Report: Minuteman Leader Knew Killer-to-Be Yearned for Violence
In mid-2009, nativist leaders scrambled to distance themselves from Minuteman American Defense (MAD) founder Shawna Forde, after the immigrant-bashing former child prostitute was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the slaying of an Arizona man and his 9-year old daughter.
Few were as adamant in their repudiations of Forde - who now sits on death row for the murder of Raul and Brisenia Flores - as Minuteman Project (MMP) President Jim Gilchrist. Within hours of the announcement of her arrest, he stripped MMP’s website of its many laudatory references to Forde’s group, extended his “condolences” to the victims and “all those who have been affected by the alleged incident,” and wrote, “Jim Gilchrist’s Minuteman Project, Inc. is not affiliated with the Minuteman American Defense or Shawna Forde. The Minuteman American Defense is an independent patriot organization which participates in systematic border observation and reporting operations.”
However much Gilchrist might have wished that were true, it’s well established that he and Forde at the very least had a close working relationship. As the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2008, the two Minuteman leaders shared a podium at an Everett, Wash. “Illegal Immigration Summit.” And in 2009, Gilchrist defended Forde after other nativist leaders expressed doubts about her claims that she’s been raped, beaten and shot in a bizarre series of incidents in and near her Everett home. (Police eventually dropped the investigation of the reported rape, citing lack of evidence.)