The 48 Hours episode “In the Name of Hate” investigates the murder of Blaze Bernstein. The 19-year-old Ivy League student (a sophomore at University of Pennsylvania) was home for the holidays in Orange County, California, when he was murdered on January 10, 2018. Bernstein went to Borrego Park in Lake Forest with former high school classmate Samuel Lincoln Woodward, who was charged days later with murdering Bernstein, who was stabbed more than 20 times. Woodward is allegedly a member of the militant neo-Nazi hate group Atomwaffen Division. Bernstein was openly gay and Jewish.
After Woodward pleaded not guilty to the murder and hate crime charges, ProPublica obtained messages which revealed members of Atomwaffen Division celebrating Bernstein’s murder. CBS News reporter Tracy Smith interviews Bernstein’s parents and friends. Bernstein and Woodward were students at Orange County School of the Arts, a prestigious tuition-free school in Santa Ana. OCSA’s most famous alumni is Matthew Morrison (class of 1997), star of Glee. The Orange County Register called the school “one of the more spectacular success stories in modern education.”
Woodward’s retained attorney, Ed Muñoz, said in the preliminary hearing that his client was “sexually confused, socially awkward, and had autism” and that the hate messages found on his phone were messages to himself. After the hearing, Muñoz asked the court to be relieved as Woodward’s attorney. In September, the court appointed public defender, Robert Kohler, to replace Muñoz. 48 Hours airs Saturdays at 10 pm on CBS.