Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Tragedy of Edgar J. Steele

Edgar J. Steele suffered a severe cardiac trauma in November 2009. In June 2010 he was charged with attempting to hire somebody to kill his wife and mother-in-law. The key evidence against Steele was an audio recording made by the FBI, although there were also witnesses: Steele's handyman Larry Fairfax, whom Steele was accused of hiring to do the killing, and several FBI agents who monitored what Steele was saying while his conversation with Fairfax was being recorded.

Steele claimed that the recording was a fraud, and that he was being framed in a "Mission Impossible, world-class operation." That is an extraordinary claim and I did not believe it. Neither did Jim Giles, who had a daily Internet talkshow at the time.

Giles and I collaborated in the summer of 2010 in studying the Steele case. Giles conducted interviews and I wrote up the results and did research and made suggestions.

There were essentially two different, mutually exclusive approaches to the case.

The first approach was to take Steele seriously. If  Steele really was being framed with a fraudulent recording then he would need a forensic audio expert to demonstrate that it was a fraud. Giles interviewed two top forensic audio experts; the name and contact information for the more experienced of the two was given to Steele in the letter below.

The second approach to the case was to try to explain why Steele would have done that of which he was accused. I discovered that after serious heart traumas and surgery, people are often not in their right minds, sometimes for a long time. Giles interviewed a forensic psychiatrist who said that an adverse effect on Steele's mind and disposition as a result of the trauma was entirely possible. Since Steele had done a number of things that suggested that he was not thinking clearly, I strongly favored this explanation.

Jim Giles asked me to compose this letter that he would send to Steele. Essentially it tells  him how he should pursue his frame-up defense if it is true (which, believe it or not, nobody else was discussing at the time, the talk instead being entirely about how Steele was being railroaded and had no chance), but also gently suggests that he should pursue a psychiatric defense instead if his "Mission Impossible" story happened not to be true.

Jim Giles
Radio Free Mississippi
173 Pear Lane
Pearl, MS 39208-8749
July 15, 2010


Edgar Steele #361857
Spokane County Jail
W. 1100 Mallon
Spokane, Wash. 99260-0320


Mr. Steele:

I have been making inquiries relevant to your case and have turned up some information that may be of great use to you.

I understand that the key evidence against you consists of audio recordings, which you say have been manufactured. Recently I discussed your case with one of the leading forensic audio experts in the country, Mr. Tom Owen. Mr. Owen has worked on many prominent cases, and he has not been afraid to find that the government has at times done wrong. If in fact the recordings have been falsified, he can help you by scientifically demonstrating it to the court, even if the counterfeit is very sophisticated. Mr. Owen is one of only four or five audio experts in the country with this level of expertise. His contact information is as follows:


Tom Owen 758 S. Middlesex Ave. P. O. Box 189 Colonia, NJ 07067
Voice: (732) 574-9672
Fax: (732) 381-4523
E-mail: owlinvestigations@comcast.net
http://www.owlinvestigations.com/

What I wish to see is the truth of the matter brought to light. If it happens to be the case that the recordings are genuine and that you did that of which you are accused, I still think you could make a credible defense based on diminished capacity, because there is a well known condition called post-operative psychosis, which is especially common as a sequel to heart surgery. If you have not had a psychiatric evaluation since the arrest, by all means, do.

If it is at all possible, I would also urge you to seek a private attorney rather than relying on the Federal Public Defender. Somebody like Jerry Spence would be ideal. Can you have your counsel seek a private attorney for you?

Do you have access to adequate funds? I have heard that your personal assets are frozen. Can you instruct your counsel to seek to have your assets unfrozen?

I would strongly advise for your sake that you make no further statements to anybody except your legal counsel about the case, and conduct all communication with the outside world through your legal counsel, including any response to this missive.

Sincerely,

Jim Giles

Steele responded with the following letter (revealed now for the first time, since Steele had requested that it be kept confidential), in which he heartily embraces the suggestion that he may not have been in his right mind -- "Your mentioning what you called 'post-operative psychosis' was of particular interest" -- for a variety of reasons that he then proceeds to list.



