this day in crime history: august 25, 1967

A Mauser C96 pistol similar to the one used to kill George Lincoln Rockwell in 1967.
A Mauser C96 pistol similar to the one used to kill George Lincoln Rockwell in 1967.

On this date in 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell, founder and head of the American Nazi Party, was shot and killed while leaving a shopping center parking lot in Arlington, VA. John Patler, 29, a former member of Rockwell’s organization was arrested at a bus stop half a mile from the scene of the crime. He had discarded the gun in a nearby creek. Patler had been expelled by the Nazis several months earlier. He was tried and convicted of the murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was paroled in 1975.

Further reading:

BBC – ‘American Hitler’ shot dead

Wikipedia – George Lincoln Rockwell

The Free Lance Star: December 16, 1967 – Patler Convicted, Faces 20 Years

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9 thoughts on “this day in crime history: august 25, 1967

  1. John D.:
    I saw a History channel program about the Nazis in America, and Rockwell was one crazy sum’bitch!
    How “fitting” it was that he was killed by such an iconic pistol from the Fatherland.

    I thought there was a level of IRONY attached to the fact that his parents (former Vaudevillians) knew people like Benny Goodman, Jack Benny, and Groucho Marx.
    Damn shame…when he was young, he was headed on the right path…he just went a little TOO FAR TO THE RIGHT (and off the cliff).

    Even MORE interesting is how “light” a sentence (somewhat commuted) that Patler received.
    Guess the justice system (back then) thought he did America a social service.
    🙂

    Good story.

    Roll safe out there.

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  2. There was a rumor that Rockwell was part Jewish.
    And Patler should have gotten 20 years just for throwing a Mauser Broomhandle into a creek! He obviously had no appreciation for fine machinery.

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    • Not sure if there was any truth to that, but his parents certainly ran in circles that were more ethnically diverse than he would have been comfortable with.

      Agree on the gun. If Patler had had half a brain, he’d have used a cheap Saturday Night Special, like any self respecting crook. 😉

      Like

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