Part 1 of 2 (Part 2 here)
Although most Americans probably equate the term “lynch mob” with an image of a band of Southern whites hell-bent on punishing their black victims, readers of Swift Justice  quickly learn that dark skin and southern geography are not prerequisites for the hangman’s noose. Power, prestige, and the press played critical roles. — Book review in 5 Western Legal History 256 (Summer/Fall 1992).
There was a notable double-hanging in 1933 that you’ve probably never heard of: The murder of two young white men, Thomas Harold Thurmond, 27, sometimes called “Harold,” and John M. “Jack” Holmes, 29, in San Jose, California, 40 miles southeast of San Francisco in what is today Silicon Valley. At its peak, the media claimed that 5,000 to 10,000 onlookers (crowd estimates varied enormously) witnessed the midnight hangings or their immediate aftermath in a city park across the street from the county jail.
The crime was briefly national and international news before being quickly and efficiently consigned to decorous invisibility. Every year the Associated Press compiled a list of its Top 10 international news stories. For 1933, the California lynchings ranked sixth. Adolf Hitler’s accession to power in Germany ranked ninth.
Germany’s National Socialist regime knew about the lynching, understood its racial implications, and publicized the event to its citizens.
The catalyst for the hangings was the kidnapping and murder of 22-year-old Brooke Hart, the heir to a local Jewish department store fortune.
No member of the lynch mob was ever publicly identified, captured, or punished. The power structure completely sided with and assisted the lynchers, not the low-status whites they hung.
Key actors included the corrupt Governor of California, members of the Jewish community, wealthy businessmen, privileged university students, politicians, the legal system, the San Jose police and fire departments, the California National Guard, the FBI, and the media: newspapers, radio, and newsreels.
The white victims had been arrested and interrogated — possibly under duress. Ultimately, both men signed confessions, but they were never tried, convicted, or sentenced, much less able to appeal anything.
The transcripts of their interrogations were destroyed in the 1940s.
Today San Jose, situated in the center of the Santa Clara Valley near San Francisco, is the largest city in Northern California in both population (one million) and land area. It is the third-most populous city in California after Los Angeles and San Diego and the county seat of Santa Clara County, the most affluent county in California and one of the most affluent in the United States.
San Jose’s official motto is “The Capital of Silicon Valley.” Cisco Systems, eBay, Adobe Inc., PayPal, Broadcom, Samsung, Acer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Zoom are some of the transnational Leftist corporations headquartered there.
Already by 2010, the city was heavily homosexual and non-white.
In 1933, San Jose’s population was 60,000.
The Hart Dynasty
San Jose and nearby San Francisco had hosted wealthy, powerful Jewish communities since frontier days. Jews thrived, made money, and were unhesitatingly accepted by the white populace. From the outset they ensconced themselves in the region’s economic, political, and social elite.
Starting in 1849, when it became the gateway to the California gold fields, the San Francisco-San Jose area soon had many quickly-wealthy, tightly-intermarried Jewish families who established themselves on the West Coast early on.
In San Francisco these included the Strausses, Haases, and Sterns (all affiliated with the Levi Strauss clothing company), the Steinharts (importing, mining corporations), and others. Adolph Sutro arrived from Germany in 1851. One of the richest men on the Pacific Coast, he owned one-tenth of the land in San Francisco, including Sutro Heights, and became the city’s mayor.
The Jews didn’t pan for gold. They set up businesses catering to the burgeoning hordes of woefully undercapitalized individuals from the East hoping against hope to strike it rich.
As early as 1860, Jews, unapologetic practitioners of segregation even in death, established a ten-acre Hebrew cemetery for themselves in San Jose.
Leopold Hart, the founder of a local retail dynasty, joined his half-brother Lazard Lion in San Jose during the Gold Rush of 1849. The brothers immigrated from Alsace-Lorraine, the frontier region between France and Germany that historically spawned many Jews.
Lazard Lion owned a number of businesses in San Jose, including a retail store, a carpet shop, and a glove factory, and was director of the Commercial and Savings Bank, later acquired by San Francisco-based Bank of America as its first branch.
