Shawna Forde I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down (or Crazy Minuteman Lady Who Lives in My Town Kills Mexican-American Man and His 9-Year Old Daughter in Home Invasion)

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http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090613/NEWS01/706139922&news01ad=1#Activist.Shawna.Forde.charged.in.double.slaying

Activist Shawna Forde charged in double slaying

Woman with troubled past in Everett now accused in Arizona

By Scott North and Jackson Holtz
Herald Writers
An outspoken anti-immigration activist who was at the center of a series of violent crimes in Everett earlier this year now stands accused of the home-invasion killings of an Arizona man and his 9-year-old daughter.

Shawna Forde, 41, and two associates in her Minuteman American Defense group are charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of aggravated assault, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department in Arizona.

The May 30 killings were believed to be premeditated and part of a plan to steal money and drugs to finance the Minuteman group she leads. Forde's own family said that the woman weeks ago had discussed using robberies to raise money for her cause.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik told the Green Valley News and Sun that Forde was trying right up until her arrest Friday "to get together a large amount of money to further sophisticate the type of operation she's interested in."

Forde denied the charges.

"No, I did not do it," the newspaper quoted her saying as she was led out of the sheriff's office in front of reporters Friday afternoon.

Raul Flores, 29, and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, were killed when a group of armed people, including a woman, forced their way into the home. The child's mother traded gunfire with the attackers. She survived but remains hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Pima County officials said the intruders had been looking for the couple's other daughter to shoot her, too, but she wasn't home.

Forde was arrested without incident in Sierra Vista, a few miles from the Mexican border.

Also charged in the case are Jason Eugene Bush, 34, who was being treated for a gunshot wound he is believed to have received during the attack. He has a history of auto theft from Chelan County, in Eastern Washington. The third defendant is Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42.

Pima County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman deputy Dawn Barkman told The Herald that Forde "was the ringleader of this group and of this attack. She made the order for Bush to go in and shoot these individuals.

"She's just truly an evil person to do something like this," Barkman said.

Detectives believe there are additional suspects and are aggressively continuing their investigation, Barkman said.

The shootings occurred in the tiny hamlet of Arivaca, about 60 miles south of Tucson and 10 miles north of the Mexican border, an area of heavy illegal traffic in drugs and people.

It is in an area where Forde and her group, Minuteman American Defense, regularly operate. The group claims to conduct desert surveillance and undercover investigations aimed at curbing illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

Forde has been active in the Minuteman movement for years, although even before Friday's arrest, many groups and leaders kept their distance.

Before she headed to Arizona earlier this year to start another season of prowling the desert with her group, she made it clear that she was preparing for violence.

"I will stay the course and lead in this fight with every once (sic) of strength and conviction I have," she wrote in an e-mail message to supporters. "I will not waist (sic) it on matters that do not pertain to this very mission. It is time for Americans to lock and load."

Forde has a long and troubled history in Snohomish County, including juvenile convictions for felonies, prostitution and other street crime. Some of her past was recounted by The Herald in a profile that appeared Feb. 22.

Forde was at the center of a flurry of violence that began Dec. 22 when her ex-husband was shot in his Everett home. A week later, she reported being beaten and raped by strangers at the same house.

On Jan. 15, Forde was found in a north Everett alley with apparent gunshot wounds.

She claimed the violence was all retaliation for her activities targeting criminal groups operating on both sides of the border between Mexico and the U.S.

The cases here remain under investigation by Everett police.

Forde's ex-husband was seriously wounded during the Dec. 22 shooting. Reached Friday, he was distraught hearing that a child died. He declined to comment on his former wife.

Forde's mother, who lives in California, said she was not surprised to hear of her daughter's arrest.

Rena Caudle said Forde visited her before heading to the border this year. She talked of staging home invasions, Caudle said.

"She sat here and said that she was going to start a group where they went down and start taking things away from the Mexican mafia," Caudle said. "She was going to kick in their doors and take away the money and the drugs."

Caudle said she wasn't sure what to make of that at the time, in part because Forde has a history of exaggeration and lying.

Then, early on May 30 -- a few hours after the shootings -- Caudle said, Forde called her and reported she was taking refuge in a "safe house" in Arivaca.

Forde "was very frightened," Caudle said. "She says, 'I'm in hiding.' I said, 'What is going on?' She said. 'You won't believe what is going down here … The mafia, they are kicking down doors and they are shooting people and they are looking for me.'"