           Main Letter 1
                Main Letter 2
         Medical Recap 1
             Medical Recap 2



The Trial

In spite of all this private endorsement of the proposition that he had not been in his right mind (which implies that he knew that he was not the victim of a conspiracy), Steele continued to claim publicly that he had been framed, and acted on our suggestion to hire a forensic audio expert if he were going to persist in that claim. 

On May 5, 2011 Ed Steele was found guilty after a very short trial, where the defense essentially had no argument. The entire frame-up argument would have hinged on the finding of the defense's forensic audio expert. Unfortunately for all the supporters of the frame-up conspiracy story, Dr. George Papcun's finding was not such as to make a difference, and for that reason was not even admitted into evidence:

George Papcun, who has a doctorate in acoustic phonetics, testified that he examined the recordings and found anomalies that could have been triggered by editing, or by other factors including electronic glitches. He said he wouldn’t use the term “suspicious,” because a variety of factors could have caused the glitches he observed. [Betsy Z. Russell, "Judge Says Steele Witness Unreliable, Spokesman-Review, 22 April 2011]

Nothing "suspicious" in Papcun's finding meant nothing helpful for Steele's case.

Steele was sentenced to fifty years, exactly what the prosecution had asked. After a period of visibly declining health he died on 4 September 2014 at the age of 69, nearly five years after the ruptured aneurysm that nearly killed him and seemed to mark the beginning of his downward spiral.

20 comments:

  1. Excellent information. The story in circulation among WNs sympathetic to Steele is that the judge excluded decisive and convincing testimony from audio experts willing to certify that the recordings were fraudulent. Your report sheds new light on that aspect of the case.

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  2. I think it's a vocal minority of crazies, or maybe trolls like "DeShawn S. Williams," that still insist that Steele was framed. I am getting way more positive than negative feedback from my comments on VNN Forum but none of those people says anything openly, I guess because they don't want to have to deal with the attacks from the crazies.

    Of course Tubby Tubbington promotes such views because crazy people are his constituency.

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  3. Deshawn Williams has been exposed as a Jew in the last few weeks but I will have to dig up the link.

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  4. Yes I know. That's why I mentioned it. He was a Jew posting under several different names on Common Dreams and probably on a variety of other fora. On Common Dreams this Jew apparently was impersonating a stereotypical anti-Semitic bogeyman. This is one of the ways that Jews motivate each other to maintain solidarity.

    It's entirely possible that some of the personae insisting that Steele was framed are trolls laughing their asses off at the fact that anybody really believes it. This kind of paranoia makes us look ridiculous.

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  5. While it's true this kind of paranoia makes white nationalists look ridiculous, it's unfair to imply that these conspiracy theories are being advanced only by your enemies, among whom I count myself. I don't know this person you refer to, but certainly Covington adheres to the theory that Steele was framed, and Kevin Strom just did a podcast to that effect this past Saturday. I believe he's in partnership with Will Williams in an effort to resuscitate the National Alliance. There are many "mainstream" white nationalists who believe Steele was framed.

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    1. Reg, you should read a little more carefully. I see where you state on the CoriLou blog that Jim Giles is an "astonishingly good" writer, even though I explicitly state that the letter with his name under it was composed for him by me (with the general content specified by him).

      I didn't say that ALL of the paranoia-mongering about the Steele case was from agents-provocateurs. Some of these Chicken Littles are sincere but just very weak in critical thinking. Some of them seem to be Christians, and thus habituated to supporting stories that make no sense.

      Some of them, like Tubby and Kevin Strom whom you mention, understand what they are doing but have a somewhat troubled relationship with the truth.

      I recall a ridiculous ADV that Kevin did in the mid-1990s wherein he said that one ought not to drive through Black neighborhoods because of the risk of contracting AIDS. I remember another that he did in 2003 wherein he insinuated that Alex Linder and Bill White were part of a government COINTELPRO because they were making fun of him and calling him a weenie. Kevin Strom did not say these things because he believed them. He said them for effect. I find that reprehensible, because, obviously, it is destructive to our credibility, and with the small voice that we have, credibility is something that we have to cultivate.

