) Label56 removed all references to End Apathy from its website Monday, including an interview with Page, and issued a press release asking to not think “what Wade did as honorable or respectable and please do not think we are all like that” and that they were kinder, gentler neo Nazis.
In the Label56 interview with Page (archived here) he talks about a cross-country motorcycle trip he took which Potok notes is part of the ritual of becoming a Hammerskins member.
The Anti-Defamation League wrote that End Apathy was affiliated with a white supremacist group known as the Hammerskins, a group with a history of violence and hate crimes. Page, according to the ADL, identified himself as a Northern Hammerskin who was part of the group’s Midwest branch.
Page frequented white supremacist message boards exhorting fellow racists to become more active and to “stop hiding behind the computer or making excuses,” and to recruit others to his cause.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Page was previously suspected of helping to fund a domestic terrorist organization, but there wasn’t evidence to pursue charges. His stepmother Laura Page told CBS News he was “a happy person and a happy child. And what happened, God only knows, because I don’t.”