Paper swastikas and hate speech found on Stoneham resident’s property

"The swastikas found on the steps of a Jewish family’s home in Stoneham this morning is a very personal kind of hate at a time when the Jewish community is feeling vulnerable."

A Stoneham resident found paper swastikas inscribed with hateful language scattered on their property Tuesday morning, police said

Stoneham police were dispatched to a property on Whittemore Lane at about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday for a report of vandalism. They found the swastikas once they arrived. 

The department is conducting an “aggressive” investigation, police said, and detectives do not believe that this was a random incident. 

“There is no place for this kind of hate and bigotry in our community,” Stoneham Police Chief James McIntyre said in a statement. “Our detectives are committed to a full and thorough investigation, including any possible criminal charges against the party responsible.” 


Stoneham police said they are in contact with the Anti-Defamation League’s New England chapter, which is supporting the community and the department as they investigate. 

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact Stoneham Police at (781) 438-1215.

“The swastikas found on the steps of a Jewish family’s home in Stoneham this morning is a very personal kind of hate at a time when the Jewish community is feeling vulnerable. Placement of a swastika on the steps of a home has the effect of shattering an entire community’s sense of security,” ADL New England Interim Regional Director Peggy Shukur said in a statement. “We are confident the investigation, which is looking at all possible motives, will restore communal security for Stoneham.”

Five swastikas made out of purple posterboard — some with antisemitic slurs written on them — were found, according to CBS Boston.  

An image posted on Twitter by a WHDH reporter showed one of the swastikas. Someone had written “hell bound have fun!” on it. 

Police are looking at local surveillance video, suspecting that the swastikas were left after the neighborhood’s trick-or-treaters had returned home for the night, according to CBS Boston. The victim said they do have a video doorbell, but that it did not capture footage of any suspects. 


Antisemitic sentiments appear to be on the rise, both nationally and fueled by a growing neo-Nazi movement in Massachusetts. Jewish students attending local colleges said Sunday that more antisemitism is causing them to fear for their safety on campus, WGBH reported.  Speaking at a forum organized by the Anti-Defamation League, students described their trepidation about wearing clothing that identifies them as Jewish and the ostracization they felt after studying abroad in Israel. 

Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, elicited widespread criticism last month for antisemitic comments. Basketball star Kyrie Irving also came under fire after he showed support online for an antisemitic documentary. 

Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Foundation to Combat Antisemitism aired an ad during Sunday’s NFL slate that condemned antisemitic speech and urged people who are not Jewish to take a stand against hate. 

“My hope is this commercial will continue to enhance the national conversation about the need to speak out against hatred of all types, and particularly to stand up to Jewish hate.” Kraft said in a statement, according to The Boston Globe

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