      Last I heard Will Williams does not accept Steele's frameup story. I don't think he's exercising a bit of editorial control over what Kevin does. He probably should.

      Now, although Kevin Strom will do something ridiculous like that from time to time, I am really shocked that you refer to Harold Covington as an example of a mainstream WN. If you count yourself as an enemy of WN, I have news for you: so is Tubby, whether by design or just as a byproduct of self-indulgent opportunism. If Harold Covington ever stops telling outrageous lies then somebody needs to call waste disposal to come pick up his rotting remains, because it will be clear at that point that he is no longer with us. I think that the content of this blog pretty well demonstrates that.

      Tubby has always been a pariah to the White racial movement, and I don't have to explain Kevin. You are pointing to the fringe and calling it the mainstream. The most mainstream and somewhat significant character that somewhat defends Steele's frameup story is Alex Linder, and I think he's more on the fence about it than he's willing publicly to admit.

      I have not yet seen any articles lamenting the fate of Ed Steele on The Occidental Observer, Counter-Currents, or Occidental Dissent. Did Bob Whitaker or David Duke say anything about it? I doubt it. Those are the big boys. I think that the silence about the matter in those quarters is for a reason.

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  6. Hadding, I did miss your mentioning you wrote the Giles letter. Thanks for that correction. That letter irritated me a bit. I disliked having my preconceived notions about Giles upset and I'm glad to return to them. lol.

    I may not believe that Covington is in the employ of your enemies but I certainly believe he's a net negative to your efforts. Same with Strom, although I do feel he got railroaded, myself.

    I realize you didn't suggest that all of the conspiracy theorists were agents provocateurs. Surely you realize I'm not suggesting none of them were. I simply note that much (and I believe most) of the "Steele was framed" noise we're hearing comes from sincere white nationalists. You ask, for instance if Duke has said anything about it. Well, not personally, but in the middle of the prosecution, he published a "Steele was framed" editorial on his personal website. It's still there, now.

    http://www.bbad.com/forums/images/archive/20140910/g1RV7yPrKq.png

    No, you can't pin this nonsense on your enemies. Some of it belongs there, certainly, but the truth is that tin foil hats are fast becoming the new white robes.

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    1. Three important details about that piece on DavidDuke.com:

      1. It's from November 2010, before Steele's trial. A lot of people were giving Steele the benefit of the doubt early on (Donald Pauly who is surely the most vocal critic, being one of them). A lot of people that were supporting Steele's story in the beginning changed their minds, especially, I think, after the trial where Steele was able to muster zero evidence to support his story.

      2. It's the only thing about the Steele case on DavidDuke.com. Four years is a long time to go without mentioning at all what is supposed to be a "Mission Impossible, world-class operation" to frame the Attorney for the Damned. This implies that if the story was once considered credible, it is not now.

      3. Duke didn't write it. Duke himself may have never taken an active interest in the matter. We can say that Duke acquiesced in the story at the time. That James Buchanan who did write it is still retailing the same story, but Duke hasn't said a word so far as I know.

      So, that article seems to be the proverbial exception that proves the rule, and I think you are blatantly grasping at straws if that is your evidence that Duke supports the Steele frameup-story now. I think that the reason why Duke and others don't talk about Steele anymore is that, if they did believe his story, they don't believe it now, and saying nothing about it is the easiest course.

      I think that if Dr. Pierce, who was not afraid to go against the grain, were still alive, he would have written something in the National Alliance Bulletin back when so much time, energy, and especially money were being wasted on the Steele case, that would have made the distinction between the sane WNs and the crazy fringe much clearer.

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  7. Well, for the record, I deny grasping at any straws. I certainly don't claim to know or care what David Duke thinks of the Steele story or anything else. lol. I was simply answering your question about whether he had said anything on the topic. I did note in my original post that he had not said these things personally but had simply published them on his personal website in the middle of the prosecution. The effect of leaving that editorial published while not saying anything to the contrary for four years is clear to me, but if you feel it implies a repudiation of the position taken by that editorial, you're entitled to your opinion.