His half-brother Leopold Hart, a B’nai B’rith member, married a French Jewess and founded the retail store that his son, Alexander Hart, Sr. (Brooke’s father), later developed into downtown San Jose’s landmark department store.
Temple Emanu-El of San Jose, today Santa Clara Valley’s oldest Jewish congregation, was founded by Leopold Hart (the kidnap victim’s grandfather) and Lazard Lion.
Some white San Joseans in 1861 contributed funds to help build the synagogue, just as Benjamin Franklin and other citizens had done in Philadelphia years before. The affluent Philadelphians were unashamedly dunned for money by the already rich parasites in their midst, yet still gave. Presumably the same thing happened in San Jose (and elsewhere), since Jews and whites display stereotypical interactions over long periods of time.
Note that this odd “taking” relationship exists even at the individual and local level, and occurs immediately upon contact — but also that upper-class whites routinely do give Jews money and countless other favors in this fashion when asked. The same behavior occurs on the macroscale, for example when whites go to war and subjugate Germany for Jews or hand over billions of dollars to Israel.
Today Temple Emanu-El boasts on its website that it “enriches the spiritual and social lives of our members and strengthens the bonds within our community and with the state of Israel, ensuring [our] continuity as a people and a religion.”
Are they saying “It’s okay to be Jewish”? Fortunately, the bigots will never be designated America’s foremost domestic terrorists and treated accordingly.
As the early Jewish presence in California demonstrates, whites have never been free of Jews. History should be reexamined with this (and other overlooked factors) in mind, bringing to light the true forces that shaped events while deemphasizing misleading conventional narratives that sweep crucial information under the rug.
Alexander Hart married a 17-year-old white Catholic Maryland girl 23 years his junior just out of finishing school. She was a “dark-eyed beauty” he met at a “rich friend’s Long Island estate” and wed 30 days later.
This continuous sexual harvesting of native girls and women by Jewish men on a large scale in all European lands has badly polluted the white gene pool. Beyond that, it demonstrates how Jews knit themselves biologically into the social fabric of someone else’s society. Hart moved his father-in-law to California as a well-paid underling by making him superintendent of the department store.
The couple had four children, two boys and two girls, racial half-Jews, and raised a third girl from childhood, the daughter of a former Hart family chauffeur. That girl, Jeannette, took their surname and was treated as a member of the family.
Nettie, the wife, was 19 when their first child, Brooke, was born. “Brooke” was Nettie’s maiden name.
The Harts were perceived as Jewish by San Jose’s Jewish-Gentile elite, but race/ethnicity/religion played no role in the kidnapping and murder of young Hart — though it probably had everything to do with the violence that ensued.
When an Establishment account of the crime was finally published after decades of complete silence in the 1990s, the author said the kidnappers could not have selected a victim who “would more surely guarantee the violent retribution that followed” — an extraordinary statement.
Is that true? If so, why? Were the Harts proto-gangsters of some sort? Nothing I’ve seen suggests it.
The fact that Brooke Hart was Jewish is somehow key, though the author would never admit it.
Even so, why did he make such a claim? The Harts were not famous. Other kidnappers of wealthy people or their children were not lynched with fervent government-media participation the way these men were.
If events didn’t match the author’s statement so exactly, it would be easy to dismiss as meaningless. Instead, it provokes suspicion.
The extreme zeal of officialdom and the press to commit and then cover up and not prosecute the crime is difficult to grasp. Their weird eagerness closely resembles the lawless, unpunished violence that targets white Americans and our cultural heritage today.
The kidnappers wanted a big ransom. We can only surmise that they could not distinguish Jews from members of their own highly variable race, and had no idea how privileged and protected Jews are.
Brooke’s father Alexander and some of his children attended services at the San Jose synagogue founded by his father and uncle. In 1933 it still bore its original name, Congregation Bikkur Cholim.
The two Hart boys attended San Jose’s exclusive, Jesuit-run Bellarmine prep school, and Brooke had just graduated from private Santa Clara University, also Jesuit-run. Some of the university’s students participated in the lynchings.
