By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Judge McDougall was not moved.
Last Friday, October 27, the judge ordered Michael Bloom transferred so that he might be tried as an adult.
Judge McDougall's minute entry contained the following profile:
"This Court will only elaborate on one factor in the Court's decision, the juvenile's mental and emotional condition. Upon psychological evaluation by Dr. Roger Martig, the juvenile was shown to be functioning in an above-average range of intelligence and did not appear to be committable to an institution for the mentally ill, mentally defective or mentally deficient. Dr. Martig diagnosed the juvenile as having a Conduct Disorder, Mixed Type with Narcissistic Personality Characteristics. Testing did not reveal any major direct signs of personality disturbance. However, there were definite signs of fear of rejection by others and needing acceptance from others, signs of pent-up anxiety, signs of distrust of others and signs of an individual who does have antisocial personality tendencies who tends to minimize his emotional turmoils. Socially, he appears to be an individual who is very superficially involved with others, who likely forms very shallow, temporary relationships. Behaviorally, the test data indicate he definitely has control over his behavior and is not considered impulsive or changeable. When asked, the juvenile stated he did not feel he needed any type of psychological help. On the question of his potential for future acting out, Dr. Martig believes it all depends on how the juvenile internally receives and processes the results of this Court action."
On Sunday, Michael Bloom turned seventeen. He spent his birthday in an adult lockup.
Although they have rejected numerous requests for interviews and despite the fact that their son instructed them to avoid the press, Bloom's parents phoned after the judge's ruling. They requested a meeting in their home.
The parents insisted that neither of their first names be used--or their last names, for that matter. Asking that they be identified only as Michael's mother and father, the dad explained that he worked for Jews and that what he had to say might cost him his job.
IN THEIR LIVING ROOM hang a John Wayne clock, a plaque containing a poem about "Mother," and an enormous carpet with a picture of Jesus and a flock of sheep.
Michael's dad has tried to relax. His shoes are kicked off, and he is in his shorts and a tee shirt. On his arm, in testimony to his marriage, a tattoo bears his wife's name. A naked woman is stenciled upon the calf of his leg. Try as he may, he cannot put himself at ease because he is too worked up over his son.
"I can't figure out what country I live in, America or Russia. Michael is a political prisoner. They're trying him as a Nazi, a skinhead, which he is not anymore. The county attorney is trying to make a name for himself."
Michael's mother is a handsome woman who is protected on the couch by a band of unruly Chihuahuas that, by turns, merely growl and then suddenly attack with snapping little jaws. Wherever she glances, she can see pictures of children. Like the mother of Carl Schall, Michael's mom has also raised twelve kids.
"He tried to straighten out on his own. He got out of it on his own last spring and no one gives him credit for it. Just because he had those beliefs about the Jewish people. I'm sure it's not just the Nazis who have beliefs about Jewish people because the Jewish people do control a lot and I'm sure a lot of people aren't happy about it."
Michael's dad is proud of his son's achievements. As a student, Michael received the Presidential Sports Award for his skill with an air rifle. The citation was signed by Ronald Reagan.
Michael also picked up four ROTC awards including the highest citation available.
While he was incarcerated, his mother received a letter congratulating her from Who's Who Among American High School Students.
As she picks up a photograph of Michael in his Air Force ROTC uniform, she asks if her son looks like a violent boy. Her voice catches with emotion and for the only time, she sounds ready to cry.
A good-looking, clear-eyed young man stares out from the picture.
"They say this kid is dangerous. He's so dangerous that he takes crickets from his room and puts them outside rather than kill them. He also saved the life of a black man's son . . . He went down to the Circle K and there was this little kid out in the road, cars coming both ways, no one doing anything. He ran out, got him out of the middle of the road. And the kid's father happened to be black. But did he regret saving the kid's life? No! He's a good kid."
So how did this good kid become involved with neo-Nazi organizations that frighten to death the rest of America?
His father tried to explain.
"Michael is military-minded. He's always thought he'd love to go into the Marines. Now I realize he got into the wrong branch. But he thought it would do some good for the country. He thought he would help the country out whatever way he could. He didn't plan to overthrow the country, even with the twenty or thirty or even a hundred people . . . They [the neo-Nazis] made him think that they were forming an army and he was military-minded."