Accessibility links


In Alleged 'Manifesto,' Accused Church Shooter Details Hate

This undated photo taken from on June 20, 2015, allegedly shows Dylann Roof burning a U.S. flag. The site is no longer in operation.

This undated photo taken from on June 20, 2015, allegedly shows Dylann Roof burning a U.S. flag. The site is no longer in operation.

He called himself the "Last Rhodesian," a self-declared "white nationalist" who sympathized with apartheid-era southern Africa, and the antebellum period in the United States, when slavery thrived.

In dozens of photos posted to a now-defunct website believed to belong to Dylann Roof, the accused killer of nine people in a South Carolina church stares at the camera intently, smiling slightly only while posing for a picture in front of the Museum and Library of Confederate History.

In one image, the 21-year-old holds up a U.S. flag, flames licking at the red, white and blue. In another, he carries a Confederate flag, the symbol of the southern states during the country's civil war.

Roof is alone in every frame. Sometimes, he holds a gun.

"Segregation was not a bad thing. It was a defensive measure," reads a nearly 2,500-word manifesto on the site. It said segregation "existed to protect us from them... Not only did it protect us from having to interact with them, and from being physically harmed by them, but it protected us from being brought down to their level."

The hatred in the essay is largely directed at one group - the black community.

The writer laments a perceived inaction by white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

"We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the Internet," the manifesto reads. "Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me."

The Associated Press reported that the FBI was investigating the website. Online sleuthing by Twitter users @EMQuangel and @HenryKrinkIe brought the site registered under Roof's name to the media's attention on Saturday.

The writing and photos are reportedly from before the shooting. It was created in February, according to an online registration document.

Roof sat with a prayer group at the historically black church Emanuel AME Church in the southeastern city of Charleston last Wednesday night for an hour, before raising a gun and killing nine people because of their skin color, according to police.

Arrested on Thursday, Roof faces nine counts of murder. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley told NBC News she "absolutely" wanted the accused killed to face the death penalty.

"This is the worst hate that I’ve seen and that the country has seen in a long time," she said.

Federal officials are investigating the case alongside Charleston police to assess whether hate crime charges can be brought against Roof.

"The coward who murdered nine parishioners in a church set a new and depraved standard of inhumanity," Cornell William Brooks, head of the NAACP, said after Roof's arrest. "We, as Americans, by our resolve, determination, and commitment, through our faith, will set an infinitely higher standard of humanity."

Show comments