Crying Nazi says ex-fiancee’s statement unfair
Christopher Cantwell, Keene’s Crying Nazi, wants his conviction for threatening to rape the wife of another white supremacist overturned, saying his ex-fiancee Katelyn “Peach” Fry’s words were wrongly used against him at trial.
Cantwell’s attorney, Christine DeMaso, recently filed an appeal brief in the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston after weeks of delays. Cantwell is currently on trial in Virginia due to a civil lawsuit against him and two dozen others involved in the white supremacists “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, according for some of the delay.
Fry did not testify at Cantwell’s New Hampshire trial last year, but a recording of a conversation between her and Cantwell was used in the closing arguments by prosecutors. Cantwell supplied investigators with the recording in which Fry seems to be shocked by her then-lover’s actions against Ben Lambert, also known as Cheddar Mane.
According to the recording, Cantwell told Fry he either had to go to police, of kill Lambert himself:
“CANTWELL: The only choices that I have are to go to law enforcement or to go to hunt this fucking assholes down and commit a crime myself. Those are the two choices that I have.
FRY: How can you say that?
CANTWELL: No, because, well because those are my two choices. I can say that and I can say that to the fucking FBI. That’s why I go to the FBI, right? That’s why I go to the government so that I don’t have to commit a crime. You know, it’s not a matter of I think they are on my side or not, it’s these guys broke the law and the only remedy I have is law enforcement.
FRY: Okay, but you threatened Cheddar Mane and said you are going to come and rape his wife.
CANTWELL: I didn’t say I was going to go rape his wife, okay? I fucking left that out there, okay?”
Cantwell, 40, is the white supremacists who came to fame when he was caught on video crying at the Unite the Right rally when he learned about a pending arrest warrant. Cantwell first came to Keene to be part of the Free Keene libertarian movement, but was disavowed by the group when his rhetoric turned racist and violent. Cantwell hosted an internet radio show before his arrest by federal agents. He was convicted this year of making interstate threats for threatening to rape the wife of Lambert, then a member of the hate-group known as the Bowl Patrol.
Cantwell was also convicted in a separate trial on assault charges stemming from his actions at the Unite the Right rally.
Cantwell’s defense at trial in the United States District Court in Concord included the theory that his threat to rape Lambert’s wife wasn’t serious, and not a crime. Fry’s statement in the recording was therefore improperly used, according to DeMaso.
“In closing, the government treated Ms. Fry’s statements as if they had been introduced for their truth. It argued that the language Mr. Cantwell used was a threat, not normal sparring within the white nationalist community,” DeMaso wrote.
Aside from the recording of Fry, prosecutors had white supremacist Republican Paul Nehlen and Lambert both testify that Cantwell’s threats were over the line. Cantwell’s defense relied on the fact that he and Lambert and others in the white supremacists community often spoke in this manner.
DeMaso also argued Cantwell was prohibited from using the defense that he was pushed into making the threat because Lambert first threatened Fry. Fry went to Lambert’s home state of Missouri at Cantwell’s behest and took photos of Lambert and his family. When Lambert found out, he made a statement in a messaging app chat with Cantwell that seemed to threaten Fry, according to DeMaso.
“Immediately before Mr. Cantwell made the statement about Mr. Lambert’s wife and children (which carried a significantly higher possible sentence), Mr. Lambert threatened Mr. Cantwell’s ex-girlfriend,” DeMaso wrote. “During the charged chat, Mr. Lambert said ‘Guess that means you [don’t] care what happens to [Ms. Fry] either.’ Mr. Cantwell said his statement about Mr. Lambert’s wife and children was an angry retort to this threat.”
Cantwell’s threat came as he was trying to get Lambert to disclose the identity of another Bowl Patrol member, whose cyber identity was Vic Mackey.
“So if you don’t want me to come and fuck your wife in front of your kids, then you should make yourself scarce[.] Give me Vic, it’s your only out.” Cantwell wrote. “You’re the one who is going to suffer cause you’re the one I can get.”
Vic Mackey has subsequently been outed as Sacramento, California resident Andrew Casarez, 28. According to J Weekly, the Jewish News of Northern California, Casarez lives in the suburb of Orangevale with his parents and grandmother.
Cantwell’s relationship with members of the Bowl Patrol was initially friendly until Cantwell started a new website that attempted to be more mainstream conservative and less white supremacist. Members of the Bowl Patrol considered Cantwell a “sell out,” for this, according to court records.
That’s when the Bowl Patrol began a campaign to inundate his call-in radio show with prank calls. The Bowl Patrol callers also practiced “fedposting,” which means they made inflammatory statements on the show to garner attention from FBI agents, such as talking about desecrating the graves of FBI agents. Cantwell was already under FBI surveillance at the time of the Bowl Patrol's campaign, according to court records.
Starting in 2019, federal agents obtained a warrant to access Cantwell’s email accounts. He was also under surveillance at his home, according to court records.
“The Government subpoenaed, obtained, and reviewed Christopher’ s personal data from more than twenty sources, including financial institutions, social media providers, phone companies, and EZ-pass travel data. The FBI watched Christopher as he came and went from his house, using a ‘pole camera’ outside his residence to record his movements day and night,” his defense attorney’s wrote in one court motion.
Bowl Patrol members hacked Cantwell's website and sent his readers emails indicating the Cantwell was a federal informant and they he supported having sex with children, according to his attorneys.
Cantwell retaliated to the Bowl Patrol’s harassment, contacting Keene police more than 50 times, threatening Lambert/Cheddar Mane, and eventually talking to FBI agents, according to court records.
The Bowl Patrol is a group of white supremacists who elevate racist killers like Dylan Roof as part of their online ideology. The group takes their name from Roof’s bowl-style haircut. Roof is the mass murderer who shot and killed nine African Americans during a church service in Charleston, South Carolina.