How a Teen Prostitute and Beautician Morphed Into a Minuteman American Defense Leader and Alleged Killer

Long before she was accused of robbing and murdering a Mexican man and his 9-year-old daughter in the southern Arizona desert — exposing the Minuteman movement to claims of racial warfare — and long before she told her followers that she saw brown-skinned immigrants as filthy lawbreakers, Shawna Forde was climbing into a car in Seattle to allegedly have illegal sex with a man named Rodriguez.

Then known as Shawna Breitgham, the 17-year-old future border vigilante had worked the city's strolls for at least two years, long enough to know that if a customer introduces himself by groping you, he's probably not a cop (undercover officers are generally bound by no-touch rules). So on that October evening in 1985, after getting into a car on Seattle's Pike Street and riding to an unlighted spot, the shapely, blond teen prostitute picked up the driver's hand and rubbed it against her breasts. Then she reached over and fondled his crotch.

After agreeing to a $50 blowjob, a reassured Shawna said: "Take off your pants." She began undoing the driver's fly.

Shawna Forde, white supremacist Jason "Gunny" Bush, and Albert Gaxiola, charged in the Arivaca killings, were after drugs and money, police believe, to finance Forde's anti-immigration posse, M.A.D.
courtesy of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department
Shawna Forde, white supremacist Jason "Gunny" Bush, and Albert Gaxiola, charged in the Arivaca killings, were after drugs and money, police believe, to finance Forde's anti-immigration posse, M.A.D.
Tom Nguyen

That's when he took it out. His badge, that is.

"Seattle police!" said vice officer Rodriguez, whose first name, because of old and incomplete records, could not be determined.

It was Shawna's fifth bust since age 11, a run of convictions that included burglary, theft, and prostitution. According to prosecutors, public records, and her family, she has spent a good deal of her life testing how far the law will stretch before it snaps back — something she would, Fagin-like, impart to her own children, says her half-brother Merrill Metzger.

"She taught them both how to shoplift," Metzger says, referring to Shawna's teen daughter and, especially, to her 19-year-old son, who just went to prison on a burglary rap. "Shawna also used them to distract people while she shoplifted."

Shawna shrugged it off, and would later run for City Council in her hometown of Everett, Washington — a shoplifting charge hanging over her head. It was a law-and-order campaign of sorts: During the same period, her son was convicted of assaulting the owner of a beauty salon where she worked.

Given up for adoption as a child, Shawna was raised partly in foster homes and left school early. She wed as a teen and would blaze through three other marriages, four name changes, more court scrapes, and a zigzagging procession of career choices: self-proclaimed Seattle grunge-rock promoter, hairdresser, Boeing worker, youth counselor, cosmetologist, and T-shirt maker.

She finally, according to Metzger, went over the inevitable edge and staged crimes — including her own rape.

And not to her half-brother's surprise, last month yet another cop took out his badge for, perhaps, Shawna's final arrest.

She was now Shawna Forde. The place was southern Arizona, and she had allegedly stretched statutes to their ultimate limit: double homicide in a border-town trailer home. The law has snapped back hard; her fate could be the death penalty.

Today, Forde is being held at the Pima County Adult Detention Center in Tucson. Along with two others, including 34-year-old white-supremacist Jason "Gunny" Bush of Wenatchee, Washington, she's charged with first-degree murder in a plot to steal drugs and money and kill any witnesses. Prosecutors say Forde's motive was to finance her self-anointed border-patrol group, Minuteman American Defense, an anti-immigration posse known as M.A.D.

Prosecutors and family say the woman who just eight years ago was leading a beauty school protest in Everett had morphed into the leader of a small outlaw band, prowling the Mexican border for illegals and drug dealers to rob. In debt after a recent divorce from a man who was the target of an Everett murder attempt, she embarked on an armed crime spree to finance a grandiose scheme: She wanted to buy 40 desert acres she often talked about and grow her tiny team into a Blackwater-style international vigilante force that would battle border jumpers and drug cartels and rescue kidnapped Americans in other countries.

"She sat here on my couch and told me she planned to start an underground militia," Metzger says from his home in Redding, California. "She said she would rob Mexican drug dealers, steal their money, and their drugs. She talked about a store near her in Arizona that kept 40 grand under the counter to cash illegals' checks, and she was going to rob that."

She was also involved in the recent burglary of her half-brother's home and the robbery of a family friend's place, Metzger says, where $12,000 was taken at gunpoint. California authorities recently told reporters they're investigating break-ins in connection with the Arizona robbery and shootings.

"We didn't know whether to believe her or not when she talked about her plans," says Metzger. "She had a habit of lying, of exaggerating. We shrugged it off at first. Then we told police. They were already onto her when the [Arizona] shootings happened. She talked about not only robbing drug dealers, but starting a revolution against the government."


Now a hard-looking 41, Forde is said to be what a witness called the "fat white woman" who emerged at 1 a.m. on May 30 in an armored vest and Border Patrol garb from a gun battle in the southwest Arizona town of Arivaca, an hour down Interstate 19 from Tucson. Raul "Junior" Flores, 29, a suspected drug dealer, and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia, were left dead on the floor of their trailer home. The intruders were after Flores' rumored $4,000 drug-money stash, Pima County prosecutors said at a press conference and in court records. Flores' 31-year-old wife, Gina Gonzalez, though wounded three times, survived the shooting and returned fire, slightly wounding alleged gunman Jason Bush as he and the others fled.

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12 comments
cal
cal

ronald bola of 12764 newport ave #d tustin ca 92780 married and paid a US citizen to obtain a green card. he also used fake documents to get a US tourist visa and work at power circuits in costa mesa ca. he is now a naturalized citizen.

