"Hate crimes" those motivated in whole or in part by the victim's race, religion, handicap, or erotic orientation are thought to be a very serious problem in America. The federal government and many states have laws that increase penalties for perpetrators, and Congress requires the FBI every year to compile a national record of all such crimes. They are often widely reported, and non-white victims of crimes of racial bias receive much attention and sympathy.
Few people realize that many reports of racially-motivated crimes are faked by the "victim." There is no government agency that counts hoaxes, so it is impossible to know what percentage of "hate crimes" are fake, but the number must be large. The first serious investigation of hoaxes was "Crying Wolf: Hate Crime Hoaxes in America," written in 1995 by Laird Wilcox. It is a classic, and is still in print.
As Mr. Wilcox explains, it is easy to understand why non-whites stage fake hate crimes: They are showered with sympathy. "Racism" is America's most storied evil, and any bona fide victim is sure to be petted and fκted. The more acts of "racism" non-whites can cast in the faces of whites, the more privileges they can demand. Reports of "racism" can also be very useful when hate crime legislation must be pushed through, or when a university needs to be pressured to hire more blacks or set up a Hispanic student center.
Although the benefits for victims of "racism" are immediate and obvious, an astonishing number of the hoaxed are unable to understand what happened. Likely as not, the authorities that rush to the aid of the "victim" say they cannot imagine what could motivate anyone to fake an incident. It is the very people who offer the rewards who fail to understand why hoaxes are rewarding. This reflects a strange form of blindness: the belief that racial motives of non-whites are always pure and noble, and that only whites can do wrong for racial reasons
What follows is a small collection of hoaxes reported in the years since Mr. Wilcox's study. We undoubtedly missed many that were reported, and yet others were no doubt undiscovered or unreported. An unknown number of hoaxes are counted by the FBI as genuine hate crimes, but there is little official interest in correcting the record.
There are racial hoaxes overseas. Europeans are just as ready as Americans to lionize "victims," and have been rewarded with their share of fakers. This is a problem that will not go away until whites stop making heroes out of "victims," and punish fakers as severely as they punish genuine perpetrators.
This report concludes with a summary of the black-church-arson saga of 1996, which is probably the largest-scale fake of its kind in American history.
On May 10, 2000, someone set fire to Mrs. Jaelynn Sealey's 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier and painted "Go Home Nigger" on the garage door of her Huntersville, North Carolina, home. The police considered it a possible hate crime. More than 400 people attended an anti-hate rally a few days later, and the town gave the Sealeys $2,255 it raised in donations.
Police found inconsistencies in the Sealeys' story, and asked the couple to take a lie-detector test. They refused. Later, in the Sealey garage, police found a can of the same kind of paint that had been used to paint the slur on the door. Just hours before the fire, Mrs. Sealey bought a new minivan, and called her insurance company to ask if the Cavalier was still insured.
On July 10, 2001, Mrs. Sealey was in federal court in Charlotte, facing charges that she burned the car herself to collect insurance money so she could pay off debts. She eventually pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, and making false statements to federal investigators. The judge ordered her to repay the money neighbors gave her, and was to sentence her at a later date. Whites don't regret their initial support for Mrs. Sealey but admit their feelings have changed. "Given what we knew at the time, we'd do it again," says Cindy Dorman, vice president of the Wyndfield Homeowners Association, but she adds, "there's a tremendous sense of betrayal for the whole town." [Robert F. Moore, Woman Charged With Faking Hate Crime, Charlotte Observer, July 11, 2001, p. 1. Woman Admits Faking Hate Crime, AP, Aug. 9, 2002.]
An interracial couple living in Georgia, Freeman Berry and Sandra Benson, have been arrested for insurance fraud in connection with a self-administered hate crime. In August 1997, their home burned to the ground and the couple complained of hate calls and spray-painted swastikas. There was wide, sympathetic coverage. Miss Benson wept in the backyard of her burned-out house, telling reporters and investigators she was being punished for loving a black man. The FBI came to solve the hate crime and discovered that the couple had burned down their own house. Expensive computer equipment they claimed had been destroyed in the fire was later found in a rented storage locker. Nationwide Insurance rejected their $301,000 damage claim. [Chelsea Carter, FBI Probes Georgia Insurance Scam, Associated Press, Aug. 24, 1997.]
