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Hal Turner

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Hal Turner

Hal Turner
Born Harold Charles Turner
(1962-03-15) March 15, 1962
Jersey City, New Jersey
Occupation Radio host

Harold Charles "Hal" Turner (born March 15, 1962) is an American white nationalist, Holocaust denier[1] and blogger from North Bergen, New Jersey. In August 2010, he was convicted for making threats against three federal judges with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to Turner's arrest, his radio program, The Hal Turner Show, was a webcast from his home once a week.

Early life

Turner was born in Jersey City and raised in Ridgefield Park. Prior to working in radio, Turner worked as a driver and a salesman.[2]

Early career

Identifying himself as "Hal from North Bergen", Turner became notable in American conservative circles as a frequent caller to and supporter of WABC radio talk show hosts Bob Grant and Sean Hannity.[3] Turner parlayed this fame into a role as the northern New Jersey coordinator for Patrick J. Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign.

Turner claims he established a friendship with Sean Hannity,[3] on whose radio program he had once been a frequent presence.[4] In 2008, while Hannity and Malik Zulu Shabazz of the New Black Panther Party were debating Barack Obama's association with Jeremiah Wright, Shabazz asked Hannity if he should "be judged by (his) promotion and association with Hal Turner". Hannity began to say that he didn't know Turner, but then said he was someone he had banned from his radio program ten years before. Turner subsequently gave an account of their association on his website, in which he said of Hannity's response: "I was quite disappointed when Sean Hannity at first tried to say he didn't know me. In fact, Sean does know me and we were quite friendly a few years ago."[5][6] Phil Boyce, Program Director of WABC, disputed the account, which described a friendship developing between Turner and Hannity in 1993, three years before Hannity was actually hired at WABC.[7]

Turner became a talk radio host, joining fellow regular callers Frank from Queens and John from Staten Island to start the program The Right Perspective. Turner left the program in 2002, citing artistic differences. In 2002, Turner became a solo host, purchasing a time slot on shortwave radio station WBCQ, over which he broadcast for approximately four years. On WBCQ on March 22, 2004 he left the show "after harshly criticizing his supporters, listeners, and WBCQ."[8] The show lacked financial support,[9] the owner of the station Allan Weiner was Jewish, and Turner had health problems,[10] leading to the temporary closure of his website and show.

Activism and assault claims

In the 2000 US congress election, Turner sought the Republican Party nomination for election to the United States Congress from New Jersey's 13th congressional district. He earned 18.6% of the vote, losing to Theresa de Leon.[11][12] Turner has identified himself as the "Chairman of the Republican Party of Hudson County, NJ Corp," a group which has no connection to the official Hudson County Republican Party recognized by the state and national party. According to news reports, Hudson County Republican officials have stated that Turner's party is a "paper corporation with little or no membership".[13]

In response to an October 7, 2005, [16] When the rally occurred on November 19, 2005, Turner and the National Vanguard attracted approximately 50 demonstrators, compared to the 100 counter-demonstrators.[17] Turner called for the attacker to be charged with a hate crime, but the case resulted in the perpetrator being indicted as an adult with two felony counts: assault and attempted assault instead.[18][19]

On April 12, 2006, Turner had a physical altercation with Jaime Vazquez, a former Jersey City Deputy Mayor and a member of the Jersey City Council, who was the Jersey City Commissioner of Veterans Affairs at the time. The North Bergen Reporter quoted Turner as saying "(t)he illegal immigrants are breaking the law, and people like me should break the law as well by shooting them down." In response, Vazquez picketed with a sign reading "Hal Turner — shoot me! Racists and bigots like you are cowards."[20] Vazquez suffered a back injury and a fractured wrist. Turner and Vazquez later filed criminal charges against each other. On July 16, 2006 North Bergen Municipal Court Judge Joseph Romano found both men to be equally credible and thus neither criminally liable.[21]

Broadcasting and website issues

In 2002, Turner started broadcasting, but quit the show in July 2008[22] and resumed in April 2009 as Turner Radio Network. In August 2008 his website also closed down, though he retained a blog, it was shut down by his host, Google's Blogger, for violations of terms of service.[23]

Origin of China Eminent Domain Hoax

In February 2009, Turner posted an article to his blog entitled: "FEDS GRANT EMINENT DOMAIN AS COLLATERAL TO CHINA FOR U.S. DEBTS!" claiming that a secret agreement had been made to allow China to physically take U.S. land, in the event of a U.S. default.[24] The story then went viral and was posted across the internet, including most conspiracy and extremist right-wing sites and forums.[25]

