October 23, 1998 Amherst, New York
Dr. Barnett Slepian is assassinated by a sniper as he talks with his wife and children in the kitchen of their Amherst, N.Y., home. Identified as a suspect shortly after the murder, James Charles Kopp flees to Mexico, driven and disguised by friend Jennifer Rock, and goes on to hide out in Ireland and France. Two fellow anti-abortion extremists, Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi, make plans to help Kopp secretly return. Kopp, also suspected in the earlier sniper woundings of four physicians in Canada and upstate New York, is arrested in France as he picks up money wired by Marra and Malvasi. He eventually admits the shooting to a newspaper reporter — claiming that he only intended to wound Slepian — and is sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. In 2003, Marra and Malvasi are sentenced to time served after pleading guilty to federal charges related to harboring a fugitive.
The Second Wave: Return of the Militias
Southern Poverty Law Center Special Report