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Tuesday, July 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

Who is bomb suspect Kevin Harpham?

Kevin William  Harpham, 36, of Colville, appears before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, in this illustration.  Harpham is facing charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device. (MOLLY QUINN mollyq@spokesman.com)
Kevin William Harpham, 36, of Colville, appears before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, in this illustration. Harpham is facing charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device. (MOLLY QUINN mollyq@spokesman.com)

He grew up in rural Eastern Washington, played football in high school and worked at a fast-food restaurant as a teen.

 Childhood friends remember him as quiet and normal – far from the angry racist that Kevin William Harpham portrayed himself as in more than 1,000 posts on a hate-themed message board for white supremacists.

But acquaintances later in life recall an eerie loner who unabashedly disparaged other ethnicities and seemed to have big plans. 

A former neighbor in East Wenatchee said Harpham, now accused of attempting to bomb a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Spokane, once laughed at the idea of transporting black people to a desert island and blowing them up.

“I think Kevin was serious,” said Jill Truax. “My son just told me flat out, ‘I think he’s some white supremacist person … think he has an artillery in there.’

“It was like he on a mission or something,” Truax said.

Read my full story here.

Past coverage:

March 10: White supremacist arrested in MLK bomb plot

March 11: MLK bomb suspect wrote on race wars  



Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.