As part of covering Arizona’s anti-immigration politics, we’ve reported on former Republican State Senator Russell Pearce and his sometime friend, Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. Now police in Arizona say Ready shot and killed four people in his extended family yesterday, and then killed himself.
No one has covered the story of the relationship between Senator Pearce and border vigilante Ready more closely than Stephen Lemon of the Phoenix New Times. Lemons’ post today offers a terrific history, going back years. It’s also a reminder that sometimes a scary extremist is not just goofy and strange. Sometimes, he really is scary. Lemons writes of Ready:
He could play the clown, but always menacingly… .
As Ready was a creative, inveterate liar, it was difficult to tear fantasy from reality when speaking with him. He once told me, on background, that he was half-Jewish on his mother’s side. With a straight face, I might add. Needless to say, he could be very convincing.
He always prided himself on once being a Marine, though in reality he had been drummed out of the service after getting court-martialed twice. He was intelligent and wily, and I was always on my guard around him.