- Category : 1978-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/1 - Opportunistic / Investigator
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : JX Innocence
American homicide; a member of the World Church of the Creator, an Illinois-based white supremacist church that is one of the fastest-growing hate groups in the world in 1999. The church called Ben Smith "a martyr of the white race" when he went on a murderous shooting spree over the 4th of July weekend, gunning for blacks and Jews.
On 6/26 and 6/29/1999, Smith bought two guns from a dealer, planning a weekend rampage against Jews, black and Asian-Americans, a frenzy that left two dead and nine injured in Illinois and Indiana. With a shaven head and "Sabbath Breaker" tattooed on his chest, Smith had a minor arrest record for petty crimes.
The oldest of three kids of a doctor and a real estate broker, he grew up in a tree-lined enclave of clean-cut lawns and luxury sedans. His classmates remember him as a quiet, intelligent student who made little impression. He had few friends. He wrote that "my racial awakening began in the eighth grade" and while in college, formed an organization called "Odin Saves Ministry" in October 1997. He had a few run-ins with Campus police when charged with inappropriate touching of two women and with the possession of knives in his college room along with a stash of marijuana. He carried a false driver's license with the name Erwin Rommel, Hitler's field marshal. A former girlfriend broke off the relationship as he spouted racism and abused her. He left the school just before being expelled.
Smith took a construction job that summer and in June 1998, joined the World Church of the Creator. He was named creator of the year when he single-handedly distributed 35,000 copies of the church manifesto. He wrote letters to the local papers, speaking of white power. He was living with Christine Weiss, 20, married but separated from her husband.
On Friday, 7/02/99 Smith began his shooting spree. In West Rogers Park, a predominantly Jewish area, he fired from a car and wounded six Orthodox Jews. He then continued cruising until he spotted and killed former Northwestern University coach Ricky Byrdsong, a black man, as he jogged with his kids not far from his home. He also fired shots at two Asian Americans in a car in Northbrook. More shootings followed in local counties. On Saturday a black man was injured by gunshot and two more black men reported gunshots. A black minister was injured outside his Decatur church. On Sunday, an Asian student was injured and another Asian man was shot to death outside the Korean church of Bloomington, IN. Shortly after 9:00 PM on Sunday, police began a low-speed pursuit of the van that Smith had carjacked at gunpoint. The chase ended near Salem, IL when the van went into a ditch and flew up an embankment and police apprehended Smith, covered with blood. He had three self-inflicted gunshot wounds and died shortly after at the local hospital.