CALIFORNIA: Suspect In Murder Of Gay Man Linked To Neo-Nazi Group Tied To Four Other Murders [VIDEO]

The Washington Post reports:

Earlier this month, when the body of California college student Blaze Bernstein [inset] was pulled from the loose dirt of a public park in the Orange County foothills, questions swirled about a motive. He was stabbed 20 times.

The 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania sophomore was gay and Jewish, and local law enforcement announced they were investigating whether Bernstein’s death was a hate crime. The arrest of Samuel Woodward, a 20-year-old former high school classmate of Bernstein’s, only intensified the speculation.

On Friday, ProPublica published a piece linking Woodward to Atomwaffen Division, a relatively new Charles Manson-obsessed neo-Nazi outfit that defines itself as a “revolutionary national socialist organization centered around political activism and the practice of an autonomous fascist lifestyle.”

Quoting three sources with knowledge of Woodward’s recent past, the investigative news site reported Woodward joined the hate group in 2016 and attended a three-day training camp with other members in Texas. Pictures from the event captured Atomwaffen Division members in skull masks, making Nazi salutes.

Atomwaffen has also now been linked to last month’s murders of a Virginia couple by the jilted neo-Nazi boyfriend of their daughter and to the May 2017 murders of two Tampa men by their roommate.

More about Bernstein’s alleged killer:

Mr Woodward spoke openly on social media about his Catholic faith and conservative political views. He wrote more than a year ago on his ASKfm page that if he were stranded on a tropical island, he would choose a Bible and a Colt .45. “Anything is possible through the Lord who strengthens me,” he wrote.

Woodward, 20, is set to be formally arraigned later the week. He has not yet entered a plea to the charge of murder. “This is a tragedy,” his lawyer, Edward Munoz told reporters, when he client was initially charged. “This young man I’m representing was an Eagle Scout and now he’s facing murder.”

More from the Times Of Israel:

Before its name became associated with murder, Atomwaffen’s publicity was chiefly related to the dissemination of posters. In 2016, at least eight college campuses were plastered with posters and stickers calling for race war. Some pro-Hitler, swastika-laden materials were taped directly onto students’ doors, and other materials were handed out in person.

On the video-hosting service BitChute, several Atomwaffen propaganda videos are posted, including one about the “Doomsday Hate Camp” attended by Woodward. Among videos that celebrate the “productivity” of members who commit violence, a “Lessons of Charlottesville” tribute called on “the Right to unite.”

In the hate group’s messaging, gays and Jews are vehemently targeted. LGBT people are urged to commit suicide by hanging themselves, and AIDS is praised for “working” against its ostensible target. In a military-style training video posted earlier this month, members shout “gas the kikes” while firing guns, and Jews are the first enemy identified on the group’s homepage.

  • Boreal

    Trump’s people.

    • John30013

      The Best People™. Good People™.

      /s (do I even need this?)

      • Boreal

        Apparently you do still need that. I had someone take a post of mine seriously that I thought was obviously snark.

        • Ragnar Lothbrok

          Nah, if they can’t figure it out then that’s just too dammed bad

  • Bride of Trump

    Wow. Wtf is wrong with people.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      The list is long

  • Lazycrockett
    • JCF

      Please, just call the cops. This ^ is a fun fantasy, but it doesn’t have the systematic impact, of letting cops/prosecutors/judges/corrections adjudicate these fuckwads.

  • SkokieGuy

    But let’s fucking ban Muslims, because they’re all terrorists, right Trump you POS. How much more plain does it have to be that we have domestic terrorists, radicalized by Christian extremists and the Republican party.

    THIS is the completely logical and predictable result of spending a year campaigning and year in office, ‘otherizing’ everyone who’s not white, Christian and conservative.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    May you never see the light of day you rotten Nazi Scum

  • Slippy_World
    • safari

      I’m glad Microwave is included.

      • Todd20036

        And Ingram doing that Nazi salute

        • Bryan

          I just found Cubic Zirconia & Rayon!

    • coram nobis

      Sgt. Putin’s Lurking Hitler Band.

    • Stogiebear

      Love the juxtaposition of Roger Stone and the gasping Trump lady.

    • carrot festival


    • JCF

      Only quibble: what did the Beatles do to deserve this?

      • ChrisMorley

        Think of it as a homage to Jann Haworth and Peter Blake, who in 1967 won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts.

  • safari

    I remember when we joked about White-ISIS

    • Rambie

      It wasn’t a joke really even then.