In December 2002, in Klein, Texas, the home of a black couple, Nicholas and Tracey Gatlin, went up in flames, and racial slurs were found spray-painted on the wall. The Gatlins received much sympathy from the community, and filed a claim with Allstate Insurance for more than $100,000. Arson investigators soon learned that the couple had burned the house themselves. There was a gasoline can in the living room, and 18 places around the house had been doused with fuel. Witnesses saw the Gatlins who claimed to be in Louisiana at the time removing belongings from the house shortly before the fire broke out at 4:00 a.m., and investigators found more than 100 personal items from the house, undamaged and intact, in the couple's new apartment. The Gatlins were arrested and charged with arson and insurance fraud. Mr. Gatlin was sentenced to 10 years in prison for arson and insurance fraud. Mrs. Gatlin got four years deferred adjudication. The couple must also pay $13,000 restitution to Allstate. [Dale Lezon, Couple Burned Home to Collect on Insurance, Houston Chronicle, Aug. 21, 2003.]
Four California elementary school children have actually gone on trial for a hate crime that turned out to be a hoax. Jake Thompson, a black student of Encinal Elementary School, claimed that ten white and Hispanic schoolmates had beaten him up, torn his shirt, and held his head in the toilet. He also claimed that they had said "Stupid black boy" while they did it, so this became a sensational act of bigotry. The defendants, in what was classified as a felony hate crime, were all 10 to 12 years old. The prosecutors were so eager to try the case that when they learned that one of the accused had not been in school on the day of the attack they simply decided it had happened on another day. During the week-long trial, it became clear that young Jake had torn his own shirt, wet his head, and lied about the attack, probably in order to get out of afternoon classes. [Sandra Gonzalez, Four boys to go on trial in school hate-crime case, San Jose Mercury News, Oct. 25, 1993, p. 1B. David Sylvester, 4 Schoolboys in San Jose acquitted of hate crime charges, San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 30, 1993, p. A17.]
A ten-year-old Long Island white boy has been put on trial for a hate crime. Patrick, a 5th grader, got into an argument with a black boy named Gary. He reportedly called Gary a "nigger" and threatened to kill him. No punches were thrown, but the black child's mother promptly called the police. Patrick's mother called Gary's mother to apologize, but police charged Patrick with a hate crime. Ordinarily, whites admit guilt, grovel, and are ordered to take therapy. Patrick's parents refused to do so. They said they had not taught him to use the word "nigger," and insisted there was nothing wrong with him. Patrick actually went on trial in juvenile court. Gary, the black child, also ten years old, was the key witness, so he had to take the stand. He gave 45 minutes of terrified testimony until, under cross-examination, the defense asked him if, in his entire life, he had ever lied. Gary looked like he was about to cry. The judge called a recess, and Gary's mother decided to drop the case. Patrick is now a free boy. [Ellen Yan, Liars Put Bias Charge on Trial, New York Newsday, July 14, 1995, p. A7.]
A 14-year-old black boy in East Fallowfield Township, Pennsylvania, has already learned that faking a "hate crime" can really make things happen. The boy tied threatening messages to rocks and pitched them through the windows of his own house, prompting the usual uproar. Local police considered posting a 'round-the-clock guard on the house. The boy apparently didn't like the neighborhood, and was trying to persuade his mother to move house. [AP, Cops: Boy Falsified Hate Attacks, Coatesville, PA, Feb. 5, 1997.]
A black teenager in Lancaster, California, has admitted he lied when he claimed skinheads beat him up. The boy, whose name has been withheld because he is only 15, picked a fight with a black classmate, but got the worst of it when another boy pitched in against him. The fight banged up his braces, on which his mother had spent a lot of money, so he decided to blame the damage on "racists." His mother promptly phoned the authorities, who put out an all-points bulletin. The teenager confessed when his tale began to fall apart and his friends started telling a different story. [Solomon Moore, Black Youth Admits He Lied About Hate Crime, Los Angeles Times, Jan. 27, 2000.]