The Kidnap-Murder of Brooke Hart
Kidnapping reached epidemic proportions in 1920s and 1930s America. The kidnap-murder of infant Charles Lindbergh, Jr. in 1932 was the most famous case, but there were countless others as well, including abductions of members of the German-American Busch (Adolphus Busch Orthwein, age 13, St. Louis, Missouri, 1930) and Hamm (William A. Hamm, Jr., age 39, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1933) brewing families. Many victims, including Orthwein and Hamm, were released unharmed after ransom was paid, but others were murdered.
After work on Thursday, November 9, 1933, Brooke Hart picked up his expensive automobile at a parking lot near the store to chauffeur his father to a Chamber of Commerce directors’ meeting. But the young man never showed up. A few hours later Alexander Hart reported his son missing.
According to their subsequent confessions, the alleged killers Thomas Thurmond and John Holmes murdered Hart one to one-and-a-half hours after seizing him. They tied him up, bashed his head with bricks, weighted the body, and tossed it into San Francisco Bay from the San Mateo Bridge.
The two confessions, as well as newspaper and radio accounts of the slaying, contain numerous inconsistencies.
Ransom Demands, Arrests, and the Recovery of the Body
That evening, ransom notes and telephone calls to the Hart residence began. $40,000 was demanded for the victim’s safe return.
Authorities tapped the Harts’ phone the night Brooke disappeared. Incoming calls were traced to locations in San Francisco, but the callers were gone by the time police arrived.
Letters, telegrams, and phone calls of a similar nature continued sporadically over the next seven days; the ransom demand was lowered to $20,000.
Finally, a call made by Thomas Thurmond was traced to a phone booth located near the San Jose police station, where the caller was arrested by blue-eyed Santa Clara County Sheriff William Emig — along with his men, the only hero in this story — and unethical San Jose Police Chief J. N. Black on November 16, 1933 at around 7:30 PM, a week after the kidnapping.
Before six hours of intense formal interrogation began, filling station attendant Thomas Harold Thurmond, 27, implicated John M. Holmes, 29, a Union Oil Co. salesman, married, and the father of two little children, as his collaborator.
The Bureau’s agent later informed J. Edgar Hoover that Holmes was not immediately arrested because they wanted to get Thurmond’s complete written statement on the record before he had an opportunity to consult an attorney. Thurmond signed the confession at 3 AM on November 17.
Holmes was rousted from bed a half hour later and subjected to a similar grilling. By 1 PM on November 17, he also signed a written confession.
A massive search for the victim began on November 9, the day he disappeared, and intensified after the men’s confessions on November 17. A number of clues were found, but Hart’s body was not discovered until November 26 by two duck hunters the day after the search had officially been called off.
The badly decomposed corpse was hard to identify. Even Brooke Hart’s best friend couldn’t positively identify him. A subsequent FBI account said it was by means of the teeth that the body was designated as Hart’s. His dental chart — chart, not x-rays in those days — “proved the most conclusive means of identifying him.”
FDR and J. Edgar Hoover’s Department of Investigation (DOI)
The newly-installed Roosevelt administration in Washington, DC immediately became involved.
The US Navy and Marine Corps participated in the search for Brooke Hart, along with state and local agencies.
J. Edgar Hoover’s federal police force, then called the Division of Investigation (DOI, two years later renamed the FBI), was mobilized. This was just prior to its massive expansion into a full-blown secret police outfit by Franklin Roosevelt, with a major assist from the mass media and Hollywood PR machines.
Roosevelt had assumed office a few months before on a conservative, old-style Democratic platform, so the constitutional division of powers — the principle that sovereignty is divided between the federal and state governments — had not yet been completely eviscerated.
Two years earlier, the kidnapping would have been exclusively a state crime. But the Federal Kidnapping Act (called “the Lindbergh law”) enacted the year before also made it a federal crime if victims were transported across state borders or the US mail was used to conduct ransom negotiations.
The Hart kidnapping never qualified on the first ground, so the federal government retroactively justified its involvement because some ransom notes were later delivered by mail. (The snatchers also used telegrams and telephone calls, which did not trigger federal jurisdiction.)
Not only was the San Francisco branch immediately active, but a Bureau agent stayed full-time in a room in the Hart mansion in San Jose beginning the evening the victim disappeared. The telephone company ran dedicated lines to that room shortly after midnight, meaning there was no time for any mail to have arrived.
The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin (October 1940, p. 22) states that an investigation conducted by its Special Agents led to the arrest of Thomas H. Thurmond as he was making a ransom call to the Hart mansion from a pay phone. Thurmond’s purported “complete confession” then implicated his alleged accomplice John M. Holmes, who was apprehended in San Jose a few hours later. (Key dates in this 1940 summary are off by one day.)
Both men were arrested by local officers and held in state, not federal, custody.
A federal grand jury indicted the prisoners on seven counts under the Lindbergh law, including extortion, using the mails for extortion, and conspiracy. The seven charges carried a maximum sentence of 122 years for each man.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff lodged separate charges against the pair for violations of California’s new kidnapping law (a state crime). This statute provided for death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The local prosecutor was preparing grand jury indictments on the state charges.
Thus, the constitutional safeguard against double jeopardy was selectively violated, as it so often is. This is the same piling on, overkill, and biased bullying universal among corrupt officials today. (The US Supreme Court has sanctioned such conduct.)
Officials should be required to file either federal or state charges, not both, and then be bound by the outcome rather than picking and choosing when to double up to chase headlines or discriminate against unpopular or reviled defendants.
The Lynch Committee
The Madera [California] Tribune reported that a secret committee of “20 influential friends of the socially prominent Hart family” had been formed in San Jose to insist on immediate and drastic punishment.
In reality, it was a high-level lynch committee. San Francisco Chronicle reporter Royce Brier had contacts within the group and reported its doings in a veiled way in his newspaper.
Brier said that 60-70 citizens signed a secret agreement to take “adequate action” against the “slayers.”
The “leaders of the movement,” who were “not the town ruffians,” approached men they felt could be implicitly trusted and “sounded them out.” If deemed acceptable, the candidate was given a password and instructions to see a second person at a specified time and place. If he passed that examination he was sent to a third man, who presented a written agreement for him to sign.
The vaguely-phrased written pledge to “see justice done” or “adequate action” taken, everyone knew meant lynching. It was this committee that directed everything which happened from behind the scenes.
Even in 1933 such behavior by a simultaneously tiny but “large” (in conspiratorial terms) group, including signatures on written agreements, left a trail a mile wide for investigators to follow. The point is, no investigator wanted to follow it — or did.
The scheme could only work because its leaders were above the law — and knew it. They enjoyed privileges and immunities unavailable to the vast majority of citizens in America, then or now. For whatever reason, they knew they would not be prosecuted like common criminals, much less selectively stamped into the ground like James Fields or the Capitol protestors.
As events proved, they bore no more risk than the shadowy cliques who direct coordinated mobs to burn down American cities and violently attack, murder, and maim white voters today. Not only are such cliques immune from prosecution, their mobs are as well.
Even a hack journalist who wrote the only account of the affair 60 years afterward — the story had been totally memory-holed after it happened — a goy friend and guardian of the Hart family who did not tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, but only partial truth combined with dissimulation to protect the evildoers, didn’t shrink from calling the Committee a “cabal.” He added:
Here was a grand conspiracy of homicide in the heart of [Santa Clara County Sheriff William] Emig’s territory, common knowledge to his peers and even to an out-of-town reporter. Yet the knowledge was being withheld from the sheriff by conspirators who were his friends, supporters, and usually his allies.
“All ‘inside’ San Jose [= insiders] knew about it, and knew the names of most of the pledge signers,” the Chronicle’s Brier reported. Everyone who counted knew there were plans afoot to lynch the prisoners before court proceedings could take place.
The Committee members bided their time, waiting for Hart’s body to be found — a formality to forestall the remote possibility of a System backlash, since “anti-lynching” rhetoric had by that time taken on a life of its own as a sanctified component of Establishment ideology.