      • safari

        But it did involve a barrel of lube and lots of dildos

        • Rambie

          Well that’s just good hosting.

  • violamateo

    What I find most disturbing is the fact that he’s only 20. Isn’t the current younger generation supposedly more informed and aware when it comes to sexual diversity?

    • safari

      I’m going to guess he was yet another sexually frustrated white male.

      • Tread

        Or sexually repressed/frustrated white male.

      • #DJTK5F

        The murderer accused Bernstein of kissing him on the lips.

        • ETownCanuck

          So what, even if he did it’s not a reason to kill someone. It smells like just another bullshit gay panic defense attempt.

          • #DJTK5F

            Yeah, because CLEARLY I was putting that forward in defense of the murderer. (please note use of the word “MURDERER”).

          • ETownCanuck

            I didn’t say that you were, I’m just simply stating a fact. It’s NOT a reason to murder someone and it IS a pitiful attempt to blame the victim.

        • Lizard

          It’s not like Bernstein is around to dispute that account. He could be building a “gay panic” defense.

          • Richie Kau

            Gay panic defense was abolished by California in 2014.

          • Lizard

            I stand corrected.

        • Rocco

          Right on cue…without missing a beat…almost as if…

        • Scott Carpenter

          If every woman who had ever been the unwilling recipient of a liplock had killed the man who did it, the male population of the world would be a hell of a lot smaller. And better behaved.

        • Misutaa Roboto

          That, along with the whole earlier “I think Bernstein went to his girlfriend’s, but I totally don’t remember her name or where she lives” bit suggests to me that the murderous Nazi fuck is closeted and probably had some kind of sexual relationship with his victim that he wanted to distance himself from.

  • Taylor Bixler

    but muh antifa….

    • TJay229


  • bkmn

    I really hope the FBI is keeping a close eye on these groups, in spite of what Sessions and Trump want them to do. If you want to find the next domestic terrorist you should keep an eye on these extreme right wing groups.

  • ETownCanuck

    The right to freedom of speech needs just as much as an overhaul as the right to bear arms.

    • Lizard

      I don’t see how this isn’t inciting violence.

      • Friday

        There’s all too much leeway when specific targets aren’t named, …something the Right abuses constantly. Just cause they find their targets interchangeable, shouldn’t mean they are allowed to keep doing this and denying they have anything to do with the bloodshed.

    • coram nobis

      It would require the US Supreme Court to re-visit Ohio v. Brandenburg.. The previous standard was “clear and present danger.”

      • Amanda B. Rekendwith

        I’m so glad you post here, coram nobis.
        I learn tons from following up on your input. Many thanks.

  • Taylor Bixler

    I have to say ProPublica has been doing some heavy lifting on these groups the past 5 or 6 months.
    This group here, RAM, seems, um, somewhat conflicted?

  • Lizard

    Another white murderer who won’t be labeled a terrorist, what a surprise.

    • CJAS

      His lawyer wants us to know that he was an Eagle Scout which seems like some sort of dog whistle.

      • Reality.Bites

        I wasn’t aware the Boy Scouts had a merit badge for murder.

        • Ginger Snap

          It must be one if those secret camping night badges.

  • #DJTK5F

    What a beautiful young man. What a waste of life. I do not cry often, but Bernstein’s death brings a tear to my eye.

    Should be highlighted that the murderer’s family is rabidly Catholic. #religiousextremists

    • AC

      yes, yes! Of course, highlight his religion

      • #DJTK5F

        Highlight religious extremism, particularly on the right, and particularly as it results in terroristic attacks on LGBTs, Jews and other minorities. Yes. YES!

      • coram nobis

        Maybe it’s about time for Stephen Spielberg to get “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” project going again, now that “The Post” is in the can.

        It may make a point or two about Catholicism and the Jewish community.

  • TimCA

    I remember when this murder was first reported then shortly afterwards Bernstein’s sexual orientation was reported too. On the news sites I visited the comment sections were inundated with anti-gay bigots. A common theme among their posts was that Bernstein was a sexual aggressor and a deviant against whom Woodward was perfectly justified in killing. Now comes the news about Woodward’s background.

    We as a community should never underestimate the amount of residual hate against us that still permeates and festers in this country.

  • HZ81

    This poor kid was murdered by a closeted, cultist nazi fuck emboldened by Trump’s America—and it won’t make a sound in the national media. Fucking terrorists are weclome here—well, white ones.

