This is going to be a rather odd story for us because we are hoping that this leads to the resolution of who killed someone associated with neo-Nazi groups. Two people actually. This is what the WP scene has come to: being so self-destructive, One People's Project is concerned about them! We kept seeing the story on Overthrow about Cory Simpson and Chris Gromberg (pictured), who were killed in Arizona just last year in seperate but connected incidents. Those killers might have been part of the Vinlander Social Club. After a while, we heard other people talking about it, so we decided to piece the story together. With this week's story about a white power street gang in California getting rounded up, we thought it might be time to talk about this a bit more. No doubt this is going to spark some discussion, but we will remind folks that people are innocent until proven guilty. If you wish to opine about this, feel free to email us. We most certainly like to hear what you have to say.
By One People's Project
LAKE HAVASAU, AZ - When Chris Gromberg was found shot to death inside his car on April 15, 2006, the local press referred to it as a "mysterious murder". The police had no suspects or a motive, and they were not able to find a murder weapon. The car wasn't even seen in the lot ten minutes beforehand.
Almost a year later, the case remains at a standstill with no one charged with the crime. That isn't to say that the case is still the mystery that it initially was. Two months after the murder, Overthrow.com's Bill White, at that time a spokesperson of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), began writing a number of articles accusing the Midwest-based "Vinlander Social Club" (VSC) of the crime. According to Bill, Chris was himself a Vinlander, but one suspected by VSC head Brien James of being an informant. James, Bill says, was the one who ordered the killing after being advised to do so by a Florida Vinlander head named Jody Lee Mathis. This account, however, began and ended with Bill's website, and that was the problem with the whole thing. To underscore a fact, Bill is not the most credible of sources, and is known for fabricating story after story on his website. Furthermore, he has had a particular bone to pick with the Vinlanders, who at various times have called themselves the Outlaw Hammerskins (OHS) and the Hoosier State Skinheads (HSS). Because hardly anyone takes Bill seriously, the Vinlanders more or less ignored the account coming from him even as he implicated more members of the Vinlanders of informing to the feds, including Mathis, and even implied that fellow hatemonger Hal Turner was protecting the informants, and that he was also being targeted by the Vinlanders. Meanwhile anti-racists familiar with the lunacy that is Bill White saw a lot of this as more of the typical over-the-top yarns that he usually spins, and for the most part it might be.
But even a broken clock is right twice a day. For once Bill White might have actually been on to something.
Recently, news has been made about a white supremacist gang gaining in clout, and while it may be surprising to some, it is not anything new. In truth, they are no different from any other street gang with the exception that you won't find other street gangs being defended on Free Republic, one poster named "stm" saying on one thread, "Maybe we can put them to work rooting out islamofascists". Indeed, it may be the politics and not law enforcement that prevent neo-Nazi street gangs being dealt with effectively, but even that might be changing. What's more, those gangs may be seeing the handwriting on the wall. In recent weeks, the Vinlanders (who at this time are not known to be associates of the California group reported on this week) have attempted to go through a transformation of sorts. In a statement posted on their website, they announced that they will no longer be involved in white nationalist politics, opting instead to focus on the more cultural aspect. "It is our opinion that a large number of the people involved in the greater movement are paid informants, social outcasts, and general losers in life," the statement read. "While the vast majority of skinheads specifically entered into this movement for the right reasons. However, (sic) some did not. Those people will never listen to reasoning."
Their detachment might not be all that easy, however. For one thing, they themselves are the social outcasts and general losers they complain about in the statement. They have not renounced their beliefs or even distanced themselves from their old friends. Not only that, but they have over a decade of violence and gang activity, up to and including murder, to answer and atone for. Those affected are not going to forget that little aspect of their existence, nor will they forgive. That is particularly a little hard to do so when a murder many people believe the Vinlanders are guilty of happened not even a year ago. A story has begun to develop among a number of persons and groups familiar with the case, and it is one that those who heard it say Vinlanders are particularly concerned about going beyond their circles. They very seldom discuss this case, if they do at all, but that may change shortly.
Christopher Robin Gromberg definitely had his beliefs, but he was more of the type that would rather have a conversation with people about things as opposed to just going after someone simply because they were not white. He took life as a student of it, going to other people whoever they may be and getting their perspectives on things. For him it was not about white power but white pride. He never even used racial slurs, thinking such terms were ignorant. Like anyone, he was drawn to those who shared those beliefs.
Originally from California, he had friends from when he was younger who were hooked up with a California crew called the Golden State "Skinheads" (GSS). Eventually he found his way to Arizona, and his GSS friends introduced him to a Vinlander-associated crew there called the Canyon State Skinheads (CSS). For GSS, the reputation the Vinlanders had was way too much of one to be ignored. If one were to ask anyone in the scene from any part of the country two words would be said in regards to Vinlanders: security risk. Vinlanders are seen as criminals and thugs who were heavy into drugs either selling or using, but even more damning for them is the feeling among their fellow boneheads that they were informants and infiltrators for law enforcement. It always seemed odd to those within the WP circles that no matter what they did, no matter how serious the crime they might have committed, nothing ever happened to them, even with that crime was murder. GSS had been asked to be a part of the Vinlanders, but they did not want to have anything to do with them. This meant a lot of bickering between the two groups.
