Cold-Blooded Streak

Investigators in Washington and Arizona probing the Shawna Forde Minutemen murders (see "Lethally Blonde," SW, July 15, 2009) now appear to have uncovered a serial-killer's trail of bodies leading from Chelan County to the Mexican border. Court documents show that Jason "Gunny" Bush, Forde's alleged partner in a West Coast robbery and homicide spree, is suspected of five likely race-related murders and an attempted murder. Forde, of Everett, and Bush, of Wenatchee, are currently in an Arizona jail with a third member of her rebel Minutemen band, charged with the first-degree murders of a Mexican man and his daughter and the attempted murder of the man's wife May 30 in Arivaca, Ariz. A onetime Everett City Council candidate, beauty-school protest leader, and Seattle prostitute, Forde is accused of masterminding the slayings to finance her border-watch group and grow it into a Blackwater-like organization, running mercenary missions south of the border. According to court papers, Bush is also suspected in the 1997 slayings of a homeless Wenatchee man (knifed on the streets) and a teenager from East Wenatchee (shot in the back and head). Information in those two slayings came to police from a reliable informant, they say. Another informant told them Bush had killed a third person in the Wenatchee area. "This informant has also known Bush for several years," says Wenatchee PD Sgt. John Kruse. "This informant stated that Bush bragged to him/her of killing three different people in Wenatchee." No further details were revealed. Bush is accused of being the lead gunman in the three Arivaca shootings. All his targets were Mexicans, as was the homeless man in Wenatchee. The teen was white, but an informant told police Bush said he killed the teen because he was a Latino sympathizer and "a traitor to his race." The six suspected or attempted murders occurred over a 12-year period, but Bush spent a good stretch of that in prison. Kruse reports that Bush—who has a record of assault and suspected arson—went to prison for felony theft and firearm violations in 1998 until his 2003 release, when he relocated to the Hayden Lake, Idaho, area. "I have learned that Bush has long-standing ties to Aryan Nation groups," says Kruse. This same Bush was allegedly the sideman for Forde—who professed to be interested only in nonviolently protecting the border with Mexico. But as Forde's half-brother Merrill Metzger told SW, "She had a habit of lying."

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