Exclusive: Police seeking 3rd Klansman from Ohio for attempted murder at North Carolina KKK pro-Trump rally
Aborted “Trump Victory Parade” that collapsed in internal violence and farce likely the “final solution” for self-inflicted extermination of extremist Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
By Nate Thayer
December 8, 2016
The Ku Klux Klan sponsored “Trump Victory Parade” rally held in North Carolina last Saturday collapsed into farce when the head of the KKK faction and a top lieutenant were arrested for the pre-dawn attempted murder of another Klan member during a drunken argument over Klan strategy.
Loyal White Knights of the KKK Imperial Wizard Christopher Eugene Barker, 37, of East Yanceyville, North Carolina and the LWK Grand Dragon and chief recruiter for “the Western United States”, William Ernest Hagen, 50, of Orange, California are in Caswell County jail held on “Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury” charges, held on $200,000 and $350,000 secured bond.
What has not been made public is there is a 3rd man who law enforcement has been trying to identify said to be equally involved in the savage stabbing and ganging up on another LWK member. “The only reason he isn’t in jail is I do not know his name. But I would recognize his picture for sure,” the stabbing victim, Richard Dillon, a Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan member from Hammond, Indiana said in an interview Sunday morning.
The until now unidentified Klansman is Kirk Richard Weist, of rural New Paris, Ohio, the Loyal White Knights Grand Klaliff-or Vice President- for Ohio, according to two eyewitness’s to the vicious attack who positively identified his photograph. Other LWK Klan members who attended the North Carolina gathering also confirmed that Weist was the unidentified 3rd suspect in the alleged attempted murder.
Stabbing victim Richard Dillon, of Hammond Indiana, positively identified Weist Monday from photographs as one of his attackers. Independently, another man, who was also eyewitness to the stabbing and assault, David Weinbrenner, 31, also of Hammond, Indiana, positively identified Kirk Weist as the still not apprehended Ku Klux Klan member involved in the knife attack on Dillon.
Dillon was shown photographs of possible suspects who attended the North Carolina KKK gathering who matched his detailed description of the man who, along with Barker and Hagen, is alleged to have tried to kill him. “That is him!” he immediately responded when shown a photograph of Weist. After viewing several more photographs of the Ohio Klan official, Dillon said, “I am 110% sure. I told you I would recognize a picture. How the hell did you find him? That is the guy who tried to kill me with Barker and Hagen.”
David Weinbrenner, 31, also from Hammond Indiana, was one of only five adults remaining at LWK Imperial Wizard Christopher Eugene Barker’s house as the late night turned into the early morning hours of Saturday December 3rd. He was the only non-member of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan present and eyewitness to the bloody assault. During a telephone interview Wednesday, Weinbrenner kept referring to one identified man as the “other guy” who was assaulting his friend Richard Dillon. He was asked whether he would recognize a photograph of the “other guy” if he saw one. “Definitely,” said Weinbrenner. Wednesday evening, while simultaneously being interviewed on the telephone, Weinbrenner was emailed a picture of Weist. “That is him!” He said. “No doubt about it.”
Weist is now sought on attempted murder related charges, according to North Carolina law enforcement sources. The eyewitnesses to the Friday night gathering of five LWK members and one non-member that continued into the pre-dawn hours of Saturday in Imperial Wizard Christopher Barker’s living room said Weist was publicly displaying a 9 MM handgun.
“He was waving the 9 mm around showing it off. He had hollow point bullets. I saw them in his hand,” Richard Dillon said. “I said to myself ‘I need to get out of here, but I will never make it to the front door’.”
Dillon was stabbed “multiple times in the interior upper chest”, according to Danville Regional Medical Center records and a series of interviews with Dillon, law enforcement, Weinbrenner, and other Loyal White Knights members in attendance last week.
The small group of five Klan members and one other “probate”—or potential Klan recruit—that remained at Christopher Barker’s house into the late evening degenerated into an argument that became increasingly volatile as those present became increasingly inebriated.
“We arrived from Indiana about 3:00 PM Friday at Chris Barker’s house. There were about 30 Klansmen gathered there who were drinking and eating. After a few hours most went back to their hotels and motels to prepare for the Saturday rally,” said Weinbrenner, who is not a member of the Loyal White Knights. “Chris (Barker) was really drunk after his third bottle of whiskey since we arrived that day. He was really shit faced, slurring his words. I have been around plenty of alcoholics in my life. Chris is an alcoholic.”
Law enforcement records in North Carolina show that Barker has been arrested more than forty times, over a dozen times for alcohol related infractions, in recent years, and has been stripped of his driving privileges.