Anonymous website raid

Turner claimed that in December 2006 and January 2007 individuals who identified themselves as the group "Anonymous" took Turner's website offline, costing him thousands of dollars in bandwidth bills. On January 19, 2007 Turner sued 4chan, eBaum's World, 7chan, Abjects IRC network, and other websites for copyright infringement.[26] On January 22, 2007 he lost his plea for an injunction.[26] In February 2007 4chan responded to the lawsuit.[26] In April 2007, the judge asked the parties to submit information to schedule proceedings.[26] However, Turner failed to respond and mail from the court to Turner was returned as "Undeliverable".[26] The judge dismissed the case in December 2007.[26]

FBI Informant

Turner was a paid FBI informant for several years, supplying information about right-wing groups to federal agents.[27] The original allegations that Turner acted as an informant for the FBI surfaced in 2008 after unidentified hackers claimed on Turner's website's forums that they had read email correspondence between him and an FBI agent, apparently his handler.[28] This led to a discussion on a neo-Nazi website on January 10, 2008, in which Turner revealed he was quitting political work, was ending his radio show and that he was separating "from the 'pro-White' movement".[28] The FBI has declined to comment on the matter.[28] The Southern Poverty Law Center[29] and the Anti-Defamation League reported on the emails that "a neo-Nazi Website had posted material reportedly found by the hackers, including alleged exchanges between himself and law enforcement agents which indicated that Turner had been providing information to them."[30]

On July 28, 2009 in a Chicago courtroom, Turner's defense lawyer said that Turner worked as a paid informant for the FBI.[31] In December 2009, The Record published an investigative report on Turner's "complex" relationship with the FBI and Federal US Marshal Service, noting that all parties broke off contact at several points.[32]

Turner's information led to the arrests of the Hutaree militia, with Turner's FBI handler serving as the prosecution's witness.[33]

Michael A. Orozco, Turner's lawyer said, "I don't think he was a racist. He was doing a lot of those things at the behest of the FBI.”[34]

Threats against judges and political figures

Turner has a history of making threats against various public figures.[35] In 2005, Turner publicized the names of three federal court judges who handled lawsuits involving Matt Hale, a white supremacist convicted of soliciting the murder of a federal judge.[36] Turner posted the judges' names and addresses on his Web site.[36][37]

On December 6, 2006, Turner announced on his website:

"We may have to ASSASSINATE some of the people you elect on Nov. 7! This could be your LAST ELECTION CHANCE, to save this Republic... Sorry to have to be so blunt, but the country is in mortal danger from our present government and our liberty is already near dead because of this government. If you are too stupid to turn things around with your vote, there are people out here like me who are willing to turn things around with guns, force and violence. We hope our method does not become necessary."[38]

Since the announcement was made, Turner has had difficulties finding a host for his website. He alleged that his website has been the target of denial of service attacks, and subsequently filed a pro se lawsuit.[39][40][41]

On April 4, 2008, Turner encouraged violence against Lexington, Massachusetts school superintendent Paul Ash for establishing a new curriculum supporting gays and lesbians. On his website, he stated:
"I advocate parents using FORCE AND VIOLENCE against Superintendent Paul B. Ash as a method of defending the health and safety of school children presently being endangered through his politically-correct indoctrination into deadly, disease-ridden sodomite lifestyles."[42]
He went on to provide Ash's personal information, including his address.[42] Fourteen months later, on June 2, 2009, Turner posted on his blog
"Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty. A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions."
The next day Turner posted information on how to find Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Joseph Bauer.[43]

Arrests, trials and conviction

On June 3, 2009, Turner was arrested in New Jersey and charged with inciting injury to two politicians in Connecticut and a state ethics official.[44][45] The warrant issued was for inciting his website's readers to "take up arms" against the officials.[46] Two weeks later, Turner was re-arrested on June 24, 2009 at his New Jersey home for making threats against the judges of the United States Court of Appeals in Chicago.[47] When he was arrested, FBI officials seized 200 rounds of ammunition as well as three handguns and one shotgun. In federal case, Turner was denied bail.[48][49]

On June 30, 2009, the website for Turner's blog was shut down and replaced with a notice stating that the site has been taken down by Turner's family, directing interested parties to a blog for the Family of Hal Turner, with entries by his mother.[50]