    The same is of course true for Pierce. What he might have said or done I'll leave to the speculation of those who respected the man, a group among whom I certainly do not number.

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    1. You implied with your comment about the tinfoil-hat replacing the white robe that Duke currently supported the frameup-story and perhaps even the new story that Steele was murdered in prison. It's not at all clear that he does.

      What you did was, you made a statement about specifics that was accurate (that Duke put this article on his blog in 2010) and then added a caricature loaded with unjustified implications, in the form of a present-tense assertion about tinfoil hats.

      I pay attention to propaganda and rhetoric. I notice these things.

      No doubt there are some tinfoil-hat-wearers out there, however, especially among the readers of sensationalist "patriot" media, some of whom cross over into WN.

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  8. Since somebody is upset with me, I just want to clarify two things.

    First, the fact that I identified certain figures and websites as "the big boys" in White Nationalism doesn't mean that I think that they all or generally represent the best approach. Most of them are a little soft for my liking. I only mention them because the question of what the "mainstream" of WN supports was raised, and I think that if there is a mainstream, the entities that I named are primary representatives of it.

    Second, it is clear to me that Kevin Strom's credibility in general is not anywhere near as poor as Harold Covington's, but he has a bit of patriotard in his rhetoric at times, and in the matter of Edgar J. Steele, the two of them are saying the same things, that Steele was railroaded and then murdered -- which is absurd.

    And I think it's noteworthy that the other significant entities that I mentioned are not saying this.

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  9. Hadding, with all due respect, I think your hatred for HAC, or Tubby as you refer to him, is clouding your judgment in regard to Kevin Strom, essentially lumping them together because they tend to have the same opinion regarding the Steele case. Kevin Strom is a good man, and he is nothing like Tubby. The ADV he did 2 weeks ago was in memory of Edgar Steele, and yes he has reason to believe he was persecuted because of his political beliefs.

    You said as WN's, we must have and continue to pursue credibility, because as a fringe movement that's something we must have if we are to draw others in. I agree, but I believe Mr. Strom has done nothing, willfully at least, to hurt our credibility. He's been in this fight for over 30 years, and there's a reason why Dr. Pierce chose him as one of his closest confidants.

    Credibility is important, and your work to correct the lies propagated by the media and by other WN's regarding Frazier Glenn Miller is admirable. It's a noble effort, but unfortunately most people including WN's will only have contempt for the man, because at the end of the day he murdered 3 people in cold blood for no good reason. That's all they'll see, regardless of the surrounding details and history whether they be good or bad (I should say that I don't believe the lies told about him either). It truly is a sad case, one that has damaged our credibility, but Miller decided his fate for whatever reason. The correction of history should still be done, but to all rational people his last action will define him for a long time to come.

    My point is, HAC is a fraud and one of the biggest dis-info agents ever, which this blog has done a nice job in documenting. He's defined his character and history by his own actions, and this blog is a great service because Tubby continues to fool new people of good character with his fraudulent motives. Kevin Strom's actions (past and present) on the other hand, have always been of goodwill for this movement. His name has been tarnished, but he's working to restore his credibility, and with the help of others who've been inspired by his work, we'll one day have his reputation restored.

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    1. I am not lumping Kevin Strom together with Harold Covington. It just happens to be the case that they are both out there together on this Steele case. It's not my doing.

      I didn't even bring up his name. It was Reg that pointed out that HAC and KAS were singing the same song. What should I do? Delete the comment and run away from the fact? That's not going to stop it from being stated elsewhere.

      If you are concerned about Kevin Strom's credibility then talk to him about his position on the Steele case. He is damaging his own credibility with that.

      I tried talking him out of it myself several years ago and got nowhere.

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    2. And by the way, "hatred for HAC" was never my motive for doing this blog. If that's the only way you can explain it then there is something wrong with your own relationship to the truth.

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  10. Alright, hatred was a strong term to use, and no, that's not why I think you started this blog. The title of it speaks for itself. It was just a thought that crossed my mind, so I apologize for that. It's just that I believe Strom and HAC are so much on opposite wavelengths, when it comes to telling the truth. The only thing I can say regarding both of them singing the same tune about the Steele case, is that one of them is doing it for all the wrong reasons, and the other for all the right ones.

