The first time The Boston Globe
wrote about Nathan Allen, it was a love story about his "perfectly executed" wedding proposal and a "marriage set against the backdrop of a killer pandemic
The Boston Globe wrote about him again on Sunday: Allen allegedly "executed" two Black people
in what was being investigated as a hate crime
, according to the Suffolk County district attorney
, before being gunned down by police
According to the Globe, “Allen died Saturday after exchanging gunfire with a Winthrop police sergeant who had responded to the chaotic scene, which unfolded in front of terrified residents, including children
The district attorney, Rachel Rollins, announced that investigators discovered “troubling white supremacist rhetoric” written by Allen. “This individual wrote about the superiority of the white race. About whites being ‘apex predators.’ He drew swastikas,” she said in a statement.
A law enforcement
source told Stardia that the messages were discovered in "notebooks," but declined to elaborate, and it is unclear where the notebooks were discovered.
The seaside Boston suburb of Winthrop has yet another makeshift memorial
for those killed in an alleged American hate crime, made up of flowers, candles, and photos
of the departed: Ramona Cooper, 60, an Air Force
veteran, and David Green
, 68, a retired Massachusetts
Yesterday, retired Massachusetts State Trooper David Green and Air Force Staff Sergeant Ramona Cooper were assassinated in Winthrop by a man who drew swastikas and handwrote messages about whites being superior and “apex predators.” pic.twitter.com/kBRt6Wmwtv — DA Rachael Rollins (@DARollins) June 28, 2021
Perpetrators of such heinous crimes now frequently leave evidence of their hatred online: racist
posts on social media
, trolling chats on Gab or 8chan, and possibly even a "manifesto."
Allen's digital footprint, on the other hand, appears apolitical and mundane: an Instagram
account full of pictures of his wife and their pet rabbit, Puff; a LinkedIn account describing a blossoming career as a physical
therapist; and a Facebook
account he used just one week ago to wish his wife a happy birthday.
Many of his Facebook friends
, many of whom had recently made posts celebrating Pride
or showing support for Black Lives Matter
, did not respond or declined to talk about Allen. One acquaintance, who knew him from Wareham High School
on the South Shore, remembered him as a "pretty normal kid" with a "very loving and sweet" family
Only the Globe was able to locate someone, a neighbor of Allen's, who described him as "a little off."
When a Globe reporter called Allen's apartment, "a woman answered a call from the building's lobby, but quickly hung up," according to the newspaper.
“This shooter was married and employed,” Rollins said in a statement. “He had a Ph.D. and no criminal history
. To all external sources, he likely appeared unassuming. And then, yesterday afternoon, he stole a box truck
, crashed it into another vehicle and a property, walked away from the wreckage interacting with multiple individuals, and choosing only to shoot and kill the two Black people he encourged.
In a press conference on Monday, Rollins stressed that Allen was "working alone" and that he was no longer a threat. He had a license to carry a firearm but had not been on law enforcement's radar prior to the attack
. "He had nothing in his background check," Rollins said.
The district attorney's office has so far kept the full contents of Allen's notebooks from the public, with perhaps the most unusual or idiosyncratic detail being Allen's description of white people as "apex predators."
Center researchers, a civil rights
organization that monitors extremists, informed Stardia this week that on the morning of the Winthrop shooting
, there was a mention of “apex predator” in a post in an influential far-right channel on Telegram, a messaging app popular with extremists.
The post, written by an anonymous administrator of the “Boogaloo Intel Drop” channel, expressed outrage at the recent sentencing
of Derek Chauvin
, the white former police officer who murdered George Floyd
last year, sparking a wave of anti-racist protests
across the country, to 23 years in prison
“Skip the BS and go buy ammo, get right with God, and learn to become the apex predator nonwhites used to fear and respect,” the user wrote.
Later that day, a few hours after Allen allegedly shot and killed Cooper and Green in Winthrop, an administrator for the “Boogaloo Intel Drop” channel announced that they would “no longer post anything to this channel, but it will be maintained for archive purposes.” It seemed a sudden and surprising announcement, given that the channel had been a fixture in the far-right ecosystem for some time, with The Inte
When reached for comment, an admin stated that the “Boogaloo Intel Drop channel” had been “banned on Google and IOS devices,” but that it would continue to “serve as a backup and archive for our other channel.”
The Western States Center's Stephen Piggott believes Allen may have made the "apex predator" post.
“If the shooter posted the message, it would point to a clear motive for the attack,” he explained to Stardia. “The message is essentially a call for white people to launch a race war; if the shooter was the author, the post can be read as a short-form manifesto.”
It's also possible that Allen was in the channel at the time and saw the post later that morning.
For the time being, there is no evidence linking Allen to the “apex predator” Telegram post. (The district attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment on whether the Telegram post was part of its investigation
.) Although the phrase has been used in neo-Nazi message boards before, it is not widely used.
The details of what drove Allen to steal a truck, crash it into a house
, and then kill two people will likely come to light as time passes, but for now, his alleged hate crime is the latest in a horrifying string of far-right murders in America. Since 2015, there have been 267 plots or attacks by far-right extremists in America, resulting in 91 deaths, according to a Washington
Cooper, an Air Force veteran, worked at the local Veterans
Affairs office and was described by her son as a “caring and selfless” woman.
Green, the retired state trooper, whose neighbor described him as "sweet and kind" to Boston 25 News, reportedly spent his final moments running to the scene where the truck crashed into the house, wanting to help.