Pima County sheriff's Lt. Michael O'Connor told reporters in Arizona that Raul Flores had connections to Mexican drug cartels and his involvement was known to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

People in the Minuteman movement reacted to news of the arrests with sadness -- and some contempt for Forde.

Jim Gilchrist, president of the California-based Minuteman Project and a longtime Forde ally, said his group is separate and "we disassociate any affiliation between her, her organization and ours." On Friday he posted a message of condolence to the victims' families.

Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen and an outspoken critic of Gilchrist, said he and others long ago recognized that Forde was unstable and dangerous. He said Gilchrist should have done the same.

"The warning had been out in Arizona to stay away from this woman," he said. "Unfortunately, this conclusion was very tragic."

droppin' Hamiltons like MJB's niece (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 June 2009 11:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

The saga of this lady is epic, including a possibly hoaxed gunshot attack and possibly hoaxed rape:

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090117/NEWS01/701179771

Leader of Minutemen group reports being shot

By Scott North and Jackson Holtz
Herald Writers
EVERETT -- Police are investigating more violence connected to an Everett woman who has claimed she is being targeted because of her freelance operations to thwart drug smugglers and illegal immigrants.

Shawna Forde, 41, was hospitalized after she reported being shot in the arm while walking alone in an Everett alley Thursday night.

It is the third report of violence connected to Forde in Everett since Dec. 22. That's when her estranged husband was shot at his home. Forde reported being beaten and raped by intruders in the same house a week later.

Forde was in satisfactory condition Friday morning at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, hospital spokeswoman Cheri Russum said. Privacy laws prohibit her from offering other details.

Mike Carlucci, a Seattle private investigator Forde has identified as her spokesman, said Friday that Forde is directing all media questions to her attorney, whom he declined to identify.

Police were called just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday to an alley in the 1800 block of 24th Street to reports of someone screaming and the sound of a single gunshot, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said.

A woman in the alley had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the arm. She told police she was walking alone when shot, Goetz said.

In keeping with police department policies, Goetz would not directly confirm the woman was Forde. The woman who was shot was taken to the hospital with injuries he said were not considered life threatening.

She told police she was walking from the Veterans of Foreign Wars post to a friend's house near 23rd Street and Colby Avenue, Goetz said.

The alley is less than two blocks from the home on Rockefeller where Forde's husband was shot and she later reported being sexually assaulted.

On Thursday, the woman said she believed she was being followed by somebody, turned around and was shot, Goetz said.

"The details after that, we're not real clear on," he said.

The woman was not immediately able to provide detectives with a description of whoever shot her. Investigators plan to interview her again Tuesday, Goetz said.

Alicia Delaney lives in a house just off the alley. She was getting ready for bed when she heard a popping sound, a car door slam and then the loud rumble of an engine just outside her bedroom window Thursday night.

Delaney said her housemates recognized the noise as a gunshot. They ran outside and found a woman slumped over. They called 911.

The area soon was swarmed by police and emergency vehicles, Delaney said.

"When it happens right there it doesn't feel so good," she said.

Celia Cortes lives on Oakes Avenue, her home abutting the alley. She heard "a pop, a loud pop," and not long after that police were at her door, asking if she had noticed anything suspicious. On Friday afternoon, blood still stained the ground off the alley where the shooting was reported.

Goetz said Everett police major crime detectives are investigating whether there is any connection between what happened Thursday and the Dec. 22 shooting and the reported Dec. 29 sexual assault.

Forde last week met with detectives to be interviewed on the sexual assault report. They asked her back to talk about her husband's shooting. Forde indicated she would talk to them, but had to reschedule and the meeting is pending, Goetz said.

Forde and her husband moved into separate homes in July. In October, he filed for divorce.

Forde is national director of Minutemen American Defense, a group that lobbies against illegal immigration and sends volunteers to Arizona to monitor the nation's border with Mexico.

In interviews and Web postings, she publicly linked the shooting of her husband, 51, and the attack she reported on herself a week later. She has suggested the violence was somehow connected to her activism fighting crime, drugs and illegal immigration, but offered scant details.

Forde's rape report triggered a blogosphere backlash, with speculation that the attack could be a hoax.

Forde has dismissed questions as "politics," and labeled as "ridiculous" any suggestion that she may have somehow simulated her injuries reported in the Dec. 29 attack.

Her hospital discharge papers connected to that incident were posted earlier this week on Forde's Minuteman American Defense Web site. They show she was examined for a reported rape and was treated for a possible concussion, neck pain and bruises.

