John Russel Houser was both a supporter of the far-right Tea Party, the extremist Christian Westboro Baptist Church and even Adolf Hitler web accounts connected to the 59-year-old Louisiana theater shooter reveal.
Houser, who went by the name Rusty, committed suicide Thursday night after opening fire in a screening of the movie Trainwreck at a Lafayette, Louisiana theater- killing two others and injuring nine.
Houser also owned two short-lived bars – Rusty’s Buckhead Pub which was open for just two years in Lagrange, Georgia between 1998 and 2000 and Peachtree Pub which was open for a year and a half in Columbus, Georgia and closed in 1980.
He lost his liquor license at Rusty’s Pub in 2001 for serving minors, and responded by hanging a flag the size of a bed sheet on the building featuring a swastika for several week.
He said this was because the police were acting like the Nazis.
‘The people who used it – the Nazis – they did what they damn well pleased,’ Houser told the LaGrange Daily News of the swastika symbol at the time.
Houser was also arrested on arson charges in the 1980s after hiring a hitman to set fire to the law offices of a man who represented a string of pornographic theaters.
The hitman ended up being a police informant.
The lawyer, John Swearingen, agreed to not press charges, despite Houser allegedly saying he did not care if the man died, as long as he received mental health treatment.
NBC News obtained a 1989 mental evaluation of Houser in which Swearingen, said; ‘He was very intent on burning down the law office. He was some kind of religious fanatic and as I recall he said God told him to do it.’
Houser, the son of a former city tax commissioner and a law school graduate, also ran for office at one point trying to obtain the same position, but withdrew from the election after he was accused of stealing his opponent’s lawn signs and a reporter informed he that the paper would be reporting on his previous arson arrest.
‘He came to many City Council meetings and he was in tune with a lot of issues that were going on in the community,’ said former Columbus Mayor Bobby Peters.
‘He was very outspoken, highly intelligent, really didn’t trust government and anything about government. He always thought something was going on behind the scenes. He came across with a very conservative agenda.’
Online profiles connected to Houser are also revealing more details about him and paint a picture of a paranoid man who felt that American economic policy and morals were bringing about an end of days.
‘America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world. I know next to nothing about Iran, but the little I do tell me they are far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm,’ Houser, who goes by Rusty, wrote in a December 2013 post on an apparently conservative Christian website called Fellowship of the Minds.
Also that month, Houser wrote on his Facebook, asking for help translating Iranian newspapers.
He spoke highly of the Middle East as well in his profile for the site InterPals, an online community for making friends around the world.
‘Learning about the people of the Middle East is most important to me.They have been painted as scum by the ‘establishment media,’ wrote Houser in his profile.
‘It appears they are exactly the opposite, that they are family people.That is the highest status that a people can achieve, and it is what America has lost.’
He said he was hoping to makes friends with Middle Eastern people on the site.
In yet another bizarre Facebook post, Houser preached a strict adherence to the Bible, while condemning America at the same time.
‘The bible doesn’t ask me to like what it says, only to obey it. Death comes soon to the financially failing filth farm called the US.’
Many of Houser’s posts dealt with what he believed to be an inevitable end of days, spurred on by disintegrating American morals.
Commenting on a news story about a man who was found murdered at his deer-processing business in 2013, Houser wrote: ‘I am sincerely sorry for the loss of this fellow in the deer processing business. Most people over 50 in certain businesses are just as their parents were, rock solid morally.’
But when he continued, the post took a turn.
‘I am also sorry for what is to come for the other very few moral souls left in the entire US. I am not sorry for the 90 per cent immoral population which will be meeting the same fate.
‘Filth is rampant. That none have stood against it causes me to take rest in the worst than MAD MAX future which approaches,’ Houser said.
Houser also had a profile on the conservative website Tea Party Nation, and described himself elsewhere online as ‘very conservative’ and asked for help finding white-power groups.
And in a Twitter account connected to Houser’s name, he once voiced support of the extremist Westboro Baptist Church.
‘The Westboro Baptist Church may be the last real church in America [members not brainwashed],’ Houser wrote.
In line with a far-right ideology, Houser apparently went on a Georgia radio show several times in the 1990s to preach against abortion.
Calvin Floyd, who hosted a morning call-in show on WLTZ-TV in Columbus, Georgia, says Houser also espoused other radical views, including his opposition to women in the workplace. Floyd, now 71, says he would put Houser on with a Democrat because ‘he could make the phones ring.’
Floyd described Houser, as an ‘angry man’ who made ‘wild accusations’ about all sorts of local officials and topics.
‘If you gave me 40 names and 40 pictures of people who might have done that, I wouldn’t have hesitated to point him out,’ Floyd told The New York Times in an interview.
‘I could just sense the anger was there. Maybe I should have been afraid of him. He had a very hostile personality at times.’
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, said it has had John Russell Houser’s name in its files since 2005, when he registered at former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s European-American Unity and Rights Organization conference.
In online forums, Houser wrote of the ‘power of the lone wolf’ and expressed interest in white power groups, anti-Semitic ideas and the anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church, which protests soldiers’ funerals, the center said.
‘Hitler is loved for the results of his pragmatism,’ Houser wrote in January on the website stateofmind13.com.
‘There is no question of his being the most successful that ever lived. At this time the US is no more than a financially failing filth farm. Soon the phrase “ruling with an iron hand” will be palatable anew.’
In another post on the Golden Dawn website, he said: ‘It is a shame Tim McVeigh is not going to be with us to enjoy the hilarity of turning the tables with an IRON HAND.’
On another site he wrote; ‘Here is something that is truly funny: since I accepted this it came to me that the president is doing exactly what Tim McVeigh did,only the president is much more effective.
‘The way I see it,the faster he wrecks this nation, which in no way resembles what it’s founders envisioned,the faster working people with morals may re-assume command.’
In that same thread he also wrote; ‘For the few who will understand this, it is my hope that you will see to one preparation for the coming downfall, which will be worse than a Mad Max scenario.
‘That preparation is not storing up canned goods, munitions,etc, but to gather what will be necessary to put in your families food to insure a painless and certain death should the need arise.’
Court records have also revealed that Houser’s wife and family asked for a temporary protective order in 2008 against him, for ‘extreme erratic behavior’ and making ‘disturbing statements.’
His wife also made a domestic violence complaint against him in 2005.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk