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The shocking link between Texas Rep. Pat Fallon and the alleged murder of five women at a Florida bank

Jul 1, 2021

A grisly t-shirt design depicting "DEATH TO THE WICKED" that was marketed and sold by a company founded and run by US Rep. Pat Fallon is at the center of an upcoming death penalty trial for a 21-year-old man alleged to have killed five women in a Sebring, Florida bank two years ago.

Fallon founded the company which applied for the trademark from a Frisco, Texas address of "Death to the Wicked" for a clothing line that featured designs generally related to death on the company website. According to press releases posted that same year, the congressman was the company's CEO in 2009. 

Police say the alleged killer walked into the bank with a bulletproof vest underneath the shirt with the words "Death to the Wicked" and asked four female employees and one female customer to lie down. He then allegedly shot them one by one. There was no robbery, and it was not a motive in the case

The crime rocked Sebring, and the shirt was a major focus of the discussion. It was mentioned on dozens of local news programs and nationally on Headline News Network, owned by Thompson Reuters. Many called the shirt "evil." The New York Times even had something to say about the shirt in the Florida massacre.

A woman who identified herself as a former girlfriend named Alex Gerlach said the alleged killer "always hated people and wanted everybody to die." Furthermore, she said Xaver was "kicked out of school for having a dream that he killed everyone in his class."

The tragedy affected the town of Sebring so much that the bank would never open again. In fact, SunTrust Bank razed the building to the ground and replaced it with a memorial to the five murdered women. In addition, the grounds are now a park with five benches in honor of the lives lost in January 2019.

Flags across Florida flew at half-staff, and Governor Ron DeSantis visited Sebring to comfort the shaken city of approximately 10,000 people.

Below is the photo of the actual shirt worn by Zephen Xaver provided by the Highlands County Sherrif's Office in Florida.

Front of shirt worn by Zephen Xaver; Courtesy of Highlands County Sheriff's Office

In a press release dated April 16, 2009, the congressman admitted that his clothing line might not be for everyone. However, Fallon said: "While some of our designs are definitely edgy, if you look deeper, you'll find positive messages and symbolism that express the courage, pride, and values of most Americans."

Fallon is said to have begun selling t-shirts in college. The design of the shirt shown above is described this way on an archived version of Fallon's company website: "Evil exists. This world is littered with it. That's as unfortunate and deplorable as it is undeniable. Evil, hatred, and wickedness visited American shores on the 11th of September 2001."

Zephen Xaver remains in jail pending his trial for five counts of capital murder. However, in early 2021, it was announced that State Attorney Brian Haas is trying to build an airtight case for the upcoming trial. 

The state is seeking the "ultimate penalty" for the alleged killer who wore the shirt with the words "Death to the Wicked."

Editor's note: The office of Rep. Pat Fallon was reached via telephone several times. No comment was offered either verbally or by email at press time.

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