DARROUX: Arsonist targeted black churches

Courtesy photo

Kris Darroux is a junior CIS major from The Commonwealth of Dominica.

Holden Matthews, a 21-year-old Opelousas man, was arrested last week in connection with res that destroyed three historically black Baptist churches in a 10-day span in St. Landry Parish.

Matthews, son of Sheriff’s Deputy Roy Matthews, was arrested on three counts of simple arson of a religious building, with each account carrying a maximum of a 15- year penalty

Matthews is said to be associated with “black metal”, a Norwegian music genre linked to multiple church burnings, anti-Christian values and a Norse (Goddess of death) believer.

Suspicious purchases such as the pictures of a red Scepter-branded gas can, for which he used his debit card and ID, his gold colored Ford truck that was seen in the video footage at two churches before and after theres, And his cell phone GPS records was just enough to get him caught.

But what must’ve led Matthews to committing such a crime? The authorities have not provided an of cial motive for Matthews crimes.

Matthews interest in black metal music could be linked, saying it is associated with church burnings.

Authorities are referencing Varg Vikernes who was arrested and accused of setting church res in Norway and killing one of his bandmates. Vikernes role in the church burnings were featured in a horror lm called Lords of Chaos. Matthews made several posts on Facebook referencing the movie, but his posts did not indicate whether or not he was involved in the extremist beliefs Vikernes has come to represent. Additionally pastors of the churches that were burned down expressed relief as Matthews has been captured. The three targeted churches have been active in the community for over 100 years, where families worshipped for generations. Congregants at several churches said they’ve never worshipped anywhere else and they’re struggling to grasp that a source of solace and constancy in their lives is gone.