Officers with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office arrested eight men and women following the murder of an Oklahoma woman on November 9, 2008.
Investigators believe that the five men and three women arrested are members of the Sons of Dixie Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a loosely organized group run by Raymond "Chuck" Foster, 44, of Bogalusa.
The Sons of Dixie was a small Klan group based in the Bogalusa area. Though it seems to have existed since 2006, it has had few connections with other white supremacist groups and engaged in little public activity. The key figure in the group was Foster, who had had previous Klan associations over the years. All other members of the group were considerably younger than Foster.
Foster and his sons used the social networking site Myspace to meet other people of like mind, both locally and further afield. They established a "white pride" discussion group in 2006 to attract would-be white supremacists. By the time of the murder, the on-line discussion group had grown to 28 members—including several from Oklahoma.
According to authorities the victim met group members over the Internet and traveled to Louisiana to be initiated into the Sons of Dixie. She was allegedly then supposed to return to Oklahoma to recruit new members. During the initiation ceremony, however, the victim reportedly wanted to leave, an argument ensued, and Foster allegedly fatally shot her in the head with a .40 caliber handgun.
Police say after the shooting the rest of the group tried to conceal the crime by setting fire to the campsite and the victim's belongings. The group then reportedly dumped her body several miles away in a canal where it was discovered the next day.
The investigation began early on November 10, after a clerk at a nearby store contacted police to report that two men, later identified as Frank Stafford and Shane Foster, had entered the store and allegedly asked how to remove bloodstains from their clothing.
After investigating the men at the store, law enforcement officials tracked down the other suspects, who were hiding in the woods.
Investigators later retrieved numerous weapons, six Klan robes, and several Klan flags from the campsite.
Raymond Foster was charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bond.
The seven others arrested are Raymond Foster's son Shane, 20, Frank Stafford, 21, Timothy Michael Watkins, 30, Alicia M. Watkins, 23, Andrew Yates, 20, Random Hines, 27, and Danielle Jones, 23. Each has been charged with obstruction of justice and is being held on $500,000 bond at the St. Tammany Parish jail.
Raymond Foster reportedly has a lengthy criminal history, including a prior conviction for manslaughter.