Many rank-and-file Leftists, confused by the deceitful terminology, had been conditioned to think that lynching was intrinsically evil, whereas all that was really opposed was interracial lynchings by whites. Left-wing elites could care less about justice. They used universalist language only because it sounded good and gulled the credulous.
The recovery of Hart’s body was to be the “action signal” to trigger an already meticulously-planned lynching.
San Jose’s Corrupt City Administration
Taxi fleet owner, liquor dealer, and slot machine operator Charlie Bigley was the shadowy political boss of San Jose, a town that harbored “pimps, bookies, and gamblers.”
He controlled the city council and city manager, and through them the city itself. It has been speculated that he played a behind-the-scenes role in restraining multiple sources of local authority from doing their duty.
Crime, violence, corruption, and greed serve as primary vectors for Jewish infection of Gentile societies. They are one of that group’s principal means of obtaining and maintaining power over host populations. Criminal activity is socially parasitic at all times, but becomes especially malignant when it spreads into and contaminates large segments of the upperworld.
The seven-member city council passed a resolution stating it hoped “legal technicalities” (the law) would not impede punishment of the arrestees.
Police Chief J. N. Black, the Fire Chief, Mayor, City Manager, and Council all refused to assist the embattled Sheriff and his deputies while the jail was under siege, or to interfere in any way to stop the murders. Black had earlier lent the sheriff 12 San Jose police officers to help guard the jail, but as soon as Hart’s body was found (the Committee’s “action signal”), he summarily withdrew all but two of them.
The entire San Jose city administration was corrupt. Its passivity, if not active involvement, was a prerequisite for the crime to occur.
Though operating in metropolitan northern California, Bigley might have stepped from the pages of Raymond Chandler’s Black Mask stories set 300 miles to the south in Los Angeles.
San Jose was so corrupt that even its reformers were crooks. When a “reform” group finally ousted Bigley from power in 1944, the city immediately fell into the clutches of two Sicilian crime groups, the Cerrito family, and New York City’s Bonanno family, who fastened themselves onto the rapidly-growing town like leeches for decades thereafter.California Governor James Rolph (R.)
The reason the lynchings caused minor embarrassment and feigned disapproval by a handful of local and national System apparatchiks was Republican Governor James Rolph’s ostentatious blustering to the press.
Lynching, due to the self-righteous dissembling of its “opponents” for so many years, had acquired a bad odor by 1933.
Rolph had served 19 years as Mayor of nearby San Francisco, to this day the longest-serving Mayor of that city, and thus had many local contacts.
When Sheriff Emig and John Holmes’ defense attorney Vincent Hallinan separately contacted Rolph requesting state troops to protect the prisoners, he refused. Preening before reporters in Los Angeles three days before the killings, Rolph brazenly announced, “I am not going to call the [state National Guard] to protect the kidnappers who willfully killed a fine boy like that.”
He concluded, illogically, “Let the law take its course” — by which the charlatan meant, “Do not let the law take its course.”
Due to local dereliction of duty by everybody save Sheriff Emig, this was tantamount to a death sentence without trial or appeal for both men.
Rolph was as good as his word. He canceled his trip to the Western Governors’ Conference in Boise, Idaho solely to prevent Lt. Governor Frank Merriam from calling out the Guard, which the latter intended to do as soon as the Governor left the state.
Rolph also refused a second request for assistance from Emig a mere half hour before the pro-Hart forces stormed the jail. Via an intermediary, Rolph maintained a direct line to the Sheriff’s office, and doubtless another to the Committee, as he gleefully helped the latter cut the Sheriff’s throat.
The day after the murders, Rolph — long an ostentatious opponent of lawful capital punishment! — praised the killers: “That was a fine lesson to the whole nation and there will be less kidnapping in the country now. If anyone is arrested for the good job I will pardon him.”
His braggadocio, amplified by the national and international press, forced a few high-level hypocrites to issue toothless denunciations of the lynchings afterward.
Rolph died from a heart attack a few months later.
Reprinted with the permission of the author from National Vanguard.
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 Harry Farrell, Swift Justice: Murder and Vengeance in a California Town (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1992), pp. 190-191
 San Francisco Chronicle 6 A.M. Extra, November 27, 1933, p. B.