richard barrett

Another Murdered White Supremacist With a Thing for Black Guys?

When we skimmed a headline about a white supremacist who might have propositioned a black man for sex before being killed, we thought we were reading some old news about South African stain Eugene Terre’blanche, who is posthumously being accused of sexually assaulting at least one of his two alleged killers. But no, this is a story about Richard Barrett, founder of the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement, who called homosexuality “the most detestable crime against nature,” and who police say was killed by his black neighbor. Who he tried to lay into?

The parallels between the two slayings are bizarre. Two murdered white supremacists. Multiple black suspects each. And both suspect and deceased engaged in an employer-employee relationship.

The suspect charged in Barrett’s murder is [Vincent McGee,] a 22-year-old African American ex-con with tattoos linking him to the Vice Lords gang. The Rankin County Sheriff’s Office also arrested 22-year-old Michael Dent, 38-year-old Vickie Dent and 42-year-old Alfred Lewis this morning, Rankin County Sheriff Ronnie Pennington said. The Dents are booked on charges of being accessories after the fact and arson; Lewis, who is murder suspect Vincent McGee’s stepfather, is charged with accessory after the fact. Barrett’s body had multiple stab wounds to the neck and blunt-force trauma to the head; 35 percent of his body had been burned, Pennington said.

McGee has confessed to the stabbing murder. And now, here comes the speculation:

As the leader of the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement, Barrett regularly railed against homosexuality, calling it “the most detestable crime against nature.” But in white supremacist circles, Barrett’s sexual orientation has been known by some. (His white supremacist publication, All the Way, regularly featured articles on young white men, including some photographed shirtless.)

[…] On Wednesday, Barrett hired McGee to do lawn work in Hinds County, and the two traveled together on the almost hourlong trip each way. (Barrett had an office near Learned, where he also had a firing range.) McGee’s 42-year-old stepfather, Alfred Lewis (one of three now charged as accessories after the fact), told Clarion-Ledger reporter Justin Fritscher that Barrett had hired McGee before when he was 17. Both times Barrett paid McGee poorly, Lewis said. This past time, he said, McGee expected received only $26 for six hours of work when he was expecting much more.

“Resolving a pay dispute by murder doesn’t require a sadistic attack that was perpetrated in this,” said Northeastern University professor Jack Levin, co-author of Overkill. Overkill has been reported in a number of killings where the victims were gay, he said. In Barrett’s killing, “the overkill indicates the perpetrator saw his relationship with the victim as something that stigmatized him,” Levin said. “There was no need to stab someone multiple times.” Levin has witnessed similar overkills in slayings of the disabled, he said. “The presence of the victim made the perpetrator feel inferior and vulnerable.”

Ugh. So we don’t actually know whether sex or propositioning of any sort took place?

[Clarion Ledger, Jerry Mitchell]