Summer of Terror

Summary

The Summer of Terror Occured in 1999. Two white supremacist brothers (Benjamin and James Williams) burned down 3 synagogues, killed gay couple, and set fire to an abortion clinic. On June 18, 1999, the 3 synagogues Congregation B'nai Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, and Knesset Israel Torah Center where burned down by the brothers. Weeks later the brothers murder a couple (Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder) in the the couples Happy Valley home. A day later the brothers burn down Country Club Medical center, which housed an abortion clinic.

How it Helped

Evidence found was, a black pry bar,wrecking bar jumpsuit, paint, animal hairs, and feathers.

Paint on the blade of the Black Pry bar in the Williams’ vehicle was

similar to the door from the medical clinic.

Glass on the black wrecking barfrom the Williams’

vehicle was similar to the glass from a broken

window at B’Nai Israel.

Dog hairs and feathers on the mouth of the oil jugs and rags tied to

the oil jugs were similar to animals at the brothers residence.

This and more helped link the brothers to the crimes which ultimately lead to a guilty plea.

Evidence

Daubert Ruling

Daubert's ruling was established in 1993 under the case of Daubert vs. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. It relates to expert testimony and how the judge should determine the validity of the expert witness. There are five guidelines which a judge can use to help guide their decision: 1. Has the technique been tested? 2. Has it been subjected to peer review and publication? 3. What is its known or potential error rate? 4. Are standards controlling the technique in place and maintained? 5. Is it generally accepted in the relevant scientific community? While not a rubric that must be followed to the 't,' Daubert's ruling provides a good starting point to consider when faced with expert testimony.

Synagogues

On the night of June 18, 1999, the brothers destroyed the library and damaged the sanctuary at the B’Nai Israel Synagogue in Sacramento, California. The burn attempt of B’Nai Israel Synagogue was incomplete. Within the next 45 minutes, fires were set at two other synagogues, Beth Shalom and Kennesset Israel. The fires caused over $1 million in damage.

Murders

On the evening of July 1, 1999, Gary Matson and Winfred Mauder were murdered by the brothers in bed while they where asleep. They died in the town of Happy Valley. Gary and Winfred were an openly gay couple. Their vehicle and some credit cards were also stolen during the commission of the homicide.

Clinic Burning

On the evening of July 2, 1999 a clinic (Country Club Medical Center) that

preformed abortions in Sacramento was burned by the brothers. Originally, arson

investigators thought that the owner of the building may have set the fire in order to

collect insurance money. Initially, this arson was not linked to the synagogue arsons until later in the investigation.