The Other McCain

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‘Special Needs’: Autistic Neo-Nazi Killers

Posted on | August 20, 2019 | Comments Off on ‘Special Needs’: Autistic Neo-Nazi Killers


The first thing you need to know about Nicholas Giampa — besides the fact that he murdered two people — is that he had been diagnosed with autism, depression and a social anxiety disorder, according to his mother. From an early age, Giampa was “troubled,” and was a target of bullying. He attended five different schools during an eight-year period and by 2016, was enrolled at The Dominion School, a private school in Springfield, Virginia, for teenagers with “special needs.” His mother, Marilyn Breedlove Giampa, explained:

Nicholas had no friends and was badly bullied.
“We tried to make up for the fact that he had no friends,” Marilyn said, with trips to Guam and the Grand Canyon, golf and saxophone lessons but nothing could make up for his isolation. Nicholas’ mother noticed a hardening in him.
As a teen, Nicholas called himself a “freak” and “retarded,” falling into very long, dark depressions. “You only love me because you have to,” Nicholas once said to his mother. “How does it get to a point where a person says their mother doesn’t like them?” Marilyn said.
Then, in the summer of 2016, Nicholas was charged with a crime in juvenile court. The case files were sealed but as a result of the charges, he was on probation and was banned from using the internet. But his legal troubles faded into the background as the summer came around with good news: Nicholas had a girlfriend.

(“Good news”? Not for the parents of his girlfriend.)

Marilyn would describe what followed as an “awakening.” The 2 teenagers spent all the time they could together, going on trips to the beach and to amusement parks. This was unknown and wonderful territory for the formerly isolated teen but Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, the mother of Nicholas’ girlfriend, noticed some troubling signs.
“Almost on day one of them dating this summer [my daughter] told me that Nicholas is very good at history and she said, ‘Did you know that the Jews are partly to blame for WWII?’ “ Buckley wrote in email to a school administrator. “I thought it was a mistake and corrected her. Little did I know it is Nicholas’ obsession.”

Nicholas Giampa was a teenage neo-Nazi, an obsession he cultivated via the Internet, where he apparently became a fanboy of a notorious terrorist cult known as the Atomwaffen Division (more about that later). Giampa was the autistic Romeo and his girlfriend, Amelia Fricker, was the special needs Juliet, whose progressive parents were horrified when they discovered Nazi Nick’s obsession with Hitler:

Apparently Nicholas was violating his court order and was sneaking onto the internet where he was taking in and spreading vitriolic ideas. His twitter account had a ghoulish, skeletal Nazi as its avatar and he used it to push hatred against Jews, gays, and other minorities. . . .
In addition to Nicholas’ apparent Nazi obsession, he was having troubles at school. In an email written in mid-September, a school administrator wrote that Nicholas was struggling with his mental health issues, failing several classes, and was being “consumed” by problems his girlfriend was having.
“I think we have a potential Romeo and Juliet situation that we need to be alert to,” the administrator wrote. “These two kids are in my estimation — high risk — for any number of things.” Nicholas’ girlfriend’s mother Buckley thought the same thing, so she called Nicholas up to do something about it.
“I know you’ve been coming in my house,” she said, referring to Nicholas’ sneaking over to see the girl. “Don’t see her again.” Nicholas was devastated. “I’ve given up on trying to be happy,” he wrote in a journal. “Everything I care about leaves or is taken away.” His mental state was rapidly deteriorating.

To make a long story short, two days before Christmas 2017, Nicholas Giampa murdered Amelia’s parents with a pistol, then turned the gun on himself, attempting suicide. Giampa survived the self-inflicted gunshot to his head, although his brain injury was such that a judge ruled him incompetent to stand trial. This story has become part of a liberal media narrative about “white supremacist terrorism,” and the deaths of Amelia Fricker’s parents have been added to a body count total that is being blamed on President Trump. However, even if you condemn Trump as a “white supremacist,” it should be obvious that he doesn’t advocate teenage boys murdering their girlfriends’ parents, a crime that had more to do with Giampa’s psychiatric issues than with any political ideology.

Having employed my habitual sarcasm in regard to the “alt-right” terrorist menace (“Feminist Mom: ‘Memes Are Turning Teenage Boys Into White Supremacists!’”), I do not wish it to be said that cynical ridicule was my only reaction to what is, in fact, a real problem. But as with the case of El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius (“very much a loner,” “the nerdy quiet kid” who was “picked on” in school), the case of Nicholas Giampa shows how a certain type of young white male seems to be particularly vulnerable to recruitment by online extremists. And this is not an accident: The neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer has described its target audience as “the ADHD demographic.” Emotionally disturbed young loners — “misfits,” to use the term Eric Hoffer applied to them in The True Believer — are always looking for something that will give them a sense of belonging. And it so happens that the guy who founded The Atomwaffen Division fit the same profile:

In elementary school [Brandon Russell] had been diagnosed with ADHD, and later suffered from depression, which he tried to mask with clownish behavior and off-color humor. “He’d make stupid jokes he saw on 4chan, kind of memes in real life, which isn’t a good social tactic,” recalls a friend who met Brandon through a University of South Florida engineering club. . . .
Online, Brandon adopted a new and more heroic identity. He called himself “Odin,” after the warrior god of Norse mythology. . . . “Odin will ‘sperg out one day,” predicted one online friend. “He’s a ticking time bomb.”

If you don’t recognize the term “sperg out,” it’s a reference to Asperger Syndrome, i.e., borderline autism. The idea that someone “on the spectrum” might be at risk of committing deadly violence — “a ticking time bomb” — would be denounced by liberals as unfairly stigmatizing such people, yet liberals do not hesitate to stigmatize white males generally (e.g., “CNN Panelist: ‘The Greatest Terrorist Threat in This Country Is White Men’”). Nevertheless, the fact is that these killers fit a certain profile, with mental issues that make them particularly vulnerable to online recruitment into a neo-Nazi worldview, in much the same way as vulnerable teenage girls are being recruited into transgenderism.

When liberals claim that “white supremacy” is a major terrorism threat, they rely on statistics in which the parents of Nicholas Giampa’s girlfriend are counted as victims, even though Giampa’s motive for killing them was obviously personal, rather than political. And other feats of prestidigitation are used to exaggerate the terrorist menace for which liberals wish to blame Trump. Consider how a 2018 article by the Southern Poverty Law Center, “The Alt-Right is Killing People,” includes not only Giampa’s crime, but also the 2014 murder spree by Elliot Rodger (who was half-Malaysian and angry because he couldn’t get laid) and the 2015 massacre in Roseburg, Oregon, committed by a half-black 26-year-old virgin with Asperger Syndrome. Whatever else might be said about those two cases, they cannot reasonably be blamed on Trump or any ideology Trump is supposed to represent.

There is a real problem, in other words, but the liberal obsession with “white supremacy” — which the New York Times has decided will replace “Russian collusion” as their anti-Trump focus — is a distraction from the problem: Young men like Nicholas Giampa whose psychiatric issues make them vulnerable to online radicalization.



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