Detectives have limited leads to follow up in the case, Goetz said. On Friday they released a sketch of one of the intruders Forde said attacked her Dec. 29.

The initial suspect description she provided to officers that night was of a young, white male wearing a black mask, Goetz said.

In interviews, Forde has said she was knocked unconscious by her attackers in the kitchen and had only vague recollection of what happened. She said there may have been up to three attackers.

Goetz said that last month, after Forde called them to report she'd been attacked, police searched the area with a tracking dog without success.

Forde ally Jim Gilchrist, president of the California-based Minuteman Project, said Forde spent roughly three months on the Arizona border in 2008 working with others to watch the border with Mexico. He said she sent e-mails describing how she was "deeply entrenched" in monitoring the activities of drug cartels.

He is surprised by the recent violence surrounding her.

"I don't think this is a hoax. I don't know what to think," he said. "I'm certainly in shock. We have to let law enforcement play it out and see what is going on."

Police urged anybody who lives near the alley where Thursday's shooting was reported, or who may have seen or heard anything, to call the police tip line at 425-257-8450.

droppin' Hamiltons like MJB's niece (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 June 2009 11:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090103/NEWS01/701039902

Violent attacks in home sparked by politics, victim says

Woman suspects shooting, sexual assault tied to her activism on illegal immigration

By Scott North, Herald Writer
EVERETT -- First a north Everett man was seriously wounded when a narrow-faced stranger burst into his home Dec. 22 and began shooting.

On Monday night, while the shooting victim was still in the hospital, his wife called police to report that a trio of intruders had just ambushed her in her kitchen. She was beaten, sexually assaulted and slashed on the back of her neck with a knife, she told officers.

Everett police acknowledge they aren't quite sure what to make of the violent events recently reported at the home in the 2200 block of Rockefeller Avenue.

The woman, Shawna Forde, 41, is national director of Minutemen American Defense, a group that lobbies against illegal immigration and sends volunteers to Arizona to monitor the nation's border with Mexico.

Early Friday, a story was posted on her group's Web site detailing what Forde said happened at her home. The posting is complete with photographs of Forde, displaying bruises and other injuries to her face, thighs and buttocks.

Forde, a one-time candidate for Everett City Council, insists the violence is somehow linked to her activism, including investigations she says she's been making into drug cartels and human trafficking rings.

"I am not dealing with people who make cookies," she said Friday, adding that she wanted her story to be told. "These are dangerous people."

Detectives are investigating what happened Monday, Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz said. He confirmed police and paramedics were summoned to the Rockefeller home and a report was taken, but added there are few details he can provide at this point.

He urged anyone with information to contact police.

Forde said she doesn't expect to provide detectives with a formal statement until sometime next week.

The Herald learned of the most-recent reported violence after Forde got home from the hospital on Tuesday. She called the newsroom, asking if there were plans for a story.

In an interview and on her group's Web site, Forde said she was knocked partially unconscious by a sudden blow, beaten with some sort of club, cut with a knife and sexually assaulted. Forde said the people who injured her filled her bathtub with water -- she's convinced because they planned to drown her. They also used a felt pen to scrawl the number 13 on her kitchen floor. She said her freelance crime investigations could have brought trouble her way, and suggested the "13" may be a reference to Hispanic street gangs, including the ultra violent Mara Salvatrucha.

People in the Minutemen movement are concerned.

Jim Gilchrist, president of the California-based Minuteman Project, called the newspaper Friday, seeking information. Forde's organization is separate, Gilchrist said, but it is one his group refers volunteers to when they are interested in engaging in border observation operations.

"We still have to wait to get some confirmation from the police department as to what is going on," Gilchrist said. "We are kind of shocked. This has not happened before."

Forde recently completed a three-month stint in Arizona, where she told Gilchrist she was monitoring illegal activity along with dozens of volunteers, he said.

Gilchrist said Forde's group, like the one he oversees, advocates for active law enforcement at the nation's borders. He said members don't attempt to apprehend or otherwise engage people who they suspect may be engaged in illegal conduct.

Volunteers have reported being shot at while on the borders, but nothing like Forde is reporting now, Gilchrist said.

"If it was an act of MS-13, or an illegal alien or a drug cartel we are going to come out with a passion that the public has never seen before," he said. "That is not a threat of violence," but a promise of "dire consequences, politically and socially," he said.

Forde in 2007 made an unsuccessful bid for Everett City Council, campaigning in part on a promise to make certain that police aren't blocked from checking on the immigration status of suspects.

