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Murder of Blaze Bernstein

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.[1] 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.[2] As Bernstein was both openly gay and Jewish, authorities declared that Bernstein was a victim of a hate crime.[3]

Blaze Bernstein

Bernstein was born on April 27, 1998, in South Orange County, California, to Gideon Bernstein, an equity partner at Leisure Capital Management,[4] 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.[5]

Legal proceedings

On February 2, 2018, Woodward, a member of the Neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division, pleaded not guilty to murder charges in Bernstein's death.[1][6]

In August of 2018, Woodward was charged with committing a hate crime against Bernstein because of the latter's sexual orientation and religion.[7] Woodward, who has been linked to the murder by DNA evidence, pled not guilty.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Press, Associated (2018-02-02). "Blaze Bernstein killing: Suspect pleads not guilty, judge sets bail at $5M". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  2. ^ Olmstead, Molly (2018-01-31). "The Man Suspected of Killing Blaze Bernstein Attended a Three-Day Nazi "Hate Camp"". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  3. ^ Dedaj, Paulina (August 2, 2018). "Suspect in Blaze Bernstein murder is charged with hate crime". Fox News. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  4. ^ Leisure Capital Management
  5. ^ "A Life Too Short: Blaze Bernstein Obituary". Lake Forest, CA Patch. 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  6. ^ JTA (2018-02-05). "Blaze Bernstein's high school classmate pleads not guilty to murder". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
  7. ^ "Blaze Bernstein murder suspect charged with targeting him because he was gay". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Alleged killer of Jewish college student Blaze Bernstein pleads not guilty". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 11 November 2018. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  9. ^ Smith, Tracy. (21 July 2019). 'In the Name of Hate'. 48 Hours (TV program). CBS News. USA

External links