Aryan Nations leader leaves Idaho compound

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS

Associated Press

SPOKANE – Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler has moved out of his 20-acre northern Idaho compound, according to a supporter.

The neo-Nazi must relinquish the compound soon to satisfy part of a $6.3 million judgment against him in a civil lawsuit.

Wealthy supporter Vincent Bertollini last week purchased a home for Butler in nearby Hayden, Idaho, and Butler has moved in, Bertollini said today.

Hayden is about 40 miles east of Spokane.

“The icon of the now defunct (ha) Aryan Nations has ‘left the property,’ ” Bertollini wrote in an e-mail to reporters. “There is nothing but silence there now.”

A woman who answered the telephone at the Aryan Nations said they would have no comment. She declined to answer questions.

The lawsuit also stripped Butler of the right to use the name Aryan Nations, but he has settled on an alternative, “The Aryan National Alliance,” Bertollini wrote.

Butler, 82, was due to turn over the property to Victoria and Jason Keenan as early as this week. The Keenans last month won a negligence lawsuit against Butler after they were shot at and assaulted by Aryan Nations security guards in 1998.

Bertollini said Butler’s enemies “can hire their trucks, vans and minions to cart away Pastor Butler’s possessions of a lifetime.”

“Pastor Butler will continue preaching. Pastor Butler will continue printing and Pastor Butler will continue to ride the Internet,” Bertollini wrote.

Bertollini and associate Carl Story, both of nearby Sandpoint, Idaho, operate the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger, which shares the anti-Semitic, white supremacist philosophy of Aryan Nations. They have used wealth from their Silicon Valley computer ventures to finance mass mailings and other activities.

Bertollini purchased the $107,500 house for Butler in a deal that closed last week. Butler and his German Shepherd Fritz have been seen at the property in recent days.

The small gray house sits in a neighborhood filled with minivans and swing sets, just west of the Hayden Lake Country Club.

The house can’t be put in Butler’s name because it would be subject to seizure by the Keenans.

On Saturday, Butler and an unknown number of supporters will march down the main street of nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

“This is a ‘White Pride’ and Racial Awareness March where true Aryans are standing together … and showing the fine folks of north Idaho and the national media that we are not going to be silenced,” Bertollini wrote.

It’s unclear how many supporters will march. In the past, thousands of protesters have descended on Coeur d’Alene to shout down the neo-Nazis.

Human rights advocates say that rather than protesting, they plan to spread a positive message. The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations will begin its “Idaho, the Human Rights State” campaign this weekend.

Butler still hopes to receive a new trial after losing the negligence lawsuit Sept. 7. His motion alleged there was juror misconduct, with some jurors allegedly saying they wanted to send a message to the Aryan Nations that it was not wanted in northern Idaho.

First District Judge Charles Hosack is still working on the decision, a clerk said.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Junelle Lewis, right, daughter Tamara Grigsby and son Jayden Hill sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Monroe’s Juneteenth celebration on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
On Juneteenth: ‘We can always say that there is hope’

The Snohomish County NAACP is co-sponsoring a celebration Saturday near Snohomish, with speakers, music and food.

A fire marshal takes photos of the back of a home that caught fire on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 in Tulalip, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Man suffers burn injuries in Marysville house fire

Around 2:30 p.m., firefighters responded to a report of a mushroom cloud coming from a home at 27th Avenue NE and 81st Street NE.

A Boeing 737 MAX 9 airplane test its engines outside of the company's factory on March 11, 2019 in Renton, Washington. Boeing's stock dropped today after an Ethiopian Airlines flight was the second deadly crash in six months involving the Boeing 737 Max 8, the newest version of its most popular jetliner. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images/TNS)
Boeing lost track of up to 400 faulty 737 Max parts, whistleblower says

The claims were detailed in a Boeing inspector’s complaint on June 11 and made public by a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.