In 2008, he was charged with malicious arson for burning down the house of an Eden, North Carolina man he suspected was sleeping with his wife. “We found his electronic discount card–the kind you swipe at the cash register at Wal-Mart each time you buy something–at the fire scene, which traced back to Barker,” said Rockingham County Fire Marshall Robert Cardwell in an interview. “When we went to talk to him, he was so drunk we couldn’t understand half of what he was saying. He was drinking beer through the whole interview.”
“I think Mr. Barker has a problem with alcohol,” he said.
Caswell County law enforcement sources say when they arrested Barker during a joint law enforcement raid on his house after obtaining a search warrant around 7:00 Saturday—15 hours after the stabbing and assault on Richard Dillon—Barker “was still obviously intoxicated.”
“Billy Hagen was really wasted, too. He was drinking both beer and whiskey,” said Weinbrenner, of last Friday night’s events.
Weinbrenner, Richard Dillon and other Loyal White Knights sources said William “Billy” Hagen attacked Dillon as arguments escalated over a long-standing disagreement over the handling of a February 2016 Klan event in Anaheim, California that turned violent.
Other LWK sources and Richard Dillon also said that the LWK had suspected Dillon of secretly covering up that he was Jewish. “Barker would say ‘Richard Dillon is a fucking Jew’, but Barker didn’t want to kick him out because every time Dillon would show up at an event or meeting he would donate $1000, and that all went right into Barker’s pocket,” said former LWK Florida Grand Dragon Ken Parker of Jacksonville.
Dillon acknowledged the rabidly anti-Semitic Klan group—many of whose members proclaim allegiance to neo-Nazi philosophy– had accused him of being Jewish. “I even submitted a DNA test to Ancestor.com. It showed I have no Jewish or Negro blood in me,” said Dillon, who is a union pipe fitter from near Chicago.
“While Hagen and Barker and the other guy were getting increasingly drunk, they were becoming more and more antagonistic towards me,” said Dillon. “Chris Barker was antagonizing the argument the whole time, encouraging Hagen to fight me. So was the other guy,” said Dillon. “I knew it was time to leave, but I knew I wouldn’t get out the door.”
“Hagen and Chris (Barker) and the other guy were arguing with Richard for hours, and the drunker they got, the more angry they became. Before the fight, Richard apologized several times and said he didn’t want to fight. During the argument, Chris gave Billy a knife as a gift. Billy Hagen didn’t have that knife until Chris gave it to him while they were arguing with Richard,” said Weinbrenner. “Ten minutes later, Chris said ‘Why don’t you have a knife fight and fight it out?’ The knife and fistfights started about 2:45 AM in the dining room. From the conversations I heard and what I saw, they already had it planned out to kill Richard before the fight and stabbing happened.”
Dillon said the knife William Hagen attacked him with was “a 5 or 6 inch unfold able knife with a black titanium blade. You know, the kind you keep strapped to your boot legs.”
Dillon said Barker and Kirk Weist blocked the dining room doors as he attempted to escape, both punching and kicking him as Hagen continued to plunge the “6 inch titanium black bladed knife” into him. Dillon fought back, punching Hagen in an attempt to stop him from stabbing him. “I am supposed to be dead right now, brother,” Dillon said. “Their plan was to kill me.”
“Chris (Barker) was egging Hagen on while Hagen was stabbing Dillon. Chris was kicking him in the face and told Hagen to ‘finish him off’” during the assault, said a former LWK Grand Dragon—or state leader—who maintains close contacts with current LWK Klan members.
“Barker was blocking the door stopping me from trying to leave and encouraging Hagen to kill me. They were both drunk. The dining room floor was covered in my blood.”
Simultaneously, the third Klansmen, Weist, was also physically assaulting Dillon. “Weist started hitting me while I was being stabbed by Hagen and later followed me out of the house and hit me more times as he and Chris Barker tried to prevent me from leaving. They wanted me to bleed out and die at the house,” said Dillon.
“Everything was pretty smooth, no fighting, until Miss Amanda arrived. We were in the dining room. Chris was sitting to the left of Richard,” said Weinbrenner, referring to Christopher Barker’s wife. “’You are going to have to leave. You fucked up pretty seriously’, “Amanda said. “You are not going to be a member of the LWK anymore.”
“Amanda said, ‘Richard is going to get fucked up real bad. I don’t know how bad, or where and when, but he ain’t going to be LWK no more’,” said Weinbrenner. “It was a threat from Amanda. I grabbed our stuff and put everything in the truck. I kept texting Richard ‘they are going to kill you. We need to leave now,’ but he never got the messages as he had left his phone in the truck. I waited half an hour or so in the truck.”
