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Bryan Preston

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April 15, 2013 - 6:47 am

News broke Friday afternoon that an arrest has been made in the murders of three people. Those murders, of Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland, his wife Cynthia, and prosecutor Mark Hasse, triggered national coverage. As R.S. McCain notes, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews ran an 8-minute segment on the killings on April 3, detailing the widespread belief that the Aryan Brotherhood white supremacist/thug group was behind the killings.

But if the reports out of Kaufman County are correct, the Aryan Brotherhood isn’t behind the crimes. Former Kaufman Justice of the Peace Eric Williams is. CBS 11 reports that Williams was arrested Friday and charged with making “terroristic threats,” which includes threatening county employees and issuing demands that had to be met at a “certain time on a certain date.” A storage shed was searched, weapons were found, and they’re being tested for ballistics. Capital murder charges may come in the next day or two.

According to the report, Williams “had a history with both McLelland and Hasse. The two had prosecuted and secured a conviction against him in 2012 for burglary and theft by a public servant. Surveillance cameras caught Williams taking computer equipment from a county building. As part of his appeal, Williams claimed that McLelland and Hasse did not like him.” As the case unfolds it is starting to look like a local vendetta, not part of a national anything by a political-crime syndicate like the Aryan Brotherhood.

Where did MSNBC and other national media quickly get the idea that the Aryan Brotherhood was involved? Possibly from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which on January 31 — a day after Hasse’s murder — posted a lengthy piece by Mark Potok bringing up the AB link. Potok also showed up on MSNBC on April 1, the day after the McLellands’ murders, to once again point the finger at the Aryan Brotherhood.

Other press followed up, all, as Stacy McCain notes, flowing from that January 31 article posted by the SPLC. But if Williams is the killer then it looks like the SPLC got the whole story wrong. Meanwhile, on the ground in Kaufman County, suspicion was already falling on Williams much earlier, according to Stacy McCain.

The pieces might have fallen into place earlier — Mark Haase’s murder might have been solved, and Williams arrested before McLelland was killed –  if law enforcement hadn’t wasted time chasing the “white supremacist” wild goose, when the D.A. himself tried to tell them who murdered Mark Haase:

County Judge Bruce Wood said Sunday that McLelland repeatedly told him that McLelland believed Williams was behind Hasse’s slaying. The first time was in the emergency room in the hours after Hasse was shot down by a mysterious gunman dressed in black.
“He was distraught,” Wood said. “He very pointedly said to me, ‘I know who did this.’ I said, ‘Well, who, Mike?’ He said, ‘Well, Eric Williams.’”
McLelland, who worked for years as a diagnostic psychologist, described Williams as “a narcissistic psychopath” during that conversation and others. Wood said McLelland never elaborated on why he thought Williams was involved.
On March 27, Wood said he met with McLelland in the county judge’s office. “I said, ‘Are you still convinced that it’s Eric Williams?’” Wood recalled. “He said, ‘Absolutely.’”

Mike McLelland was shot dead four days later, which gave Mark Potok a chance to go on MSNBC, but I guarantee you that Martin Bashir and Chris Matthews won’t say another word about this crime now that we know the truth. Because they don’t give a damn about truth.

The SPLC and its “Hate Watch” and “Hate Map” fuel media and leftwing speculation while helping the Center generate donations, and the latter even inspired at attempt at a mass killing at the headquarters of the Family Research Council last year. This time, the SPLC may have misdirected law enforcement long enough for a man to commit murder. One federal prosecutor quit a case on April 3, citing the danger of dealing with the Aryan Brotherhood, after the three murders.

It’s time for the media to take the SPLC off the speed dial, unless they want to reach out for an irresponsible hate group’s perspective.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (7)
All Comments   (7)
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"Where did MSNBC and other national media quickly get the idea that the Aryan Brotherhood was involved?"

From Texas -- spokespersons and authorities. To my knowledge the SPLC did not enter into the investigation, have access to any evidence and never started such rumors. On the other hand, Texas authroity were looking into possible connection of investigations, indictments, trials and conviction. Texas intelligence and evidence early on pointed to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas as a possibility for both the Texas and Colorado homicides shortly after the Colorado suspect was killed in Texas and a background and identity was conducted on him.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also, it came out that certain persons of the judiciary around Houston and across Texas should be vigil to threats and intelligence collected on the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, BEFORE the Colorado and Texas homicides.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The SPLC's profiling system only has 4 categories: white, male, racist, southern. Why bother calling them at all.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And the indictment for impeding an investigation will come out when?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
During the DC sniper case everyone was sure that it was a white racist man from 25-40 years of age who was going around shooting people. We all know that is what white people do. So Chief Moose was running around looking for white van with a white man after every shooting. The police had stopped Malveuax and Mohammed several times but let them pass because they weren't white. How many people died, including my office mate, because everyone was convinced that it had to be a psycho white guy?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If I remember correctly the SPLC also falsely implicated militia groups as being linked to domestic terrorism following the Oklahoma City bombing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"This time, the SPLC may have misdirected law enforcement long enough for a man to commit murder."

That assumes the police were not doing any investigation on their own but following the media. I doubt that happened. If anything, this episode exposes the blinders the SPLC has on: to them, there is a racist hiding behind every major crime.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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