November 10th, 2004 John Schrag | Special Section Stories
 

THE WITNESS

Dave Mazzella

     
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THEN: In October 1990, the talk of the town was the trial of pudgy California neo-Nazi Tom Metzger in a wrongful death suit filed by the family of Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian student who was fatally beaten in Southeast Portland by skinhead thugs. The Seraw family secured smooth-talking Georgia lawyer Morris Dees, whose star witness was a gangly, bespectacled punk named Dave Mazzella who claimed (rather unconvincingly) that Metzger had sent him north to incite Portland skinheads to racist mayhem. The jury believed him, and ordered Metzger to pay damages of $12.5 million.

NOW: Dees and Metzger are much as before--Dees is still a crusading attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, while Metzger gives the Nazi salute on his website. But Mazzella's live has taken a surprising turn. After drifting awhile after the trial, he returned to Oregon several years ago with a new mission: to spread the word of God, not Hitler. Mazzella is an active member of the Applegate Christian Fellowship in Medford, where he served as pastor until he started a window-washing business with one of his churchmates six months ago. Now a 35-year-old father of three, he says he's raising his kids to be "open and tolerant" to others. Aside from an annual Christmas card, he says he doesn't have any contact with Dees. "We've all moved on," he says.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Intro | Tonya's Mob: Tonya Harding, Jeff Gillooly & Shawn Eckardt | The Crusader: Gordon Shadburne | The Meteor: Billy Ray Bates | Satan's Pilgrim: Rex Diabolos Church | The Firebrand: Ron Herndon | The Bad Boy: Frank Peters | The Broken Halo: Michael Stoops | The Crack Mother: Anita Nichols | The Veejay: Kennedy | The Girl from Electra: Treva Throneberry | The Perfect Victim: Azalea Cooley | The Grappler: Dutch Savage | Wonder Boy: Pat Gillis | The Ex-Files: Marcia & Steve Moskowitz | The Witness: Dave Mazzella | The Prankster: Igor Vamos | The Intern: Monica Lewinsky | The Runaways: Diane Walden & Peter | Top Cop: Mark Kroeker | Sprawl Kitten: Kate Schiele | Authority Figure: Rocky Balada | The Hulk: Dry Dock 4 | The Candidate: Gail Shibley | The Super: Ben Canada | The Organ Grinder: Dr. William J. Brady | Pillars of the Community: The Lovejoy Columns | The Survivor: Giles Thompson | The Contender: Andy Minsker | Space Invader: The Phantom Dialer | The Red Menace: Ma Anand Sheela

 
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