The LWK announcement that a public rally would be held in Caswell County, North Carolina December 3 was posted on their website days after Trump won the presidential election, but the Klan faction refused to name a time or specific location. With a backdrop of spiking racial and political tensions and violent street demonstrations nationwide in the wake of the elections, the intentionally provocative “victory celebration” by the historically notorious racial hate group grabbed international headlines at the time. By late last week dozens of national and international media had descended upon rural Caswell County North Carolina.
Several hundred anti-racist youth dressed in all black, wearing handkerchiefs or ski masks to cover their faces and steel-toed jackboots, some carrying baseball bats, also arrived in Caswell County looking for a fight. The potential for disorder and violence drew the keen attention of intelligence units of law enforcement agencies from North Carolina to Washington.
On Friday evening, the day before the Klan rally and hours before the stabbing assault, Captain Michael Adkins of the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office said in an interview that no permits had been issued to the LWK Klan group to gather for any public event anywhere in Caswell County, North Carolina. “I have been inundated with media calls from everywhere, but we have seen no activity indicating there are Klan supporters gathering for any kind of public event, and there has not been any permit issued which would allow them to do so,” said Captain Adkins. ” There has been no influx of out-of-state cars or people from outside the community,” Adkins said of his rural county. “Believe me, we are keeping a close eye on Barker and any indications of trouble.”
With the ramped up eyes and ears of law enforcement, who had brought in scores of extra reinforcements, focused on the Klan faction, and the scrutiny of hoards of incoming media who arrived in the usually sleepy hamlets and gentile, postcard-worthy small towns that make up the rural corner of North Carolina, it was a very poor decision and tactical error to choose that timing for an attempted murder at the known national headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan faction.
But the Klan members were all drunk and “they just got more drunk and more antagonistic”, said Dillon.
“Chris came running out and came up to the driver’s side window of the truck and said “Richard is dead inside the house. He had a real bad fight with Billy. Richard was stabbed to death. He is dead on the floor inside. I have $2000 I will give you if you just stay quiet and get out of town. I am going to have to drive you to my ATM machine and pick up the money,” recalled David Weinbrenner. “Chris was really drunk. He was hypersensitive. He was nine-sheets-to-the-wind. He said ‘I need to drive you to the ATM’. There was no way I was going to let him drive. There was no way I was going to let him bribe me. And there was no way I was going to leave Richard alone.”
“I have no doubt Chris was going to try to kill me, too. I had my window rolled down like a quarter-inch. There was no way I was going to leave with Chris Barker or take $2000 or leave my friend Richard behind. Chris went back into the house.”
“The first one to come outside again was Chris. After they stabbed and fought Richard in the dining room for a long time, Richard managed to run out the front door, covered in blood and blood gushing out from his chest. Richard came out with the blonde-headed guy fighting. Then Hagen came out still holding the knife. Then Amanda came out and pushed Chris up against the porch pillar. Then the kids came out. They were all trying to stop Richard from getting in the car and get away,” said Weinbrenner. “Amanda was holding Chris up against the pillars on the porch. The Barker’s two teenage kids also were attacking Richard. It was like a wolf pack trying to stop Richard from getting in the truck.
“The third guy—I didn’t know his name–didn’t use his pistol but it was strapped on his belt line when he was outside fighting Richard. Earlier before the fight during the argument, he had it on the table next to his chair and then he strapped it on his waistband when he went outside fighting Richard. While they were fighting, as Richard was trying to get in the truck so we could get the Hell out of there, Richard said ’Why don’t you just shoot me already. Put me out of my misery. I am already dying.’ The blonde-haired guy started swinging on Richard. He was really drunk. Richard hit back and knocked him out, he fell to the ground,” said Weinbrenner.
“The third guy was equally as involved in attacking Richard as Chris and Hagen. I had the car running the whole time,” said Weinbrenner. “Richard was stabbed over the heart and over the right lung, from the wounds I could see, but his whole chest was covered with blood, and he got stabbed in the right thumb when he tried to stop the knife attack.”
“Chris and the others were trying to stop Richard from getting in the truck. There was blood smeared all over the exterior of the passenger side of the truck because they were fighting to prevent him from getting in. He was soaked in blood. His chest was pumping out blood. Blood was all over the headliner of the car, the front seat, the passenger side door panel and the passenger side exterior of the car,” Weinbrenner said.
After we drove to the hospital and Richard was treated, we went straight to the Caswell County Sheriff’s Office. They took pictures of everything—the inside and outside of the truck. They interviewed both Richard and me.
