Jun 12, 2009

Holocaust museum shooter had shocking beliefs

The man who murdered a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum shocked acquaintances with his hateful views.

Shown here is a more recent photo of von Brunn than accompanies most stories of the museum shooting.

The anger of James Wenneker von Brunn was too big for the quiet civility of the small town on Maryland's Eastern Shore where he made his home for much of the past three decades.

The venom that seethed within him spilled over time and again, shocking the people of Easton who bore witness.

They were shocked once more at news of Wednesday's fatal shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, but not at word that the alleged gunman was the 88-year-old white supremacist who once lived in their midst.

One acquaintance said, "Was he capable of this? Yes! Our intuition that he was creepy, that he might go postal, all came back to us when we heard the news."

Mr. von Brunn was a former Navy officer who commanded a PT boat in the Pacific in the last weeks of World War II.

A 1943 graduate of Washington University in his home town of St. Louis, he bounced from one address to another on the Eastern Shore.

He worked in the mortgage and real estate businesses, peddled his paintings of Western landscapes and shared with all who would listen his hatred for blacks and Jews.

More of the story here.