Please visit the new home of Majikthise at

« Ice cream preferences vary by gender | Main | Sy Hersh and James Bamford »

June 14, 2009

Minuteman tied to home invasion

Border Reporter Michel Marizco has a blockbuster story about a member of the anti-immigration vigilante group known as the Minutemen arrested today in Arizona in connection with a home invasion:

A 41-year-old woman involved with the Minuteman vigilante groups that hunt illegal migrants through the Arizona desert has been arrested for pulling a home invasion and murdering a father and his nine year old daughter last month.

Then it gets ugly and weird. According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, Shawna Forde, 43, was arrested south of Sierra Vista, Ariz. today. Her accomplices, Albert Gaxiola and Jason Eugene Bush, were also arrested. Bush was picked up in Kingman on June 11 and Gaxiola in Tucson. The father and daughter, Raul and Brisenia Flores, were murdered May 30.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Office says Forde and her two accomplices pretended to be police and entered the home. A woman in the home is recovering from her injuries.

Read the whole thing. Truly a bizarre tale.

Update: is reporting that Forde has been charged with first degree murder, burglary, and aggravated assault in connection with the May 30 incident. Authorities hypothesize that the Minutemen intended to steal money and drugs to finance their illegal activities. I wonder if the GOP will tell us that the Minutemen are secret leftists, like George Tiller's assassin and the Holocaust Museum shooter.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Minuteman tied to home invasion:


My first thought was whether they used information about illegal aliens to facilitate their crimes, under the theory that they might be more likely to be carrying cash (to remit home) and less likely to call the cops to report a crime. I don't know enough about that organization to hazard a guess, but surely such a group must get a lot of unsolicited tips, right?

Lindsay Beyerstein ought to pursue a career other than journalism.

This Lindsay broad lumps the so-called "Minutemen" into one big group rather than pointing out that nobody has a trademark on the term "Minuteman" or "Minutemen." This particular "Minuteman" splinter group out of Everett, Washington has no connection with the San Diego Minutemen, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman group, or any other national or local group. The 18th Street Gang could call themselves "Minutemen" if they wanted to.

Nitwit Lindsay fails to point out that one of the victims in this case is/was well known by the Pima County Sheriff's Department. PCSD knew of their illegal drug activity, not that it's any excuse for this alleged crime. And there is no information indicating that the victims were illegals.

Airhead Lindsay insinuates that this case is somehow connected with the recent Washington, DC shooting and that the GOP has some connection to the incident. No evidence is presented, however.

Really, can you arseholes get any worse?

Nice try. Actually, BorderSentry, Forde was directly connected with Jim Gilchrist of the original name brand Minutemen. Granted, she and he have since parted ways and Gilchrist now says that he thinks she's unstable. But it's not like Forde's some random person who arbitrarily identified with the Minutemen on a whim. She is a member of a dissident chip off the old block, one of the many factions vying for the Minuteman mantle.

I'm not saying that Forde was linked to Tiller's assassin or the Holocaust Museum shooter in the way she was connected to Jim Gilchrist and the Minutemen--I'm saying that there's a rising tide of right wing violence in this country that people aren't willing to talk about and that high profile conservative leaders have tried to deny the facts and label these killers as left wing. Check your inbox, I'm sure you're on the same mailing lists as I am.

I love how racists love splitting hairs. The Holcaust bigot, as well as the man that slaughtered Tiller, in church no less, aren't to be lumped together? Puleeze.

They should all be waterboarded, until they are dead, since that isn't torture, it should be ok right? Pathetic crackpot losers trying to take it out on the world because life has passed them by while they've been watching wrestling and eating moonpies.

Their too stupid to be taken seriously.

The Arizona Daily Star :

They did not plan to leave any survivors, [Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik] said. "The plan was to kill everyone. To kill a 9-year-old because she might be a potential witness ..."
Dupnik said Forde and her cohorts even searched for the couple's other daughter, who had spent the night at her grandmother's, with the intention of killing her.

Murdering children follows naturally from defining their ethnicity as subhuman.

And unless BorderSentry craves recognition, as Forde did, as "a new white girl in town this one is not afraid and will not tolerate this not while I’m on post," she had best pursue some calling other than name-calling and defending Minutemen -- denouncing child murder and the malevolent delusions that lead to it, say.


This is not my blog, but you are a guest here and are expected to show some respect and manners. If you have something critical to say, people here will engage you in debate. Otherwise, take your trash talk somewhere else.

"Authorities hypothesize that the Minutemen intended to steal money and drugs to finance their illegal activities."

