Robert Jay Mathews
Mathews was born in Marfa, Texas on January 16, 1953, the youngest of three boys born to Johnny and Una Mathews. His father, of Scottish descent, was mayor of the town, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce, as well as a businessman and leader for the local Methodist church. His mother was the town's Cub Scout den mother.
The family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Though he was an average student in grade school, history and politics interested him. At age 11, he joined the John Birch Society, a radical right-wing advocacy group supporting anti-communism and limited government. Matthews was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a high schooler.
Mathews formed the "Sons of Liberty," an anti-communist militia mostly made up of Mormon survivalists. At its peak, it had approximately 30 members. After filling out his employer's W-4 Form claiming ten dependents, reportedly as an act of tax resistance, he was arrested for tax fraud, tried, and placed on probation for six months. After a falling out between the Mormon and non-Mormon members of the Sons of Liberty, the organization stagnated and Mathews withdrew from it.
After his probation ended in 1974, he moved to Metaline Falls, Washington, where Mathews and his father purchased sixty wooded acres for their new home.
Mathews and Debbie McGarity were married in 1976. He raised Scottish Galloway cattle. He and Debbie McGarity adopted a son in 1981. Mathews later had a biological daughter with his mistress, Zillah Craig.
White supremacy and The Order
Mathews was an avid supporter of White Supremacy and a member of the National Alliance, who he attempted to recruit people for. He was also a fan of The Turner Diaries by National Alliance founder William Luther Pierce.
In September 1983, Mathews and several members of the Aryan Nations formed an insurgent group known as The Order influenced by The Turner Diaries. Mathew's first plan was to carry out robberies in order to get money to fund white separatist groups. As a result, Mathews and the other members robbed several armoured cars and pornography shops. However, when one member was arrested for counterfeiting, The Order were forced to commit various robberies to pay his bail, resulting in another member being arrested.
The following year, Mathews officially declared war on the federal government, however one of the Order members who had been arrested informed on Mathews and the others, and the police laid siege to Mathew's home. When he refused to surrender, the police fired smoke grenades into his house, before opening fire on him when he shot at them, hitting a box of hand grenades and causing an explosion which set the house on fire. Mathews continued to fire at them, but suddenly stopped. When police entered to investigate, they discovered Mathew's charred corpse, with the cause of death later being established as a combination of smoke inhalation and fatal burns.
Mathew's body was cremated and his ashes scattered on his property in Washington State.