Posted: January 1, 2002
A racist skinhead and fugitive from justice was arrested today near Osceola, Indiana after leaving a home on property that serves as headquarters for the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
James D. Torkelson, 23, a racist skinhead wanted in Oregon since November on charges of kidnapping, assault and robbery, was arrested leaving the home of Richard Loy, Grand Dragon of the Indiana chapter of the National Knights of the KKK. The home is owned by Loy's father, Railton Loy, International Imperial Wizard of the National Knights.
Acting on a tip from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, police in St. Joseph County, Indiana had placed the Loy property under surveillance. Torkelson was arrested after he was spotted getting into a van on the property. Police stopped the vehicle and the suspect was taken into custody without incident.
Torkelson reportedly was staying off and on at the Loy home, which police say is frequented by members of the local Klan and other racist groups.
Born in South Bend, Indiana, Torkelson reportedly has attended white supremacist rallies in Osceola and Fort Wayne, Indiana. He once worked as a security guard at the former Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho.
Torkelson was indicted by a grand jury December 14 along with four others on charges of kidnapping, assault, robbery and conspiracy stemming from the abduction of a woman in Portland, Oregon.
Torkelson and four others -- all members of a skinhead gang -- allegedly pressured the woman, who had recently joined their group, to fight a group of rival anti-racist skinheads, according to the indictment. When she reportedly backed out of the fight, Torkelson and the others turned on her and took her to a southeast-side apartment, where she was beaten.
The group then allegedly took her to an apartment in Clackamas County, southeast of Portland, where they held her for four days against her will. The woman eventually escaped from the apartment and contacted the police.