Tags: samuel woodward | blaze bernstein | neo-nazi

Samuel Woodward, Blaze Bernstein Killing Suspect, Surfaces as Hardcore Neo-Nazi

Image: Samuel Woodward, Blaze Bernstein Killing Suspect, Surfaces as Hardcore Neo-Nazi

Samuel Lincoln Woodward in booking photo. (Orange County Sheriff's Department via AP)

By    |   Monday, 29 January 2018 08:17 AM

Samuel Woodward, the suspect in the stabbing death of former schoolmate Blaze Bernstein, has now surfaced as an alleged member of an extremist group and an avowed neo-Nazi, ProPublica reported.

Bernstein, 19, openly gay and Jewish, kissed him on the mouth, Woodward, 20, claimed after he was arrested for the death of the University of Pennsylvania student while home in California on break. The two had both attended the Orange County School of the Arts high school in Santa Ana, the Orange County Register reported.

Prosecutors are trying to determine if Bernstein’s murder was a hate crime, ProPublica reported.

Sources told ProPublica that Woodward was a member of the Atomwaffen Division, an armed fascist group that reportedly wants to overthrow the U.S. government through the use of terrorism and guerrilla warfare.

The sources told ProPublica that Woodward joined Atomwaffen in 2016, traveling to Texas to attend its meetings and a three-day training camp. There, Woodward was reportedly trained in firearms, hand-to-hand combat, camping, and survival skills, a former member told ProPublica.

Woodward initially told authorities that he picked up Bernstein on Jan. 2, the day he went missing, and that Bernstein left his vehicle and walked into Borrego Park, in Lake Forest alone, the Orange County Register reported.

Woodward said he waited an hour for Bernstein before leaving to meet a girlfriend, the newspaper stated, according to an affidavit from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Authorities arrested him when crime lab technicians found blood on a sleeping bag in his possession that belonged to Bernstein, the Register said.

Woodward told authorities that Bernstein kissed him on the lips outside a Hobby Lobby in Lake Forest, and he pushed Bernstein away, the Register said, according to the affidavit.

Bernstein was missing for a week before his body was found in brush surrounding the park in the Foothill Ranch area of Lake Forest, the Orange County sheriff's department said in a statement, according to NBC News.

The Register said that it learned that Bernstein was reportedly stabbed more than 20 times, which indicated a crime of rage or passion.

According to the affidavit, in text messages between Bernstein and a female friend last summer he said he wanted to have sex with Woodward and wrote to another friend that Woodward was "closeted," the Register said.

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Samuel Woodward, the suspect in the stabbing death of former schoolmate Blaze Bernstein, has now surfaced as an alleged member of an extremist group and an avowed neo-Nazi.
samuel woodward, blaze bernstein, neo-nazi
386
2018-17-29
Monday, 29 January 2018 08:17 AM
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