You don't have to do much digging to work out where Wade Michael Page stood on the political spectrum. His Nazi tattoos, skinhead haircut, and penchant for posing beneath swastika flags while singing racist rock songs made that pretty clear.
Page, who was raised in Colorado, forged links with the far-right during a spell in the US Army, which he joined in 1992, rising to the position of Sergeant in a “psychological operations” unit stationed in Texas and North Carolina.
One former colleague today recalled him talking of securing a “homeland for white people.” Another told how he’d criticised a fellow recruit for pursuing a romantic relationship with a Latino woman.
Page left the army with a “less than honourable” discharge in 1998 after being demoted to Specialist, reportedly for drinking and going AWOL.
While still in the Army, he’d served a 60-day jail term for “criminal mischief.” After leaving, he was imprisoned for 90 days in Colorado, for drink-driving. In recent years, he’d been hired and fired by a succession of employers, one of which discovered an application form for the Ku Klux Klan on his desk.
He had few friends and maintained only sporadic contact with his family. Laura Page, Wade’s stepmother, told reporters that he’d been a normal, “precious child,” and that relatives are saddened and mystified at the circumstances of his death. "Where he changed and where this came from, we have no idea,” she said.
- More about:
- North Carolina
- South America