(1.) The Joker Is Dead.
There is no bigger symbolic story for the year than the death of Heath Ledger on January 22, 2008. The actor would appear in The Dark Knight, which opened 07.18.08, in the most significant and iconic evil clown role of the year, The Joker.
(2.) Jokawild Is Decapitated.
On July 30, 2008, Tim McLean, who called himself Jokawild, was beheaded on a Greyhound bus in Alberta, allegedly by Vince Weiguang Li, 40.
The MySpace head shot of the victim McLean is below. This is where he told about how he called himself "Jokawild," had three tattoos, owned an iguana and loved loud music and motorcycles.
Todd Campbell writing of McLean at Through the Looking Glass revealed the victim was a big fan of Insane Clown Posse. Most fans of Insane Clown Posse call themselves "Juggalos."
[One repeating theme this year is the increasing presence of the Juggalo (male or female) and/or Juggalette (more commonly used for a female) in these incidents. These individuals are members of the fanbase of the Detroit hip hop group Insane Clown Posse and related recording artists at Psychopathic Records.]
(3.) Slipknot Clown Killer Strikes.
On September 1, 2008, in Johannesburg, Morné Harmse, an 18-year-old pupil in his final year of high school in South Africa allegedly killed a fellow student with a sword and then hacked up three others. Harmse wore a clown mask and carried other masks inspired by the group Slipknot. The killer also spoke in a voice to mimic the Joker in The Dark Knight.
(Not specifically clown-related, but it is worthy of noting that this school event was proceeded by the Valentine's Day, February 14th, 2008, shooting on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, which left five plus the shooter dead, and wounded eighteen. Steve Kazmierczak came to NIU with his gun in his guitar case, yet another scenario seen in cinema, such as Desparado. Kazmierczak, the dark knight dressed all in black, felt, it appears, he was in a movie. Kazmierczak had on his right arm a tattoo depicting the masked, clown-like character, the Jigsaw Killer, from the horror movie, Saw.)
(4.) Juggalos Attempt A Kidnapping.
On September 9, 2008 in West Valley City, Utah, two men with clown painted faces, identified as Juggalos, were arrested in an attempted kidnapping of a young boy.
(5.) Phantom Clowns Return.
During mid-October 2008, new sightings of "phantom clowns" in Chicago occurred near Wicker Park, which has a symbolic name linked to New York City's Son of Sam killings of 1976-1977. In the new Illinois incidents, the scary man was seen wearing clown make-up (in one report, with a teardrop on whiteface) and a wig. Allegedly, he used balloons to attempt to lure children into his vehicle (i.e. a white or brown van with the windows broken out) on the South Side. Police issued an alert about a week after a man with a similar description was spotted on the West Side, also trying to snatch kids.
(6.) Juggalos Throw Man Off Bridge.
In Washington state, Joshua Smith was hit on the head with beer bottles, stabbed and thrown off of a bridge. Smith, a Juggalo, was attacked for breaking "gang rules." Smith was attacked by two other Juggalos and a skinhead, who were arrested after the incident. Trench Reynolds on crimene.ws said on November 8, 2008, "Talk all you want about family and carnival but I can’t think of any other music fans that enforce ‘gang rules.’"
(7.) Juggalos Almost Decapitate Teen.
Two 21-year-old men were arrested late in November 2008, by Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies after investigators said they attacked a 17-year-old Kearns youth with a medieval mace. The key to catching the men was their apparent affiliation with Juggalos, as some jewelry they dropped matched a symbol found on the bumper of their car.
During the altercation with the victim, one man stabbed the teen with a knife and the other man struck him with a medieval battle ax type of weapon in the back of his neck, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak. Doctors needed about 300 stitches to close the wound, he said.
"The detective investigating the case said the ax could have very well have decapitated him," Jaroscak said. The weapon used has also been described as a four-sided "warrior's ax," according to the sheriff's office.
(8.) Juggalos Kill on Olive Branch Lane?