Photographs of Kirk Weist, 31, obtained in this investigation depict him hidden behind the white hoods and robes of Klan garb, tending to his Ohio farm where he raises cows and chickens, firing a handgun, and doting on his attractive wife and daughter. Weist has been arrested at least ten times on mostly alcohol related charges in recent years in Ohio and Indiana alone.
Kirk Weiss, contacted by phone Monday evening at his home in New Paris, Ohio, confirmed he was at the North Carolina Klan gathering but was mostly concerned he had been identified for his alleged involvement in the violent assault and that he was being sought by authorities as a person of interest in the attack “with intent to kill”. After a reporter outlined the allegations, Weist responded, “Who are you? How did you get my phone number?” When he was asked for comment on his alleged involvement in the stabbing incident, he said, “I don’t really have anything to say about that.”
When told that eyewitnesses and others were alleging Weist physically assaulted the wounded Klansman simultaneously with the two others stabbing and beating him, Weist paused and said, “I don’t know who you are. Who gave you my name and phone number? I don’t know what is going on,” before abruptly hanging up the phone.
The 31 year-old Weist operates a 52-acre farm raising about fifty head of cows and numerous chickens in rural New Paris southwestern Ohio. His resume includes claims he has had a “private security business” as well. His criminal record includes at least a dozen arrests for mainly alcohol related infractions.
The Loyal White Knights are particularly distinguished for their incendiary rhetoric calling for the death and beating of non-heterosexuals. A widely distributed 2016 LWK Klan leaflet bears the headline “Support Gay Bashing” above a crude stick drawing of two men having sex inside a circle with a red slash mark through it.
After being released from the hospital, the injured Klan member Dillon drove immediately to the Caswell County, North Carolina Sheriff’s Office and informed them of the assault. The Sheriff obtained a search warrant for Barker’s house, which was raided by law enforcement from the North Carolina State Police, the Rockingham and Caswell County Sheriff’s Offices, and the North Carolina Bureau of Alcohol shortly before 7:00 PM Saturday evening, resulting in the arrest of Barker and Hagen.
The LWK Implodes
According to more than a dozen current and recently former ranking officers in the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, many members are leaving the LWK because of long-standing conflicts with Chris Barker. The state leaders of Georgia, Florida, Virginia. Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana have all left the Loyal White knights in recent months, according to sources within the leadership of the LWK.
LWK sources say that more than 60 members have formally resigned since the events of last Saturday. “What happened to Richard (Dillon) could have been any one of us,” siad one.
In November, James Seay, who uses the alias James Moore, and served as the LWK chief lieutenant and public speaker, resigned from the LWK and joined the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. “I have had no contact with the LWK since November 3rd,” Moore said in an interview this week. “Basically, I just couldn’t work with Chris (Barker) anymore.”
The LWK was kicked out of the Aryan National Alliance at a gathering of neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on November 8, based on evidence that Chris Barker had made an agreement with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force after being arrested and charged for ‘felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon’ by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 2012, to work as an informant for the FBI in exchange for being allowed out of jail.
The Loyal White Knights are what is often called in the world of right-wing armed extremists and white nationalists, a “Mom and Pop Klan” or “Cyber Klan”, which attracted attention, members, and funds through their incendiary rhetoric over social media which is picked up by the national media. But, in truth, the Loyal White Knights are run out of Christopher Eugene Barker’s house in Caswell County, North Carolina, with the key assistance of his wife, Amanda, and is viewed as a cash cow vehicle to solicit donations and funds that are used by personally by the 37-year old Barker, who has never held a job as an adult.
But with Barker in jail and likely to stay there for the foreseeable future, there is a gaping leadership vacuum to keep glued the disparate membership of hate-filled white supremacists with violent tendencies and criminal records who live on the periphery of society and largely make up the LWK membership, many of whom have been rejected by other Klan groups who shun the LWK.
Some LWK members point to a man in his 70’s from Illinois as a possibility to step into a leadership role, but he suffers from emphysema and lung cancer. As for Barker’s wife, Amanda, who has long been the real organizing force behind the LWK, she is forbidden from Klan rules to assume a leadership position because she is a woman.
According to Loyal White Knights own internal rules, their own leader Chris Barker is now theoretically mandated to be “TERMINATED” from his own organization. “What will happen to my membership should I be arrested and taken to jail?” the LWK website poses a question for its members.
“Your membership status will be determined by the cause of arrest and/or case disposition. Should you be arrested for…aggravated Crimes including Robbery, your membership to the Loyal White Knights will be immediately TERMINATED. You will be required to return all Loyal White Knights items such as, membership card, patches and books. We WILL NOT accept this type of person into our membership!”