Walter Edward Stolper, a 72-year-old man living in a Miami Beach condo, was charged with arson, attempted a first-degree murder, possession of a destructive device, as well as the added plenty of a hate crime.(Ovalle) The description of what happen was that Mr. Stolper already had hatred to his neighboring residents who happen to be Jewish, the apartment complex has also been attempting to evict him. To which I believe set him off the edge, he began to plan to torch the building with everyone inside of it, in particularly the Jewish people in the building. Mr. Stolper began to buy gallons upon gallons of gasoline, electrical fans and as well as “buying padlocks to lock down the building’s fire hoses and ensure the place burnt to the ground with people inside.” (Iannelli). He started his plan to pour gasoline in the garbage chute that everyone uses in the building but could not execute it before a witness called the authorities to warn them about Mr. Stolper, when authorities arrived to see Mr. stolper he was caught in the act as they found him “inside the parking lot with two gasoline containers in a shopping cart. “The cops say they smelled a strong odor of gasoline.” The cops then checked the garbage chute and found eight more gas cans.” (Iannelli) While interviewing Mr. Stolper inside of his home, the officers obtain his storage locker where they found an additional 28 containers of gas and also recognized that his “apartment was filled with Nazi memorabilia and reading materials, including Adolf Hitler’s autobiography.” “Police also found a Hitler holiday mug, walls decorated with dreaded symbols and offensive images.” (Holly)
Mr. Stopler has formally been charged with a hate crime, as we know hate crimes are – “crimes motivated by bias due to the race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other group membership of the victim.” (Lantz) In the case of Mr. Stopler it was fairly easy for the authorities charge him with a hate crime, as multiple witnesses heard stopler say “he was going to burn down the building “with all of the fucking Jews.”” (Iannelli) and told another witness that he had a ‘“desire to “kill all Jews”’ (Iannelli). This isn’t the only reason why Mr. Stopler could have been charged with a hate crime, he also had an apartment full of Nazi memorabilia, that included a Hitler mug as well as Hitlers autobiography, with these items in his home alone could have made it known that he had an enormous amount of hate and intent to commit a serious hate crime against Jews.
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The typology from Levin and McDevitt’s offender motivation that I would use to categorize the crime Mr. Stolper would be Mission and slightly reactive. A mission crime is often when “Offenders seek to rid the world of a group that he or she sees as evil” and involves a heavy level of violence. (Lantz) This was quite easily the most fitting for Mr. Stopler as he was quoted by witnesses saying his desire to kill all Jewish people. He also acted alone and was sent to psychiatric mental institution to serve as his jail time before seeing a judge for his court date.
The other typology that could be fitting for Mr. Stopler but could be a stretch would be reactive. Although normally this typology doesn’t normally have hate group involvement, I picked this typology because of the incident of the condo trying to evict him and him- being a “Nazi” living around the people he supposedly hates the most may have “triggered an expression of anger” (Lantz) which may have caused him to go overboard.
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