Adolescent Matthew Silliman’s (= “silly + man”) allegedly was killed by his four teen friends in a trailer hangout on Olive Branch Lane, rural New Hill, about 10 miles from Apex, near Raleigh, North Carolina. Silliman disappeared two days before Thanksgiving, and may have been killed a few days later, after being held as a captive. Search warrants noted that before someone used a hammer to beat Silliman, the suspects read him his fate in tarot cards.
The four suspects are (1) Drew Logan (= “megalithic rocking stone”) Shaw, 16, who describes himself as a Juggalo (Insane Clown Posse devotee); (2) Aadil Khan, 17, whose My Space page includes Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf among his favorite books; (3) Ryan Patrick Hare ("going down the rabbit hole"?), 18; and (4) Allegra Dahlquist, 17, a reportedly suicidal woman whose is a expert equestrian from the exclusive neighborhood near the Prestonwood Country Club.
(9.) Clown City Shooting Kills A Baby.
Miami detectives arrested two teenagers on December 18, 2008, for killing a police dispatcher’s baby, in an apparent gang-related shooting. A masked gunman ran up to a group of men playing dominoes on the porch of their home, and began firing, hitting ten-month-old Derrick Days II who was sitting on his father's lap when he was killed. Pierre Roche, the apparent primary target, an alleged member of a rival gang named Clown City, was also fatally shot.
(10.) Juggalos Fear Spreads
Members of the Juggalos are often seen wearing shirts bearing the Insane Clown Posse's "hatchet man" logo.
Police Detective Calvin Walker was quoted in the Las Vegas Sun of December 23, 2008, as saying, "Not every child wearing those shirts is a gang member. They will tell you 'Mom, I just listen to Insane Clown Posse.' But unfortunately, the Juggalos are a documented gang."
Police estimate there are between 3,000 and 4,000 Juggalos in Utah, and 15 percent of them are associated with criminal activity.
Juggalo vandal activity, likewise, is high in Washington State. For example, late in 2008, in Lynden, Washington, two self-described Juggalo boys, 13 and 14, were convicted of starting the fire (June 9, 2008) that completely destroyed Lynden's historic landmark block-long Delft Square Building. W. H. "Billy" Waples opened his general store there in 1897. [This is not to be confused with the Nieuwe Kerk (English: New Church), a landmark church building in Delft, the Netherlands, located on Delft Market Square. In 1584, William the Silent was entombed in a mausoleum there.]
Not to be overlooked, in the ultimate evil twisted clown-like ending to the year of 2008, a costumed man, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, plotting revenge against his ex-wife, dressed up in a Santa Claus suit, went to his former in-laws' Christmas Eve party and slaughtered nine people. He then burned their house down before killing himself hours later. The Killer Santa killings took place on East Knollcrest Drive, Covina, California. Multiple episodes of the hit television series "Knight Rider" were filmed in Covina, and the city has the largest and busiest movie multiplex in the USA, the AMC 30. The television series "Roswell" was filmed in Covina, at various spots that served as locations for the fictional version of the town of Roswell, New Mexico, the 33° north latitude site of the alleged crash of a UFO and reported finding of alien bodies in 1947.
Top Ten Evil Clown Stories of 2008
© Loren Coleman, 2008
For more on "Phantom Clowns," see Mysterious America (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2006). For more on symbolic criminal behavior, see The Copycat Effect (NY: Simon and Schuster, 2004).
Now i know why i hate clowns :S
I live in Utah, but didn't hear about the attempted kidnapping.
wow, never heard the juggalo stories. i was always suspicious of the icp crowd.
anyway, here's a dishonorable mention: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/sep/11/local/me-clown11
that's about trim trim the clown. local clown entertainer who molested kids.
Hmmm... 6 out of 10 evil clown stories involve the violent and thuggish fans of a violent and thuggish rock group... I see a trend.
Great article, Loren! I find the inclusion of Pennywise, from the mind of your fictional 'equivalent', very interesting indeed. King has often tuned in to archetypes a little in advance of the rest of us; his novel It was one of the most explicit renderings of coulorphobia several years before it became almost the norm. Who actually likes clowns anymore? It has to be one of the most widespread of all modern phobias.
The coulrophobic trend of 2008- remarkable though it was- is likely to continue in the coming years, I would hesitantly predict.
P.S Had to post this anonymously as Blogger is playing up.
Well, as mentioned in my writings before, with all due respect to the widespread impact of Stephen King, It appeared years after the original "Phantom Clown" scares - and centuries after the Pied Piper of Hamelin kidnapped young people in 1284. The Piped Piper, after all, was, in essence, something that evolved into the later traditions of harlequins and clowns.
And what were the characters of Harlequinade: Harlequin, Pierrot, Columbine, Clown, and Pantaloon.
I am sincerely grateful to all who have emailed, privately and here, expressing their thanks for this list.
It is also worthy of noting that the Godfather of Lists Rex Sorgatz of Fimoculous had this to say about the above on December 30, 2008:
"As 2009 encroaches, and 'What are you doing for New Years Eve?' becomes the question you hear five times an hour, the list of 2008 lists is finally wrapping up. Here are some of the best recent additions: Merlin Mann's Top 10, The Copycat Effect's Top Ten Evil Clown Stories, NYT's Year in Pictures, PC Mag's 100 Favorite Blogs, Esquire's Best Bars..."
Considering the work it took to compile this year-end evil clown list, such appreciation, in such good company, is always welcome.
I find it very interesting that ICP claim to be a Christian act...if you follow the history and lyrics there is a REAL bizarre cult like feel to the entire vibe of what they have been doing...
Not to mention the conflicting messages they have sent out to the Juggalo's...very strange subculture to be sure.
GREAT summery all around. I think this could continue into '09 and beyond even.
wtf all this bullshit about juggalos ima juggalo and yes ive got a serious criminal record (fire arms,serious assult to cause severe injury and permnament disfigurement and 3 acoounts of jus plain assult but that has nothing to do with being a juggalo
juggalos have such a bad rep, all my friends are juggalos and they are some of the nicest people i have ever met...given i do know a few who are complete low lifes and i dont associate with them, but then again i know alot of people who arnt juggalos that are loseres aswell...and as far as juggalos being a gang? thats ridiculous thats like saying being punk is being in a gang or a raver..or a kandy kid or jock or a prep.
Hey I was researching Clowns and Killing for a message board post and looks like you already posted about it. Nice work I liked your write up and gave credit!
just wanted to say that i am a decent person never been in trouble nor am i part of a gang. i listen to icp so what that makes me bad or a gang member people just need to stop being so closed minded and never judge a book by its cover. its just another type of music and the lyrics are no worse than a lot of rap or metal.
Juggalette right here,
never had the urge to kill another Juggalo though.
I wouldn't fuck with us either, though.
I'm a Juuagelette,
but I'd never kill another Juggalo.
I wouldn't fuck with any of us though.
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FUCK YOU ALL WE ARE NOT A FUCKING GANG OR A CULT!!! WE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO LISTEN TO A CERTAIN GROUP, AND PEOPLE FUCK WITH US BECAUSE WE ARE DIFFERENT. WE PAINT OUR FACES AND WEAR SICK CONTACT SO FUCKING WHAT? BUT YES THERE ARE SOME THAT GIVE JUGGALOS/JUGGALETTES BAD NAMES AND THOSE ARE NOT TRUE JUGGALOS! AND FUCK YOU ANONYMOUS WHO EVER THE FUCK YOU ARE "I WAS ALWAYS SUSPICIOUS OF THE ICP CROWD" YOU CAN TAKE UR COMMENT AND SHOVE IT UP YOUR FUCKING ASS!!!!!! IM SO SICK OF PEOPLE SAYING THAT WE ARE A GANG OR WE ARE A CULT, THATS NOT WHO WE ARE OR WHO WE CLAIM TO BE!!!! If you really wanna know who we are just ask a true Juggalo or Juggalette what ICP is all about. We are a bunch of people (i dont say kids because I know adults who are Juggalos and Juggalettes)who are different from the average society and we hate most social groups because they discriminate against a certain race, culture or way of life, and being a Juggalo or Juggalette is a way of life for us. We ARE NOT A GANG BY ANY MEANS!!!!, we consider each other family because we are the social outcasts of todays society, and we have nobody else to turn to EXCEPT for each other.
