Leader of splinter group called ‘hothead’ by national Klan leader.
News & Observer (Canada), July 24, 2002
By JOHN SULLIVAN, Staff Writer
BENSON – Even among the sometimes violent leaders of the Ku Klux Klan, Charles Robert “Junior” Barefoot Jr. was considered a firebrand.
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“I told him he was heading for trouble,” said Railton Loy, 64, who is the Imperial Wizard of The National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. “They were trying to do movie-style things.”
Until last year, Barefoot was one of Loy’s loyal followers and Grand Dragon of the North Carolina chapter of Loy’s Indiana-based KKK group.
“He brought in a lot of new members,” Loy said.
But about a year ago, the two had a falling-out, Loy said, and Barefoot formed a splinter group, The Nation’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
“He e-mailed me last year and told me we weren’t aggressive enough,” Loy said in a phone interview from his home in Indiana. “He said he could do it better on his own.”
Loy’s own group is considered aggressive by some, including law enforcement officials in Indiana. The group has been sued for holding firearms exercises on their property, and Loy’s son, Richard, is accused of threatening to slit the throat of a woman who opposed the group’s views.
But Railton Loy called Barefoot a “hothead” who had anti-government views.
“He wanted to go back to the days of the 1920s, knocking heads together,” Loy said.
Federal agents arrested Barefoot last week after a confidential source told the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office that Barefoot and his followers had discussed blowing up the county courthouse complex and killing the sheriff.
Agents raided Barefoot’s home near Benson and found a cache of more than two dozen weapons, including an Uzi and an AK-47, two homemade bombs, bomb-making equipment and a purple robe that agents identified as a Klan robe. Sheriff’s deputies also found a cross that appeared to be burned.
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