Southern Poverty Law Center
Wade Page was affiliated with the Hammerskins, a racist skinhead group.
Wade Michael Page, who shot and killed six people and wounded four others at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek before taking his own life, had connections with The Hammerskin Nation, a white supremacist group described by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) as "the most violent and best-organized neo-Nazi skinhead group in the United States."
Hammerskin Nation describes itself as a "leaderless group of men and women who have adopted the White Power Skinhead lifestyle." The group is made up of multiple regional organizations, including the Northern Hammerskins in the Midwest. According to a database of racist skinhead groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the regional group has branches in Illinois and Michigan.
The racist skinhead group is associated with many white supremacist bands, including two that Page played in. They held large concerts in the late 1990s and early 2000s; these gatherings are considered one of the best recruitment tools for finding new members, says the Anti-Defamation League.
Hammerskin Nation describes its origins as beginning in Texas in the late 1980s with the creation of the Confederate Hammerskins. From there, regional groups spread around the country. In 1994, it was decided the regional groups would dissolve, but were reinstated in 1999.
The group also claims links to the Milwaukee area. In 1988, the Skinhead Army of Milwaukee held a "Skinfest" concert, and soon after joined the Northern Hammerskins. One year later, a founder of the original group and the Northern Hammerskins was convicted of shooting at a group of Mexicans. Then in 1994, a member of a white supremacy band and of Hammerskin Nation was killed in Racine after a memorial concert for another member of the group.
Another ADL report on the arrest of Page's former girlfriend provides more details about white supremacist activities in Wisconsin.
The ADL additionally points to multiple crimes committed by members of the group around the country, all of them racially motivated.
The SPLC, which tracks hate groups around the country, currently lists eight hate groups in Wisconsin. Of those, three are located in Milwaukee; one of these is a "Black Separatist" organization, while the other two are "Neo-Nazi."