I do not specifically support the posting of flaming, profane comments, but in the case of "Random Ninja," well, I figured that I would let his own words demonstrate the opposite of what he seems to be trying to convince otherwise.
If this is an example of a rational member of that community, certainly no one should experience being around an individual who feels he is a juggalo who is having a bad day.
oh no!the clowns are ill their faces are pale!!!!!!
I am a juggalo, and I am 27 years old. I am hearing more & more reports about juggalos being a gang or a cult. Have you ever heard the saying (people fear what they don't understand)? Allow me to try and help you understand what a juggalo is. we are just a group of people who conceder each other family because we will will help each other out with a problems even if we have more than enough of our own.For example a women (a juggalette)and her kids looses everything in a house fire with no insurance.When the news got out without her even asking we quickly set up a donation fund to help out.Most who herd gave what they could even if that meant going without something themselves.their are allot of positive story's like this so why do they never make the news?Now I will try to explain the music. Is some it violent? Yes, but no more so than other kinds of music. The difference is in the message behind most of the violence of I.C.P. songs.The people getting killed in these songs are rapist child molesters wife beaters & racist.It is a message to NOT be this type of person. Now let me review one of the story's in this blog ((6.) Juggalos Throw Man Off Bridge.
In Washington state, Joshua Smith was hit on the head with beer bottles, stabbed and thrown off of a bridge. Smith, a Juggalo, was attacked for breaking "gang rules." Smith was attacked by two other Juggalos and a skinhead, who were arrested after the incident. Trench Reynolds on crimene.ws said on November 8, 2008, "Talk all you want about family and carnival but I can’t think of any other music fans that enforce ‘gang rules.’") we are not a gang we don't have set rules on being a juggalo and we don't have a certain thing to do before you can be a juggalo,Smith was attacked by two other Juggalos and a (skinhead)we teach acceptance and no racism is tolerated therefore there are no real juggalos in this story. the same can be said about all of the stories here.I.C.P. have always said we do the killing in the songs so you don't have to in life.Its a message of anti violence,a form of release no different then the movies you probably watch at home.If someone told you they are a alien that has come to examine human life would you believe them and agree to be probed or would you call them crazy and walk away? The point I am trying to make is just because someone listens to I.C.P. and says they are a juggalo doesn't mean that they are.Some of them may understand the meaning of it less then some of you.Are there juggalos with criminal records?Yes,But can you name any certain group of people that doesn't have some?I am willing to bet that if we were to shake your family tree a few will fall out no matter who you are.what you don't hear about are the ones who are businessmen,lawyers,police,firemen and even solders fighting for your right to write this blog.In closing please don't judge a book by its cove real juggalos are just people who are more open minded and accepting than most.
As a Juggalo I just wanna say I don't hate you or wish you any harm. Have a great life!
Much Clown Luv!
thank you tru-juggalo for explaining what being a juggalo/lette and icp is all about, because apparently some people cant do it in a rational manner. . .i completely agree with everything tru-juggalo said and i would like to add that i have been listening to icp since i was 9 years old, ive been to several of their concerts, and i am attending my second gathering (gathering of the juggalos which is a HUGE music festival icp puts together every year, for those of you who dont know) and at 21 years old, yeah ive done some dumb shit in life but who hasnt. . .and icp has had not a thing to do with it. . .you as a person make choices. . .i dont believe that music, video games whatever people want to blame shit on these days makes a person do things. . .you make your own choices in life. . .to me being a juggalo (which i call myself cause i was all about it before juggalette even existed as a term) is having a family, which i never really had growing up, having someone you can always count on and know will be there for you when youre at rock bottom. its about trust, and friendship, and always knowing someone some where has you're back. it really truly is a way of life, and i thank the insane clown posse for everything they have done because i know i wouldnt be where i am today if it wasnt for the juggalos i know and love. if i didnt have juggalos i would probably be out on the streets somewhere living under a bridge or something. actually, to make a point here, you dont even have to listen to icp to be a juggalo because it truly isnt about the music, its a way of life and a way of thinking. so in conclusion i would just like to say, people need to stop assuming that just because some people who call themselves juggalos fuck up horribly, doesnt mean every juggalo is like that. . .get to know a truly down juggalo. . .a juggalo whos about the lifestyle and the family aspect. . .not a little punk ass 13 year old CHILD calling their self a juggalo cause its "cool" and you'll actually see what juggalos are truly about
Obviously, some Juggalo site posted mention of this list during the first weekend of August 2009, resulting in several emails from their "membership."