Guest
Guest

I know this is late,but, just a technical point. 13 doesn't stand for MS-13. It stands for "Eme" or "M" or the 13th letter, the letter of the Mexican Mafia, a prison gang that supplies to the majority of Southern Ca. Mexican-American gangs. MS means Mara Salvatrucha. 13 means they are associated with Eme. There are numerous other "13" gangs, and the Eme does not prevent then from fighting each other. MS-13 are well known because they aggressive expanded across the country. The irony of it all is that in prison, the Eme have a pact with the Aryan Brotherhood white nazi gang.

American Woman
American Woman

At first read I thought, racist beeatach. However, first arrest record @ 11? How on earth does this happen in our great land? WTF? Sorry folks, we are all guilty for destroying kids before they have any real chance in life...today's Minority would be the Children who are cared for in a healthy, loving manner.

Bambi
Bambi

It doesn't matter about her past or if she was a supremacist. She took a life and a life that was just beginning! People like that disgust me. It is not her place to decide who is what and who belongs where! Now she has to live with the memory of the little life she took away. I hope the latino prisoners figure out new ways to use a broom handle on her!

LaZyJeStYr
LaZyJeStYr

From slut to supremist. Skip the fancy titles & call it like it is.

Frontlinemom
Frontlinemom

The majority of child sex slaves are runaways from abusive home life. Prostitution at age 11 is child sex slavery. White supremacists tend to be damaged people. We live in a very warped society where abortion is headed for criminalization while unwanted kids are literally thrown away. We spend billions killing people elsewhere while resources, including education, are becoming more unreachable for the poor, marginalized. Too bad Shawna didn't have healthy guidance. So deeply damaged. I do not think the death penalty will stop others so damaged from committing more such crimes. Ignorance, greed and violence rule. Tragic. I am most sorry for Brisenia, her dad and her surviving sister and mom. Wonder how many more will die unnecessarily in these fractious times. May people get educated and activate positive solutions like legalize drugs, stop NAFTA and prioritize people having decent jobs, food, clothing, shelter, education....

Vic
Vic

How humorous to watch the media first create a villain then report on that villain's nefarious deeds, as if they have something to do with a political movement the media opposes.

Anything goes in the effort to attack normal everyday people who are sick of the drug dealing, robbery, murder and rapes of legitimate citizens of the United States by persons crossing our borders illegally.

It it laughable to pretend the women in question is some sort of Leader of a political movement.

The actual conduct of the Press is a high school civics lesson in the use propaganda. Thier objective in this case, to smear a political movement which has great support among the American people.

(closing the borders to illegal aliens, Drug and Human Traffickers) and no support amongst the elite.

Why the press would support such action one can only guess..

Is it loyalty to the Democratic Party?

Is it loyalty to the Republican Party?

The Leadership of both gain substantially from the presence of illegal aliens..

The Democrats with their "Sanctuary Cities", "Motor Voter" bills combined with providing drivers licenses to illegals create a vast pool of non citizens registered to vote just waiting for the right group (a bunch of nuts?) to submit absentee voter forms for. Same goes for the census where nearly 20% of those counted in California are Illegal. 8-10 electoral votes for President from California's 55...are based upon the presence of millions of illegals in California...... pretty good deal politically for those in power.. For the other Americans whose are now 4/5s enfranchised... maybe not such a good deal..LOL

The corrupt Republican Leadership benefit as their largest corporate donors successfully drive down the price of labor by the importation of 10s of millions of illegal aliens and semi legal aliens B1BVisa Holders. So the elite garner increased profits on the price of goods due to supply and demand (Besides who else will live in the housing ghettos, they and their Democratic buddies create by their Slum Lord tactics?

One Sheriff fights this invasion publicly (we all know who he is). Naturally he is the one being investigated by a committe sent by the elected officials responsible for the disaster in the first place.

(A comedian could not write more farcical material that the truth of what's going on with the illegal alien problem)

Criminal Aliens infesting our land?

Win Win for the elite.

A "Win" for Everyone, but the American People..

Forgive us,

We can no more help laughing at your conception of Journalisim than you can help being transparent and comic figures.

Victor

Diane
Diane

I love how the minutemen like scumbag racist Jim Gilchrist are denying association with this nutjob when infact they have been mutual supporters of the same insanity. The minutemen are nothing but racist vigilantes who are dangerous criminal in their own right. I don't fear Mexicans crossing the border (and I have lived 4 miles from it for most of my life)but people like Jim Gilchrist, Chris Simcox and Shawna Forde scare the hell out of me. No Irish need apply, No Italians, No Chinese, Whites only drinking fountain... you'd think by now this country would have grown up a little. Sadly, it seems it has not and now the "evil hoards" are the Mexicans.

dan
dan

What a skank.

nancy
nancy

wow.. this b... is crazy.. she is the one that is dirty and a criminal... i'm not saying there isn't Hispanic criminals.. yeah there is but.. she f..ed up her own cause.. god forbid there are anymore crazies like this girl out there.. my heart goes out to the family of the little girl she killed... the guy.. i think if he was a drug dealer was probably gonna get killed sooner or later... or go to jail.. not that he deserved it(getting killed i mean).. but poor baby girl..

Mike Wells
Mike Wells

Yeah, sounds like this bitch snuck over the border from Crazy-Town, that's for sure... Funny how a lawbreaker like her is all down with 'enforcing our laws'... Kinda like all of the Moral majority types who keep getting busted with their peckers in the pie...

You think the Nativists might want to do a little more aggressive spin control on this?

 
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