Two black students at Wall High School in Asbury Park, New Jersey, face criminal charges and possible expulsion for putting racially threatening letters in their own lockers and in those of other black students. Police discovered the hoax by setting up pinhole cameras to observe the lockers. Faced with the evidence, two black girls confessed they had written the notes in hope of being excused from school. Because they are both 16, their charges of conspiracy, bias, intimidation, and making false statements to police will be handled in family court. School Superintendent Ed Miklus notes that a number of innocent students were treated as suspects, and says "the whole incident was very damaging to everybody." [Naomi Mueller, Racist Notes Found at Wall High School a Hoax, Asbury Park Press, July 17, 2002.]
In April, the University of Iowa was wracked with racism. Someone put a bowl of red noodles outside a black student's door with a note saying they were the brains of a dead black man. Then someone set fire to a lab coat at the school of dentistry, and sent e-mail to minority students threatening violence and bombings and asking, "Are you going to take us seriously, now?" A thousand people duly rallied on campus to protest these horrors. The university set up video surveillance and caught a black student, Tarsha Campbell, who confessed to sending the e-mail and making the threats. Police have charged her with a felony for the bomb threat, but university officials cannot think of a motive. After the arrest, University Relations Vice President Ann Rhodes said she never would have guessed the culprit would be a black woman: "I figured it was going to be a white guy between 25 and 55 because they're the root of most evil." Miss Rhodes later apologized for her remark. [Greg Smith, Black Student Arrested in Racist Threats at Iowa Dental School, AP, April 20, 2000. Scott Hogenson, College Official Calls White Men 'Root of Most Evil,' CNSNews.com, April 21, 2000.]
Winfred L. Stafford was a student at Hastings College in Nebraska. In March 2000, the 24-year-old black man claimed several whites abducted him at gun point and that he was getting hate mail. The police investigated these incidents as hate crimes but learned that Mr. Stafford imagined them all. The college was considering how to discipline Mr. Stafford. [Todd Von Kampen, Hate-Crime Incident a Hoax, Omaha World-Herald, April 13, 2000, p. 15. Cops Say Student Lied About Threats, Las Vegas Sun, April 12, 2000.)
2002 was the 40th anniversary of the integration of the University of Mississippi. There was much chagrin when, in the midst of the solemn celebration of this event, two black students found racial insults scrawled on the doors of their dorm rooms: "F*****g Nigger" and "F*****g Hoe [sic] Nigger." Similar messages turned up in three other locations. Black students organized a "Say No to Racism" march, and demanded more protection against violence. The "Minority Affairs" director demanded "programs and procedures" to instill racial sensitivity and prevent hate crimes. There were meetings of the "Institute for Racial Reconciliation" and the "Committee On Sensitivity and Respect." Activists called for criminal charges. There was national news coverage and much hand wringing about how little the campus had changed in 40 years.
It has since been learned that the culprits were three or possibly four black freshmen. Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat says the culprits' race "doesn't excuse their behavior." Mr. Khayat made it clear there will be no criminal charges, even though the students caused over $600 worth of damage. [Andy Kanengiser, Black Students Allegedly Behind Racist Graffiti, Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Miss.), Dec. 12, 2002. Michelle Malkin, Another Fake Hate Crime The Real Race Scandal in Mississippi, Creators Syndicate, Inc., Dec. 17, 2002.]
In April 1999, Omobonike Odegbami, a graduate student at Ohio's Bowling Green State University, said she was getting threatening, racially-charged e-mail. The campus newspaper ran a front-page story about her, and the FBI started investigating classmates and instructors. Miss Odegbami eventually admitted she sent the e-mail to herself and in December was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, mental health counseling at her own expense, and was made to write a letter of apology in the campus newspaper. She gave no explanation for her behavior and apparently none was asked. [Jennifer Freehan, Woman Sentenced in Racist E-Mail Hoax, Toledo Blade, December 24, 1999.]
