Report Traces Temple Shooter's History
The Southern Poverty Law Center says Wade Michael Page's time at Fort Bragg drove him deep into neo-Nazi ways.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that had tracked Wade Michael Page well before he opened fire at the Oak Creek Sikh temple, has released a report chronicling Page's life in the years leading up to the Aug. 5 attack.
The report details Page's time at Fort Bragg, which it says "served as the home base for a brazen cadre of white supremacist soldiers."
That exposure, according to the report, drove him deeper into neo-Nazi ways. After he was discharged from the Army in 1998 for refusing treatment for alcoholism, the white-power music scene "became the center of his life."
In October 2011, he became a full member of the Hammerskin Nation, described in the report as one of the most violent and dominant skinhead groups in the United States.
That was about the time he moved to the Milwaukee area because of a girlfriend, Misty Cook, who worked just down the street from the temple at the Prime Table Family Restaurant. The relationship ended in June, Page stopped showing up to his job in mid-July, and on Aug. 5 he entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and killed six members and wounded four others before turning the gun on himself.
Interestingly, a criminologist who interviewed Page numerous times from 2001-03 said Page was "mellow" compared to others in the white supremacist culture and was shocked to find out he was the temple gunman, according to the report.
The SPLC report comes a week after the FBI issued a statement announcing the end of the investigation into the Aug. 5 attack. The FBI concluded Page acted alone, but a specific motive will likely never be known.