Tuesday, November 11, 2008

KKK Kills One of Its Own Recruits in St. Tammany Parish, La.

kkk victimUPDATED: According to her family members, KKK murder victim, Cynthia Lynch had a "deep need" to feel wanted or to belong and had a tendency to join groups. The FBI is assisting the St. Tammany office on the case to see if any federal laws have been broken, reports CNN.

Eight people have been arrested in the death of a young Oklahoma woman who tried to leave a Ku Klux Klan initiation near Sun, La., this weekend, reports WWL TV New Orleans. Sun is located on the St. Tammany Parish/Washington Parish line. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said the woman, whose head was shaven, had been recruited to join the Dixie Brotherhood of the Klu Klux Klan, return to her home state and recruit more members.

The Times Picayune, source of the flag picture from the press conference, reports that Strain also said the woman seems to have come from Oklahoma by bus after applying to join the Brotherhood over the Internet.

louisiana kkkVisit this link to see a larger view of the photos of KKK members arrested.

The ceremony and murder took place in the woods near a navigation canal. According to the WWL report, the murder victim, whose name has not yet been released to the public, participated in the KKK ritual for one day, but then wanted out. She argued with KKK leader, Ray "Chuck" Foster,44, of Bogalusa, La., and he killed her with one gunshot. Foster is in custody in St. Tammany Parish, charged with second degree murder.
... after he shot the woman he rolled her over and began the process of removing the bullet so that shows you to some extent the callousness of this individual (Raymond Foster). ... To the degree that they scrubbed this area to rid it of blood and any effects from our victim was kind of impressive for a group with a pretty small IQ to be able to cleanse this area so well. (quotes from Strain's press conference video)
Strain also said that in his 30 years of law enforcement down here, this was the most elaborate role he's seen of any organized KKK group.

The young woman's body was recovered Monday, reports The Times Picayune.

WWL has a video report at this link, showing the robes collected during the investigation.
Deputies located the campsite and retrieved a number of items, including weapons, several flags, and six Klan uniforms – five white and one black.

Arrested were Raymond “Chuck” Foster, 44; Shane Foster, 20; Frank Stafford, 21; Timothy Michael Watkins, 30; Alicia M. Watkins, 23; Andrew Yates, 20; Random Hines, 27; Danielle Jones, 23. (WWLTV)
Shane Foster, one of seven other people arrested, is the KKK leader's son. The seven have beeen charged with obstruction of justice because they attempted to "sanitize" the murder scene, reports WWL. Fox 8 reports bail's been set at $500,000 each.

Per WWL, James Stokes, a neighbor of Foster who said he crossed paths with the alleged murderer occasionally, said the Foster family appeared to be pleasant people and he had no reason to think they'd be involved in anything like this. He'd never had any trouble with them or their children.

I know that the KKK is near down here in Louisiana. I've been close to them before when I lived in Maryland. A compound was walking distance from my house in Germantown, MD, near Gaithersburg. I had to throw that in so people north of here won't get smug, thinking they're KKK free and it's a deep south thing. Hate is viral.

WDSU reports this story also, and its video report says a Circle K clerk alerted police after KKK members walked in looking for something to clean up blood. The clerk thought that was fishy. Other sources say the suspects later started spilling their guts, confessing to police. The New Orleans area is buzzing about this crime. You can read comments at the links provided throughout this post, and WDSU has video of New Orleans residents reacting.

Sheriff Strain said he does not believe the Dixie Brotherhood poses any real threat to the area. And WDSU reports that hate groups are "not resurging."

1 comment:

Houseonahill said...

Thank you for your thorough writing about this. I get NOLA.com through my email, and this has haunted me to the point I could not speak about it ~ let alone write about it. Very well done...

Just when we think we've made a few steps toward a better world, something like this drags us back, kicking and screaming!