Dr. George Tiller’s killer, Scott Roeder, has been accused of continuing his harassment of abortion providers from prison, a district attorney says.
Tiller’s killer was arrested and convicted in the May 2009 shooting death of the doctor, the culmination of a career he dedicated to providing abortions for women in need despite serious and repeated threats of violence against him.
Tiller’s killer was not the first to attempt to assassinate the reproductive rights pioneer, and in 1986, the doctor’s clinic was firebombed. Tiller was shot five times in the early 90s by anti-abortion activist Shelley Shannon, and in the years leading up to his murder, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly focused significant airtime on the man he repeatedly called “Tiller the baby killer.”
During the segments, O’Reilly referred to Tiller as “a savage on the loose, killing babies willy-nilly,” and alleged he was “operating a death mill.”
Tiller’s killer targeted the doctor during a service at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, where Tiller was handing out church bulletins at the time of his murder. The following January, Roeder was convicted of the murder of Dr. George Tiller and sentenced to life in prison.
Raw Story reports that Tiller’s killer has not ceased discussing violence against abortion providers from prison, and says that a jailhouse phone call between Roeder and anti-abortion activist Dave Leach discussed in part the re-opening of Tiller’s clinic — and the safety of those who run it.
The site quotes Tiller’s killer as having said:
“To walk in there and reopen a clinic, a murder mill where a man was stopped, is almost like putting a target on your back – saying, ‘Well, let’s see if you can shoot me.’ ”
In response, Leach is said to have told Tiller’s killer that additional murders of abortion providers would be “a blessing to the babies,” adding that a new abortion clinic at the location of Tiller’s old clinic was akin to “a gauntlet thrown down, by someone who wants a fight.”
Tiller’s killer will have reduced privileges for 60 days in light of the comments.