Prosecutors have uncovered two handwritten manifestos authored by accused Charleston, South Carolina church shooter Dylann Roof.
According to court documents, Roof’s letters espousing white supremacy were written in the months leading up to the attack, as well as after he was carted off to jail for the bloody massacre. The papers, found in his car and jail cell, even contained a list of targeted churches.
Roof currently faces 33 federal crime charges for the June 17, 2015, shooting of nine Black parishioners at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston. The now 22-year-old opened fire on the unsuspecting church-goers during Bible study with hopes of starting a “race war.”
Both the state and federal government are seeking the death penalty in his case. According to Atlanta Black Star, Roof has offered to plead guilty to the crime but only if prosecutors agree to drop the death penalty. The odds of that happening are highly unlikely.
The latest details of Roof’s manifestos were disclosed in court documents filed by prosecutors Monday. The files also included a list of expert witnesses prosecutors plan to call on during the Nov. 7 trial.
The writings, authored before and after the church shooting, will be the first physical documents to be used against Roof, Raw Story reports. Prosecutors are expected to summon a handwriting expert to testify that the letters match the gunman’s penmanship.
Per the Charleston Post and Courier, an expert on white supremacy is also expected to testify in the case and assert that Roof “adopted his violent white supremacist beliefs principally from self-teaching from internet-based media and other sources.”
“Roof’s actions were consistent with the concept of leaderless resistance and martyrdom advocated by white supremacy extremist groups and self-radicalization leading to violence,” court documents state.
A version of one of Roof’s manifestos was also posted online at LastRhodesian.net, the local paper reports. In it, the church shooter ranted about his disgust for Blacks, Jews, Latinos and the American flag.
The flag represents “people pretending like they have something to be proud [of] while white people are being murdered daily in the streets,” Roof wrote.
The Post and Courier reports that Monday’s court filings also indicated possible testimony from a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division forensic scientist concerning traces of Roof’s DNA left at the crime scene. Over 20 of his fingerprints were lifted from key pieces of evidence, including a pistol magazine, according to the publication.