Forde set plan in case of arrest
The Everett activist suspected in a double slaying had a list of people to contact in case she vanished.
"If you don't hear from me please check the following," reads a message that was sent June 3 from Forde's e-mail account.
Look for Forde in Arizona jails, the message suggests. Check the morgue. Check with the Department of Homeland Security.
Several people whose names are on the e-mail said they did not have close ties to Forde -- and were unaware of any violent actions she may have planned.
The e-mail was shared with The Herald by a Minuteman member who received it June 3 -- four days after the killings in Arivaca, Ariz. Police reports released Wednesday show that Forde already was a suspect in the killings of Raul Flores, 29, and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, and the wounding of the girl's mother. The apparent message from Forde acknowledges that police were on her trail.
"Do not believe anything they say," the e-mail reads. "If anything gose (sic) down hopefully not but because the levels we are operating I need to have this out to people I trust so that if something does go down I am covererd (sic).
"God bless this county (sic)," the message concludes. "Semper Fi .... Shawna Forde."
The 17 names on the contact list include five people in Arizona as well as Forde's mother and longtime friends in Washington state.
The fourth name on the list is "Gunny," who is described in the e-mail as "Operations Director and personnal (sic) security" for Forde.
Gunny is the nickname used by Forde's co-defendant, Jason Eugene Bush, 34. He's not only charged in the Arizona home-invasion killings but also faces a second-degree murder charge in Wenatchee based on genetic evidence from a 1997 killing.
Bush and Forde also are suspects in a June 8 robbery at the Shasta Lake, Calif., home of a friend of Forde's mother, and the burglary of her half-brother's home in Redding, Calif., officials say.
The seventh name on the list is Chuck Stonex, a New Mexico man who has renounced Forde since she was arrested in the killings. He has admitted binding a bullet wound Bush received May 30, although he insists he was lied to about how the man was shot.
The 10th name on the list is Jim Gilchrist, the Orange County, Calif.-based founder of the Minutemen Project, which advocates for tighter border security to stem illegal immigration.
Once a staunch Forde supporter, Gilchrist has publicly broken ties since her arrest. On Thursday, Gilchrist said he imagined that Forde included his name on her list primarily to make sure his organization would learn of her circumstances.
Gilchrist said he received an e-mail on June 4 from an Arizona man suggesting that Forde was being sought by police. That was five days after the killings, although Forde's alleged involvement didn't become public until her arrest eight days later.
Gilchrist said he thought the e-mail might have been bogus, but he called Forde to ask if she was in trouble.
"She said no, she had no idea what I was talking about," he said.
A number of people on the e-mail list of purported Forde contacts either did not answer their phones or did not return messages from The Herald. Others said they were surprised to learn they were included on the list.
Gary Stevenson of Bandon, Ore., said he is a retiree whom Forde encouraged to consider forming a group to watch for drug trafficking in coastal states. Forde's Minutemen American Defense group discussed on its Web page a coastal watch program in Oregon, but it didn't exist, Stevenson said.
"I never really got it going," he said.
Jim Carter lives near Nashville, Tenn., where he said he spends part of his retirement as state director of a Minuteman group.
"I do border watch in Arizona and I met her out there," he said of Forde. "We've had very light contact. I know very little about her, personally."
Mike Christie of Arizona was 12th on the list -- right before Forde's mother in northern California and right after a Washington man who is described as a link to Forde's attorney.
Christie up until February had worked for American Border Patrol in Sierra Vista, Ariz. On Tuesday, he said he had broken all ties with the Minutemen movement months ago "because of stuff just like this ... It just seems that this anti-illegal immigration issue just attracts the type of people that I just don't want to be around."
Christie said he met Forde when she stayed on several occasions at the American Border Patrol property owned by Glenn Spencer.
Forde was interested in attracting attention to herself and had a flair for the dramatic, Christie said, but she never discussed robberies or any other criminal conduct.
"I think Shawna would have never shared anything like this with me because she knows I would have told her she was nuts and I would have contacted the police," Christie said.
Reporter Scott North: 425-339-3431, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Forde case spurs more sharp debate among anti-illegal immigration groups 7/2/09
- Leaders of anti-illegal immigration groups trade insults over Forde case 6/30/09
- Detectives quickly zeroed in on Shawna Forde in killings 6/25/09
- Minuteman says he warned authorites of robbery plot 6/23/09
- Everett police drop Shawna Forde rape investigation 6/19/09
- Murder suspect not the military veteran he claims to be 6/18/09
- 911 tape: Victim says a woman among attackers 6/17/09
- Activist Shawna Forde charged in double slaying 6/13/09
- Trouble finds Shawna Forde 2/22/09
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