John Patler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Patler
Born John C. Patsalos
(1938-01-06) January 6, 1938 (age 78)
New York City, New York, U.S.

John Patler (born January 6, 1938) is an American former neo-Nazi who was convicted of assassinating American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell on August 25, 1967.

Patler was born John C. Patsalos in New York City to Greek parents.[1] When Patler was five, his mother was shot and killed by his father, who was sent to Sing Sing Prison. He changed his name to Patler in 1960.[2]

Patler served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1958 to 1960, when he was honorably discharged on grounds of "unsuitability"[3] after being arrested at a Nazi Party rally.[2]

Patler had been a captain in the American Nazi Party and the editor and cartoonist for the party's magazine, Stormtrooper. However, he was expelled from the Party in March 1967 for alleged "Bolshevik leanings" after disagreeing with Rockwell about some of the party's policies.[4] Patler later described his relationship with Rockwell in very endearing terms, stating "I loved him like a father and he loved me like a son".[5] In his last known letter to Rockwell, Patler wrote "I don't think there are two people on earth who think and feel the same as we do. ... You are a very important part of my life. I need you as much as you need me. Without you there is no future".[5]

On August 25, 1967, George Lincoln Rockwell was shot and killed while getting into his car, which was parked in front of a self-service laundry at an Arlington, Virginia shopping center.[6] The weapon used in Rockwell's killing was a 7.63mm Broomhandle Mauser pistol. Patler was arrested half an hour later about a mile from the scene of the shooting.[7]

Patler was convicted of first-degree murder on December 16, 1967 by an Arlington jury and subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison by Arlington Circuit Court Judge Charles Russell.[7] Patler was paroled from prison in 1975, after having served eight years of his sentence. After later violating his parole, he received an additional six-year sentence.[4]


  1. ^ "Oct 1967 - American Nazi Party. Murder of Mr. Rockwell.". Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Ex-aide is held for slaying of US Nazi Chief". Lawrence Journal-World. August 26, 1967. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Nazi head slain". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. August 26, 1967. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Killer of American Nazi Chief Paroled". St Joseph News-Press. August 23, 1975. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Simonelli, Frederick James (1999). American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party. University of Illinois Press. pp. 131–135. ISBN 0-252-02285-8. 
  6. ^ "1967: 'American Hitler' shot dead". BBC News. August 25, 1967. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Patler convicted, faces 20 years". Free Lance-Star. December 16, 1967. Retrieved August 12, 2011.