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Antisemitic incidents United States

Blaze Bernstein murder suspect belonged to Neo-Nazi group

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Borrego Park, Cabriole, CA – The man accused of murdering University of Pennsylvania sophomore Blaze Bernstein, 19, in California an active member of a neo-Nazi group.

Samuel Woodward, 20, has been charged with the murder of Bernstein, who was stabbed to death earlier this month while visiting his parents in Southern California over winter break.

Social media posts made by Woodward depicting neo-Nazi ideas surfaced after Bernstein’s death.

But ProPublica has now received confirmation from three people close to Woodward that he was active in a neo-Nazi organization called Atomwaffen Division. The name translates to ‘Nuclear Weapons Division’.

Bernstein, who prosecutors say was stabbed more than 20 times by Woodward and then buried in a shallow grave, was Jewish and openly gay.

Woodward told police that Bernstein tried to kiss him in Borrego park, where Bernstein was later found dead, the night of the murder. The two went to high school together.

Prosecutors are looking into the possibility that the murder was a hate crime.