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He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
So be good for goodness' sake!
O! You better watch out!
You better not cry,
Better shut up
And prepare to die.
Kevin Foster's coming to your house

Foster's demented Christmas song parody

Kevin Donald "God" Foster (né Bates) is an American killer and the leader of a self-stylized teenage militia called The Lords of Chaos, who perpetrated the brutal murder of Mark Schwebes.

Background

Foster was born as Kevin Donald Bates to John Bates and Ruby Foster on June 16, 1977, in Amarillo, Texas. John abandoned Foster and Ruby when he was just an infant. Ruby was then left to raise both Foster and his half-sister (from a previous marriage) by herself. They moved to two different states through Foster's childhood before ultimately returning to Texas. Ruby then married John Foster, who adopted her son at the age of 12 and gave him his current identity. They then moved to Cuba, Missouri, then to Fort Myers, Florida, before finally settling in Canyon, Texas.

Foster began to idolize infamous outlaws such as William H. 'Billy the Kid" Bonney and the James brothers. This was presumably the first steps to his idolizing of Randy Weaver, David Koresh, and later Timothy McVeigh. Foster later alleged that a relative told him he was related to Quanah Parker. The family yet again moved back to Fort Myers, this time settling there. Foster began showing further signs of sociopathy as he grew older. Former schoolmates at the high school he attended (Riverdale High School) referred to him as a "psycho" due to his erratic behavior. He also took apparent pride in the fact that he shared the surname of the fictional serial killer Norman Bates, even going as far as posting a Bates Motel Vacancy sign on his room door. Despite this, there are others who described Foster as a highly charismatic and manipulative kid who acted normal on the outside, but was secretly a psycho. Foster met Peter Edward "Pete" (later nicknamed "Fried") Magnotti (born August 8, 1978) during his freshman year at the school and he became the first member and right hand of the Lords of Chaos. Foster also had several prior arrests for driving violations and other crimes. Foster's parents were also apparently pawn shop owners that sold guns, resulting in him receiving the weapon (a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun with an equipped suppressor) he would later use in the murder as a Christmas gift at the age of 13. Foster also once took care of a neighbor's cancer-stricken son, who later died.

The Lords of Chaos

Early Activities

After the group acquired another core member, Christopher Paul "Chris" (later nicknamed "Slim") Black (another student at the school), the Lords of Chaos began their activities in the form of a vandalism and arson spree (in which they broke the windows of several cars, broke into a gas station store, set a church bus on fire, and even burned a cage containing two macaws, which killed one of them). Foster decided after this to form the Lords of Chaos as a militia group to spread terror and destruction within their community. The Ø became the group's symbol as a reference to a math test question Foster got incorrect. The group acquired another core member, Derek "Mob" Shields (born August 19, 1977) and several lesser members.

A reporter for the article East Lee Tribune insulted the group for their activities, and in response, they wrote a document manifesto as a 'declaration of war and formal introduction', which they intended to send to the Lee County Clerk/Traffic Violations Bureau but relented. On April 20, the Lords of Chaos bombed a Coca-Cola bottling plant in an attempt to replicate McVeigh's bombing (and apparently as retaliation to the Waco Siege, much like the Oklahoma City Bombing). They used a can of Pepsi filled with gun powder fitted with a large firework fuse and also several propane tanks stolen from a Starvin Marvin's to destroy the building and watched the scene from a nearby picnic table. Just six days later Shields and Foster carjacked Shield's landlord and the owner of a Alva County Diner, Emory Lewis (who Shields loathed because he called his mother a "whore" and "white trash"). On April 30, the Lords of Chaos attempted to steal clothes from a local Dillard's store using a smoke grenade rigged with trip wire (for an apparent massacre at Walt Disney World at "Grad Nite"). The plan ultimately failed when the grenade proved to only be a harmless dud. The Lords of Chaos later decided to vandalize their school's auditorium, but their plan was ultimately thwarted by Mark Charles Schwebes, the school's 32-year old band director, who caught several members loitering outside the school and confiscated several stolen items from them. After identifying two of the members, he told them not to be surprised if they received a visit from the police the next morning (implying he would tell them of their activities). After he left for dinner with a friend named David Adkins, Shields declared that Schwebes had to die that same night, thus the Lords of Chaos plotted what would be both the ultimate peak of and the end of their reign of terror.

