All day the speculation around the murder of George Tiller was whether or not it was ideologically motivated. Tonight a suspect is in custody and it's been confirmed that he's a religious extremist who is well-known for plotting domestic terrorism and advocated the killing of doctors who performed abortions.
Scott P. Roeder, a 51 year-old resident of Merriam, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, was arrested on Interstate 35 yesterday afternoon in Johnson City, Kansas.
In the rear window of the 1993 blue Ford Taurus that he was driving was a red rose, a symbol often used by abortion opponents. On the rear of his car was a Christian fish symbol with the word "Jesus" inside.
Those who know Roeder said he believed that killing abortion doctors was an act of justifiable homicide.
"I know that he believed in justifiable homicide," said Regina Dinwiddie, a Kansas City anti-abortion activist who made headlines in 1995 when she was ordered by a federal judge to stop using a bullhorn within 500 feet of any abortion clinic. "I know he very strongly believed that abortion was murder and that you ought to defend the little ones, both born and unborn."
Roeder also was a subscriber to Prayer and Action News, a magazine that advocated the justifiable homicide position, said publisher Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines, Iowa.
"I met him once, and he wrote to me a few times," Leach said. "I remember that he was sympathetic to our cause, but I don't remember any details."
Leach said he met Roeder in Topeka when he went there to visit Shelley Shannon, who was in prison for the 1993 shooting of Tiller.
"He told me about a lot of conspiracy stuff and showed me how to take the magnetic strip out of a five-dollar bill," Leach said. "He said it was to keep the government from tracking your money."
The McLatchy article in its entirety pretty much paints a picture of a guy who is basically a caricature of the American red state right-wing extremist, with involvement with the "Freemen" and other anti-government groups, multiple arrests for possessing and transporting bomb-making components—-If Scott Roeder were a character in a film or a book, reviewers would pan it as being too over the top and cliched, that's how much of a right-wing caricature the guy appears to be.
America, meet your potential new Timothy McVeigh—-Scott Roeder.