By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
You'd have to have aluminum flowing through your veins not to feel a chill crawl up the back of your neck as you listen to the 911 tape of the Arivaca killings. Weeping, Gina Marie Gonzalez tells the 911 operator that someone has shot both her husband, Raul Flores, and her 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia Flores, in the head. She asks whether she should pick up the little girl. The operator tells her no.
"Are they still there, the people that shot 'em?" asks the operator.
"They're coming back in," Gonzalez utters, her voice gasping with fear. "They're coming back in!"
There are the sounds of voices and gunshots as Gonzalez repels the invaders with a handgun. In the aftermath, Gonzalez lay bleeding of a leg wound, waiting for what seems an interminable amount of time for Pima County sheriff's deputies to arrive.
"They told us that someone had escaped jail or something," Gonzalez explained, her voice heaving from panic. "They wanted to come in and look at my house. They shot my husband, they shot my daughter, and they shot me."
As those following the story know, Shawna Forde, head of the group Minuteman American Defense, and her alleged cohorts, fellow Minuteman Jason "Gunny" Bush and Forde's reputed lover, Albert Robert Gaxiola, were taken into custody June 11 and 12 for the deadly home invasion.
In a press conference after the arrests, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik suggested the motive was financial, with Forde and her accomplices allegedly out for drugs and money to finance her M.A.D. activities. He also noted that the assailants intended to leave no witnesses.
Since Forde and her confederates were collared, she's been depicted by some mainstream media outlets as a marginal player from a marginal group in the larger nativist movement. In reality, Forde is part of a nativist tide that has coughed up a wide array of crackpot flotsam and jetsam. Rather than an aberration, she's the perfect example of how a lumpen nobody can become a somebody in Minuteman and nativist circles, just by strapping on a gun and espousing hate-filled rhetoric.
Indeed, the Southern Poverty Law Center recently noted that, at one point, Forde claimed to represent the most mainstream and powerful of nativist organizations, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, or FAIR. In a 2006 debate on a Washington state TV show, the former prostitute and grunge-band promoter was identified with the label "Minuteman & Activist, FAIR." FAIR has since denied any connection to Forde, claiming it is being smeared by the Montgomery, Alabama-based SPLC, despite video of Forde's appearance on the show being available on YouTube.
Forde's also been connected to former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo, who's made a career out of courting the lunatic, know-nothing fringe. The Colorado Independent, part of the non-profit Center for Independent Media, has said a representative for Tancredo's then-presidential campaign attended a 2007 rally organized, in part, by Forde and M.A.D. Though Tancredo didn't attend the rally, he sent a letter of regret, thanking attendees for their support.
Erstwhile Tancredo campaign chair Bay Buchanan, sister of far-right commentator Pat Buchanan, dismissed the Tancredo letter as a standard, boilerplate rejection and stated that Tancredo and Forde had never met, "to the best of [the congressman's] knowledge."
Forde's M.A.D. was formed after she left the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, founded by Chris Simcox, who is now a long-shot hopeful for the 2010 Arizona Republican primary nod against U.S. Senator John McCain. Simcox has admitted that Forde was part of his operation at one time, but he has called her "an unsavory character" and "pretty unbalanced."
That's a highly ironic characterization considering Simcox's past, which includes a conviction in 2004 on a federal gun charge and incessant claims of financial impropriety from MCDC defectors. Then there are the complaints of his two ex-wives, ranging from allegations that he tried to molest his 14-year-old daughter to the testimony of his second ex that, when angered, "he broke furniture, car windows, he banged his head against the wall repeatedly, and punched things."
Sort of like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you can play the same game with Shawna Forde, though you might only need two degrees. Or none. Jim Gilchrist, one of the co-organizers, along with his now-enemy Simcox, of the 2005 Minuteman Project (which Gilchrist retains as the name of his California-based organization), has admitted giving money in the past to a member of Forde's group and to contacting Forde by phone not long after the killings in Arivaca.
Since Arivaca, Gilchrist, sometimes considered a "moderate" by Minuteman standards, has pulled from his Web site positive references to Forde and her group. However, Gilchrist was a tireless supporter of Forde before the murders, appearing with her at rallies, posting announcements from M.A.D. on his site, defending her online as "a stoic struggler who has chosen to put country, community, and a yearning for civilized society ahead of avarice and self-glorifying ego."
The American Border Patrol's Glenn Spencer also has had a lot of 'splainin' to do since Forde's capture, which occurred not long after Forde left his ranch in Sierra Vista on June 12. In a "full disclosure" memo he published June 22 on his Web site, Spencer confesses, "Last summer, I let Forde and her daughter use [the American Border Patrol's] RV for about a week."
