WC is usually satisfied to let perverts rot without publicity. But Chris Simcox is such a strange story that it’s worth a look.
Chris Simcox, most recently of Phoenix, Arizona, taught kindergarten through third grade at the affluent, private Wildwood School in Los Angeles, California,1 for a reported 13 years.[^2] After his employment as a teacher ended, he became a grade school tutor. His tutoring business fell apart after he left a threatening message for his estranged spouse on her voice mail. That cost him his marriage, custody of his kid and most of his tutoring clients.
What does a jobless, low-skill guy with anger management and judgment issues do?
Why, he becomes a Minuteman, of course, a member of a militia. And then, to hear his story, he had a Saul-like moment and decided the thing to do was co-found something called the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, stringing sentries along border smuggling trails. Vigilanteeism. And, given the climate of the times, thereby draw worldwide attention.
fame notoriety was tempered by harsh criticism of both his motives and his credibility. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, commissioned a report that depicted Simcox as a “relentless self-aggrandizer who comes across with the smug egotism and fiery conviction of a former nobody.”
When the vigilante business lost its fifteen minutes of fame, Simcox tried to make a living as a public speaker and consultant. He made a brief run against Senator John McCain (R, Arizona). By 2012, Simcox told the Southern Poverty Law Center, which was investigating the possible involvement of extremist groups like Simcox’s Minutemen in the killings of Mexicans crossing the Arizona border, that he had left the movement and was living a quiet life tutoring schoolchildren in suburban Phoenix.
Then, in 2016 he provided another data point for the Hypocrisy Hypothesis. Two girls, ages 5 and 6, alleged that Simcox molested and sexually assaulted them respectively. During the trial Simcox opted to represent himself despite not being an attorney.2 Simcox told the jury that the girls were pressured by adults to bring forward the charges and that they were baseless. The jury didn’t buy it. He was convicted on two counts of child molestation and one count of furnishing obscene material to a minor.
He was sentenced Monday to 19.5 years in the Big House; 17 years for each molestation charge, to run concurrently, and 2-and-a-half-years for the obscene materials charge.
So another fervid patriot, another Second Amendment vigilante, another guy who wrapped himself in the Bible and the American flag, turns out just to be another pervert, preying on young children.
It’s not even a surprise any more.
[^2: Even as WC writes, parents of kids who attended Wildwood while Simcox was there are asking pointed questions of the school administration.