Massachusetts White Supremacists Charged with Murder of Homeless Men

  • September 7, 2007


Following a two year investigation, police in Hingham, Massachusetts, arrested two alleged white supremacists for the April 2005 murders and mutilation of two homeless men.

Eric Jeremy Snow, 25, and James Scott Winquist, 23, were arrested on August 31, 2007, and charged with murder after law enforcement listened to recorded phone conversations between the two men allegedly discussing the killings.

The two men reportedly met while inmates in 2003.  Two years later, in April 2005, a few days after Snow was released, Snow and Winquist allegedly threw a flare into a tent in Bare Cove Park in which two homeless men, William Chrapan, 44, and David Lyons, 46, were living.  Someone inside the tent shouted an obscenity at the men, at which point Snow and Winquist allegedly left to retrieve baseball bats.

The bodies of Chrapan and Lyons were found on May 9, 2005, in an abandoned military bunker outside the park. Autopsies determined that both men died of severe head trauma.

For years Winquist allegedly displayed a large Nazi flag in his mother’s basement where he lived, and has "I Hate You" and Nazi "SS" bolts tattooed on his forearm.  According to authorities, the two men identify themselves as founders of their own small white supremacist gang, “Brothers of Blood” or “Brotherhood of Blood.”

According to the police report, a witness reported seeing Snow and Winquist putting bats and their clothes into garbage bags while allegedly claiming to have “beat up some bums up the street." The witness then claims to have driven the men to the home of Snow's mother, where they buried the severed right hand of victim Chrapan.  According to the witness, Snow and Winquist later dug up the hand, brought it to a party in Hingham to show off as evidence of their crime, then reburied it.  In July 2005, the witness assisted police in finding the buried hand near Snow’s mother’s yard.

Attendees at the party to which the men allegedly brought the hand claim that Snow and Winquist told partygoers that the hand belonged to a homeless man they had killed, and allegedly went on to imitate the “gurgling” death sounds of the homeless men, as well as the “crunching” sounds of breaking their skulls with their bats, and the men begging them to stop.

Both Snow and Winquist have lengthy criminal records and have been in and out of jail both before and after the killings. Snow has convictions for various crimes, including assaults, in Plymouth, Fall River, Taunton, and Quincy. According to court records, Winquist was first in trouble with the law at age 8, then at 12, and was convicted at age 17 for threatening a neighbor with an axe. He is currently facing charges that include statutory rape, and trying to hit a bicyclist in Wompatuck State Park in April while driving drunk.

Both men pleaded not guilty on September 5 and were ordered held without bail until their next court date in October.  They face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

The homeless are a common target of attacks by racist skinheads and white supremacists, primarily because they are vulnerable and usually defenseless targets.  In the past two decades, racist skinheads have murdered at least 13 homeless people, and have attempted to murder at least five more.