Informant says Hale spoke in code seeking judge’s death

A government informant testified Thursday that white supremacist Matthew Hale used code language in soliciting him to kill a federal judge.

Prosecutors say secretly taped conversations between Hale and informant Anthony Evola show Hale agreed to Evola “exterminating the rat.”

But Hale’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, said Hale never uses the words “kill” or “murder” in any of the dozen conversations played to jurors so far in the trial that started Monday. Durkin said the only person suggesting violence is Evola, in the government’s attempt to get evidence on Hale.


Following is an edited excerpt from a secretly recorded conversation between informant Anthony Evola and white supremacist Matthew Hale in 2002. Prosecutors contend Hale solicited Evola to kill a federal judge.

Evola: Well, I got your e-mail about the Jew judge.

Hale: Right.

Evola: …You wanting his address and the other rats. Ah….

Hale: That information yes, for educational purposes and for whatever reason you wish it to be.

Evola: Are we gonna … I’m workin’ on it. I , I got a way of getting it. Ah, when we gonna exterminate the rat?

Hale: Well, whatever you wanna do….

Evola: Jew rat?

Hale: … Basically, it’s you know? Ah, my position’s always been that I, you know, I’m gonna fight within the law and, but ah, that information’s been pro-, provided. If you wish to, ah, do anything yourself, you can, you know?

Evola: OK.

Hale: So that makes it clear.

Evola: Consider it done.

Hale: Good.

Evola: Consider it done. Ah, it’s f—ed up, man.

Hale: Yeah, well (chuckling). It’s ah, it’s you know, it’s been sickening, just sickening ah, to have a situation in which we have to worry about people kicking down our doors for our Bibles. They don’t do that to the Christians. … They sure as hell don’t do that to the Jews, because it’s Jews and Christians that are doing this s— to us….

Evola: Right.

Hale: … If somebody tells us that we have to … turn over the White Man’s Bible or be arrested, then we have a real problem with them … and that’s basically what it’s gonna come down to in my opinion … it’s quite possible that I’m gonna get … arrested … but I’m, I’m willing to be that.

“He never once asked you whether you could kill someone for him, did he?” Durkin asked.

“Not in those words, no,” Evola responded.

“Or in any other words?” Durkin persisted.

“I just don’t remember the details,” Evola testified.

Prosecutor David Weisman said Hale wanted the murder of federal Judge Joan Lefkow but didn’t want to know about it. Lefkow had ruled against Hale in a trademark case. Right after that ruling, Hale e-mailed Lefkow’s name and work address to Evola and asked him to get her home address and those of three lawyers. He ends the e-mail saying that “any action of any kind against those seeking to destroy our religious liberties is entirely up to each and every creator….”

On tape, Hale seemed annoyed and concerned when Evola arrived to visit unannounced and tried to talk to Hale about committing violence. Hale cited a federal statute that would get him prison time for knowing a crime was about to occur without notifying authorities. Hale more than once said he had to be able to pass a polygraph test if something happened. But prosecutors say Hale never discouraged Evola.

A central conversation takes place Dec. 5, 2002, just after Hale sent Evola an e-mail with the work address of Lefkow.

“When we gonna exterminate the rat?” Evola asks Hale.

Hale tells Evola to do whatever he wants, but “my position’s always been that … I’m gonna fight within the law,” Hale says. “That information’s been … provided. If you wish to … do anything yourself, you can, you know?”

“Consider it done,” Evola says.

“Good,” said Hale.

In another conversation, secretly taped June 23, 2000, Hale can be heard discussing the two-state shooting spree the year before of his follower Benjamin Smith: ”It must have been pretty fun” for Smith to kill former Northwestern University basketball coach Ricky Byrdsong, one of two people Smith shot to death. ”He got out of the car and just walked up to him,” Hale said. ”I’m guessing the first shot killed him. Anyway, it must have been pretty fun.”

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Chicago Sun-Times, USA
Apr. 16, 2004
Natasha Korecki, Staff Reporter

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday April 16, 2004.
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