Maybe it was the timing. Maybe you wouldn't appreciate a 'your mama/gramma/daughter' spoof shortly after their death whatever kind of person they were.
And just as it'd be wrong to call all bloggers moronic, it'd be stupid to paint all Michael Jackson (Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Sinatra, insert whoever/whatever here) fans as screaming hysterics. Unless you were deaf/blind for weeks after his death & memorial, you would have seen his fans around the world were of all races, nationalities, ages, economic classes, etc. You can't dismiss all those millions - or Nelson Mandela, Smokey, McCartney, Scorcese & countless fellow artists - just as mindless dupes. The University of California, Berkeley's Center for Racism & Gender recently had a symposium on Michael Jackson, you might want to check it out.
So a cruel spirit is now "news?" The person responsible for this "spoof" will have to explain his cruel intentions one day, at which time it will suck to be him.
Ha Ha! No wonder the newspaper business is doomed with all the stories with real spooks you had to make one up? hmmmm New Times you just lost a reader!
Unless you redeem yourself by having a big marijuana leaf on your next cover advocating legalization in Arizona. I will not read again!
Yes We Cannabis!
Justin Case is an MCSO operative. His or her job is to post negative comments about New Times to this site. I wonder if he or she gets paid per comment or by the hour. Or maybe he or she does this in lieu of a payroll deduction to SCA.
Either way, fuck you, Justin Case, you Arpaio dick sucking piece of human filth...
The funnies thing about these comments is that some of you think the New Times is a newspaper. It's barely an online trash mag. Look at it's content, it's really all about entertainment.
The Arpaio stories are written by activists who have their own personal and collective agendas. To find truth in them is like finding good eats in a dumpster behind Roderigo's Taco Shop.
See all the ads all around this page and all over the website? That's what pays for this crap. Ads about work from home, shady online loans, etc. No one else would sponsor this crap.
Just wanted to add my two cents...with newspapers failing right and left you would think that the last thing a newspaper would do is insult what few readers they have left.
I didn't read the original article nor do I care about it, I just find it surprising that you would actually insult your customers.....oh well, one more paper failing is no biggie to me.
To Red-in-Phoenix:No, the worst part "dude" is your inability to take a joke. Just because they write one spoof a year does not mean any of their other stories or events are fake. New Times is still a quality paper in my opinion and everyone needs to laugh just a little.
I pose my quoted question to you "dude":You are a complete moron or only half of one?
Arpaio stories are not spoofs..and in regards to Norberg, one only need to look at the sworn statement by a female guard who was present during the murder, along with the fact that MCSO first claimed it was an accidental death.. then after the family hired a private coroner, who determined murder and used Norbergs crushed larynx as proof, MCSO demanded to be able to investigate and review this piece of evidence...which they later "lost"...Of course, the video of the 14 guards beating, tasing, and strangling him is pretty damning too..but i suppose all those pro joe people think that wasnt a crime..unfortunately, we tax payers paid for most of it though..By the way, that family donated the money they won in that lawsuit to charity..they did it to bring attention to it so people would really see whats happening, not financial gain. PS Bird, we cant go around accusing MJ of molesting kids because it wasnt proven in a court of law..much like we advocate for civil rights of the undocumented who get accused by the nativists of committing all the crime..it doesnt help the cause man, it seems a little hypocritcal at face value actually, you know...still love your work though man, keep it up!!
So dude, you're proud that tax payer money was wasted on an investigation about a bull shit animal abuse story, not to mention making a mockery of the death of a music icon? I have come to respect and for the most part trust much of what is written in The Phoenix New Times but this has brought me back to my former reality: 1) Don't have faith that the writers in New Times actually give a damn about their readers because clearly they don't! and 2) Don't make picking up a copy of the New Times on Thursday a priority because there is nothing newsworthy to read.
The worst part, dude, is you laughing at us all for caring about what you had written. What a slap in the face! It's time to tune out of the New Times for awhile.
The Jack-o story was funny. But the reader comments are what make it hysterical. Keep them coming you silly, uptight, unable to laugh troglodytes.
Well bigguy, as for the Arpaio stories being spoofs, here is a quick way to check, speak to Scott Norbergs family or do a public records request for his autopsy report. It's called fact checking, a little checking on the internet or papers or other public records are easy to do and as long as you do not take just one source (like internet sites quoting the same source/ copying the same source) as the gospel truth, then you can be sure of what is a spoof and what is not.
But for the corruptness that is the MCSO big wigs or big guts, that is ALL the TRUTH, ALL the TIME.
are your stories about joe arpaio spoofs as well? how about the restaurant reviews? how are we to know? it's time to put new times in the slot of weekly world news.... funny sometimes but completely made up.