As regional director of the National Socialist Movement, 32-year-old Jeff Hall led demonstrations in Riverside and Los Angeles with marchers brandishing swastikas and also organized “militia-type watches” along the California and Arizona borders, in which volunteers in camouflage were on the lookout for illegal border-crossers. But in the end, he died from an act of violence in his own home.
His 10-year-old son is accused of shooting and killing him. The alleged shooting occurred early in the morning on May 1st in Hall’s Riverside, California home. The New York Times reports that “the boy stood near [the living room] stairs with a handgun and killed his father, Jeff Hall, as he lay on the living room couch.” Hall was declared dead when paramedics arrived.
Says the New York Times:
The police say that the killing was intentional, but that the motives behind it are still not fully understood. But whatever the reason, it has cast fresh light on the fringe group to which Mr. Hall devoted his life: the National Socialist Movement, the nation’s largest neo-Nazi party, whose message stands in surreal juxtaposition to the suburban, workaday trappings of many of its members.
32-year-old Hall was a plumber; last fall, he ran as a National Socialist for a seat on the local water district and “won a surprising 28 percent of the vote.” He had plans to run for office again. In what seems an eerie pronouncement, he had predicted that “his political activities — in a world rife with hatred, suspicion and violence — would lead to his demise.” Hall said that he wanted a “white society” and that he believed in “secession.”
Hall’s 10-year-old son was one the eldest of five children. The boy is to appear in court later this month and it is expected that he will be charged as a juvenile with murder; his public defender says he might plead insanity. The boy and a sister had been the “subject of a bitter custody battle with Mr. Hall’s first wife, with a series of allegations of abuse on each side”; their father had eventually won legal custody. Hall’s other children have been taken into protective custody, says the Los Angeles Times.
The National Socialist Movement is the largest supremacist group in the US and is based in Detroit. It has some 400 members in 32 states. Its “suit-wearing spokesman,” Jeff Schoep, calls the group a “white civil rights movement.”
More than a few of us will be asking if Hall’s Neo-Nazi beliefs had something to do with his son committing a terrible, tragic act.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.