This post includes stories of terrorism and murder.
The jury deliberated for only a few hours before finding the gunman guilty of the murder. He was sentenced to life in prison, a sentence he is still serving. The shooter of Dr. Gunn originally stated he was following God’s orders, but his attorneys later argued he had been brainwashed by a Florida anti abortion leader and Assembly of God lay minister.
That man was an alcoholic vetetan who three separate shooters credited as their “spiritual advisor”. He ran a “safe house” for pregnant teens and unwed mothers. In 2005 he was convicted on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior and child abuse against a 15 year old in his charge. He died serving an 18 year sentence.
This unprecedented assassination helped galvanize Congress to pass the FACE Act. On the terrorist side, it encouraged a future assassin to issue a statement justifying homicide of abortion providets, the First Defensive Action Statement. Thirty anti abortion movement leaders signed it. Open warfare was declared.
One of the signatories was the movement’s first women would-be murderer. She had taken part in anti abortion actvities since 1988. After the Pensacola murder she wrote the imprisoned gunman dozens of letters, praising him. In August 1993 amidst a raucous protest in front of a Wichita, Kansas clinic, she used a semiautomatic pistol to shoot Dr. George Tiller in both arms. She was sentenced to eleven years for attempted murder.
In 1995 she pled guilty to setting fires and using butyric acid to attack nine clinics. The federal judge presiding over that trial sentenced her well beyond normal sentencing guidelines, to twenty years, not to start until her eleven year sentence for attempted murder was completed. Her projected release date is November of next year. Her adult daughter was convicted of sending a death threat to an abortion provider in Milwaukee, Minnesota in 1997.