The alleged killer of a California college student posted disturbing messages and images on social media in support of white supremacy and neo-Nazis, the New York Post reports.
In one image obtained by the newspaper, originally on iFunny, Samuel Woodward is seen pretending to crush someone’s skull, an apparent nod to the “curb stomp” scene from the film “American History X” about a skinhead.
The Post reports that Woodward posted the material on a now-deleted iFunny account with the username “Saboteur.” Another user uploaded the photo again and claimed that it was taken around 2005.
Woodward, 20, is accused of murdering 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein, a University of Pennsylvania pre-med student. The two went to high school together.
Bernstein was found Jan. 9 in a shallow grave close to Borrego Park in Foothills Ranch, California, dead from 20 stab wounds.
Reports of a motive so far focus on a sworn statement by Woodward that he became enraged when Bernstein attempted to kiss him; Woodward allegedly wanted to call Bernstein “a fag***.”
Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that the killing was a hate crime.
The Post interviewed one source who said the account handle Saboteur “was one hundred percent a White Nationalist from his comments that I personally saw.”
Over the course of multiple years, Saboteur posted images of himself and a former teacher. The Post confirmed the identity of Woodward in those images from multiple iFunny users.
One photo was accompanied by sexually graphic and racist text in which Woodward posed with a young female teacher, who appeared to be Middle Eastern or Indian.
“I would vigorously bone the living hell out of my English teacher, like holy f***k. I don’t care if it’s miscegenation, That babe would be pregnant as f***k year after year, around the clock, acting as a hub of genetic imperialism and giving life to half arab Saboteur-offspring to further my conquest and aims,” the text read.
Woodward would routinely espouse white nationalist and Nazi ideas during discussion on the app, a source told the Post.
“Anti-Semitism and homophobia were certainly aspects of his ideology,” another source said of Woodward.
The iFunny app, which allows users to share photos, videos and memes, was not the only place where Woodward allegedly expressed his views. He also posted rants in the “iPolitics” group, according to the Post.
“Sam was a radical National Socialist,” one source told the newspaper. “He dedicated his account to radical nationalist movements throughout history and worked towards spreading his ideology.”
The writings became more and more disturbing, the source says.
Woodward “went from a man interested in right-wing ideology to a much more concerning and dangerous belief system,” according to the source. Woodward promoted efforts of a “white revolution” and voiced hate toward refugees.
That kind of evolution is common, according to experts at the Anti-Defamation League.
“Meme culture has been embraced by white supremacists, who are very active online and increasingly seek to employ irony and humor to spread their hateful messages,” Oren Segal, director of ADL’s Center on Extremism, told the Post.
Even so, Woodward was considered “one of the smartest and most sane nationalists on the app,” the source told the newspaper. Woodward eventually moved away from the iFunny app within the past year and deleted his “Saboteur” account.
Woodward was charged with murdering Bernstein on Jan. 12. Police questioned him because he had exchanged messages with Bernstein on Snapchat just prior to Bernstein’s disappearance.
Detectives noticed that Woodward had scratches on his hands and dirt in his fingernails, which he asserted were from participating in a fight club.
Police later watched him clean his car and return to the crime scene.
A former teacher of Woodward’s, Philip Schwadron, told the Post he recalled Woodward as “a very serious and humorless kid” who referred to former President Barack Obama as a “wimp” for what he perceived as not putting enough troops in Iraq.
[Feature Photo: Samuel Woodward/iFunny]