Holden Matthews, the 21-year-old son of a St. Landry Parish police deputy, has been arrested in connection with the fires that razed three Louisiana churches in the course of two weeks. The rural churches were all burned down between the end of March and beginning of April.
The Daily Beast says that Matthews was arrested on Wednesday, and was booked into the St. Landry Parish jail where he is awaiting a bail hearing.
On the Facebook page belonging to Matthews, he refers to himself as the lead singer and songwriter for a Black Metal band called Vodka Vultures in Leonville, Louisiana, which reportedly have a large neo-Nazi fan base. Matthews indicates on his page that he is a fan of a Norwegian metal musician named Varg Vikernes who served 15 years in prison for burning churches in Norway and killing another musician.
Like Vikernes, Matthews identifies as a pagan, and shares memes related to his music and his religion. Recently he posted a photo of a gun and a knife he claimed are his with a caption referencing a pagan Norse god.
“I carry this…..maybe not legally but I only truly follow the law of Odin….. which says as you said, arm yourself…… Odins advice> modern law.”
Holden Matthews, 21, has been arrested in connection to three arson fires at historically black churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. Matthews is the son of a St. Landry deputy: https://t.co/tLe3NqN6gw #breaking pic.twitter.com/5g91M25Tbd
— Tom Cleary (@tomwcleary) April 11, 2019
All three churches which were said to have been intentionally burned to the ground are historically black congregations which were all torched over 10 days. State Fire Marshal H. Browning said that his investigation indicates that the fires were related.
“There certainly is a commonality, and whether that leads to a person or persons or groups, we just don’t know.”
KATC says that there will be a news conference tomorrow morning given by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, which will also be attended by Gov. John Bel Edwards and officials from the FBI and ATF, all of whom played a role in the investigation.
Congressman Clay Higgins, who will also likely attend the news conference, released a statement to say how proud he is that an arrest was made.
“I’m very proud of the investigative effort that has lead to this arrest. I’m prayerful that we can close this horrific chapter and begin to heal. I’m especially uplifted by the Christian Community right now. God bless us one and all.”
US Attorney David Joseph made the announcement that an arrest had been made in the arson burnings of the three churches in St. Landry Parish, thanking everyone involved in the investigation for identifying the person allegedly involved so quickly.