Murder of Mark Schwebes

The lesser members of the Lords of Chaos went home after this, leaving only the core members to carry out the act. After acquiring more gear for the murder, they obtained Schwebes' home address with local directory assistance and drove to his house. They plan was organized as such:

  • Foster would murder Schwebes
  • Black was the driver
  • Shields would knock on Schwebes' door
  • Magnotti would act as the lookout

Along the way there, Foster sang a twisted version of the Christmas song Santa Claus is Coming to Town. They arrived at Schwebes' house at approximately 11:30 pm and carried out their plan as they intended. Magnotti knocked on the door, and when Schwebes answered, Foster shot him in the face with the shotgun. He also shot Schwebes once in the buttocks post-mortem because he believed Schwebes was a homosexual. They then fled, leaving two shotgun shells at the murder scene. Foster was extremely proud and offered the other members cigarettes afterwards.

Arrest, Convictions, and Sentencing

Authorities initially believed the murder was tied into a love triangle Schwebes was supposedly caught in. The Lords of Chaos (including its lesser members) began boasting about the murder. One such lesser member, Craig Lesh, bragged to his ex-girlfriend, Julie Schuchard, about the murder on May 2 and she ultimately reported it to authorities. The police apprehended Lesh and ultimately learned of the Lords of Chaos' crimes (including the bombing) and arrested the core members while they were on their way to rob a Hardee's. Both Brad Young and Lesh were released and were never charged. The other members besides Foster all made plea deals and were never brought to trial - only Foster stood trial.

At the trial, Foster was offered life without parole, but he turned it down (saying it was worse than being executed by Florida's Old Sparky electric chair). Ultimately on June 7, 1998, Foster was sentenced to death by judge Issac Anderson. Ruby Foster was also sentenced along with her son in 2000 for conspiring to murder the testifying members of the Lords of Chaos. She was sentenced to five years. Foster tried to appeal several times after his sentence but was denied each time. While incarcerated, the Lords of Chaos were interviewed by a reporter named Jim Greenhill, who later wrote a book titled Someone Has To Die Tonight.

Members

Core

The core members of the Lords of Chaos.

  • Kevin Donald Foster ("God"), 42 (sentenced to death and incarcerated at Union Correctional Institution)
  • Peter Edward "Pete" Magnotti ("Fried"), 41 (sentenced to 32 years in prison and incarcerated at Cross City Work Camp)
  • Christopher Paul "Chris" Black ("Slim"), 41 (sentenced to life in prison and incarcerated at Avon Park Correctional Institution)
  • Derek Shields ("Mob"), 42 (sentenced to life in prison and incarcerated at Okeechobee Correctional Institution)

Lesser

  • Christopher Thomas "Red" Burnett (sentenced to 2 years in prison and 10 years probation)
  • Thomas "Dog" Torrone (sentenced to 1 year in prison and 10 years probation)
  • Brad Young (wasn't charged)
  • Craig Lesh (wasn't charged) 
  • Russell Ballard (wasn't charged)

Modus Operandi

Since Foster only killed one victim, the term M.O. is somewhat misused. When he killed Mark Schwebes, he shot him once in the face with a 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun equipped with a suppressor and then shot him once in the buttocks post-mortem.

Known Victims

Mark Schwebes

  • Note: This list also covers crimes Foster committed with his group.
  • Unspecified dates: Numerous unspecified arrests for driving violations and other crimes.
  • 1996
    • April 12: Numerous victimless arsons and vandalism acts, including:
      • Several victimless acts of car vandalism (smashed their windows)
      • A victimless gas station store invasion
    • Unspecified dates: Two victimless arsons:
      • An unoccupied church bus (attempted to burn)
      • A bird cage containing two macaws (one died)
    • Unspecified date(s): Numerous victimless thefts at a Starvin Marvin's (stole propane tanks)
    • April 20: A victimless bombing at a Coca-Cola bottling plant (a replication of Timothy McVeigh's bombing)
    • April 26: Emory Lewis (Shield's landlord; carjacked only; he was uninjured; his car was later destroyed)
    • April 30:
      • An attempted theft at a Dilllard's store
      • An abandoned plan to kill minorities at Walt Disney World
      • An attempted vandalism of Riverdale High School
      • Derek Shields (one of the members; threatened by Foster only)
      • Mark Schwebes, 32 (their school's band director; killed as revenge for stopping their plan to vandalize the school; shot once in the face and in the buttocks post-mortem by Foster)
    • Unspecified date: An intended robbery at a Hardee's

On Criminal Minds

  • Season Three
    • "3rd Life" - Foster and the Lords of Chaos were mentioned by Prentiss when she points out that the episode's unsubs, Ryan Phillips and his gang were teenagers as well. They also appear to have been based on the Lords of Chaos - Both were teenage gangs who all met at the high school they attended, committed crimes prior to their final act, and both the group's leaders were involved in a final scenario with another man and a shotgun (Foster killed his school's band director with one, while Phillips was murdered by Jack Vaughn with one instead). Also the way Phillips murdered Douglas Silverman could be a further reference to the way Foster conspired to murder several members of the Lords of Chaos for testifying against him.

Sources

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