Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Yaweh ben Yahweh Cult

White Devils

While Mitchell drew accolades in public, he became increasingly paranoid about what was being said about him at the warehouse.

He formed a secret group called "The Brotherhood," a band of tall, muscular young men available for discrete missions. To become a member of The Brotherhood, applicants had to kill a "white devil" and bring Mitchell a body part - an ear, nose or finger - as proof of the kill. Between April and October 1986, according to court papers, Mitchell's "Death Angels" descended on Miami frequently to kill random white people.

Robert Rozier
Robert Rozier
Robert Rozier, a former pro football player, was his chief enforcer.

Rozier, a muscular 6-foot-4 giant who once played football for the Saint Louis Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders, was one step from homelessness by the time he found Yahweh in 1982. He was wanted by police across the United States and in Canada for a string of petty crimes ranging from writing bad checks to forgery.

He moved into the Temple of Love after serving a six-month prison stint, and changed his name to Neariah Israel, or child of god. He worked hard in the Yahweh booze factory and earned brownie points with Temple elders.

On a Saturday night in April 1986, Rozier decided to try out for The Brotherhood. He donned street clothes, slipped a 12-inch Japanese-style knife inside his jacket, and left the warehouse to go hunting for white devils.

He ended up in Coconut Grove, a thriving gay neighborhood, and followed groups of people around, looking for someone who was weak or small, impatient to kill. A white man, stumbling down the street as if he were drunk caught his attention and Rozier followed him to his apartment. As the man opened the door, Rozier forced his way inside and stabbed the man in the heart. There was another white man living in the apartment, and he stabbed that man to death as well. He briefly considered chopping off their heads to take to Mitchell, but couldn't figure out how to transport the heads in public without arousing suspicion, so he left.

When Rozier showed Mitchell his knife the next day and told him what he did, Mitchell praised him. Next time, he'd remember to bring back a body part.

Rozier, who admitted killing seven people, later became the prosecution's star witness. In a cool, detached voice, he told the courtroom how, on another occasion, he and another Death Angel walked the streets of Miami for hours looking for white devils, before coming across a man passed out in a car in a bar parking lot. The two men stabbed the man in the chest repeatedly, then sliced off his ear. When they dropped it in the dark and couldn't find it, they went back and cut off his other ear and brought it to Mitchell.

As a reward, Mitchell gave the men the following day free; they went to see the movie Aliens.

As more white men, usually homeless or alcoholic drifters, started showing up dead and mutilated on Miami's streets, the police thought the killer was a deranged Vietnam vet. They never suspected the killings had been ordered by one of the city's revered black leaders.

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