While we are waiting for more definitive information on the matter, it is my personal view to be suspicious of individuals and groups that make a forceful protest about the unlawful behavior of others. Methinks they protest too much.

From personal experience, I have found that consultants in my field who make the loudest announcements about their professional ethics are the most grievous offenders. I counsel my students who seek jobs with consulting firms to run as fast as they can when their prospective employers start making a big deal about their ethics.

"I wonder if the GOP will tell us that the Minutemen are secret leftists, like George Tiller's assassin and the Holocaust Museum shooter."

If not the GOP, proper, then you'll definitely here it from "Limbaugh The Hutt", "Hannity the Hapless", or "Beck the Weeping".

I don't know whether referring to "the anti-immigration vigilante group known as the Minutemen" is a deliberate attempt to deceive, or whether Lindsay Beyerstein is just an idiot. Based on her past journal entries, I suspect a combination. One thing is clear: it's not just "splitting hairs" to properly identify a person or a group. In fact, it could result in a lawsuit:

In any case, it's indicative of someone who has very low journalistic integrity.

"In any case, it's indicative of someone who has very low journalistic integrity."


Seriously, NoMoreBlatherDotCom, thrill us with your acumen.

Tell us about how long you've been working as a serious, professional journalist. Where'd you get your degrees from? How many? What was your Master's Thesis on?

Just how many years have you sat at a keyboard, pounding out copy and revision after revision after revision?

Back check your stories with at least three sources?

How many years you put in at the Times or the Post or fact checking for Turner or Pinch? How'd that gig for Reuters covering the Antwerp beat go?

You call this "low journalistic integrity", show us some examples of your original work in the field.

Throw down, or shut up.

BTW, at least Lindsay has a real byline, but you? All you got is "NoMoreBlatherDotCom".

That just screams "journalistic integrity".


You write: "I don't know whether referring to "the anti-immigration vigilante group known as the Minutemen" is a deliberate attempt to deceive...".

Please note the following quote from the Michel Marizco's article in Border Reporter:

"Jim Gilchrist, one of the two founders of the Minuteman groups, has distanced himself as far as he possibly could from Forde, saying on his Web site that he has no affiliation. In an April 2009 radio interview hosted on her site, Forde said she was running border ops for Gilchrist …

"His former partner, fellow co-founder Chris Simcox, is also distancing himself from Forde. Simcox is running for Senate in Arizona."

Please clarify what you mean. Who is deceiving whom? To what are you objecting? ...and by whom?

I would've expected the first killings to take place somewhere in the Sonoran desert, rather than under someone's roof. (Which of course may well have happened.) I mean, what part of angry nativists + guns + the desert sun + a shared collective fantasy world involving trans-national conspiracies seems non-explosive to anyone?

"Really, can you arseholes get any worse?"

Talk about combining unrelated things under one rubric - a day later and I'm still laughing about that one.

By the way, Gilchrist only distanced himself from this nutjob with a long criminal record until after the murders were committed. The Minuteman project website actually featured photographs of Forde and her organization along with the statement endorsing that organization.

I'm no fan of the far right or of the Minutemen, but there is a point that's not really being addressed. Were the victims illegals?

If this crime was perpetrated under the auspices of being a Minutemen activity: the victims were Latino, the perps were trying to fund Minutemen activities, it was done with the knowledge and consent of a Minutemen organization, then I can understand and agree with the ire.

If I robbed a bank, could one fairly characterize all bloggers as potential bank robbers, no.

There's a difference between criminals who happen to be Minutemen and Minutemen committing crimes as Minutemen.


You are correct, in that the larger number should not be painted with the same broad brush that should only color a few miscreants. I don't think anyone would disagree with that point.

However, the leaders and vocal advocates of the Minutemen have a due diligence responsibility when supporting and cheering on their rank and file. What is called into question is the personal agenda and political aspirations of each high profile advocate. Are they, themselves, willfully turning a blind eye to the distinction you, rightfully, feel should be made? "There's a difference between criminals who happen to be Minutemen and Minutemen committing crimes as Minutemen."

There's a big difference between Neighborhood Watch programs and Auxiliary law enforcement who are unarmed and work with, and under the training and supervision of, local law enforcement. The Minutemen, whether by design or accident, present an image of armed vigilantism that borders on an unregulated paramilitary or semi-private army.

Thomas asked: "Were the victims illegals?"

Morally irrelevant to child murder, wouldn't you say? But that someone would pose the question as if it were reminds us how short and straight the line is from "They have no right live here" to "Here, they have no right to live" to "We have a right to kill them."

