It was Nicholas Giampa’s Twitter account that finally sent his girlfriend’s mother, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, over the edge.
According to multiple outlets, Kuhn-Fricker had found Nicholas’ tweets on her daughter’s phone: They were anti-Semitic and transphobic, hailed Adolf Hitler as a hero and advocated for white revolution. Kuhn-Fricker alerted the principal of the high school that her daughter and Nicholas attended, warning the administrator of the violent account, according to the Washington Post.
She also staged an intervention with her daughter, seemingly convincing her to break up with the 17-year-old boy. Days later, Nicholas would kill her and her husband, Scott Fricker, in their home in Reston, Va., according to police.
Now HuffPost has revealed the Twitter account Nicholas reportedly used, providing stark details about the nature of his beliefs and inspirations. The Twitter handle, @doctorpepper35, under the name Kevin Gallo, has since been suspended, but the HuffPost article contains several screenshot captures from the account.
Almost three months before the murders, the teenager from Lorton, Va., praised a book called Siege, an obscure, ominous work written by James Mason, a neo-Nazi devotee of Charles Manson. The 1992 book, republished last year by hyperviolent white nationalist sect Atomwaffen Division, is essentially a call to “Helter Skelter” racist insurrection. Giampa also retweeted an endorsement of The Turner Diaries, William Luther Pierce’s infamous white nationalist novel about race war, often found on the bookshelf of American domestic terrorists.
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Nicholas saved the worst attacks for Jews, Muslims and members of the LGTBQ community:
“I’ve already talked 1 tranny into suicide and I’m working on another 2 😳,” he bragged. Then he posted a rainbow lynching image, encouraging gay and transgender people to commit suicide. “#transrightsarehumanrights is an oxymoron because trannies aren’t ‘people,’” Giampa tweeted that day.
A white Europe without Jewish or Muslim individuals “sounds like heaven,” Giampa tweeted on Nov. 11. The next day, he tweeted “The jews are everyone’s enemy.”
He tweeted in support of nationalist marchers in Poland seeking to rid the country of Muslims and Jews. “Muslims and jews are incapable of assimilating and a threat to their culture,” he wrote.
As HuffPost shows, leading up to the double murder, Nicholas openly identified as a Nazi, retweeted pro-Hitler memes, and called for various neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups to come together as part of a “white revolution.”
His social media track record is disturbing, but in a way that has become increasingly familiar.
This is the part of the HuffPost report that has me messed up:
“I apologize for all the unhappiness for everyone. I am sincerely sorry,” said one of Giampa’s family members, who broke into tears on the phone. “In the end, we need one more gun law. Any address, anywhere, that has mental illness, there cannot be guns.”
Let me first say this: Nicholas and his girlfriend did go to a private high school for students with special needs, according to HuffPost. The nature and extent of his mental or behavioral issues is still largely unknown.
But it’s dangerous and irresponsible to isolate Nicholas’ “mental illness” as the reason for the cold-blooded murder he’s accused of—not when he publicly and loudly voiced his desire to exterminate entire groups of people.
This is a young man who mowed a 40-foot swastika into a community field in his neighborhood. A young man whose mother, who reportedly voiced support for Confederate generals and monuments on her Facebook page, took her son to a gun range to fire a submachine gun. A young man who unabashedly praised murderers and dictators and called for race wars.
There are some psychiatrists who believe that “extreme racism” is, in fact, a mental illness. But to blame mental illness for gun violence is just incorrect: As CNN reports, studies have shown that “the vast majority of people with severe mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression, are no more likely to be violent than anyone else.”
In fact, people suffering from severe mental illness are 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime.
Which is what makes the quote from Nicholas’ family member so appalling, even as a part of me understands the desire to protect a loved one by branding him a tragic example of mental illness gone unchecked. It preserves, to some degree, his innocence.
The problem is that this desire obscures who Nicholas really is, who he proclaimed himself over and over to be. And an unwillingness to see that—to listen when the monster tells you his name—all but guarantees that more of the same will continue.
Read more at HuffPost.