Saturday, May 18, 2013
The Associated Press
OAK CREEK, Wis. — Before he strode into a Sikh temple with a 9mm handgun and multiple magazines of ammunition, Wade Michael Page played in white supremacist heavy metal bands with names such as Definite Hate and End Apathy.
This undated photo provided by the FBI today shows Wade Michael Page, the suspect in Sunday's Sikh temple shootings in Oak Creek, Wis.
The duplex home in Cudahy, Wis. where shooting suspect Wade Michael Page lived upstairs.
The bald, heavily tattooed bassist was a 40-year-old Army veteran who trained in psychological warfare before he was demoted and discharged more than a decade ago.
A day after he killed six worshippers at the suburban Milwaukee temple, fragments of Page's life emerged in public records and interviews. But his motive was still largely a mystery. So far, no hate-filled manifesto has emerged, nor any angry blog or ranting Facebook entries to explain the attack.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards suggested Monday that investigators might never know for certain why the lone attacker targeted a temple full of strangers.
"We have a lot of information to decipher, to put it all together before we can positively tell you what that motive is — if we can determine that," Edwards said.
Page, who was shot to death by police, joined the Army in 1992 and was discharged in 1998. He was described Monday by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "frustrated neo-Nazi" who had long been active in the obscure underworld of white supremacist music.
Page wrote frequently on white supremacist websites, describing himself as a member of the "Hammerskins Nation," a skinhead group rooted in Texas that has offshoots in Australia and Canada, according to the SITE Monitoring Service, a Maryland-based private intelligence firm that searches the Internet for terrorist and other extremist activity.
In online forums, Page promoted his music while interacting with other skinheads. He posted 250 messages on one site between March 2010 and the middle of this year, and appeared eager to recruit others. In March 2011, he advertised for a "family friendly" barbeque in North Carolina, exhorting those online to attend.
"If you are wanting to meet people, get involved and become active, then you really need to attend," he wrote, according to SITE. "Stop hiding behind the computer or making excuses."
In November, Page challenged a poster who indicated he would leave the United States if Herman Cain were elected president.
"Stand and fight, don't run," he replied.
In an April message, Page said: "Passive submission is indirect support to the oppressors. Stand up for yourself and live the 14 words," a reference to a common white supremacists mantra.
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the law center, a nonprofit civil rights organization in Montgomery, Ala., said Page played in groups whose often sinister-sounding names seemed to "reflect what he went out and actually did." The music talked about genocide against Jews and other minorities.
In a 2010 interview, Page told a white supremacist website that he became active in white-power music in 2000, when he left his native Colorado and started the band End Apathy in 2005. The band's MySpace page listed the group as based in Nashville, N.C.
Page joined the military in Milwaukee in 1992 and was a repairman for the Hawk missile system before switching jobs to become one of the Army's psychological operations specialists assigned to a battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C.
As a "psy-ops" specialist, Page would have trained to host public meetings between locals and American forces, use leaflet campaigns in a conflict zone or use loudspeakers to communicate with enemy soldiers.
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Amardeep Kaleka, son of the president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, center, comforts members of the temple today in Oak Creek, Wis. Satwant Kaleka, 65, founder and president of the temple, was among four priests who died.
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A woman sits with a candle during a vigil for the victims of the Sikh Temple shooting, in Milwaukee on Sunday.