Murder charges have proved to be just the beginning for David Joseph Pedersen… (Everett Police Department )
SEATTLE — A federal grand jury has indicted a Portland, Ore., couple in a white supremacist conspiracy that allegedly led the pair on a trail of kidnapping, robbery, theft and murder across the Pacific Northwest.
The indictment unveiled Friday builds substantially on the state murder charges already pressed in the killing of David Pedersen’s father and stepmother in Everett, Wash. It also traces the couple's alleged 10-day crime spree through Washington, Oregon and Northern California in what one of them has been quoted as describing as a campaign to “kill more Jews.”
“The indictment in this case alleges horrendous crimes were committed as part of defendants’ white supremacist campaign to kidnap and murder targets on the basis of race, color, religion and perceived ‘degenerate’ conduct,” Amanda Marshall, U.S. attorney for the district of Oregon, said in a statement.
“These crimes victimize not only individuals and their families, but entire communities.”
Pedersen, 32, already had pleaded guilty and faces life in prison for the Everett murders. His girlfriend, Holly Ann Grigsby, 25, is awaiting trial on those charges.
Federal authorities said the new indictment targets the initial murders and also subsequent crimes the couple is believed to have committed after leaving Everett. It alleges that the couple engaged in a white supremacist conspiracy to “purify and preserve the white race” and “reclaim our country” through acts of murder based on race, color and religion.
Their targets were Jewish leaders, members of prominent Jewish organizations and other “Zionists,” the indictment alleges, with murder victims being considered “casualties of war.”
“This indictment includes a lot of other conduct beyond the murders in Washington that [Pedersen] has been sentenced on,” Jane Shoemaker, assistant U.S. attorney in Portland, told the Los Angeles Times.
Officials have said that Pedersen targeted his father, David “Red” Pedersen, in the belief that he had years earlier molested his sister, and his stepmother, Leslie Pedersen because the suspect believed she knew about it but did nothing.
Pedersen also pleaded guilty in March to killing Cody Myers, 19, of Lafayette, Ore., who the couple believed had a “Jewish sounding” last name, and Reginald Alan Clark, 53, of Eureka, Calif., a black man.
The federal indictment alleges that Pedersen and Grigsby used the media — to whom they communicated in letters and interviews — in an attempt to publicize their movement and spark a revolution. It charges them with robbing victims in order to finance the criminal enterprise.
“I don't believe it did a whole lot, killing a child molester and a Negro. It is not going to accomplish what I want it to, but maybe it ignites a spark in somebody's eyes ... that this world will carry on what we have started,” Grigsby said after their arrest in an interview with the Marysville, Calif., Appeal-Democrat.
Grigsby is scheduled to be arraigned Monday before a federal magistrate in Seattle. Pedersen is to be arraigned in Portland at a time not yet set.