She hosted Gilchrist at an anti-immigration rally in downtown Everett, an event that drew about 100 people and a handful of protesters. The licensed cosmetologist and esthetician also drew attention during the campaign when she pleaded guilty to stealing chocolate milk from an Everett grocery store.

Forde at the time said the whole thing was a misunderstanding, but pleaded guilty to put the matter behind her.

In 2007 she spent large amounts of time in Arizona, focusing on her political activism. Her Web site makes it clear that she continues to spend time away from Everett. She and her husband, 51, moved into separate homes in July. In October, he filed for divorce, although they continue to share a home, she said.

Forde's border activities have drawn attention from the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which has tracked hate groups for decades. The organization profiled Forde in Spring 2008 as one of 20 people it characterized as exploiting any medium to deliver a "message of raging intolerance" on immigration issues.

Everett police continue to seek information on the man who shot Forde's husband. On Thursday they released a sketch of the attacker. He is described as white and was wearing light-colored clothing during the evening attack.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Everett police tip line at 425-257-8450, Goetz said.

droppin' Hamiltons like MJB's niece (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 June 2009 11:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

I should note that 23rd/Rockefeller isn't really a dangerous part of Everett.

droppin' Hamiltons like MJB's niece (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 June 2009 11:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20090222/NEWS01/702229930

Trouble finds Shawna Forde

Border activist at center of recent spate of violence

By Scott North, Herald Writer
EVERETT -- An Everett woman who attracted national attention by suggesting Mexican drug cartels targeted her for a series of violent attacks now acknowledges she told police they ought to look closer to home for suspects -- including among her own son's friends.

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.

More than a dozen people who've known Forde for years say the recent flurry of violence is just the latest episode in a life marked by tumult, disruption and multiple brushes with the law. Few are willing to speak for publication, in part because of her current troubles.

In interviews and Web postings, Forde repeatedly maintained that the violence is connected to her role as a leader of Minutemen American Defense. The group she founded conducts desert surveillance and undercover investigations aimed at curbing illegal immigration and drug smuggling at the Mexico border in Arizona, she said.

She first called The Herald newsroom Dec. 30, asking whether a story was planned on the beating and rape she'd reported to police a few hours earlier. Detectives asked the newspaper for time to sort out what happened. Before police released information, Forde's group on Jan. 2 posted an account on its Web site, detailing what she said occurred at her home. The report for a time featured photographs displaying what appear to be injuries to Forde's face, thighs and buttocks.

That triggered a blogosphere backlash, including Web site postings accusing Forde of staging a hoax for political and personal reasons. A few days later she was being treated for gunshot wounds.

Changing story

During a two-hour interview at The Herald on Feb. 5, Forde acknowledged telling Everett detectives, since the night of her ex-husband's shooting, that their investigation should focus on local street toughs who until last summer were burglarizing Everett-area homes and trafficking in stolen firearms.

One member of the ring was Forde's own son, Devon Duffey, 19. He went to prison in October and now is serving more than two years at the state penitentiary in Walla Walla for being a felon in possession of firearms, records show.

In her interview with The Herald, Forde at first speculated for several minutes about drug cartel involvement in her case, but then switched directions and cast suspicion on her son's criminal associates.

Her story changed when she was asked to describe the role she played in sending her son to prison.

Could her son's friends have been trying to hurt her and her ex-husband?

"I've brought that up -- not the cops -- me," Forde said. "Yeah. That is a very strong possibility."

Before being imprisoned, her son associated with gang members and "was doing some really crazy stuff," Forde said.

Forde's ex-husband declined to be interviewed for this story. He was home alone when ambushed by a narrow-faced stranger dressed in khaki-colored clothing. The gunman shot him multiple times in the arms and upper body, then fled.

Everett police Sgt. Robert Goetz confirmed that after her ex-husband's shooting Forde directed attention toward her son's associates. In keeping with department policy, however, Goetz was tight-lipped about what avenues detectives are examining or what they've discovered.

"We are investigating wherever the evidence leads us," Goetz said.

He said Forde was interviewed by police regarding both of the attacks she reported -- the assault on her at the house and the shooting in the alley. She hasn't allowed detectives to question her in depth regarding her ex-husband's near-fatal shooting.

"We've made several attempts to schedule a meeting with Ms. Forde. We've not been successful," Goetz said.

Forde on Wednesday said she hasn't been avoiding detectives but was advised not to talk with them about her ex-husband without an attorney.

