Did Racist’s Hatred for Judge Lead to Murder?
The war of words against U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow lasted two years, a baffling, ominous campaign. It ended in the conviction of Matthew Hale, a white supremacist who had fixated on Lefkow for having thwarted the movement he called his “church.” Now investigators are trying to learn whether Hale’s intimidating words led to murder. A federal jury last year found Hale, 33, guilty of trying to arrange Lefkow’s murder. After two years of taunts — with the judge’s personal information and family photographs posted on racist websites — it seemed Lefkow could finally relax. Hale was isolated in jail, awaiting sentencing. His communication to the outside world was curtailed and his extremist followers were left without a leader. But in the days since the judge discovered the bullet-riddled bodies of her husband, Michael F. Lefkow, 64, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, inside the Lefkows’ north side Chicago home, Hale’s racially obsessed movement again has drawn intense scrutiny. Full Story