A woman serving a life sentence for a failed mass shooting plot in Halifax is alleged to have sent letters and art to an infamous neo-Nazi from prison calling for violence against “subhumans.”
According to neo-Nazi James Mason, Lindsay Souvannarath, 29, gifted Mason letters and drawings that he posted on a far-right blog known to VICE World News.
In the post, Mason, who penned the terrorism manual Siege in the 1980s that has since become sacrosanct in far-right terrorist circles, described Souvannarath as “quite the person of interest” who is “half Asian and half White” and the former girlfriend of another prominent neo-Nazi author.
But Mason distanced himself from her crimes (as he has with others connected to his teachings).
“She of course wasn’t able to carry out the attack and was caught prior and arrested by Canadian Police and later given a life sentence,” the blog reads. “These letters and art from Lindsay is not an endorsement of her actions.”
Jordan Bonaparte, the host of The Nighttime Podcast, spoke to Lindsay from prison recently for a eight-part true crime series he did on the failed shooting. Bonaparte told VICE World News that while he was investigating the shooting, Souvannarath sent him several drawings and works similar to the ones sent to Mason; they even shared the same signature.
“No question at all,” said Bonaparte. “It’s hers.”
In February 2015, Souvannarath and her co-conspirators James Gamble and Randall Shepherd had planned to shoot up a food court at a mall in Halifax using Molotov cocktails, a hunting rifle, and a shotgun. According to an agreed statement of facts, “their intention was to inflict as many casualties as their ammunition would allow.” But the RCMP, Canada’s federal police force, received an anonymous tip that the three were planning the mass killing at a Halifax mall and arrested them.
Gamble and Souvannarath, an online couple at the time, were the primary organizers of the plot and spoke so openly about their plan that they were thwarted by authorities. After flying to Halifax from the U.S. for the shooting, Souvannarath was arrested immediately upon touching down at the airport and Shepherd was arrested as he waited to pick her up. After a standoff with police, Gamble shot himself in the head, dying on the scene. In 2018, Souvannarath was sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole in 10 years, and Shepherd was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Souvannarath is no stranger to neo-Nazi ideology. She had spent time online in the influential Nazi forum Iron March and even purportedly had an online relationship with the founder Alexander Slavros. During her trial, it emerged she was hoping to kill people she deemed sub-human during the planned spree.
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The five handwritten pages attributed to Souvannarath were posted out of order on the blog and seem to belong to two distinct sets. One could best be described as an essay about the importance of the swastika. The other two pages, which go together but appear to be missing their beginning and conclusion, are about why violent action and hate crimes are needed. People who take part in violence are “superhumans,” the essay says.
“They are the ones who take action and display courage who are willing to fight and even die for the cause... They are the so-called ‘terrorists,’ the gunmen and perpetrators of hate crimes that sow fear in a society of subhumans.”
The drawings are done in a similar style to what was found on Souvannarath’s blogs and Deviant Art page. One depicts a man in a shirt with a skull associated with the defunct neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division holding a gun. In another, a woman is on the ground bleeding under the words “Time to Purge.”
Souvannarath had a dramatic online path into extremism which included her corresponding with Nazis on art pages, participating in a forum known for giving rise to the Atomwaffen Division, and being a part of a community that venerated the Columbine school shooters. It was in the Columbine group that she met Gamble, the man she would spark an online relationship with and plan the killings.
“Up until now it was easy to view her and (Gamble) as this laughable failure that was more a testament to attention-seeking than anything else,” said Bonaparte. “But now you got James Mason sharing her stuff, it just gives them an air of credibility.”
According to Bonaparte, a small community has formed around the failed plot (Bonaparte spoke to one of these super fans in a recent episode). He told VICE World News that having this small fandom and getting her work amplified by an influential neo-Nazi could be “exactly what she wants and what she wanted from the beginning.”
"There is this fandom that is honestly exactly what she was hoping for,” said Bonaparte. “It's like a micro-version of what she was willing to kill for.”