Due to high levels of profanity and, in some cases, any inability to read the words written, a good number of these are not being approved for posting here.
If you wish to make a comment, please attempt to present your views in a fashion in which most people can understand them.
I myself have been a Juggalo for around a decade now, and get saddened when I see stories of these so called "juggalos and lettes" being a bunch of thieves and murders. It gives the rest of us who are as normal as anyone else a bad name/rep (and believe me...we HATE it to no end). Like with any sub-culture there are going to be bad seeds, but dont let that deter you from ever approacing or even be-friending a Juggalo/lette. I myself am a manager at a Wal-mart, am married, and have a son. I dont have ANY criminal record. I've never claimed to be apart of any gang or have ever been apart of any group out to hurt anyone or anything. And yet...I'm a proud and down Juggalo, and there are millions more much like myself.
juggalos like me are given a bad name by the false juggalos causing all this BS.. any violent act that would be done by meself would have to be extremely provoked.. im not jus gonna burn a building down for the heck of it or hurt somone or worse jus for fun... im only violent hen provoked
Sorry, Loren. I'm with you on the Phantom Clowns thing, but comments the police were quoted as saying about the "juggalo" phenomenon remind me that when the police see a general trend, they tend to accept it as fact without doing any research. Remember the story on p.270 of Mysterious America? About the 'Occult Based Crime' seminar and what the cops thought of Forteans?
to me being a juggalo (which i call myself cause i was all about it before juggalette even existed as a term) is having a family, which i never really had growing up, having someone you can always count on and know will be there for you when youre at rock bottom. its about trust, and friendship, and always knowing someone some where has you're back. it really truly is a way of life
In this comment, all you need to do is change the word *juggalo* into... well any of the associated gangs of the US or abroad - like Blood, or Crip...
The *gangs* like HA, or Mongols, or whatever, feel the same way about the members of the *club* - they are family.
So, to state you are in a *club* and you say the club is your family, and that *juggalos got my back* is just enforcing the realism of what being a juggalo really is.
Get the dregs of society into your *club* and what do you expect to happen?
Gotta love how folks attack Loren for repeating what was reported in the news/by police.
Sorry if it hurts your feelings, Juggalos, but Loren isn't the one who dressed up in face paint and committed crimes. If you want to blame someone for making Juggalos look bad, look at your brethren committing these crimes while in full face-paint/while wearing ICP gear.
Look not trying to push any buttons, but I'm 16 years old, and a juggalo who has moved from coast to coast twice, lived in North Carolina, Washington, Baltimore, New York, and now Oregon. I've never really made alot of friends due to the fact that I don't stay In one part of the country for very long. But since I lived in Baltimore and got introduced to ICP, the one group of people I've always been able to approach and not be rejected by were juggalos. Yes some stupid people go out and call themselves juggalos and commit pathetic senseless crimes, but that's not how we all are, or what we believe in. Is everyone that wears blue a crip? Or red a blood? Does every eminem fan go kill his wife, kidnap his daughter, pistol whip bouncers? Does every Tupac Shakur fan go shoot cops? All I'm saying us that in every group of people there are a few jackasses that give the millions of others a bad name and it really bothers me when people assume that, because of their mentally unstable, low life selfs, that we are all that way. Because we aren't. I love my juggalo homies like I love my cousins. Like I love my newborn son. Much clown love. And remember, don't judge a book by it's cover
This is scary
I suspect that people that have a fear of clowns have been molested.
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