In October 1998, several people slipped into the Center for Black Culture and Learning on the campus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. They left photocopies of a crude drawing of a black being hanged, and installed computer screen savers with anti-black messages. There was the usual hullabaloo, with black demonstrators stopping traffic, public agonizing about "racism," and the university president James Garland promising to recruit more non-white teachers and students. Blacks wallowed in self-pity, with one telling reporters, "It's been a very rough four years here. Every day, you are reminded of the color of your skin. It's horrible." Police later found fingerprint evidence that Nathaniel Snow, president of the Black Student Action Association, and his black sidekick Brad Allen were the perpetrators. They were, of course, in the thick of the demonstrations so much so that Mr. Allen was even arrested for disorderly conduct and Mr. Snow had been awarded with an hour-long meeting with President Garland. [Randy McNutt, State Investigators Enter Miami, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 14, 1999. Saundra Amrhein and Kevin Aldridge, Two Charged in Racial Vandalism, Cincinnati Enquirer, January 22, 1999, p. A4. Mark Ferenchik, Police: Students Faked Slurs, The Columbus Dispatch, January 22, 1999, p. 1D.]
A few days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Ahmad Saad Nasim, a 23-year-old junior at Arizona State University (ASU), reported he was a victim of a hate crime, in which assailants beat him, pelted him with eggs, and shouted "Die, Muslim, die!" He got the usual flood of sympathy. On Sept. 26, Mr. Nasim was found lying inside a locked lavatory stall in the university's library, trying to fake another hate crime, and confessed to police that the first one was a hoax, too. ASU police may charge Mr. Nasim with false reporting, and the university is considering disciplinary action. His friends cannot understand why Mr. Nasim, whom they describe as passionately committed to multiculturalism, would do such things. [Lisa Chiu, Student May Face Charges in Hoax, The Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Oct. 2, 2001. Monica Alonzo-Dunsmoor, ASU Assault Called Hate Crime, The Arizona Republic, Sept. 26, 2001.]
Malcolm X has enjoyed enough of a revival among blacks to stimulate some scholarly interest in the man. In the process, some of the favorite myths about Mr. X have been exploded. According to tradition, a white supremacist group called the Black Legion burned down the young boy's parents' home in Lansing, Michigan, and the KKK murdered his father. In fact, argues Bruce Perry in his book, Malcolm, it appears most likely that the father set fire to the building himself because he was about to be evicted and that he died of natural causes. The mother probably built the man up into a race hero in order to hide from her children the fact that he was a wife-beating, adulterous, shiftless failure. [Gerald Early, Malcolm X: The Prince of Faces, LA Times book review, 9/8/91, p. 3.]
In October 2001, someone put leaflets full of racial slurs and threats of violence on school buses and in the mailboxes of black school-bus drivers for the Grandview School District in Kansas City. The perpetrator was discovered to be a black school bus driver, Lee Hooker-Medlock. On Dec. 12, 2001, Mrs. Hooker-Medlock pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor harassment in exchange for probation and mental counseling. Her attorney, Paul Katz, blamed the incident on depression. "She didn't really know what she was doing," he said. Depressed or not, Mrs. Hooker-Medlock was rational enough to try to cover her tracks by sending leaflets to herself and her husband. [Linda Man, Woman Pleads Guilty to Harassing Other Black School Bus Drivers, Kansas City Star, Dec. 12, 2001.]
A black Coast Guardsman who reported finding a note with a racial slur on his car has admitted he wrote the note. The man, who had made two other claims of racism, confessed to the hoax under questioning by Coast Guard officials. "To touch on something as delicate as racism in an effort to make a false claim for personal gain is reprehensible," said Capt. Bill Peterson, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Group Port Angeles." [AP, Coast Guardsman Admits False Report of Racism, The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon), May 7, 2003.]
Rubie Lee Mandy is a black who worked at REM Oak Knoll, a group home for adults with mental problems, in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. One day the home's van disappeared, and the garage was spray-painted with anti-black graffiti. Miss Mandy told police four whites had shouted racial slurs at her the day before. When police recovered the vehicle, which had been similarly defaced, they noticed the steering column showed no signs of the tampering necessary to operate it without a key, and that it had been damaged in an accident. Police started investigating the employees of the group home, where the only key was kept. Miss Mandy confessed to police she had damaged the van while joyriding, and then painted the racist graffiti and concocted the story about the slurs in order to cover her trail. She was charged with motor vehicle theft and first degree criminal damage to property. [Cynthia Boyd, Woman Who Claimed to be Victim of Hate Crime Accused of Stealing Van, St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota), June 12, 2001.]