Chris never joined CSS officially, choosing instead to remain independent of any group. This enabled him to serve as a liaison between the California and Arizona crews. Truth be told, Canyon State Skinheads would not have been the group he would have joined - or as they would have said "patched up" with - if he made the choice. Not only was he also concerned about the rep they carried with them, but most of his friends were in GSS. His perceptions about the psychopaths from Arizona might have been more spot-on than he thought. Not only did they have issues with other crews, they also seemed to have trouble with each other. The guy who ran CSS was a 31-year-old bonehead named Cory Simpson, who had served four years in prison on 2000 armed robbery charge. Ten months after he was sprung, he began to get on his comrades' nerves. His way of conducting business was starting to be questioned and he began to lose favor with some of the others in the crew. It has been said that somewhere along the line, the second-in-command reportedly decided he had to go and take over, and Simpson pretty much sealed his fate in that regard when he held a party at his house on Christmas Eve, 2005.
It wasn't a big party, just some folks hanging out drinking and enjoying each other's company. According to some familiar with the story, some of the fresh cuts got together with the older boneheads at the party and confronted Simpson. The local papers say that at around 5:40 PM he was found lying on his front lawn in the 2500 block of East Holmes Avenue, other sources saying he was stabbed over 20 times. It was Chris Gromberg and Simpson's wife who took him to an urgent care center in Gilbert, AZ. He eventually was taken to a hospital, Scottsdale Healthcare-Osborn, where he was pronounced dead.
Naturally the police asked questions, but Chris and Mrs. Simpson were from circles that are very wary of talking to police. Chris simply told the officer who questioned them that if they have a suspect he is not among them, and with that being the case, "I have nothing to say to you." Chris left it at that and never spoke to the police again, nor did either he or the police try to contact each other. By the time police arrived at the scene, the party had broken up, but eventually some story came out about how Simpson went outside for a smoke, and someone found him bleeding in the street as two black men were running from the scene. This story was immediately suspect because it came out a few days after the incident, and the Simpsons lived in the kind of neighborhood where two black men would most certainly be noticed, so the account was eventually dismissed as not credible. To this day no suspect has ever been found.
Over the next few days, everyone laid low, but Chris was a little worried about what people were saying about him. Because of his job and the fact that he lived a bit of a distance away from the rest of the crew, no one saw him around and it seemed as though he was avoiding them, so there was some credence to those concerns. Eventually a meeting was called. Chris attended and he came out of it assured that things were cool and he had nothing to worry about. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. It is believed that around this time, someone among the Vinlander ranks expressed concerns about a rat within the ranks, and it depends on who one talks to who might have expressed those concerns. Some say it was Brien James, while others say it was Jody Lee Mathis. Some even say both of them were concerned. Whoever it was let it be known that the rat needed to be found and dispatched. This was reportedly where former RAHOWA guitarist and fellow Vinlander Eric Fairburn comes in. Fairburn is tight with the CSS crew and it is said that he expressed concerns that the rat in question was among them. Someone suspected Chris.
Chris was found shot twice in the back of the head with a small caliber weapon. Police believe he was shot from the back seat, which means he picked up someone. It was not Chris' way to have just anyone in his car. He was paranoid like that. He had to have known the person that was in that back seat. Whoever was responsible was not finished. They went to the trunk, and stole some firearms Chris had kept there, another indication that Chris knew the person. They also stole his credit card and driver's license, but they left his cash jewelry and two handguns.
To date, those responsible are getting away with the crime, with no one being charged. That doesn't mean at least one of Chris' friends his having some other legal problems. Within a week, Jason was locked up on armed robbery charges. Reportedly, he and a few others attempted to rob a restaurant in the same general area as the strip mall. They took off on foot, leaving the car behind that they drove in. The car was registered to Jason, and when police checked it they found illegal steroids, meth, and a few guns. Jason was charged with that. That's where Jason is today. Rob Strong is doing a little better, though. He left Arizona altogether, moved to the Richmond, VA area and got married. His wife Amy, a frequent presence on the internet who some antifa might remember seeing at a pro-Ernst Zundel rally outside the Washington, DC Canadian Consulate back in February 2005, is about to give birth to their first child. They still hang out with the old crews they always hang out with, but no one talks about what happened in Arizona. Every now and then a tribute to Chris Gromberg pops up on MySpace, but that's about as good as it gets.
Brien James contacted One People's Project recently regarding the exposure of Vinlander associate Sharon Hewitt, who works as a Court Assistant for Judge Jane Pearl, the Supervising Judge of Kings County Family Court in Brooklyn. In his letter, he made note of how Vinlanders deal with those who they feel threatened by. "If you will look, the Vinlanders have never been even accused of randomly attacking anyone or harassing minorities etc," James wrote. "It's not our style. However, with the exception of the well-protected Bill White, we have always managed to find those who have attacked us, and handle it.
"You would be doing well to let the Vinlanders and their friends leave the movement and claim it as a victory for you and your kind if you wish," James continued. "We are not going to take kindly to you attacking our friends whether we are in the movement or not."
Unfortunately for them, things concerning hate groups in general had already prompted some to wonder if the Vinlanders and other white racist gangs have been given too much of a pass as it is. Two months ago, police in Orange County, CA arrested 67 suspected members of the aforementioned gang in California after learning about their hit list against officers in Anaheim, Buena Park and Costa Mesa. Those arrested were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, possession of illegal weapons, identity theft and other charges. Just a few weeks ago, Confederate Hammerskin members Tom Martin and John Rock were arrested on charges to distribute crack cocaine. In addition to all of this White supremacist leaders have been getting arrested on an interesting up tick since 2007 began for various things, including statutory rape. If there was a blind eye given to these groups, it might be changing now. That may mean there will be a resolution to both the Chris Gromberg and Cory Simpson cases, but regardless, both those cases are reminders of how destructive hate groups can be not so much to those they hate but to themselves.