"Illegals" is a slur.

The police suspect that the goal of the home invasion was to steal money and drugs to finance the Minutemen activities.

her accomplice "Jason Eugene Bush": I wonder if, like his favourite President, he'll claim God told him to invade.

In this case, God will turn out to be rightwing talk radio.

Hey, Bordersentry, why do I have the impression from your tone and words that you're not particularly bothered by the crime? Take your own advice and find something useful to do that doesn't involve being contemptuous of brown people and women. has an article about accomplice "Bush":

The self-styled Minuteman already accused of a fatal home invasion robbery in Arizona also has been charged with a 1997 killing of a Hispanic man in Wenatchee.

Jason Eugene Bush, 34, was linked to the killing through genetic evidence, according to an affidavit filed Friday in Chelan County Superior Court.

Bush, who has a long criminal history in Eastern Washington, became a suspect in the July 24, 1997 killing after an informant told police he'd bragged about killing "a Mexican" behind a store, according to court papers.

Bush is now facing a second-degree murder charge in connection with the stabbing death of Hector Lopez Partida.

Bush spent time in prison after the homicide for a variety of crimes, including auto theft, assault and weapons violations. After release he moved to Northern Idaho, and the Hayden Lake, where he lived until 2007, the affidavit said.

Wenatchee police "learned Bush has had long standing ties to Aryan Nations groups that commonly believe in white superiority over other races and have been known to be violent towards non-white races. He espoused these beliefs to associates in Wenatchee in 1997," the affidavit said.

Bush also is charged with first-degree murder in Pima County, Ariz., for his alleged role in a May 30 home invasion robbery at a home in Arivaca, Ariz. Three people living there were shot, two fatally.


and also facing murder charges.

family [of Shawna Forde, 41, ...executive director of Everett-based Minutemen American Defense,] said she talked about a plan to rob suspected drug traffickers to raise money for her group.

They also said they believe Bush was part of a home invasion robbery of a family in Shasta Lake, Calif. Arizona detectives are following up on that lead, in which $12,000 was stolen at gunpoint.

Minuteman Chris Simcox, head of the MCDC; may not be a murderer or burgler.....but he sure will take your money under false pretenses and lie straight to your face without even blinking. Hes a fact prosecuted for gun-crimes. Now ask him about his fence hes collecting donations for.

When Obama first announced running for the Democratic nomination, and began his campaign against Hillary Clinton, I feared for the lives of both of them. I was afraid every 'crazy' in the wood work would start to surface. I am even more fearful now.

On top of the three recent homegrown terrorist shootings, we have the irresponsible rantings of "Limbaugh the Hutt", and the equally irresponsible, self-serving, calculating comments from "Dead-Eye Dick Cheney." Timothy McVey's of the U.S. arise! If you thought you couldn't find encouragement and succor before, your time has come. Limbaugh can't wait to say "I told you so!" And Cheney wants to appear prescient in the hope it would mitigate the likelihood of prosecution for war crimes and other misdeeds.

So what are we left with? We are left watching the care and feeding of homegrown violence in an atmosphere of vigilantism, hateful xenophobia, self-righteous ideologues, and former offenders with weapons. There is little most of us can do about it. Those who could do something would rather ride the wave of self-aggrandizement and demagoguery.

From the Everett on one of Ms. Forde's previous escapades: “Shawna Forde, 41, said she is convinced there are links between the Dec. 22 shooting of her ex-husband at their north Everett home, her reported rape and beating at the same house a week later, and an attack on Jan. 15 in a nearby alley that left her with apparent gunshot wounds to her right arm. “

That would be the alley behind the house of a friend and former house mate and co-worker. The neighborhood is mostly small houses built in the early 20th cent. She knew the area could be kind of sketchy when she bought the place but hadn't figured on gun-toting, hispanophobe, militia fruitcakes in the alley. As if dogs getting into the garbage cans weren't bad enough...

The funny thing is that my friend is something of a salsa/latin dance maniac and half her friends (and they are legion) and room mates are Hispanic, legal and otherwise.

Now it turns out though that the suspects, in addition to having ties to 'mainstream' anti-immigration groups like FAIR and the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, were also tied to white supremacist groups like the Aryan Nations and had a master plan to recruit a 'militia' of white supremacists who would pull other such home invasion stunts down in the southwest. Here's our report.

--Josh Marshall

BorderSentry, NoMoreBlatherDotCom, got anything to say now?

The comments to this entry are closed.