On the night of May 2, 2001, someone painted white swastikas and other racial graffiti on one of Dallas' most prominent black churches, St. Luke Community United Methodist. Several black elected officials are members, and the pastor, Zan Holmes, is a prominent racial ambulance chaser. The bellowing that followed was enough to push the "James Byrd" hate crimes bill through the Texas Senate, and Gov. Rick Perry signed it on May 11. Later it was discovered that a church member probably painted the swastikas. The choir practiced until 10:20 p.m. that night, and shortly afterwards a white couple driving by noticed a black man painting something on the outside of the church. Until the media eruption that followed, they thought he was taking part in a youth program, so did not report the incident until several days later. Police discovered that the swastikas were painted with white latex, which was the type of paint used recently to renovate a church office.
Needless to say, Pastor Holmes was indignant about the police investigation: "I consider that to be a worse attack than the attack of the painting, the defacing of the building, for people to deface our personalities, the integrity of this church." [Hugh Aynesworth, Black Implicated in Desecration Case, Washington Times, May 28, 2001.]
In November 1999, the state legislature in Albany, New York, went into a frenzy when anti-black notes were discovered in front of the doors of the offices of two black legislators. "Kill all niggers because they don't belong here," the notes said, and were signed "Yours truly KKK." Darryl Gray, a 35-year-old black janitor has now confessed to typing and distributing the notes. Police were reportedly unable to think of a motive. Mr. Gray was charged with aggravated harassment. [Black Janitor Accused of Hate Notes, New York Times, Nov. 9, 1999.]
On April 13, a black man was found bound and gagged in front of Buena Vista Park in San Francisco. The man, whom police have not identified, claimed he had been abducted by four "neo-Nazi types" who held him in a van and carved a swastika on his chest. San Francisco police investigated the incident as a hate crime and even went to Oregon to look for leads and interview potential suspects. Meanwhile, officials from the police crime lab turned up inconsistencies in the man's story. He eventually confessed that he made up the whole incident, telling police that he scratched the swastika on himself and tied himself up "for personal reasons." [Ray Delgado, Man Admits Inventing Racist Assault in San Francisco, San Francisco Examiner, May 8, 1999, p. A5.]
A black woman has been convicted of trying to defraud United Parcel Service by means of a phony hate crime. Angela Jackson of St. Paul, Minnesota, sent 28 pieces of hate mail to herself and to black congressmen Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson, Jr. She scrawled racial insults on the packages she received, and then tried to collect $150,000 from UPS, claiming that "white supremacist" employees had vandalized her insured packages. On the witness stand she claimed that the charges against her were part of a "racist conspiracy." The jury failed to believe her. [AP, Conviction in Phony Hate Mail Case, Nov. 21, 1998.]
James Hood, who in 1963 was the first black man admitted to the University of Alabama, has long fascinated audiences with a story about seeing his uncle hanged and burned by Ku Kluxers in the 1950s. A typical public airing was at an April 26, 1998 "racial unity" rally in Madison, Wisconsin, where he said: "I crawled over to the window and pulled aside the drapes, and I saw a man hanging, burning. And the next morning, I learned that the man was my uncle." His listeners reportedly "groaned and murmured in shock."
A local newspaper, the Wisconsin State Journal began looking into the story and contacted the Times of Huntsville, Alabama. Mr. Hood was informed that there was no record of such a lynching. At first he stuck to his guns: "These things happened every day, particularly in that area. I can verify it as a human being. Yes, it happened. I saw it. And I know there won't be any written record of it. If I had to stand on a stack of Bibles, I would do it. But ask me to show documentation, I can't do it." Later he admitted he made up the story. Mr. Hood is now chairman of police, firefighting, and paramedic training education at Madison Area Technical College. He appears to be in no danger of losing his job. [Activist Admits Lynching is a Lie, Washington Times, May 8, 1998.]
In February of 1996, an Oregon black man named Markus St. James gained much press attention when he reported that the house he shared with a white girl friend had been ransacked and that racial slurs had been scrawled on walls and mirrors. The FBI has now arrested Mr. St. James, whom they say did the ransacking and scrawling himself. [Man Arrested in Attack on House, The Oregonian (Portland), Oct. 25, 1996, p. B15.]
