White Supremacist Found Guilty in Tacoma Murder

  • June 10, 2004


A white supremacist convicted for his role in the brutal killing of a homeless man in Tacoma, Washington, will serve a term of life in prison for the crime.

Kurtis William Monschke, 20, an avowed white supremacist with admitted links to the white supremacist group Volksfront, was sentenced on June 4, 2004, in Pierce County Superior Court after a jury found him guilty of aggravated first-degree murder for his involvement in the murder of Randall Mark Townsend.

According to prosecutors, Monschke and three other white supremacists were looking for African-American drug addicts to beat up as part of a gang initiation when they encountered Townsend.   

The four assailants attacked Townsend with baseball bats, a boulder, and their fists and boots during the assault. Townsend, 42, died of injuries that he sustained in the assault. Prosecutors were able to prove to the jury that Monschke not only took part in the murder, but also directed the assault. 

Two expert witnesses from the Anti-Defamation League testified in the case, providing background on white supremacist groups and their behavior.  The jury concluded that the group carried out the attack in order to advance their status as white supremacists.

During the trial, Monschke testified about his connections with Volksfront, for which he attempted to establish a Washington chapter.  Prior to his arrest, Monschke had posted material on Volksfront's Web sites under his own name and under the pseudonym "Sharpshooter."  Monschke's personal Web page spoke of a "brand new white power movement in Washington for white pride activism and cultural awareness."

Monschke's accomplices, Scotty James Butters, 20, David Nikos Pillatos, 19, and Tristian Lynn Frye, 22, were initially charged with first-degree aggravated murder, but later pleaded guilty to reduced charges and testified against Monschke.  During their testimony, each claimed that Monschke had beaten Townsend.