    Even though you didn't say it explicitly, the implication in your reply is there - that Strom and HAC are in the same league when it comes to being dis-info agents, which is totally wrong. Also, you went on to elaborate on Kevin, referencing his early 90s ADV program. Btw, he never did state that you'll get AIDS if you travel through Black neighborhoods in that program. And I think Dr. Pierce had editorial control over those ADV's, because after all, Kevin was representing the National Alliance back then. Regarding Kevin's insinuation in 2003 that Linder and White were both COINTELPRO agents, I don't seem to remember that.

    Anyway, so you two don't agree on the Steele case, I'm willing to bet that you both agree 90% on all other issues. Also, you've worked with Kevin before, collaborating on quite a few ADV programs which you wrote.

    And will the truth regarding the Steele case ever come out anyway? I remember that there was quite a stir during his lockup between other prominent figures, not just Kevin.

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    1. Don't call me a liar.

      Here is the exact quote from "AIDS Secrets" by Kevin Alfred Strom, 10 July 1993:

      "Even if you must sacrifice status or money to do it, it is wise to avoid repeated close contact with those in high-risk groups, including Blacks, Third World immigrants, homosexuals, and drug users. [...] Plan your travels to skirt around areas where such groups form a high percentage of the population, even if it takes extra time and gasoline to do so."

      What part of it did you not understand? He said don't drive through Black (or Third-World or homosexual) neighborhoods because you might catch AIDS. It couldn't be clearer.

      Regarding Kevin Strom's tossing around the "COINTELPRO" insinuations in 2003, the original ADV that I heard seems to be no longer online, but you can read Alex Linder's response to it reposted on Stormfront: "I've sat back and watched over the past week as Kevin's put out a steady stream of disinformation aimed at discrediting VNN and ShopWhite in the eyes of National Alliance members and the White community at large. [...] Although KAS is a smart guy who does good editorial work, and is in that limited regard an asset to the cause, he simply does not believe criticism of himself or anything he does is valid. Since he considers himself essentially faultless in motive and action, he naturally concludes anything critical -- or merely different in approach -- is either stupidity, malice or COINTELPRO...." https://www.stormfront.org/forum/t79318/?postcount=1#post552749

      And you can read a repetition of that innuendo by Kevin Strom later that year, in National Vanguard of November-December 2003: "On the one hand, we've seen a series of COINTELPRO-style attacks launched against us, primarily from Internet sites which claim an allegiance to White racial idealism, but whose antecedents are anything but clear...." http://www.natvan.com/national-vanguard/121/121sample.pdf

      I neither said nor implied that Kevin Strom was a "disinfo agent." I said that he says things that are ridiculous from FROM TIME TO TIME. How can you suggest that he does not?

      I also said that he and Tubby are on the fringe of WN, at least in regard to this Steele case, about which they have both been beating the drum for four years. Why are David Duke and so many other significant figures in WN no longer talking about this supposed frameup and murder of the Attorney for the Damned? Because the story is not credible.

      No doubt KAS and HAC have very different motives, but if Kevin Strom makes dodgy claims about the Steele case or anything else with the notion that it's for some higher good, his good intention won't save him from running afoul of people who are establishing facts. Sorry about that, but truth is more important than Kevin Strom. He ought to take more care about getting on the right side of the truth, to avert such a conflict.

      You could probably do him a favor by not continuing to argue with me about this. You compel me to present more and more information in a matter that I was trying to address in a just cursory manner.

      And if you still can't reach a conclusion about the Steele case with the information presented here then I think you just don't want to know.

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  11. Hadding, it doesn't help for you to call Kevin Strom a "patriotard."

    I thought it was good advice 21 years ago for Kevin to warn his kinsmen, especially White females to stay away from Negroes since at that time they were 15 times more likely to carry the HIV bug than were Whites.

    I'll take Kevin's word over that of either Alex Linder or Bill White, who were doing a childish number on him a decade ago. How did their VNN Shop White scam work out? Covington is a big Bill White booster, you know, and Linder still transcribes his letters from prison to VNN. You won't find Kevin doing such nonsense.

