UPenn’s Blaze Bernstein allegedly killed for kissing a neo-Nazi

New details have emerged in the case of a gay Jewish UPenn undergrad who was allegedly murdered by a high school friend and reported neo-Nazi.

Samuel Woodward, 20, of Newport Beach, Ca., was arrested earlier this month for the murder of Blaze Bernstein, 19, a sophomore at UPenn who went missing on Jan. 2 while visiting his parents in Lake Forest, Ca.

The two reportedly both attended Orange County School of the Arts.

On Jan. 2 they communicated on Snapchat before Woodward allegedly picked Bernstein up, Orange County prosecutors said.

The exact time and date of the homicide has not been determined. But a court affidavit recently discovered by ProPublica indicated that Woodward told police Bernstein tried to kiss him, and referred to him by a gay slur.

Woodward is also a member of Atomwaffen Division, new reports suggest. The organization is a domestic neo-Nazi group that purportedly advocates the violent overthrow of the United States. Bernstein was Jewish and openly gay.

While the specifics are not yet clear, Bernstein’s body was later discovered in a shallow grave in Borrego Park. Woodward had been noted cleaning his car and allegedly re-visiting Bernstein’s grave, prosecutors said, which along with DNA evidence at the scene and the car led to his arrest on Jan. 12.

Prosecutors have made no final determinations yet about filing hate crime charges against Woodward.

Woodward’s next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 2.

More from our Sister Sites