On Monday, a jury in Tucson found former beautician Shawna Forde guilty of killing nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul in a bizarre paramilitary raid on the Flores home in 2009. Forde, the leader of a group called "Minutemen American Defense," is what you might call an anti-immigration activist, if you include murdering fourth-graders under your definition of "activism"; two years ago, she and two of her fellow "minutemen" burst into the home of the Flores family, apparently looking for drugs that they planned on using to fund their creepy military games, and shot Raul, Brisenia, and Brisineia's mother Gina. Gina survived by playing dead and later testified against Forde.
This probably shouldn't come as a surprise, but Forde sounds like a real piece of work. "I wish I could say I was sorry it happened. I am not sorry on my behalf because I didn't do it," she told The Daily Beast in her only post-conviction interview. "People shouldn't deal drugs if they have kids." It gets crazier:
She described her group, MAD, as a vital militarized outfit with a "coastal alliance" and an "air alliance" and about 13,000 members who aren't "listed anywhere" because their work would be compromised and security would be breached.
That view of MAD contrasts sharply with testimony by Minutemen at the trial, who said only a few people showed up for a Forde-led "op" to round up unauthorized immigrants near Sasabe, Arizona, in 2007. Prosecutors characterized Minutemen as benign old guys who sit on lawn chairs and peer at the border with binoculars in search of migrants.
How surprising, that a person violently obsessed with a perceived threat has a loose grasp on reality. If only she were one of those "benign old guys"—they seem to manage their bizarre persecutory fantasies just fine with lawn chairs and binoculars and a lot of free time.
[TDB; image via AP]