George Bush, Dick Cheney, the Westroads Mall shooting, and the mysterious death of reporter Anne Pressly? A coincidence in time, space, and fiction only?
Anne Pressly, 26, the Little Rock anchor for KATV-TV, played a conservative news commentator in Oliver Stone's new movie, W.. She died on Saturday, after an unsolved savage attack, without forced entry, in her home on October 20, 2008. It turns out an event in her past has a strange temporal overlap with Vice President Dick Cheney and President George Bush. And a mall shooting.
On December 5, 2007, Pressly had the brush with history that brought her to the attention of Oliver Stone, leading him to pick her for his movie. That was the date of Pressly's famous interview with Vice President Dick Cheney. Pressly was returning from a story, and traveling through Stuttgart, Arkansas, when she found the highway blocked in front of a hunting supply store, Mack's Prairie Wings. It turned out that inside was Dick Cheney. Pressly asked him for an interview, which she conducted in the ammunition aisle.
On that same day, on Wednesday, December 5, 2007, at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, Robert A. Hawkins, 19, killed nine (counting himself). He used a hooded black sweatshirt to sneak in the AK-47 he used.
SWAT teams were able to respond quickly to Omaha's Westroads Mall shooting because they were on high alert due to President Bush's quiet visit to the Nebraska city.
President George W. Bush was in Omaha, Nebraska, on the morning of December 5, 2007. While in Omaha, Bush visited the OneWorld Community Health Centers, a clinic that provides medical, dental and nutritional aid. Bush was mainly in Omaha to support candidate Mike Johanns for the United States Senate. The Johanns fundraiser was held at the large estate of billionaire businessman and philanthropist Walter Scott Jr. It was closed to the media. Reportedly, Bush also went shopping - perhaps at the Westroads mall for a scarf or tie, supposedly. Soon after Bush departed, a mall shooting occurred at the Westroads Mall.
Bush is in Nebraska shopping. Cheney is in Arkansas shopping. Pressly ran into Cheney. Bush almost ran into Hawkins.
The Westroads Mall shooting occurred on December 5, 2007, beginning at 1:42 p.m. (local time) at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. The main location of the shooting happened at the Von Maur customer service desk.
The gunman was identified as Robert A. Hawkins, 19, who was armed with an SKS assault rifle. A month before, there had been an infamous Finnish school shooting. The Jokela school shooting occurred on November 7, 2007, at Jokela High School (Finnish: Jokelan koulukeskus), a public secondary school in the town of Jokela, Tuusula municipality, Finland. The gunman was 18-year-old Pekka-Eric Auvinen, and the end result was nine people were dead. Auvinen was a known Columbine copycatter. The recent September 23, 2008, Finnish college shooting that left eleven dead in Kauhajoki, in western Finland, appears to have been a copycat of the Jokela shooting. The shooter of the 2008 incident even went to Jokela to the same gunshop as Auvinen to obtain his guns.
The Finnish music (H.I.M.) was admired by Omaha shooter Robert A. Hawkins, as it was by the Columbine shooters.
"Similar traces of gothic musical tendencies of a more Germanic variety...these things always have the smell of Arayan Nation all over them," comments blogger Todd Campbell.
"[Security video] shows Hawkins as he walks into Von Maur, wearing a stocking cap and an unzipped, blackhooded sweat shirt over a black Jack Daniels T-shirt. A design on the sweat shirt appears to be the logo that is shared by skateboarder and MTV personality Bam Margera and the Finnish alternative rock band H.I.M. The band played Sokol Auditorium the day before Halloween." (Source: Omaha World Herald, "Von Maur's cameras show Hawkins toting AK-47," by Lynn Safranek, December 7, 2007).
The group H.I.M. did perform at the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, on Tuesday, October 30, 2007, at 8:00 PM. (Source: Ticketmaster records.)
H.I.M. is a rock band from Finland formed in 1991 by vocalist Ville Valo, guitarist Mikko Lindström, and bassist Mikko Paananen. They have released six full length albums to date. As of 2007, they are the first and only Finnish rock band to go Gold in the United States.
According to the Omaha World Herald, the Hawkins's sweatshirt had on it the H.I.M. heartagram, which is their trademarked symbol, best described as a combination of a heart and an inverted pentacle (love & hate), created by Ville Valo the day after his twentieth birthday.
"According to Ville Valo, lead vocalist for Finnish rockers H.I.M., 'It's very hard to sing about sunshine and ice cream and birds in fast cars.' So he doesn't even try. Instead, song titles like 'Cyanide Sun', 'Dead Lovers' Lane', and 'Song or Suicide' populate his band's latest CD, Venus Doom. The 30-year-old Valo discovered his affinity for the darker side of rock as a kid, when he heard a few bars of Blue Oyster Cult's '(Don't Fear) the Reaper' while watching John Carpenter's Halloween....[In 1999, HIM] scored a breakthrough hit in Germany with the single 'Join Me in Death'. Like 'Reaper' before it, that song drew flak from folks who believed it glamorized suicide. (Source: Music Features by Steve Newton, November 8, 2007.)
Looking a bit more deeply at the date of December 5th, especially via the Germanic culture of Austria, it happens to be Krampus>.
The word Krampus originates from the Old High German word for claw (Krampen). In the Alpine region the Krampus is represented by an incubus in company of Santa Claus. Traditionally, young men dress up as the Krampus in the first two weeks of December, particularly in the evening of December 5, and roam the streets frightening children (and adults) with rusty chains and bells. In some rural areas also slight birching especially of young females by the Krampus is part of tradition.
The present day Krampus costume consists of red wooden masks or Larve, black sheep's skin and horns. Considerable effort goes into the manufacture of the hand-crafted masks, as many younger adults in rural communities engage competitively in the Krampus events.
(Thanks to Todd Campbell, Through the Looking Glass, for the private tip on the date links.)