Neo-nazi Youth Who Killed Jewish Student Sentenced to Life Term
Menu JTA Search

Neo-nazi Youth Who Killed Jewish Student Sentenced to Life Term

Download PDF for this date

A sentence of life imprisonment was imposed in nearby Fairfax County, Va., on John C. Vinson, Jr., 18-year old Neo-Nazi, who shot a Jewish youth to death last August 31. He killed the Jewish boy, 17-year-old Lewis Goldfein, an honor student, on the grounds of the Goldfein home in a suburb of the national capital.

Vinson had been in previous difficulties for scrawling swastikas and was a known admirer of Nazism. Described by psychiatrists as able to distinguish between right and wrong although mentally ill and fascinated by violence and hatred, Vinson was found guilty of murder after being examined in a mental institution.

A probation officer reported to the court before sentence was passed that he could not in good conscience recommend a term that would free Vinson in less than 15 years. He said “it is important that the community will not be terrorized again as it has been over a period of two years. ” Under the life sentence pronounced by Judge Albert Bryan in Fairfax circuit court, Vinson will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least 15 years in prison. Vinson is the son of a police officer.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund