Julie Widner was terrified — afraid her husband would do something reckless, even disfigure himself.

“We had come so far,” she says. “We had left the movement, had created a good family life. We had so much to live for. I just thought there has to be someone out there who will help us.”

After getting married in 2006, the couple, former pillars of the white power movement (she as a member of the National Alliance, he a founder of the Vinlanders gang of skinheads) had worked hard to put their racist past behind them. They had settled down and had a baby; her younger children had embraced him as a father.

And yet, the past was ever-present — tattooed in brutish symbols all over his body and face: a blood-soaked razor, swastikas, the letters “HATE” stamped across his knuckles.

Wherever he turned Widner was shunned — on job sites, in stores and restaurants. People saw a menacing thug, not a loving father. He felt like an utter failure.

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