United States v. Turner

On July 28, 2009 in the case of United States v. Turner in Chicago, Turner pleaded not guilty to threatening to kill three federal appellate judges there and then sought his release from custody, saying he had been an informant for the FBI.[51] The judge gave Turner ten days "to produce concrete evidence of Turner's help to the FBI or federal marshals."[51] On August 11, Turner was denied bail again. The judge cited the fact that Turner, from his prison cell, recorded and posted on the internet a telephone conversation that included the names of his arresting FBI agents. The judge said that Turner's act "tells me something about the disposition of Mr. Turner."[52]

His lawyer said the defense would use "Turner's background as an FBI informant" and argue that he was "trained by the FBI" as "an agent provocateur" to incite people."[53][54] In late October 2009 Turner was freed on $500,000 bond, and was ordered not to use a computer or any device that can access the Internet.[55] His trial started on November 30, 2009 and ended on December 4, 2009, with the defense opting not to call any witnesses.[56] After two hours of deliberation, the jury announced it was deadlocked.[57] Three days later the judge declared a mistrial, and a retrial was set for March 1, 2010.[58] This second trial, overseen by Western District of Louisiana judge Donald Walter, was moved from the Northern District of Illinois to the Eastern District of New York: since the prosecution was to call the three judges to the stand, the defense felt that Turner would not get a fair hearing if the trial was conducted in the same city where the judges worked.[59] A mistrial was declared on March 10.[60]

In August 2010, his third trial began and on August 31, after three days of testimony, the jury found Turner guilty.[61][62] On 21 December 2010, he was sentenced to 33 months in prison. Upon completion of his sentence, he will be barred from participating in Internet or satellite radio programming for three years.[62][63] In his sentencing memorandum, U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald made the following comment:

"For years, Turner has engaged in a campaign of intimidation against public officials and private citizens alike. Even Turner’s arrest in this case failed to deter him. Turner continued his tactics by using intimidation against a key witness in the government’s case against him. All the while, Turner has displayed defiance and no regret for his actions. Turner remains utterly incapable of acknowledging the genuine fear experienced by his innumerable victims – that is, except when he is the victim of a perceived threat. Turner has committed a serious crime, engaged in witness intimidation, lied repeatedly under oath, and has shown no regret whatsoever." [64]

After his conviction Turner was incarcerated in the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn,[65] and was moved to his current location in May 2011 at Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute.[66] In May, he sent letters to The Jersey Journal saying he is one of 38 people housed in Communication Management Unit in the prison Terre Haute with terrorists, like John Walker Lindh, and fears for his life once fellow prisoners find out he was a government informant.[66][67] According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he was incarcerated in Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute with a projected release date of October 3, 2012.[68] Since his incarceration in 2010, Turner declared bankruptcy and his wife filed for divorce.[69]

In August 2011, Turner filed an appeal for his conviction, which claims the government "failed to substantiate the charge" and asked to be released pending the appeal.[70] In June 2012, Turner was released from prison in Terre Haute and reported to a halfway house in Newark to serve the remainder while he appeals his sentence.[71] On October 9, 2012 he was released from custody.[34]

Connecticut v. Turner

In July 2009 the Connecticut case was handed to a division of the state court that handles more serious matters.[72] In early February 2011, Turner appeared in a Hartford court for the Connecticut v. Turner pre-trial hearing on three counts of inciting injuries to persons.[73] The three felony counts Turner is facing each carry one to 10 years in prison.[74]

In late February 2011, the federal government reported that e-mails "show it appears Turner plans to pursue judicial and law-enforcement officials after he’s released from prison." On February 2, Turner wrote "when I get out, I’m gonna go after some ‘problems’ and take care of them in a manner that will be horrific."[75]

On March 25, 2011, Turner appeared in Hartford asking the court to be allowed to change his attorney, telling the judge, "I have no confidence in his ability to defend me."[76] The judge reluctantly allowed him to change his private attorney for a public defender citing Turner's unusually bad year.[76] On April 7, with a public defender at his side, Turner pled not guilty and the case will go to trial.[77]

In July 2011, Turner's public defender asked for the case to be dismissed saying Turner's statements are free speech and that Connecticut courts don't have jurisdiction because his threats were made in New Jersey.[78] Prosecutor Thomas Garcia responded that Turner himself wrote that his intent behind the writing was to "foment direct action" against the lawmakers "personally."[74]

In September 2011, Turner asked Judge Carl J. Schuman for permission to represent himself after disagreeing with his public defender, John Stawicki, about defense strategy.[79] Judge Schuman agreed, but Stawicki remained as stand-by counsel.[79] That same week jury selection began.[80]

