|Name||James P. Wickstrom|
Tigerton, Wisconsin , United States
Jun 28, 2020 02:58pm
|Info||Jim Wickstrom is the kind of neo-Nazi white supremacist who appears in bad novels and movies — a red-faced, spit-firing, soaked-in-sweat speaker who looks as if he's about to have a coronary every time he gets to attacking "the Jews." |
Wickstrom talks about the pleasures of seeing his enemies' "heads on the fence posts" and longs for the day when "Aryans" will "fill our shoes with the blood of our enemies and walk in them." He wants to "go hunting," to "kill" the Jews, to "exterminate" race-mixers and a whole host of other enemies.
And it is precisely these dubious qualities that make Wickstrom a continuing draw on the American radical right, especially among violent Skinheads and Armageddon-minded neo-Nazis.
The man often known as "Wick" first came to the movement in the early 1970s, when he joined the Mission of Jesus the Christ Church in Humansville, Mo., which promoted the Christian Identity theology espoused by the late William Potter Gale. (Gale's theology described Jews as biologically Satanic and whites as the real chosen people of the Bible.)
In 1980, he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate on the ticket of the far-right Constitution Party. By the following year, he was calling himself "national director of counter-insurgency" for the violently anti-Semitic Posse Comitatus that was founded mainly by Gale.
Wickstrom ran for governor of Wisconsin in 1982, but failed miserably. In 1983, he was arrested after forming an illegal township, christened "Tigerton Dells," which was a collection of about 30 trailers and a bar. He was sentenced to 18 months for impersonating a town clerk and judge, but fled to Oklahoma while the case was on appeal and was only arrested and sent to prison seven months later. In the end, he served just 13 months, moving to Pennsylvania upon release.
By 1987, Wickstrom, a practicing Identity preacher, began attending annual congresses of the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations*, and it was at that group's Idaho compound, authorities alleged, that he schemed to pass $100,000 in counterfeit bills to finance extremist paramilitary groups.
That 1988 case ended in a mistrial, but Wickstrom was convicted in a second trial in 1990 and sentenced to serve 38 months in a federal prison. While in prison, he turned over his Pennsylvania operation to Mark Thomas, a neo-Nazi now in prison for his role in a conspiracy to rob 22 banks.
In 1995, after leaving prison, he moved to Munising, Mich., setting up an Identity ministry and collaborating with neo-Nazi August Kreis of Pennsylvania in running the anti-Semitic possecomitatus.com Web site. The same year, Wickstrom started a business, Information Consulting Corp., to sell survival gear, outdoor apparel and videotapes about militias.
In the late 1990s, Wickstrom preached regularly to an Identity congregation in Dayton Township, allegedly including Scott A. Woodring (see 'Patriot' Crimes), who was killed by police in July 2003 after murdering a police officer who came to serve a warrant for alleged solicitation of a teenage girl.
Later, he moved his ministry to an old furniture store in Hampton Township, where a recent visitor was James Nichols, brother of the Oklahoma City conspirator. This June, Wickstrom told friends he was moving to Tennessee, where he would be living and holding services on the property of John Roberts, former head of the Militia of East Tennessee.