A longtime white supremacist from the New York region has died in an apparent murder/suicide.
Jim Leshkevich, aka "Yankee Jim," strangled his wife to death and then hanged himself in their West Hurley, New York, home, according to New York State Police.
Authorities have determined that the deaths occurred sometime between the evening of February 18, 2008, and the early morning hours of February 19.
Leshkevich, 52, was the one-time leader of the local Hudson Valley chapter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, and later the local head of the (now defunct) National Vanguard, which splintered off from the Alliance in 2005. In recent years, Leshkevich has been active with his white supremacist online radio show "Free Talk Live" and Internet blog and solo organization, "The Hudson Valley Freeman." He also made frequent appearances on the online radio show of New Jersey white supremacist Hal Turner. Leshkevich had recently announced that he was unable to continue working on his radio show.
In 2005, Leshkevich helped instigate and organize a white supremacist rally outside of a Kingston, New York, high school with Hal Turner, after a fight occurred between African-American and white students.
It is believed that the murder/suicide stems from Leshkevich's belief that his 54-year-old wife Deborah was having an affair with another man. Leshkevich posted messages on his blog throughout the month of February, 2008, detailing his suspicions, and in his last posting, dated February 14, stated that his wife was going out of town and would be returning on February 18 or 19- the suspected time of the fatal incident. According to authorities, Leshkevich did leave a suicide note, but it has not been released to the public.
Authorities discovered the couple on the morning of February 19, after the wife's co-workers called police with concerns. An autopsy has revealed that Deborah Leshkevich suffered blunt-force trauma but that the ultimate cause of her death was strangulation.
The incident has provoked a firestorm of chatter on white supremacist online forums. Many of the postings declare that Jews have morally corrupted society, and are thus to blame for Leshkevich's wife's alleged affair, and call for immediate retaliation by murdering and torturing all Jews. Hal Turner's site has also been posting the name and purported contact information for the man alleged to have been involved with Deborah Leshkovich.