    I just want to vomit. RIP, Blaze.

    • Friday

      I really don’t think this hate really requires people to be closeted, you know they got some kind of ingrown inferiority thing going on in them, though.

      • HZ81

        It doesn’t but just helps in this case.

      • Scott Carpenter

        Check out a criminal psychology book about the topic of stabbing (20 times!) and follow-on analysis of the perpetrator. I don’t remember much from my abnormal psych classes, but that one stuck with me.

        • MaryJOGrady


  • Richard B

    It is especially important that this murder be prosecuted as a hate crime. If Samuel Woodward is found guilty, he should feel the full weight of the law come down on him.
    If he is part of a hate group that emphasizes hurting the LGBTQ and or Jewish folks, then he made a choice to be part of a hate group and regardless of his lawyer bemoaning this is a tragedy to the perpetrator’s family, it is an even bigger tragedy to the surviving victim’s family.

    • Friday

      “Evil Nazi Trumpist society is to blame?” ‘Tragedy’ is not the freaking word when it comes to this brutality and thuggishness.

  • coram nobis

    From the California Penal Code:

    187. (a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought. …

    188. Such malice may be express or implied. It is express when there is manifested a deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a fellow creature. It is implied, when no considerable provocation appears, or when the circumstances attending the killing show an abandoned and malignant heart.
    When it is shown that the killing resulted from the intentional doing of an act with express or implied malice as defined above, no other mental state need be shown to establish the mental state of malice aforethought. Neither an awareness of the obligation to act within the general body of laws regulating society nor acting despite such awareness is included within the definition of malice …

    190.2. (a) The penalty for a defendant who is found guilty of murder in the first degree is death or imprisonment in the state prison for life without the possibility of parole if one or more of the following special circumstances has been found under Section 190.4 to be true:

    (14) The murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity. As used in this section, the phrase “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity” means a conscienceless or pitiless crime that is unnecessarily torturous to the victim.
    (15) The defendant intentionally killed the victim by means of lying in wait.
    (16) The victim was intentionally killed because of his or her race, color, religion, nationality, or country of origin.

    The California gas chamber seems to be inactive at this point as a method. For a Nazi, it would be an ironic fate.

  • ultragreen

    Some more details about this murder case:

    “Sources close to the case told The Mercury News that Woodward’s interviews with police were full of erratic explanations and alibis. He said that, after the alleged kiss, he ‘wanted to tell Blaze to get off of him,’ and shortly after that, he dropped Bernstein off at Borrego Park, where his body was later found on Jan. 9. Woodward reportedly spoke through a clenched jaw, with tightly balled fists.

    According to Woodward, he left Bernstein at the park while he went to meet his girlfriend. However, he couldn’t recall her name or address for the police inquiry. He said that he
    stopped by the park on the way back to look for Bernstein, but found no sign of him.

    Police found Bernstein in a shallow grave with 20 fatal stab wounds. Woodward insisted he had nothing to do with the murder, however he had scratches and dirt all over his hands in one of his meetings with police. He claimed that those came from his participation in a secret fight club.”

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Such strong believers that they hid themselves behind masks. Germany has a good solution to dealing with this crap.

  • rednekokie

    Why worry? The Drumpf will probably pardon him — after all, he must be a very nice person.

  • Friday

    Overkill murders basically shout ‘hate crime,’ …especially when it comes to LGBT victims.

  • infmom

    Why do people think being an Eagle Scout keeps people from being scum? Charles Whitman was an Eagle Scout.

    • Treant

      Exactly, why I was an…well, I slept with an eagle scout in high school, which I figure probably counts.

      • infmom

        Good work. 🙂

      • juanjo54

        I only went into scouting because it was a way to get laid, which I did, a lot. Just saying.

    • Taylor Bixler

      It is all part of the “he was such a good kid, hard to fathom he did this” narrative that so often follows crime/murders by white people.

      • Chris Craft

        Why is “follower of the abrahamic dogmas not on there?”

    • MonochromeMouse

      I have yet to meet someone who was an eagle scout that didn’t have a myriad of social and/or mental issues, no idea if it’s related or just a coincidence but I could see how not having any actual social interactions outside of a heavily monitored and policed group as an older teen could cause one to become maladjusted.

      • infmom

        Well…. my son’s a third generation Eagle Scout and he’s doing fine. So is his dad. But they would have done just as well with or without the Boy Scouts.

        • mr wonderful

          I’m third-generation Eagle, too. We seem(ed)(my predecessors have “gone on to glory”) to be doing ok!

