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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Hayden’s ‘big man in hate’ knew alleged shooter

A man described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "big man in hate" resurfaced yesterday when an acquaintance who stayed at his Hayden home stormed the National Holocaust Museum and killed a security guard.

Before avowed white supremacist James W. von Brunn, 88, was known nationally for the horrific crime, he was a house guest at Stan Hess's place on quiet Cardinal Avenue in a Hayden subdivision.

Read a story on that here.

What struck me about my conversation with Hess (right) yesterday was his consistency.

What he said Wednesday matched what he'd said in conversations we had when I was the schools reporter in North Idaho: he hates guns and wants to create change for the racist movement through civic action, not violence. However, it should be noted that a national hate watch group has documentation of Hess being arrested at an anti-immigration rally in California for burning a Mexican flag.

Hess lost a bid for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees in fall 2006, then signed up for the school paper as a student in a story you can read here. He quit when the staff prohibited him from calling illegal immigrants "illegal aliens." Read a story on that here. The story on his candidacy is available here.

He resurfaced in May 2007 as a candidate for the Coeur d'Alene School Board, running against police spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood. Read an article on his candidacy that includes an endorsement from white supremacist David Duke here.

Hess lost the race by a considerable margin, and no one heard much from him until von Brunn's arrest.

Hess said he was the Kroc Center Wednesday when he learned of the shooting but didn't realize he knew the alleged shooter until a TV station showed up at his house.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.