By Jacob Geiger and Melissa Caron

Angie Layman said she’ll never forget the day that her relationship with her landlord, William White, turned bitter after her son walked into the room.

“Oh, I didn’t know you had black kids,” she recalled White saying.

After Layman told White her children are biracial, not black, she said White “just started giving me hell, I’d guess you say. He’d call my son a little n—–.”

Layman is one of many people in Roanoke – from tenants to members of the NAACP – targeted by White on his Web site,, or in his business dealings.

For more than a decade, White hurled insults through cyberspace at people he disliked, including blacks, Jews and other minorities, according to court records in Roanoke and Chicago.

He has been a frequent litigant in both federal and local courts. In four and a half years, he has been either the instigator or defendant in 16 civil lawsuits and one criminal case in the Roanoke courts.

He is also a defendant in two federal criminal cases, and he brought five civil cases and filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court.

In October White was indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on charges that he encouraged violence against a man who served as foreman of a jury in the trial of another white supremacist.

In 2004, the jury convicted Matthew Hale of trying to have federal Judge Joan Lefkow murdered.

White is charged with posting the juror’s name, address and phone numbers on his Web site. He is currently awaiting trial in Chicago.

Meanwhile, the FBI has shut his Web site down.

In December a Roanoke grand jury indicted White on separate charges of posting threats or sending threatening e-mails and letters to a black newspaper columnist, a Holocaust survivor and a bank employee who was handling a dispute White had with the bank.

The indictment also said he sent threatening letters to black residents in Virginia Beach who were involved in a dispute with their landlord, whom White did not know.

Layman said White refused to take care of the property she rented from him. She said she didn’t have water or heat for a week or more at a time.

“He told me to get the n—–s to fix it for me,” she said.

White also accused her of not paying rent, Layman said. She said she paid in cash but has no receipts to prove it.

White arrived in Roanoke in 2004 from Montgomery County, Md., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Montgomery, Ala.-based group that monitors racist and white supremacist activity around the country.

In June 2004, court records show, White began buying homes and apartments in low-income areas of western Roanoke. He eventually purchased 26 properties, most through a real estate company he started, White Homes and Land, according to court documents.

White said in a posting on his Web site that he was buying property as part of a “ghetto beautification project,” a term he never fully explained, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Some of the properties had tenants living in them when White purchased them, and Brenda Walker, housing chairman for the Roanoke NAACP, said White tried to rent out the houses that were vacant.

But as the NAACP and the One People’s Project, an anti-racist group founded by Daryle Jenkins, began telling western Roanoke residents about White’s political beliefs, he had trouble enticing people to rent from him, Walker said.

With mortgage bills on the properties piling up, White filed for bankruptcy in June 2008. According to bankruptcy records, the properties were worth more than $1.36 million, and White was behind on the mortgage payments on all 26 of them.

Since his arrest, his wife Meghan has been managing the properties. She did not return several calls seeking comment.

On May 5, 2008, White told his Web site’s readers that he planned to close his business and sell its assets at auction. He said his battles with tenants and Meghan’s illness after the premature birth of their daughter made him decide to close up shop.

“I no longer have the patience to continue to govern over white trash and n—–s and the scum of the earth, and if I’m going to go on a murder rampage in the area, I hope to unwind my company and my investments first,” White said.

When White began buying property in Roanoke, it took only a few months for tenants to start complaining about him to the NAACP, Walker said.

She said Layman called her in July 2004 and complained that White was forcing her out of her apartment because her children are biracial.

After another tenant also complained, Walker said she canvassed the neighborhood and found that tenants were too afraid of White to talk to her.

But Walker said she helped Layman and another tenant file a complaint with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. She said other tenants initially supported the complaint but backed off because they feared retribution from White.

By September 2004, most tenants had moved away from the homes White owned on Chapman and Patterson avenues, Walker said.

Brenda Hale, president of the NAACP in Roanoke, said it was frustrating when White attacked her and Walker on in a way that NAACP attorneys said was protected by the right to freedom of expression under the First Amendment.

“He said I was a prostitute and a drug dealer and all kinds of things,” Walker said. “I took all kinds of precautions in case something were to happen. It did make me nervous for a few days.”

Walker said she hasn’t worried about her safety since White’s arrest. Asked if she was concerned whether one of White’s supporters or someone who had read his Web postings would bother her, she reiterated her belief that she was safe.

“He has no followers,” she said. “He’s a loner.”