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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ku Klux Klan Suspected In Killing of Initiate

The Associated press is reporting that an Oklahoma grand jury is considering charges against eight suspected Ku Klux Klan members arrested in the death of an Oklahoma woman.

According to the story:

Police have said Cynthia Lynch, 43, of Tulsa (photo above), was recruited to join a Louisiana-based KKK group over the Internet and was shot to death in November when she tried to leave an initiation. Police have said the group's leader, Raymond Foster, 44, killed Lynch.

He has been booked on a second-degree murder charge. Seven others, including Foster's 20-year-old son Shane, were booked on obstruction of justice charges.

The grand jury will begin hearing the case Wednesday, said Rick Wood, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office in St. Tammany Parish, north of New Orleans. He would not give any details on what evidence may be presented.

Authorities said at the time of Lynch's killing they believed she had a falling out with head of the group, referred to alternately as the Sons of Dixie or the Dixie Brotherhood. She is believed to have been shot to death on or about Nov. 9.

Investigators said they found weapons, Confederate flags and six Klan robes at the campsite where Lynch was killed.

Earlier stories quoted St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain saying Lynch was supposed to be initiated and then return to Oklahoma to find other members for the white supremacist group. According to a Times Picayune article from last November, the group is considered to be a small, wannabe Klan organization, and it's unclear if there are any other members beyond the eight arrested. But as Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said, "It's easy to dismiss these people as lunatics, the fringe of the fringe of the fringe, and while that's often true, that doesn't mean they're not capable of killing someone or in some cases a great many people."

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