Robert Crimo III murdered seven people dead and left nearly three dozen injured after he opened fire into a crowd of people celebrating the 4th of July holiday in Highland Park, Illinois. Crimo, 21 from Highwood, a city near Highland Park, disguised himself by dressing in women’s clothing and perching on a roof as he fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd.
Startling details started emerging as soon as Crimo’s identity was released and his social media accounts identified. For example, his Instagram @awaketherapper account bio read – “KILLLERRRRR”.
Crimo was also found to frequently post on 4chan, a thread board often used by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. On June 25th, just a week prior to the Highland Park massacre, Crimo made a Holocaust denial post on 4chan stating “the math is all scewed (sic) up. the logistics of 6m jews doesn’t make sense.” On July 2nd, two days prior to the attack, he posted “retarded Jews” on another 4chan thread.
Photos of Crimo wearing a “Sad Boys” Pepe the Frog t-shirt, a well-known symbol of antisemite’s Nick Fuentes “Groyper” far-right group, have also been documented; Fuentes was featured as an ‘Antisemite of the Week‘ in 2019. Fuentes is a dangerous white supremacist and Holocaust denier who seeks to forge a white nationalist alternative to the mainstream Republican party.
Highland Park, an upper middle class suburb of Chicago, boasts a hefty population of Jewish residents – approximately 1/3rd of the town’s population. Speculations of a targeted antisemitic attack immediately began spreading on social media, specifically after it was revealed Crimo canvased a local Highland Park synagogue this past spring on the last day of Passover. Rabbi Yosef Schanowitz and security head Martin Blumenthal stated they immediately became suspicious of Crimo when he entered the synagogue. Furthermore, Blumenthal stated “He [Crimo] was definitely sizing up the synagogue” and recalled squeezing Crimo’s knapsack to make sure there were no weapons inside; Crimo was subsequently asked to leave the synagogue.
The Highland Park neighborhood was also targeted in April when a string of antisemitic propaganda leaflets were left outside homes of Jewish members of the community on Yom HaShoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day. At that time the Mayor declared that “it’s disgusting, and it needs to stop… To have this kind of garbage, disgusting statements thrown on people’s driveways — on today of all days — is particularly painful.” These kind of antisemitic harassment campaigns vilifying Jews are happening all over the country with law enforcement agencies taking little to no action.
Authorities at the July 4th Highland Park arrest scene also found Crimo in possession of an AR15 and a second rifle. The Illinois State Police confirmed Crimo passed four background checks to purchase his weapons after applying for a firearm owner identification card in December 2019. Because he was under the age of 21 at the time, his father – Robert Crimo II – sponsored his application.
Shockingly, the younger Crimo was approved for a gun license despite two troubling run-ins with police; neither came up during his background check. In April 2019 he attempted suicide; later that year in September he threatened to kill his entire family. Police came to the home during both incidents and found a larger stash of knives in his possession, as well as a sword and dagger, during the latter incident and confiscated all of his weapons, but gave them back to Crimo’s father after he claimed the knives were actually his.
Along with an affinity for acquiring dangerous weapons, Crimo also posted violent content online. One video showed an armed shooter opening fire inside a school and then lying in a pool of blood during a confrontation with law enforcement, while another video that came from Crimo showed the rapper hanging an American flag on himself after another depiction of a school shooting. Neither video was removed until after Crimo was named as the Highland Park shooter.
Looking back, it’s easy to see the disastrous domino effect happening before everyone’s eyes in Highland Park, and elsewhere, yet once again, the pieces were not put together until people tragically died.
StopAntisemitism needs YOUR help to stay vigilant – please report any questionable or concerning activity you encounter online via our website or call/text the hotline our hotline (877) 411-HATE.