John Patler (born Yanacki Christos Patsalos also John Chirst Patsalos on January 6, 1938), is the convicted assassin of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell. Patler--born in the Bronx--was of Greek heritage and grew up in a poor and violent family. His father shot and killed his mother in 1943 and was imprisoned at Sing Sing in New York. Patler served in the US Marines from 1958 to 1960 and was honorably discharged after being arrested at a Party rally.
He legally changed his name in 1960 to John Patler to make his surname sound close to Hitler's name. While he was involved with the American Nazi Party he was the chief cartoonist for their publication, The Stormtrooper.
Patler was a former member of the New York based National Renaissance Party and became an early member of the American Nazi Party rising to the rank of captain. In 1962 he left the ANP with Daniel Burros and formed the American National Party which lasted about a year. In the Summer of 1966 he moved back to Virginia and rejoined Rockwell’s organization. For the next few months he drifted in and out of the party. During this time in Chicago he was working with the party attempting to organize their motorcycle corps called the White Guard. Patler developed Marxist leanings and began to cause friction between fair and dark complexion party members. Rockwell expelled him from the party in March 1967.
In Arlington, Virginia on August 25, 1967, Patler fired two shots from his Mauser semi-automatic pistol, striking Rockwell twice, once in the head and the other in the chest. Patler was convicted of the murder and received a twenty year sentence. Paroled in 1975, he breached his parole conditions and served a further six years, being released in 1981.
On a different note Karl Allen, the former deputy commander to Rockwell, believed Patler was framed by the ADL and started a John Patler Defense Fund on his behalf.
- John Patler at Murderpedia
- Police Search for Rockwell Slaying Weapon Eugene-Register Guard August 26, 1967
- "U. S. Nazis Sow Hate, Look for Revolution" The Deseret News October 19, 1966
- American Fuehrer: George Lincoln Rockwell and the American Nazi Party By Frederick James Simonelli, page 180
- Patler's brother C. George Sparta dies in Virginia
- One Reason for Our Failure to Flourish: Illegal Harassment by the Federal Government