The pen pal of Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof has been arrested for an ‘upscale mass murder’ plot
A 23-year-old woman from Ohio who glorified convicted killers has been arrested this week after planning to commit "an upscale mass murder" at a Toledo bar.
Elizabeth Lecron, who is now being held on terrorism charges, is known to have corresponded with Dylann Roof - the 24-year-old white supremacist who massacred nine people during the Charleston church shooting in 2015 - and is believed to have taken inspiration from him for her own criminal plots.
Toledo police were fortunate to receive a tip about Lecron's social media activity before she could actually do any harm to anyone. They alerted the Northwest Ohio Joint Terrorism Task Force to intervene and a subsequent raid on her apartment allegedly turned up pipe bomb materials, as well as a semi-automatic rifle and other guns.
During the raid, officers also uncovered Lecron's journal, which is where they found details of her plan to attack the bar along with several other violent plans such as "targeting a pipeline in an undisclosed location in Georgia".
Earlier this year, while attempting to make contact with fellow "anarchists" who wanted to carry out attacks, Lecron met with undercover FBI agents and disclosed her desires to cause mass destruction. When the agents asked about innocent bystanders who might get caught up in the chaos, she apparently said that they were "probably part of the problem".
Eventually, she settled on a plan to make a pipe bomb, and last week was known to have bought two pounds of a muzzle-loading propellant and 665 screws of various sizes. She was arrested along with a co-conspirator.
Roof is only known to have written to four people since he was incarcerated for his atrocities, with Lecron being a particularly ardent admirer. She has reportedly confessed her love for him on numerous occasions and posted artwork of him on DeviantArt, along with images of the Columbine Killers, whom she believes are "godlike".
In the past, the 23-year-old is believed to have travelled to Columbine High School, the site of the infamous 1999 school shooting that went on to influence dozens of other mass murders.
On social media, Lecron belonged to a "true crime" community made up of people who idolise young murderers. She posted pictures of Roof and the Columbine Killers, along with other infamous murderers, and indicated on several occasions that she had white supremacist beliefs and ties.
The exact motive behind her planned attacks has not yet been established, but, given the evidence, it does seem that she had similar motivations to those of Dylann Roof.
"Removing Elizabeth Lecron from the ranks of civilised society by virtue of arrest and prosecution thwarts her explicitly stated desire to engage in acts of death and destruction," FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato said in a press release.
Lecron has been charged with one count of transportation of explosives and explosive material for the purposes of harming others and property. If convicted, she could face up to a decade behind bars.