The Fight of Their Lives

Page 17 of 23

She told him her story, then added that she planned to marry Bob in August. She worried that Scott would try to stop it. His actions were just so bizarre. Scott's parents had taken a video of their grandchildren and given it to Scott to mail to Tracy. Instead, he substituted an anti-abortion tape, featuring "daddy" screaming outside clinics.

"I think he's going to kill me," she told Newell. "I don't know if I'll live to see my wedding day."

Newell promised to help.
Tracy's fears seemed justified when, five days before the wedding, Scott's parents posted a $50,000 bond to get him out of jail pending an appeal. Previously, he had told the court he was destitute.

Scott's probation officer called Tracy to warn her. She spent the next few days living in a motel with her daughters. On her wedding day, she used a rental car to reach the hotel where the ceremony was to take place so that Scott wouldn't recognize the vehicle. True to his word, Newell had posted bodyguards on the grounds, and the Arapahoe County sheriff placed deputies in the neighborhood and snipers on the hotel roof.

The wedding went on undisturbed.
By now, Scott had a new target: a Denver abortion doctor who was Jewish--his religion alone was an "abomination," according to Scott. Scott and Clifton Powell showed up at the doctor's synagogue while services were in progress. As Powell moved about the room shoving a video camera into people's faces, Scott tried to engage the congregation in a debate about the difference between Judaism and Christianity.

"At one point," says Newell, who was there to provide security for the doctor, "Powell went up to one little old lady and started videotaping her. She rolled back her sleeve to show the numbers tattooed on her arm from a concentration camp. She told Powell, 'You can't intimidate me.'"

After that, Scott seemed to tire of harassing the Denver doctor.

When he returned from another trip to the Peruvian Amazon in August 1994, Hern found a letter waiting for him:

"Doctor: As you must be acutely aware, there is an underground network forming that is monstrously contagious. The objective: to stop the murderous medical and non-medical persons such as yourself blatantly interfering with the right to life of innocents in the womb.

"What with the pro-choice feminist groups and their ilk, the evil government objectives and hidden agendas, certain Americans have decided that we too can be pro-choice. Pro-choice enough to take out a number of you abortionists at the same time all around the country no matter where you are. You have been selected by a random poll and fit all the criteria needed to qualify for this event.

"Careful to take note, bullet-proof vests are not enough to protect guilty murderers. There are other areas on the body that invite fatal wounds...

"All abortion laws are unjust, therefore ALL abortionists are fair game. It's a simple concept growing...All Hell is going to break loose and you will have a front row seat!"

Two months later Hern's old nemesis, Joe Scheidler, suddenly reappeared in Boulder, this time accompanied by several of Scott's cohorts, including Powell and David Lane, a 25-year-old twice-convicted felon. The group spent several days outside Hern's clinic, with Scheidler shouting through a bullhorn: "Warren Hern has got to go. Warren Hern is an evil man. His eyes are evil."

When Scheidler left the state, Scott took his place. And where Scott was, Newell was, too.

On November 25, 1994, while Lane videotaped from the top of the van, Scott stood in front of the clinic and began screaming for Hern. The doctor got his own video camera and started taping, opening the door just enough to film the action but ready to slam it shut if Scott pulled a weapon. After the 1988 shooting, Hern had replaced all the windows with bullet-proof glass.

As Scott screamed, Newell prepared to jump to Hern's defense. Boulder cops placed themselves between the clinic and Scott.

Hern had listened to a lot of angry rhetoric since 1973, but Scott was something else. "He screamed like some kind of rabid animal," he recalls. "There was spit coming out with the words."

"Fourteen years ago, I paid for an abortion," Scott screeched. "I cheated on my wife twice to get even with her...Those police officers can't save you, Warren. You better repent. Those officers can't escape death...

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Steve Jackson