On September 16, 2011 after three hours of deliberation he was found not guilty of "felony inciting injury to people and misdemeanor threatening."[81] After hugging his family, Turner was "escorted back into custody" to continue serving his sentence in the federal case.[82]


  1. ^ "Official records from international Red Cross prove "holocaust" was fraud". 4 June 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-07. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ 40 to Watch: Leaders of the Radical Right - Harold C. Turner
  3. ^ a b Max Blumenthal (2005-06-03). "Hannity's Soul-Mate of Hate". The Nation. 
  4. ^ Max Blumenthal (2005-06-03). "Hannity's Soul-Mate of Hate (page 2)". The Nation. 
  5. ^ Hal Turner (2008-03-23). "About Sean Hannity and Me". Retrieved 2012-04-27. 
  6. ^ Jason Linkins (2008-03-23). "Sean Hannity Confronted Over His Relationship With Neo-Nazi Hal Turner". The Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ Ellen (2008-03-23). "Neo Nazi/White Supremacist Hal Turner Confirms Friendship And Kinship With Sean Hannity". News Hounds. 
  8. ^ "Annotated WBCQ Program Guide". WBCQ. 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  9. ^ Stopped broadcasting on March 22, 2004 from WBCQ
  10. ^ Turner was in the hospital a number of times in 2003 and 2004 (dead link)
  11. ^ "Congressional Races". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  12. ^ "Official List Candidate Returns for House of Representatives For June 2000 Primary Election". New Jersey Secretary of State. 17 April 2008. p. 14. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  13. ^ GET NJ - Hudson County Hate Monger Hal Turner Faces Purple Heart Veteran Jaime Vazquez in Court
  14. ^ Woodstock Times: "Turning our backs in unity Kingston falls into line behind mayor's call to SPURN white supremacist rally"
  15. ^ a b "Supremacist vows KHS rally".  
  16. ^ Smart, Paul (2005-11-18). "Turning our backs in unity Kingston falls into line behind mayor's call to SPURN white supremacist rally".  
  17. ^ "Hal Turner, White Supremacists Exploit Tensions in Kingston, NY".  
  18. ^ Fairchild, Mary (December 14, 2005). "KHS teen indicted for assault, not hate crime".  
  19. ^ Kirby, Paul (2005). "Supremacist vows KHS rally".  
  20. ^ The Hudson Reporter - No charges in case of ex-councilman v. white supremacistNorth Bergen judge rules Turner, Vazquez not guilty
  21. ^ Hague, Jim (July 16, 2006). "No charges in case of ex-councilman v. white supremacist".  
  22. ^ "Racist Radio, Newspaper Close Up Shops".  
  23. ^ "Right-Wing Blogger Hal Turner Surrenders To Capitol Police".  
  24. ^ "Hal Turner Show". Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  25. ^ "the story appears only in the blog of former radio host Hal Turner ... and in hundreds of identical Internet replications""Snopes: Feds Grant China Eminent Domain".  
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Harold C. "Hal" Turner v.". Justia. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  27. ^ "North Bergen blogger accused of threatening federal judges is held without bail".  
  28. ^ a b c Potok, Mark. "FBI's Use of Neo-Nazi Informant Knocked".  
  29. ^ Mock, Brentin; Potoc, Mark. "Virginia Developer is USA’s Loudest Neo-Nazi".  
  30. ^ "Hal Turner Claims to Leave Movement After Accusations of Being an Informant".  
  31. ^ "Radio host denies threatening federal judges".  
  32. ^ "Records show feds used ultra-right radio host for years".  
  33. ^ "Defense in Hutaree militia trial asks for a mistrial".  
  34. ^ a b "Shock jock Neo-Nazi walks free".  
  35. ^ "Hal Turner and His Supporters Threaten Officials and Other Targets of Their Hate".  
  36. ^ a b "White Supremacist Radio Host Urges Bombings, Assassinations".  
  37. ^ Haunted by Threats, U.S. Judge Finds New Horror New York Times March 2, 2005
  38. ^ 'Assassination' schedule announced for Congress: Radio-show host says leaders won't be allowed to 'betray' nation WorldNetDaily, December 6, 2006
  39. ^ Official show blog
  40. ^ Dallas Morning News. Hate-talk radio host down in mouth. February 6, 2007
  41. ^ Hal Turner's blog (defunct as of 11-07-07)
  42. ^ a b Lexington superintendent threatened by radio host - Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News
  43. ^ "Blogger Threatened to Murder Judges, Feds Say".  
  44. ^ Altimari, Daniela (2009-06-04). "Radio Host Hal Turner Charged With Inciting Injury To Two Connecticut Lawmakers". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  45. ^ Dixon, Ken (2009-06-04). "N.J. man charged in threats against legislators". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  46. ^ "Police: N.J. blogger called for attack on police". Associated Press. 2009-06-03. Retrieved 2009-06-04. 
  47. ^ "Blogger arrested in threats on federal judges". Chicago Tribune. June 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  48. ^ "200 rounds of ammo, hollow-point bullets seized from hate blogger Turner's home".  
  49. ^ "Turner denied bail and judge says: Next stop, Chicago".  
  50. ^ "Family of Hal Turner".  
  51. ^ a b "Lawyer: Man accused of judge threat was FBI source". Associated Press. July 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  52. ^ "Man accused of threatening judges was a paid informant for the FBI".  
  53. ^ "Blogger arrested in threats on federal judges".  
  54. ^ Kathleen Bergin (2009-11-24). "Upcoming trials test the boundary between 'true threats' and hyperbolic on-line speech". Archived from the original on 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2009-12-02. 
  55. ^ "Hate blogger Hal Turner is free on $500G bond but cannot access the internet".  
  56. ^ "Both sides rest in trial of North Jersey shock jock".  
  57. ^ "Jury deadlocked in case of North Bergen shock jock Hal Turner".  
  58. ^ "Mistrial in Case of Hate Blogger Charged With Judge Threats". Wired. Dec 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-15. 
  59. ^ Marek, Lynne (February 25, 2010). "7th Circuit judges may testify in retrial over Web threats".  
  60. ^ Sulzberger, A. G. (2010-03-10). "Internet Radio Host's Case Ends in Mistrial". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  61. ^ "Jury finds shock jock Hal Turner guilty of threatening judges".  
  62. ^ a b "Local shock jock sentenced to almost three years in prison", Year in Review: The Hudson Reporter, December 26, 2010, page 13
  63. ^ "Shock jock Hal Turner gets 33-month prison sentence". Dec 21, 2010. 
  64. ^ "Government's Sentencing Memorandum: United States of America vs Harold Turner, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 09 CR 650". 
  65. ^ United States of America vs Harold Turner, Government's Sentencing Memorandum 2010
  66. ^ a b "North Bergen shock jock Hal Turner says he is a terrorist target in federal lock-up". May 18, 2011. 
  67. ^ "Was the government right to assign Hal Turner to a prison unit with notorious terrorists?".  
  68. ^ "Inmate Locator".  
  69. ^ "Blogger In Court On Threatening Charges".  
  70. ^ "North Bergen shock jock Turner appeals conviction for threatening judges".  
  71. ^ "North Bergen shock jock Hal Turner headed to Newark halfway house".  
  72. ^ "NJ blogger's violence case in Conn. continued".  
  73. ^ "North Bergen "shock jock" Hal Turner in Connecticut tomorrow for hearing on charges he encouraged violence against lawmakers". The Jersey Journal. February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  74. ^ a b "Blogger wants Conn. 'take up arms' charges tossed".  
  75. ^ "U.S. Wants to Destroy Convicted Blogger Hal Turner’s Guns".  
  76. ^ a b "Blogger In Court On Threatening Charges".  
  77. ^ "Blogger charged with encouraging violence against Conn. lawmakers is taking his case to trial".  
  78. ^ "North Bergen hate blogger Hal Turner set to argue case in Connecticut should be dismissed on free speech grounds".  
  79. ^ a b "Blogger Who Allegedly Incited People To Injure Officials Will Act As Own Lawyer".  
  80. ^ "Jury Being Chosen in 'Take up Arms' Blogger Trial".  
  81. ^ "North Bergen blogger wins acquittal on Connecticut charges".  
  82. ^ "Jury Gets Case Of Blogger Charged With Threatening State Lawmakers".  

External links

  • (defunct) archived at
  • Blog with updates on his status
  • Max Blumenthal: "Max Blumenthal Probes Hannity's History With Talk Radio's 'Angry White Men' -- and Fanning the Flames of Racial Politics"The Nation'sFollow-up interview with
  • Anti-Defamation League: "Turner in his own words"
  • Southern Poverty Law Center: "The Host of Hate: Harold C. Turner"
  • Government's Sentencing Memorandum: United States of America vs Harold Turner
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