By Alexis R. Milan
Bill Wilkinson, owner of the Seven Seas Resort in San Pedro, was once the Imperial Wizard of the violent Ku Klux Klan during the 1970s. The claim is made by the respected Daily Mail newspaper of the United Kingdom.
The Daily Mail, which published several recent photos of Wilkinson, said it was the first sighting of him, since he mysteriously vanished from the radar in 1984. According to the article, Wilkinson now lives a far different lifestyle than his life as the leader of one of the most violent racist outfits in the US.
Wilkinson, who has done several interviews since moving to Belize, has never denied his past involvement with the KKK, but said that was a chapter of his life that he has long since left behind. He is just trying to live out his life peacefully.
According to the author of the article, Wilkinson has been spotted in San Pedro interacting with the same races of people he fought for segregation against in the US.
The Daily Mail claimed to have spoken to one of Wilkinson’s employees who described him as a pleasant man. The article also alleged that his employees were vaguely familiar with his dark past but were unaware of the level of influence he wielded as Imperial Wizard.
Wilkinson, now 72,is from Denham, Louisiana. He was reviled across America when he served as Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK from 1975 to 1984.
He had established a breakaway group of David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to rival the original, and grew a reputation with the FBI as the most ‘violent’ and ‘dangerous’ KKK movement.
Wilkinson organized hundreds of marches across America to stir up racial hatred and recruit more members. He encouraged his Klansmen to carry guns, knives and clubs at rallies, inevitably leading to a string of violent clashes. Wilkinson even set up a para-military style training camp to equip Klansmen with the combat skills needed in the event of a ‘race war’.
In 1984 Wilkinson abruptly resigned from the organization and disappeared from the white-supremacist scene. Some have speculated that he may have become an FBI witness and had provided evidence against the Klan but that theory has never been substantiated.
According to The Daily Mail, Wilkinson arrived in Belize that same year and purchased the Seven Seas resort, now worth an estimated US $3 million.