She's also been trying to recover from possible nerve damage to her wounded arm and focusing on the details of her divorce, which became final Feb. 4.

Forde said it is ridiculous for anyone to think she had anything to do with her ex-husband's shooting. The attack occurred roughly two weeks after she returned to Everett from a three-month stretch engaged in Minuteman border operations.

"If I was going to do something like that I would have done it while I was in Arizona," Forde said.

At least six names

Forde's history is complicated and hard to track down. She was adopted at age 5 and has been married four times -- which means she has had at least six names. Her employment history includes numerous jobs and different careers: working as a youth counselor, building airplanes for the Boeing Co., cutting hair in beauty salons.

She's split much of the past two years between Everett, where she grew up, and the southwestern border states, where she's rubbed elbows with other Minutemen.

Exactly what Forde does on the border is unclear. She reports being interviewed about immigration issues by dozens of journalists; a handful of articles appear to have been published.

Her Web site features shaky videos, often focusing on the garbage left in the desert by people sneaking into the country. On one film clip, Forde claims to have found a place in the desert where human smugglers regularly rape women. On another, she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana.

On the video, Forde says the smugglers' bodies can't be touched because "the radiation is so heavy (it) will kill you on contact."

Forde is circumspect when questioned about how her group works with law enforcement agencies. In the interview at The Herald, she described presenting what she called "after-action reports" to a man she declined to identify, except to say he is a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Within Minutemen circles, Forde is controversial. Hal Washburn, vetting officer for Washington state chapter of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, said Forde was encouraged to leave the group over questions about honesty and her inability to follow orders. San Diego Minutemen, on its Web site, lists her among people they won't work with, calling her "unstable."

Forde said she's a victim of rivalries and jealousies among Minutemen, in part because she is a woman. She acknowledged that her life often has been tumultuous, although she believes it has been quieter in recent years.

"It's a choice because drama gets tiring," she said. "You have to realize: I've been a victim of circumstances a lot of times. I have felt victimized over and over. It is almost comfortable now."

Forde said many of her challenges originate from a rough start in childhood, including both physical and sexual abuse. Court records show she spent years bouncing between the street and juvenile lockups, where she served time for repeated convictions involving theft, burglary and prostitution.

The paper trail also leads to a Snohomish County courtroom where, at 11, Forde's tiny fingerprints were taken as she pleaded guilty to her first felony.

"That was a very sad little girl, let me tell you," Forde said after being shown paperwork documenting the day. "That little girl was really in a lot of pain."

Forde said she has been diagnosed with attachment disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic and other sources, the condition often affects people who receive poor care when small. Children with the diagnosis can develop lasting difficulty in maintaining stable, healthy relationships.

Forde was born in Everett and wound up in foster care as a toddler. Her adoptive mother, who was interviewed for this story on the condition that her name not be published, said Forde was deeply troubled when she joined her family at 4. The girl became a source of turmoil, repeated mental health treatment efforts and attempts at intervention, she said. Forde was taken into state custody when she turned 12 after being convicted of burglary.

"She had sticky fingers from Day One," the woman said, recounting how Forde at 7 stole a diamond necklace valued at several thousand dollars from family friends during a dinner visit at their home.

Allegations of abuse

Although Forde said many harsh things about her adoptive parents, she was later angered to learn that a reporter approached her adoptive mom. She dismissed the woman as a liar and insisted that the worst abuse came at the hands of her adoptive father, who died last year. Although she claimed the man was charged with sexual abuse there is no indication in court records that a criminal case was ever filed. In 1984, a Seattle attorney briefly sought the court's permission to bring a civil lawsuit against Forde's adoptive parents on behalf of the then-17-year-old Forde. Today, the lawyer doesn't recall the case.

Forde's adoptive mother said her husband was cleared of the abuse claim and that their adopted daughter later sought his forgiveness.

"I said 'What was in the past was in the past,'" the woman recalled. "She apologized to her dad for what she had done."

Forde's birth mother, Rena Caudle of Redding, Calif., said personal misfortune early in her life left no choice but to seek a more stable environment for the young Forde in another family's care. She said her daughter was abused by one of those people before her adoption. She said Forde still struggles with problems that took root in her childhood.

Forde is kind and generous, she said, especially to those less fortunate -- though also prone to dishonesty.

"That's been an issue at times," Caudle said. "But I still love her."

Caudle said her daughter sought her out in the mid-1980s after Forde lost a child to sudden infant death syndrome while married to her first husband in Alaska. That marriage ended in divorce and allegations of domestic violence.

