On January 10, 2018, 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania sophomore Blaze Bernstein was found dead in a park in Orange County, California, eight days after having been reported missing. He was visiting his family in Lake Forest, California, when he was killed. He had been stabbed twenty times. Two days later, Samuel Woodward, one of Bernstein's former high school classmates, and a member of neo-Nazi terrorist group Atomwaffen Division was arrested and charged with murdering Bernstein. As Bernstein was both openly gay and Jewish, authorities declared that Bernstein was a victim of a hate crime.
|Part of a series on|
Bernstein was born on April 27, 1998, in South Orange County, California, to Gideon Bernstein, an equity partner at Leisure Capital Management, and Jeanne Pepper, a former lawyer who retired from law in 2000 to raise their three children. Before beginning classes at the University of Pennsylvania, Blaze graduated from Orange County School of the Arts.
In August of 2018, Woodward was charged with committing a hate crime against Bernstein because of the latter's sexual orientation and religion. Woodward, who has been linked to the murder by DNA evidence, pled not guilty.