Developments between 2009 and 2011
The National Socialist Movement lost one of its most active leaders in May 2011. On May 1, Jeff Hall, the southwest regional coordinator for the NSM, was allegedly shot and killed by his 10-year-old son at their home in Riverside, California. The motive for the killing has not been made public yet.
In 2011, the NSM began growing in the Northeast. As a reflection of that growth, the group held its annual national meeting in Pemberton, New Jersey in April 2011.
In 2010, the Arizona and California NSM units were particularly active as the group focused mostly on immigration and border issues. NSM members patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border in both states. In Arizona, JT Ready, an NSM member and anti-immigrant extremist carried out border patrols near Phoenix with other NSM members. In June 2010, Ready left the NSM to form his own group, The American Border Guard, an extreme border vigilante group.
Jeff Hall, who was NSM’s southwest states regional coordinator and head of its California chapter before his May 2011 murder, ran for a seat on the board of the Western Riverside Municipal Water District in 2010. Hall managed to garner 27.79% of the vote (6,738 votes). The day after the election, the NSM gloated on its Web site about the percentage of votes that Hall won.
An NSM member received a jail sentence in December 2010. Mariusz Wdziekonski, a Polish national, was found guilty of a hate crime for spray-painting anti-Semitic epithets and neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate symbols on dozens of headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Norridge, Illinois in January 2008. Wdziekonski received a seven-year prison term.
In 2009, the most active NSM units were in Missouri, Wisconsin, and California. The group participated in adopt-a-highway programs in Springfield, Illinois and in Denver, Colorado. The adopt-a-highway program allows various civic groups to participate in cleaning stretches of highway. This was an effort by the NSM to present itself as a white civic group.
In September 2009, the NSM also tried reaching out to young people by selling their white power music CDs in bulk so they could be distributed at schools, concerts, malls and other places where youths congregate.
Although the NSM lost units around the country in 2008, some of the more active units in the Midwest were able to recruit more members. The Missouri and Wisconsin units were the most active NSM chapters. The group also established new representatives in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, and West Virginia.
In December 2008, Paul Paletti, the NSM's Wisconsin Membership Director, pleaded guilty to battery, resisting arrest, and obstructing police in state court in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The December 2008 plea agreement required Paletti to pay $1,713 in fines and to serve two years probation, during which time he was forbidden from engaging in any white supremacist activities. Rather than agree to the terms of the probation, in February 2009, Paletti asked that his probation be revoked. A short time later, his revocation order was processed and he served six months in jail.
Paletti, 35, who has a tattoo of the number “88,” the white supremacist code for “Heil Hitler,” was originally charged with felony battery as a hate crime for assaulting a Mexican teenager outside a bar in April 2007, but the charge was reduced to misdemeanor battery as part of the plea arrangement. Paletti insisted that he was not part of any extremist group.
In fall 2008, the NSM established a chapter in Riverside, California. The chapter reached out to and worked with other white supremacists including “skinheads, Klansmen, and pro-white socialists from all around California.” During the group’s second meeting, held in December 2008, members burned a Mexican flag, which one referred to as a “buzzard rag.”
2007 and 2006 Developments
Between 2006 and 2007, the NSM experienced a lot of change. The membership of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) grew slightly in 2007, which can be attributed to vigorous recruitment efforts, the demise of another neo-Nazi group, the National Vanguard, and the continued downward spiral of the National Alliance, once the largest neo-Nazi organization in the U.S. In the late summer of 2007, former members of the neo-Nazi groups National Alliance and National Vanguard broke away from their old organizations and started a new NSM unit in Phoenix, Arizona. They soon boasted of a group of members in Tombstone and many new members in the Phoenix area, and began to hold monthly meetings.
The NSM's growth occurred despite internal bickering that resulted in a number of key members leaving the group in mid-to-late 2007, including John Taylor Bowles, who was the head of the group's South Carolina chapter and its 2008 presidential candidate; Nick Chapell, who was the head of the NSM's Viking Youth Corps and the group's treasurer; and Jim Ramm, who ran a Website for the group and helped develop an anti-Semitic and racist videogame.
The departure of Bowles, Chapell and Ramm marked the second time in two years that infighting led to splits within the NSM. Bickering had previously led to key members either resigning or being expelled from the group in June 2006. Those who left included the group's then media liaison, Bill White and Cliff Herrington, a long-time NSM leader.
Other Significant Events
In February 2007, testimony in a Florida court revealed that the NSM Florida unit leader David Gletty was an FBI informant. According to the testimony, Gletty's cooperation with the FBI led to the arrest of Tom Martin, 23, and John Rock, 35, after Gletty wore a wire to a meeting and agreed to help them rob a drug dealer. Martin and Rock also reportedly discussed having robbed several other drug dealers. Martin was a member of White Revolution, a white supremacist group, and John Rock was allegedly a member of the Confederate Hammerskins, a racist skinhead group.
A major loss to the NSM was the December 2006 death of Bill Hoff, a long-standing NSM member and its 2008 vice-presidential candidate. Hoff had been an open white supremacist for decades, including a stint as the Grand Dragon for the New York Invisible Empire (a Ku Klux Klan group) in the late 1980s before he relocated to South Carolina where he eventually joined the NSM.