As more has become known of the murderous trio of Shawna Forde, Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola, it’s become clear that their conspiracy was part of an orchestrated effort that grew out of Forde’s anti-immigration activities.
Apparently, as she rabble-roused and ranted on about her perception of the dire threat of immigrants assaulting the nation with their rampant drug-smuggling…
In interviews and Web postings, Forde repeatedly maintained that the violence is connected to her role as a leader of Minutemen American Defense. The group she founded conducts desert surveillance and undercover investigations aimed at curbing illegal immigration and drug smuggling at the Mexico border in Arizona, she said….
Her Web site features shaky videos, often focusing on the garbage left in the desert by people sneaking into the country. On one film clip, Forde claims to have found a place in the desert where human smugglers regularly rape women. On another, she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana.
…at some point, she thought it was a good idea to assault the alleged drug dealers and strip them of their cash for her own purposes.
The May 30 killings were believed to be premeditated and part of a plan to steal money and drugs to finance the Minuteman group she leads. Forde’s own family said that the woman weeks ago had discussed using robberies to raise money for her cause.
And since there were so many angry, right-wing whackjobs around her, why not pitch the plan to them? Might not be a hard sell:
The accused ringleader and triggerman in the May 30 double murder in Arivaca are linked to white supremacist groups, police and family members said.
Accused ringleader Shawna Forde told her family in recent months that she had begun recruiting members of the Aryan Nations and that she planned to begin robbing drug-cartel leaders, her brother Merrill Metzger said Monday in a telephone interview from Redding, Calif.
“She was talking about starting a revolution against the United States government,” he said.
The accused shooter, Jason Eugene Bush, was charged Friday in the 1997 murder of a sleeping, homeless Hispanic man in Wenatchee, Wash.
“Bush has had long-standing ties to the Aryan Nations,” Sgt. John Kruse of the Wenatchee police wrote in a statement filed in Chelan County Superior Court.
The Arizona case was not the gang’s first job, apparently:
On Saturday, Arizona detectives were pursuing tips that members of Forde’s group may have staged a home invasion robbery in Shasta Lake, Calif., on Monday.
The victims, friends of Forde’s mother, reported being robbed at gunpoint of nearly $12,000 by two men who showed up at the door and presented badges claiming they were U.S. Marshals.
Truck driver Peter Myers, 48, said he recognized one of men who robbed him after he saw news reports about Forde’s arrest and photographs of her co-defendants.
He said the man who directed the robbery in his home was Jason Eugene Bush, 34. The ex-convict from Eastern Washington is a Forde associate now accused of being the gunman in the Arivaca killings.
“That is the guy. He pointed a gun right at us,” Myers said.
Now, I have no idea if Myers is Hispanic, but we certainly know the unfortunate Flores family were. And upon hearing the horrific 911 tape, gunshots and all, you understand how Forde’s ruthless gang were operating under a false color of authority to bully and terrify their victims–brandishing weapons, wearing fatigues and face paint, and telling the victims it was all some sort of emergency ‘fugitive’ operation:
‘…they told us that somebody was, um, had escaped jail or something..’
‘…that the whole property was surrounded with Border Patrol and everything..’
When the husband questioned their motives, they walked in and shot him and his 10 year-old daughter to death.