TIMELINE: The Aryan Nations through the years Series: "Aryan Nations"

The Spokesman Review/August 20, 2000

Here's a brief history of the Aryan Nations in North Idaho.

June 1973

Richard and Betty Butler move to North Idaho from California a year after buying 20 acres north of Hayden Lake. In 1977, the site becomes the Church of Jesus Christ Christian - Aryan Nations.

April 1980

Richard Butler, involved with a Posse Comitatus group in Kootenai County, calls for unity among white supremacist groups at a conference in Hays, Kan.

December 1980

As word of Butler's racist group spreads, citizens meet in Coeur d'Alene, laying groundwork for what becomes the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations.

June 27, 1981

Aryan Nations church is bombed, causing $80,000 damage. Butler blames the Jewish Defense League. The bombing is never solved.

July 1981

The first reported cross burning occurs at the Aryan Nations during a "Kingdom Identity Conference." The gathering becomes an annual event called the Aryan Nations Congress.

July 1982

The Aryan Nations Congress honors Manfred Roeder, Robert Miles, J.B. Stoner and Louis Beam Jr. as "Aryans of Outstanding Valor."

September 1982

Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations is formed by Undersheriff Larry Broadbent, the Rev. Rick Morse and citizen- activist Dina Tanners.

June 1983

Aryan Nations holds a rally in Spokane's Riverfront Park, where a confrontation occurs involving Aryan supporter Robert Mathews, of Metaline Falls, Wash. Three months later Mathews secretly forms an Aryan terrorist group known as The Order.

October 1983

The Order launches its crime spree when Mathews and members Randy Duey, Bruce Pierce and Daniel Bauer rob an adult bookstore in Spokane.

April 1984

The Order robs an armored car in Seattle of $500,000. Counterfeit money printed at the Aryan Nations also turns up.

June 18, 1984

After bombing a synagogue in Boise, members of The Order use a machine gun to assassinate Jewish talk-radio host Alan Berg in Denver. The next month, The Order pulls off a $3.6 million armored car robbery in Ukiah, Calif.

Dec. 7, 1984

After earlier shootouts in Sandpoint and Portland, four Order members are arrested at a hideout on Whidbey Island. Mathews dies in a siege by the FBI.

April 15, 1985

A federal grand jury which has questioned Butler indicts 23 members of The Order. The same day, Aryan Nations and Order member David Tate fatally shoots a state trooper in Missouri.

August 1985

Aryan Nations security chief Elden "Bud" Cutler is arrested in Coeur d'Alene for ying to hire a hit man to kill the key FBI informant in The Order investigation.

December 1985

A federal jury in Seattle convicts 10 Order members of racketeering; others plead guilty. Sentences range from 40 to 100 years.

July 1986

The Aryan Nations Congress promotes establishment of a white homeland in five Northwest states.

Sept. 29, 1986

Three pipe bombs explode in Coeur d'Alene, including one at the U.S. Courthouse. An earlier bombing damages the home of anti-Aryan activist Bill Wassmuth. Investigators later tie the bombs to Aryan Nations security chief David Dorr, who has formed The Order II.

April 24, 1987

Richard Butler is arrested on a federal indictment, accusing him and 12 others of playing godfather roles in a scheme to overthrow the government with The Order. Butler stands trial in Fort Smith, Ark., and is acquitted in 1988.

April 1989

The Aryan Nations hosts its first Aryan Youth Conference, attracting neo-Nazi skinheads in an event that coincides with Adolf Hitler's birthday. The Aryans Nations promotes the event in its first mass mailing to residents of Kootenai County.

May 1990

Three men with ties to the Aryan Nations - Steven E. Nelson, Robert J. Winslow and James Proctor Baker - are arrested after traveling from North Idaho to Seattle to blow up a gay bar. The three are later convicted in Idaho.

January 1991

Randy Weaver, who attended Aryan Nations gatherings in the mid- 1980s, is arrested for selling a sawed-off shotgun to an informant. Weaver refuses to show up for trial, ultimately triggering an August 1992 shootout with federal agents at Ruby Ridge. Weaver's son and wife, and a deputy U.S. marshal, are killed. Weaver later is acquitted of most charges.

February 1992

Another splinter group from the Aryan Nations, "The Bob Mathews Brigade," is linked to plots to assassinate two civil rights leaders.

June 1992

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that cross burnings like those at the Aryan Nations are protected free speech.

December 1992

Two members of the Aryan Nations, Tim R. Biscope and Adam Elteto, are arrested for first-degree murder in the shooting death of skinhead Johnny R. Sharbnow.

July 1993

Chevie Kehoe marries his second wife in a polygamous ceremony at the Aryan Nations. Kehoe later forms a Mathews-style group, the Aryan Peoples Republic, that is linked to five killings and three robberies.

December 1995

Betty Butler dies.

March 1998

The FBI says a group known as the Aryan Republican Army, responsible for 22 bank robberies, got its firearms from Chevie Kehoe. He is sentenced to life in prison in May 1999.

July 1998

Victoria and Jason Keenan are shot at during a car chase from the Aryan Nations compound. The assaults occur two weeks before an Aryan parade in Coeur d'Alene.

December 1998

Two wealthy former California businessmen, Vincent Bertollini and Carl Story, form the 11th Hour Remnant Messenger and send out expensive mass mailings promoting the Aryan Nations and its Christian Identity white supremacy message.

January 1999

Aryan Nations and Butler are sued by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which represents the Keenans.

Aug. 11, 1999

Former Aryan Nations security guard Buford Furrow is arrested for killing an Asian postal carrier and firing an assault rifle in a Jewish day care center in Los Angeles.

July 2000

A national leader of the Posse Comitatus and Bertollini are featured speakers at the Aryan Nations Congress, where swastikas and a cross are burned in night ceremonies.

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