Prosecutors say details from bodyguard, transcripts show racist encouraged hit
Peoria Journal Star, Jan. 24, 2003
By MIKE RAMSEY, of Copley News Service, with Associated Press reports
HAMMOND, Ind. – A personal bodyguard to white supremacist
Included in the evidence is an e-mail prosecutors say Hale sent to the bodyguard, instructing him to get the home address of U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow and three attorneys.
Later, according to prosecutors, Hale asked about the Lefkow address and was told: “I’m working on it. When we get it, we can exterminate the rat.”
“Good,” Hale was quoted as saying on the tape, which was not played in court. “Whatever you want to do, basically.”
Prosecutors also quoted Hale as saying: “You know my position has always been that I’m going to fight within the law, but that information has been provided. If you wish to do anything yourself you can.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave Weisman said the government’s inside “source” was head of the “White Berets,” the security arm of Hale’s racist organization, the World Church of the Creator. Identified only as “Tony,” the insider has been paid $50,000 by the FBI to help monitor Hale over the past few years, Weisman said.
The World Church of the Creator espouses the superiority of whites over other racial and ethnic groups.
Hale allegedly encouraged the assassination of Lefkow late last year after she ordered him to dissolve his organization’s name. Hale had lost a trademark-infringement lawsuit by a similarly named church and was on his way to a Jan. 8 hearing before Lefkow when he was arrested by agents.
According to portions of e-mails and transcripts read in court Thursday, Hale encouraged Lefkow’s murder with racially inflammatory tirades to his followers and in one-on-one conversations with the bodyguard.
In one exchange, recorded at Hale’s 217 Randolph St. home in East Peoria, which he shared with his father, Hale anticipated being jailed by Lefkow for contempt of court.
“If you get word that something has happened to me, make sure that the world knows about it in a very strong way,” he told the bodyguard.
“Any special way?” the bodyguard asked.
“Just use your imagination,” Hale was quoted as saying.
In a conversation in mid-December, also in East Peoria, Hale used “guarded language” and insisted he “cannot be part of the plan in any way,” Weisman said.
Hale purportedly ended the talk by saying the two were merely “discussing Little League baseball.”
The vagueness of some of Hale’s comments prompted his federal defender, Matthew Madden, to argue “there is no clear solicitation” of murder in the government’s material.
Madden sought to have Hale released and placed in electronic home detention in East Peoria. He indicated Hale’s father, retired policeman Russell Hale, would raise about $200,000 in bail money through property mortgages and serve as “third-party custodian.”
The elder Hale was grim-faced as he watched the proceedings with his ex-wife, Hale’s mother, who put a hand to her mouth and dabbed at tears when her son was led into court by U.S. marshals. Both declined comment afterward.
In arguing against Matt Hale’s release, Weisman dug further into the past to argue the defendant has a history of inciting others to violence.