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Clements' Murder Suspect Practiced Controversial Religion In Prison

DENVER (CBS4)- New documents released by the Colorado Department of Corrections show the man believed to have killed Colorado Prison Chief Tom Clements practiced a controversial form of religion behind bars.

While behind bars before he became a murder suspect, Evan Ebel adopted a religion that is popular among white supremacists.

In documents filed with the Department of Corrections he complains about religious literature that was taken from his cell. That literature was related to what's called Asatru; Ebel called it his official religion.

"Prison is all about survival and all about claiming some sort of identity, some sort of belonging and powerful sense of belonging and religion is one of the key ingredients," said University of Denver Professor of Religion Dr. Carl Raschke.

Evan Ebel
Evan Ebel -- While on parole accused of killing Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements and young father Nathan Leon

Raschke said Asatru focuses on paganism practiced by the vikings.

During a phone interview with 4 On Your Side Investigator Rick Sallinger, priest of the Asatru Alliance in the U.S. insisted it's not a white supremacist religion.

"You cannot practice the religion of Asatru and be a hateful, bigoted person. It's just not part of our value system," said Asatru Alliance priest Valgard Murray.

According to documents, Ebel also requested a religious diet but Asatru has no special diet.

Ebel complained his magazines were censored for racial hatred. They were copies of "Resistance" which is a Neo-Nazi publication.

Also confiscated from Ebel's cell were writings in code and a letter he wrote to David Duke a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Also in the documents Ebel complained about being attacked by prison staff. Records show he was placed in administrative segregation for attacking a guard. He also filed a complaint about inmates being released directly from isolation into society.

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