      • olandp

        My sister’s son is an Eagle Scout, he was active in the scouts to get away from his mother.

    • JCF

      Charles Whitman had a behavior-disrupting brain tumor—something few Nazis can claim.

      • infmom

        I didn’t know that. I was pretty young when he climbed that tower.

      • MaryJOGrady

        There are disputes about whether the tumor affected Whitman’s behavior. He had definitely gotten into abusing speed before the murders, however.

  • Bob from CT

    And, remember, according to 45, there are some “very fine people” in these types of groups.

    • David Walker

      On the semi-bright side, he’s lied about everything, so you really can’t be sure what he meant by that. Lord god almighty, I hate that glob of orange snot.

  • canoebum

    Seeing the picture of the victim is heartbreaking. What a beautiful young man. Knowing he was so brutally and senselessly murdered is disheartening. I hope the hateful scum never sees the light of day again.

  • Hank

    White American men are a bigger domestic terrorist threat than Muslim foreigners

    A look at the data on domestic terrorism and who’s behind it

  • Longpole

    A relatively new Charles Manson-obsessed neo-Nazi outfit.
    Great, thanks Donald. Sick.
    Wonder if they went to Manson’s funeral?

    • Reality.Bites

      I read an article the other day that various real and imaginary heirs are fighting over his estate and his remains.

  • BeaverTales

    Thanks for finally covering this. Blaze died horribly and his killer is an adult…He should be locked away until his name is entirely forgotten.

  • olandp

    If they are so proud of their supposed fucking superiority, why don’t they show themselves?

  • CJAS

    The Daily Mail reported on Woodward’s Neo-Nazi and white supremacist beliefs nine days ago. Should I accuse the American press of lying by omission? Even today these journalists seemed to not be interested.

    • David L. Caster

      Trump and Trumpism have been sucking all the oxygen out of the atmosphere since March of 2016.

      • pj


  • SoCalVet

    I have a connection to this case. I’ve gathered that it’s a case of a self-hating gay man killing the object of his desires.

    • NowVoyager

      I haven’t gathered that at all, until I see some evidence to prove it. Way too many people make false assumptions about the motives of homophobes. One thing that many homophobes and gays have in common is blaming gays for their own destruction. Some have suggested that many of the SS Nazis running the concentration camps in WWII Germany were probably all “closet-case” homosexuals when they tortured and shoved gay people into the ovens; and even a great number of the Islamic Terrorists and their leaders who throw gay people from the tops of buildings and behead us are generally just self-hating closeted homosexuals themselves. Can that be right? I truly doubt it. The same crap was said about the pro-Isis terrorist who murdered 49 people and wounded 51 others in an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub. It wasn’t true. Even the FBI doubted that assumption, but too many people — especially in the LGBT community — were willing to believe that. Unfortunately many gay people use their own sexual orientation to demonized their enemies as if being “exposed” or “accused” as being gay makes you a worse bully or killer. This is a tread that is self-destructive for the LGBT community. All the homophobes have to say is that they aren’t the problem because actual homos are the ones killing their own. Yes, some self-loathing homosexuals do horrible things — including murder as well as perpetuating outward hatred against their own community which they reject — but that is the exception and not the rule. The vast majority of people who hate us and long for our destruction are heterosexuals who are culturally brain-washed by religion or it’s just plain old misanthropy. Let us not be so quick as to point fingers and claim that someone who does horrible things to us is just another closeted fag. That plays right into the bloody hands of those who would like to use that stereotyple to further demonize us.

      • SoCalVet

        I understand your points and agree. I also can’t see into the mind of the killer and I’m just making off-hand comments on a blog comment board. I don’t claim to know any ultimate truths about what happened in this case or how we should handle the tragic damage done by people deranged by their own desires and self-loathing.

  • Lawerence Collins
  • Ginger Snap

    So brave with their faces covered. Another group of small dick boys afraid of becoming responsible men.

  • Terry

    But…but…but ISIS!!!

  • JCF

    He seems nice.

    But seriously: Drumpf has empowered ALL these racist, fascist, homophobic motherfuckers. Lock them ALL up!!!

  • Mike Knife

    Orange County California is the home the California KKK and other anti-gay Christian terrorist groups.

  • Chris Craft

    I’m sure the FBI will say that sexual orientation was not the primary reason he murdered Blaze and then, knowing the feds, not call it a hate crime but another “random act of terror.”