Oklahoma Woman Killed At Klan Ritual

Tuesday, November 11th 2008, 7:37 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

COVINGTON, LA -- A woman from the Tulsa-area is dead after a Ku Klux Klan initiation.  She was shot to death when she tried to leave the ritual.  It happened in a remote part of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, about 60 miles north of New Orleans.

It is a bizarre case.  Investigators say the woman from Tulsa, once surrounded by Klan members in south Louisiana, wanted out and that led to her murder.

Investigators say a woman from Tulsa, whose name hasn't been released, was taken to a remote campsite along a river in rural Louisiana for a Ku Klux Klan initiation.

"It is a situation that almost defies logic when you think you've seen it all, things like this occur.  But, this was a case where in the woods, in some sordid ritual event, that things went terribly wrong," said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain says the woman was shot and killed Sunday and her body was dumped along a bridge after a fight started when she wanted out.

"He turned to walk away and she got up and began to again persist that she be brought back to Bogalusa and he quickly, we believe at that point, turned and shot her once," said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.

Investigators say the woman from Tulsa was recruited over the Internet to come from Oklahoma for the KKK initiation.  Her job was to return back to Oklahoma to recruit others.

"The IQ level of this group is not impressive, to be kind," said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.

People who live in the area are stunned the KKK is still active and violent.

"I figured maybe in the 70's, 80's they was real serious about it, but yeah that does surprise the hell out of me, you know," said one resident.

"That's too close to home. I'm watching my girls a little closer and my wife, too, you know," said another.

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The faction's leader, 44-year-old Raymond Foster was booked into jail on a complaint of second-degree murder.  Seven others, Shane Foster, 20; Random Hines, 27; Danielle Jones, 23; Frank Stafford, 21; Alicia M. Watkins, 23; Timothy Michael Watkins, 30; and Andrew Yates, 20, were booked into jail on complaints of obstruction of justice for burning the victim's belongings and trying to clean up the crime scene.

"This individual, to not only murder someone in cold blood like that, but to enlist the help of your son or sons to cover your crime again show how heinous this individual was," said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain.

The sheriff says they have multiple confessions.

The News On 6 did some checking with the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.  They say the Klan has several chapters in Oklahoma, including Shawnee, Cement, Hinton, Moyers, Atoka and Coalgate.  There are also other hate groups in Tulsa, Bixby, Muskogee, and Oklahoma City.