Redding neighborhood flooded by neo-Nazi materials

The source of neo-Nazi propaganda that recently littered a Redding neighborhood is currently under investigation by local police.

Hundreds of fliers, some bearing swastikas, were found Aug. 15 in Redding’s Benton Track neighborhood — on car windshields, in mailboxes, at the front doors to homes and on lawns.

Six different versions of the letter-size, black-and-white fliers turned-up in the three-block area off Benton Drive and Loma Street.

All urged white Americans to take back their country.

“The flavor of them was of white supremacy,” Redding police Sgt. Craig Kinneavy said.

The fliers, naming either the Minneapolis-based National Socialist Movement or the Eastpointe, Mich.-based American Nazi Party as their originator, were all downloaded from the Internet, Kinneavy said.

A few days after the incident, one resident reported spotting someone on a bicycle placing a flier on his car. The suspect, a young white male, carried a backpack and fled upon confrontation, Kinneavy said.

“We’re not sure if he was hired to do this by a larger organization or if he’s the source,” said Kinneavy. Regardless, the vague description provided will make the suspect close to impossible to track, he added.

Kinneavy also said it is unclear as to whether this incident is related to the National Alliance, the fastest-growing anti-Semitic hate group in the United States.

According to Jonathan Bernstein, the S.F.-based director of the Central Pacific region of the Anti-Defamation League, leaflets from the National Alliance are distributed all over the country and are not an “atypical” find.

Speaking about the distribution of fliers, Bernstein said, “This is probably the most common type of anti-Semitic incident. We get this type of thing reported to us all the time.”

In fact, an anti-Semitic flier from the National Alliance was “slapped” on the Mountain View Public Library on Aug. 18, said Jessica Ravitz, ADL associate regional director.

“They pop up in the most random places, unbeknownst to anyone.” said Ravitz.

This was, however, the first time a crime of this nature has occurred in Redding since May 1999. At that time, hate literature traced to a Southern California white supremacist group was distributed in several schools around Redding.

The Southern California group is currently being investigated by the Shasta County district attorney’s office in connection with the July 1999 murders of Gary Matson and Windfield Mowder, a gay couple from Happy Valley, near Redding.

Benjamin Matthew Williams and his brother, James Tyler Williams, are both behind bars and awaiting trial in that case. The brothers, who lived in the Redding area, were also brought up on charges relating to a June 1999 arson spree that damaged three Sacramento-area synagogues and an abortion clinic.

Aleza Goldsmith

Aleza Goldsmith is a former J. staff writer.