The Nebraska Bank Killers: Were They Or Weren`t They?
On September 26 a
murderous Nebraska bank robbery shocked the nation.
came shooting into the U.S. Bank branch Thursday morning
with handguns, and when they were done, four longtime
bank workers and a customer were dead.”
Most American bank robbers ask for
the money before shooting. Perhaps these robbers, all
Hispanics, were expecting the bankers to resist. Our
Allan Wall tells us that banks in Mexico are guarded
by men with submachine guns.
reported that the robbers watched the movie
Scarface as they
planned the crime.
is about an incredibly violent Hispanic immigrant
gangster in Miami. (Tagline: He loved the American
Dream. With a Vengeance. Quotes from the movie
can be found
here. Warning: really vile language, in both English
Were these Hispanic robbers
immigrants? I`m a detail-oriented person who likes to
get the facts straight. You would think that I could
tell you exactly whether any of them were
The problem is that neither the
media nor law enforcement officials seem to know–or
I called people all over Nebraska
looking for a definitive answer. I started with Larry
Holmquist of the Omaha FBI. He said that the local
police were more likely to know. But he thought that
three out of four men had been raised in Nebraska`s
Madison County and had gone to school there.
I next spoke to Captain
Leon Chapman, of the Norfolk PD. He didn`t know for
Let me explain what “for sure”
means in this case. If someone from Mexico crosses the
Rio Grande with a small child, that child is a Mexican
citizen. Despite the fact that he grew up in the United
States, and may even speak with a Cornhusker accent,
he`s still legally the Mexican government`s
responsibility. If one of the Norfolk suspects has a
Mexican birth certificate, he will certainly appeal to
the Mexican consulate. It will demand his
rights under the
Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Which means that the Mexican
government will be trying to help him get away with
I then spoke to Craig Nelsen of
ProjectUSA, who grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska. (Click
here to see his account of debating immigration
enthusiasts with Peter Brimelow on PBS.) Craig said that
the population of Norfolk has changed visibly, with a
Hispanic influx in the last ten years. Needless to
say, crime had increased too. When Craig lived in
Norfolk in the `80s, if someone stole a stereo out of
your car, that was a crime wave.
The Washington Post had
“But Norfolk Mayor Gordon
Adams said the heritage of the men is unimportant.
`There has been a lot of concern about American and
Hispanic relations,` he said. `But these were just bad
people. They weren`t immigrants. They grew up here.`”
So I asked Mayor Adams if he knew
for sure that the killers were citizens. He said
“All I know is what I read in the papers.”
I asked him about the increase in
crime following the increase in the Hispanic population.
He said that he`d “hesitate to say that it was caused
by people coming here.” He couldn`t say it was more
or less crime, but rather different crimes. “Some
come up to work, some come to sell drugs.”
Methamphetamine has become a serious problem in Madison
County (which may
explain the pointless shootout in the bank) and
“There`s subsidiary crime associated with drugs.”
I asked Mayor Adams specifically
about an increase in crimes of violence. He told me that
this was not the first violent crime Norfolk (population
has had within the last year.
The police had found two bodies
dumped without ID by the Elkhorn River. It was a
Hispanic vs. Hispanic crime, drug-related. [AP,
September 9, 2001 “Killings
described as execution-style“]
Recently I did an
article on the
uproar after a Philadelphia paper had reported the
race of some wanted criminals. (It didn`t mean to. It
just published their photographs.) The paper`s original
story was provoked by the fact that Philadelphia is a
“High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.” It has a
federally funded HIDTA
Guess what? Northeastern Nebraska
is now also an HIDTA. That status has been approved by
the bureaucrats who approve such things. But no
funds have been found to do anything about it.
At the end of my quest, this is
what I had: Three of the Norfolk bank killers appear to
have been born in the U.S., and are therefore American
citizens. One of them appears to have been a
lawful permanent resident, very probably a
In June of last year, we posted an article called
“Immigrant Crime: Who Wants To Know?” The answer
seems to still be “Nobody.”
And you can add to that “Son of Immigrant Crime.”
Immigration, over time, has the effect of boosting the
crime rate among the native-born by changing the
demographic character of the population.
writers typically compare immigrant and native-born
crime without distinguishing what the Mayor of Norfolk
called in the Washington Post story “Americans”
from native-born members of recent immigrant enclaves.
Call it the Michael Corleone problem. In Mario
The Godfather, Michael Corleone is a native-born
American, patriotic enough to volunteer to fight the
Japanese in World War II. But by the end of the film,
he`s a full-blown criminal because Family tradition is
Real life mobster Salvatore Gravano was
born in America, the son of an illegal alien from
Sicily. He reportedly found The Godfather as
inspiring as the killers in Norfolk found
Scarface, in spite of the fact that his generation
of Italian-Americans hadn`t been told that they were an
Another “Son of Immigrant” example: the
terrorists who were born, raised, and
arrested in Lackawanna, New York. Legally, they are
as American as John
Walker Lindh. But are they?
All part of the blessings of diversity.
I`m waiting patiently for the
media call for debate, legislation, and action on
immigration–and the unassimilated children of
immigrants. Very patiently.
October 23, 2002