Forde's second marriage also had a rocky start. In 1989, her future husband sought court protection from Forde. He told the court that Forde had physically attacked him and threatened to hurt herself with a knife, records show.

That man's former wife, Laura Ollis, said the restraining order was sought after a romantic spat involving her ex and Forde. Ollis, who now lives in another state, said Forde, then 22, showed up at her work and began shouting for her.

Forde was "stabbing herself with some little knife," she recalled. "She just went totally psycho out there."

At the time, Forde was pregnant with her son. Although she admits cutting herself with a knife, she said Ollis isn't being truthful about where the incident occurred or other details.

Those events eventually led to a felony forgery charge against Forde. Prosecutors alleged Forde took paperwork from the court and altered it to appear as if her future husband had been ordered to pay her money.

The case ultimately was dismissed for lack of evidence. By then Forde had married the man, whom prosecutors listed as the victim in the forgery case.

That marriage ended in 1993. A third marriage in 1994 lasted for about five years. She married a fourth time in 2000.

In January 2007, The Herald published a business announcement that described Forde as the owner of a beauty salon located in a high-rise office building along Colby Avenue in Everett's downtown. Later that month, she was charged with stealing a small container of chocolate milk from an Everett grocery store. Forde later said the theft was a misunderstanding and that she pleaded guilty in order to put the case behind her.

Throughout the spring of 2007, Forde increasingly became involved in Minuteman activities, including organizing an anti-immigration rally in downtown Everett that drew about 100 people and a handful of protestors. The featured speaker was Jim Gilchrist, president of the California-based Minuteman Project.

In June 2007, Forde announced her candidacy for Everett City Council, promising to make certain police weren't blocked from checking on the immigration status of suspects.

As her political career was taking shape, a personal crisis was building in Forde's family.

On March 20, 2007, three young men showed up at the beauty salon on Colby where Forde worked. One pulled a baseball bat from under his jacket and clobbered the man who owns the salon. The victim required hospital treatment to close his head wounds.

Police quickly tracked down two men who matched the attackers' descriptions. One was Forde's son, Devon Duffey, then 17. A high school dropout, he told police he only occasionally lived with his mother. He also admitted responsibility for the beating.

He led police to the weapon and offered what prosecutors later characterized as "several poor excuses" for the felony assault. One was that the attack was prompted by his dislike for gay men, an assertion that led the investigating officer to treat the beating as a potential hate crime under the state's malicious harassment law. Duffey also accused the salon owner of stealing from his mother, something Forde denied ever telling her son, court papers show.

Forde told the court her son had been out of the house for more than a year, and she "refused to allow him to live at home due to his dishonesty, lack of respect, theft of property from the home, and concerns about substance abuse."

The teen was locked up for the assault. Not long after release he got additional punishment when he was caught trying to shoplift clothing from a department store.

Forde's son told police he was a member of the Hoover Crips gang, court papers show. Shoplifting with him that day was another teen from Mount Vernon, who claimed to be a leader in Norteños, a Latino street gang.

The cases involving Forde's son quietly played out as her campaign for City Council headed toward defeat. Forde managed to garner roughly 5,900 votes, despite time away engaging in Minuteman activities and publicity regarding her guilty plea in the chocolate milk shoplifting case three months earlier.

Criminal troubles continued for Forde's son, culminating in July 2008 with a police standoff at his mother's former home. Forde talked him into surrendering, court records show. She told police he'd confessed to "scores of burglaries" and she helped them in developing a case against him for trafficking in stolen firearms.

"Putting him in prison was good parenting," Forde said. "Because what do you do?"

Forde's son did not respond to a letter the newspaper sent to him in prison.

Forde was back on the border when he was sentenced in October. She said she's had no contact with him since.

Forde said she knows her background is unconventional but said she's not worried that it may affect her ability to work with other Minutemen in combatting illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

"It's not about the past," she said. "It's about what we do today, and trying to secure the borders tomorrow."

droppin' Hamiltons like MJB's niece (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 June 2009 11:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

On the one hand, this woman is very obviously troubled, but on the other hand:

she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana. she suggests border agents have found bodies of drug smugglers whom she claims were duped by terrorists into carrying radioactive materials into the U.S., hidden inside loads of marijuana.

droppin' Hamiltons like MJB's niece (The Reverend), Sunday, 14 June 2009 11:43 (seven years ago) Permalink


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