    People will have differing opinions about Ed Steele, but all the wide-ranging speculation about him amounts to little in the big picture. Mr. Covington likes to promote Steele lately even though Steele once said Covington is the biggest liar he ever met. Steele on Covington, here: http://noncounterproductive.blogspot.com/2013/03/letter-to-harold-covington-from-ed.html

    Here Covington wrote this week that you are being paid to badmouth Ed Steele. We know that's not true.
    ---

    Harold
    @Gail Wynand
    "I have reasonably trustworthy backchannel info, or as trustworthy as we ever get, to the effect that [Hadding] is actually paid to do that shit, and so I simply disregard him. He speaks for no one except whoever is signing his checks. This kind of dreck is simply a constant background noise to whatever we do, kind of like the buzzing of flies when one is compelled to clean up an outhouse."
    ---

    Thanks in part to this blog, Mr. Covington certainly can't disregard your exposure of his phony Northwest Front.

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    1. Will, what you are implying is that KAS' stretching the truth with his "AIDS Secrets" thing was okay because it was for a good cause. That was what Kevin responded to me at the time.

      I don't think that you really believe that. It doesn't sound like you.

      If we are in "the truth business" then we have to use true arguments to support our true conclusions. When bad arguments are used to support a worthy cause, and those bad arguments get shot down, belief in the cause itself is also damaged, and certainly the credibility of the person who makes such flaky arguments, and his ability to serve that cause effectively, is also (justifiably) damaged.

      There are many obvious reasons to avoid driving through Black neighborhoods. Crime in those neighborhoods is a very good reason. The risk of catching AIDS from mosquitoes or as the result of a traffic-accident is not.

      The point about KAS' COINTELPRO innuendoes about Linder and White has nothing to do with the merits of Linder and White. The point is that he was making an innuendo for which he had no evidence. You can tell from the careful way he worded his innuendo that he had no evidence. Another irritating thing about it is that he was using the media of the National Alliance to promulgate what amounted to just namecalling between himself and two personal enemies. Dr. Pierce was attacked all the time. His policy was always to ignore it publicly.

      The only place where there are "differing opinions about Ed Steele" is among patriotards and at this point, probably a distinct minority of WNs.

      I am not going to agree to disagree about the Steele case, with Kevin or anybody else. The proclivity for wasting time, energy, and money in an unthinking manner as was done in the Steele case is disastrous, and Kevin does us no favors by encouraging that, regardless of what his motive may be.

      As for Tubby, I am glad that he is still paying attention to this blog.

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  12. Certainly, Steele would not qualify for a legal insanity defense. Further, I do not even believe that his physical condition led to the kind of insanity that would lead him to hire someone to kill his wife. Legal insanity is, in a few words, when someone does not know the difference between right and wrong, and frankly, I find that legal definition to have no truth in reality. It is a legal fiction, and even psychiatrists cannot tell you that insanity will lead one to perform evil acts. The truth of the matter is that there are insane people who will do evil acts, and insane people who would never dream of doing such things, knowing, even in their delusions and hallucinations, that it is wrong and restrain themselves from doing such acts. Not all insane people are capable of murderous deeds. Only some, probably the same percentage of people who are sane and do them.

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    1. We discussed this question years ago on VNN Forum.

      The definition that qualifies an insanity-defense is overly narrow. A person, for example, who believes himself possessed by a demon, would not qualify for the insanity defense, as long as he knows that the demon is compelling him to break the law. Charles Whitman, the University of Texas clocktower sniper who wrote, "I do not really understand myself these days," and, "I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts," and had TRIED to get psychiatric help, would not have qualified for an insanity-defense, although, as it turned out, he was acting under the effects of a brain-tumor. Common sense says that Charles Whitman was insane, even if the law does not.

      But there are other ways to take into account "mitigating circumstances." If Steele had brain-damage that impaired his thinking or his self-control, or that stimulated his aggressive impulses, that can be taken into account at least in sentencing if not in the verdict.

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