Joseph Abdullah, whose mother is German and father Iraqi, drowned in a swimming pool in 1997 in the small German town of Sebnitz. In 1998 local authorities judged the death an accident, but in 2000 fresh witnesses stepped forward to claim skinheads opposed to mixed marriage had drugged Joseph and held him under water. The country worked itself into hysteria at the news. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder set the tone by visiting the boy's parents and issuing ringing denunciations of skinhead thuggery. The parents claimed to have gotten death threats. A massive police effort swung into action, and three young Germans were arrested. It was later discovered that Mr. and Mrs. Abdullah paid the new witnesses (race unspecified) the equivalent of about ten dollars each to claim to have seen things they did not see, and that the alibis of the suspects turned out to be unshakable. The prosecutor concluded that "grounds for suspicion against the three suspects cannot be supported" and released them. It has not been reported whether charges will be brought against the Abdullahs. [Adam Tanner, Suspects in German Boy Death Freed, Reuters, Nov. 27, 2000.]
In Berinsfield, in Oxfordshire, England, a 17-year-old mulatto claimed he was attacked by whites who sprayed him with gasoline and tried to burn him. The community erupted in indignation and the police went into high gear, assigning a large number of officers to the case under the direction of a senior investigator. They found that the attack was a hoax, and charged Chris Barton and two adult confederates with conspiracy to commit criminal deception. [Colin Blackstock, Three Held as Police Say Race Attack Bogus, News Unlimited (UK), April 13, 2000.]
In Birmingham, England, a 24-year-old black man claimed he was attacked by white racists and set on fire. Ashley Cane did, indeed, have serious burns to his face and arms, and the incident became so notorious it came up during debate in the House of Commons. Now it appears Mr. Cane burned himself while setting fire to a stolen car. Police have charged him and two accomplices with wasting police time, and conspiracy to defraud. News that the "racist" attack was a hoax appears not to have been debated in Parliament. [Maurice Weaver, Race Hate Victim 'Made Up Attack,' Daily Telegraph (London), May 18, 2000.]
Chris Cotter, a white man also from Birmingham, is the ex-boyfriend of black female track star Ashia Hansen. In March 2000, he was allegedly stabbed in the back and slashed across the forehead by white thugs who told him, "We warned you not to mix with niggers." Miss Hansen got hate mail and went into hiding, while the country wailed about racism. Police warned other black athletes to look out for attackers. Now it turns out Mr. Cotter and two accomplices staged the knife attack and mailed the hate letters themselves. In Britain it is common to charge large sums to grant exclusive interviews, and Mr. Cotter hoped to make a bundle telling his story to the papers. Miss Hansen, the black athlete, is now worried there could be "a danger of distracting attention from the legitimate racist issues we have in society." [Nick Hopkins, Black Athlete's Partner Attacked, London Guardian, March 25, 2000. Richard Ellis, Race Hate in Britain is Rife Just Ask My Wife, London Guardian, March 26, 2000. Paul Kelso, Ex-Lover of Black Athlete Charged, London Guardian, May 23, 2000.)
A 1994 German television documentary showed a group of Germans wearing KKK robes and burning a cross. The producer, Michael Born, now confesses that he got a group of friends to stage the event because he knew the footage would sell. The truth came out when German police mounted a search for the wicked klansmen. [Terrence Petty, German Documentary Producer Faces Charges, Charlotte Observer, Feb. 15, 1996, p. 20A.]
In London, non-white police officers started getting messages saying, "Not wanted. Keep the police force white. Leave now or else." After the usual breast-beating, the sender turned out to be Gurpal Virdi, a Sikh police sergeant who had been denied a promotion. Mr. Virdi has been dropped from the force. [Sikh Seeks Sneaky Solution, London Guardian, March 4, 2000.]
In Byker, near Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Asian shopkeeper Mohammed Bashir made headlines when he complained of harassment and intimidation at the hands of whites. Soon afterwards someone bombed his shop, and Mr. Bashir immediately blamed "racists." A police investigation found that Mr. Bashir, his two sons and a neighbor planted the bomb and set fire to the shop. According to Chief Inspector Gary Shaw, "the motive for this crime was money. Mohammed Bashir had taken out an insurance policy on the shop shortly before it was destroyed." [Paul Wilkinson, 'Racist' Attack Set Up to Claim Insurance, The Times (London), June 13, 2000.]