News

The Career Criminal Squad Scores Again, Putting the Boot to Phoenix's Contingent of the Vinlanders Social Club

Page 2 of 3

"Approximately two weeks after the homicide," reads the statement, "the victim was visited at his residence by two known [Vinlanders Social Club] gang members David Fecke-Stoudt and Gabor Huszar . . . The victim was told to make sure no one was talking, or the Vinlanders would deal with them. The victim believed this meant death to him or anyone who spoke of this."

Stoudt has been charged with two felony counts of hindering prosecution and one felony count of assisting a criminal street gang. He's also in 4th Avenue, on a $150,000 cash bond.

Huszar, once a bouncer at a local strip club, is now in the Pima County Jail on a $150,000 bond. The Hungarian citizen is charged in Pima County on another matter, but he's also been indicted in Maricopa County with a felony count of assisting a criminal street gang.

One other alleged Vinlander snagged is Charles "Whitey" Mullen, an ex-con who's naturally prohibited from possessing firearms. He was arrested with three pistols in his residence and a stash of marijuana in his freezer.

Mullen reportedly has a picture of Nazi Rudolf Hess tattooed on the side of his torso, and one of Adolf Hitler on his head. Talk about cognitive dissonance. Hitler wanted Hess executed if he ever came into German hands after his flight to England in 1941.

Anyone familiar with the Vinlanders' reputation will not be surprised by the violence associated with them. In 2008, the organization's co-founder, Eric "The Butcher" Fairburn, pleaded guilty to felony battery in the beating of a homeless black man in Indianapolis as a crowd of witnesses looked on.

You can read more about Fairburn and the Vinlanders in a piece on the Southern Poverty Law Center's Web site, penned in part by ex-New Times scribe David Holthouse.

Interestingly, Fairburn, 36, recently turned himself in to police in Springfield, Missouri, and confessed to the six-year-old murder of William McDaniel. A former guitarist for the skinhead band RAHOWA (neo-Nazi shorthand for "Racial Holy War"), Fairburn once had a tattoo of the word "MURDER" across the front of his neck. He's since changed it to a laurel-leaf tattoo.

Likely, Fairburn didn't find Jesus, but rather knew something big was happening with the arrests of Aaron Schmidt and others. Perhaps he's trying to curry favor with authorities. Missouri news station KY3 News reported that cops there believe the murder of McDaniel was in retaliation for McDaniel running over a friend of Fairburn's, who later died of his injuries.

VSC violence is not confined to minorities or non-white supremacists. In 2006, at a "Nordic Fest" held in Kentucky, enraged, drunken Vinlanders attacked a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement who had delivered an insult in his speech to the crowd; he'd said that the NSM is more than a social club that likes to drink a lot.

As soon as the NSM-er left the stage, the Vinlanders jumped him, mercilessly kicking and punching him in front of his spouse and their 10-year-old child.

Though the group is strongest in Midwestern states such as Indiana and Ohio, the Vinlanders also operate in several other states, including this one. They assert an ideology of "modern tribalism" and adhere to a set of neo-pagan beliefs known as Asatru and Odinism.

Despite some claims to the contrary, they are openly racist.

According to the SPLC, Vindlanders Social Club co-founder Brien James once stomped a man nearly to death for not doing the Hitler salute at a party. The SPLC quotes him as saying, "I have been tried for attempted murder and multiple batteries and hate crimes . . . My JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force] file is a mile long."

Cretins following James' lead will no longer be wilding in Arizona under the Vinlanders' banner because of the work of CCS detectives.

The CCS, dedicated to fighting street-level organized crime and murder-for-hire cases, has been directly responsible for securing convictions against racist lowlifes like Chad Kerns, convicted for his part in two brutal skinhead attacks in 2007. One involved the stabbing of a black man outside a Walgreens. The other, a beating of a Hispanic man at the Phoenix bar Rogue West.

Kerns is doing 10 years in a state pen.

The CCS also pursues crimes involving non-white supremacists, like the murder-for-hire case involving Cigar Warehouse owner Dimitri Rozenman, convicted this year of conspiracy to commit murder. He'd contracted to have his wife and members of her family offed. The CCS stepped in, and scored Rozenman's arrest before anything untoward occurred.

Despite these detectives' tirelessness, dedication, and effectiveness, the CCS was on the budget chopping block back in April, mostly because of internal PPD politics. Fortunately, Phoenix City Manager David Cavazos prevented the disbanding of the unit at the last minute.

You see, budget cuts offer excellent cover to get rid of a squad that inspires petty jealousies in PPD higher-ups, honchos who want all the glory flowing in their direction.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons