Friday, January 30, 2009

Wisconsin: New Joker Attack

In the space of one week, there have been three violent incidents involving Joker copycats. Besides the Belgium and Indiana incidents, tonight there is new information about an attack earlier in Wisconsin.

On Friday, January 23, 2009, Kim de Gelder, reportedly with his face painted like the Joker, invaded the "Fairyland" daycare in Dendermonde and allegedly killed three people.

The day after the Dendermonde incident, it now turns out, in Reseburg, Clark County, Wisconsin, a man who had painted his face like the Joker in The Dark Knight invaded a home in an attempt to beat up his former girlfriend's boyfriend.

Cole Vetterkind

Joshua Kane

Here is the primary news item about the incident, as run in the Marshfield News-Herald, Marshfield, Wisconsin, on January 30, 2009:

No Joke: Clark Co. intruder's face painted like Batman villain by Jacob Miller

A 26-year-old Thorp man who broke into a town of Reseburg home allegedly wore face paint to resemble The Joker while assaulting his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend, according to a Clark County criminal complaint.

Cole Vetterkind broke into Alecia Swensen's boyfriend's home at N12458 Gorman Ave., Thorp at about 5:30 a.m. Saturday [January 24, 2009], sheriff's officials said. Vetterkind was shot in the leg when he attacked Jason Benzschawel, 23.

According to the criminal complaint:

Vetterkind entered the home with Joshua Kane, 22, of Stanley and began jumping on, hitting and choking Benzschawel while he was asleep in a bed with Swensen.

Benzschawel thought he was being hit with brass knuckles and said Vetterkind was wearing a ski mask. When the mask was pulled off during the altercation, he saw it was Vetterkind, who had his face painted like The Joker, played by Heath Ledger in the recent Batman movie, "The Dark Knight."

Swensen, 18, told police she dated Vetterkind, but they recently broke up because he would get violent. She said Vetterkind harassed her by calling and text messaging her, and he once waited for her at her parents' home.

While being attacked, Benzschawel grabbed a loaded 20-gauge pistol grip shotgun and shot Vetterkind in the leg.
Benzschawel said the shotgun only had one round in it, and he kept it loaded next to his bed. When investigators arrived, the shotgun was unloaded and laying on a towel in the bathroom.

Swensen managed to exit the house and call 911 during the assault.

The mattress and areas throughout the house were covered in blood.

Benzschawel told the sheriff's department that Vetterkind began to harass and threaten him when he started to date Swensen. He said Vetterkind claimed he has connections to the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang, who would come and "do things to him."

During the altercation, Benzschawel received bruises on his face and his hands were cut and bruised. After the shooting, Swensen helped Kane get Vetterkind into a white 1999 Oldsmobile Alero, which the two intruders had driven to the home. Kane took Vetterkind to Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Stanley. He was airlifted to Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, where he was in fair condition Wednesday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Vetterkind faces three felony charges that include strangulation and suffocation; intimidation of a victim; and use or attempt of force and burglary of a building or dwelling. He also faces a misdemeanor battery charge. His initial court appearance has not been set.

Kane faces a felony charge of intimidating a victim and the use or attempt of force, and two misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing to a dwelling and battery. Kane, who is in the Clark County Jail on unrelated charges, had his initial appearance at the Clark County Courthouse, Neillsville, moved to 1:05 p.m. Thursday, according to online court records.

One local newspaper, the Leader-Telegram in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, noted on January 30, 2009, that "Cole C. Vetterkind, 26, of Thorp and Joshua J. Kane, 22, of Stanley face multiple criminal counts for reportedly breaking into a home where Vetterkind's cousin Jason P. Benzschawel, 23, was staying with Alecia Swensen, 18."

What is intriguing is that the suspect apparently is the victim's cousin. One translation of the name "Vetterkind" is literally "cousin child."

One of the officers involved in the incident was a female noted in the criminal complaint as "Sgt. Campbell." The teacher attacked yesterday in Clinton, Indiana, was "Ms. Campbell."

Thanks to Richard Hendricks who pointed to the breaking news on this Wisconsin event, and then quickly to Todd Campbell's posting alert about it too.

Indiana: New Joker Attack

Clinton, Indiana, was the site of a Joker-copycat attack at a South Vermillion High School on January 29, 2009. This comes in the wake of the Dendermonde Joker incident of January 23, 2009, in Belgium.

The Vermillion County Sheriff's Department reported a 17-year-old female student went to the bathroom where she painted her face to look like “The Joker.” She also made cuts on her face with a knife that she had hid in her backpack.

“She was attempting to attack a teacher in a classroom,” said Chris MacLaren, a deputy with the Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department. “The class was already in session and the student rushed in the door and pulled the knife out” and tried to attack the teacher.

The teacher used a cart to keep the student at a distance, and all of the students were able to escape the classroom safely.

Eventually school staff was able to convince the student to put down the knife.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at about 1:50 p.m.

McLaren estimated the incident lasted about five to 10 minutes.

He described the knife as a steak or carving knife with about a 5-inch blade. The student had kept the knife, and two other (small folding) knives, in a bag, MacLaren said.

The school was placed on lockdown until the end of the school day, and the student was taken to the Vermillion County Sheriff's Department where she was questioned. Charges were pending against the student. The Sheriff’s Department was consulting with the county prosecutor to determine whether the case should be pursued in adult or juvenile court, MacLaren said.

(Later in the day, a student went online and posted specific details of the attack. This individual has now requested - well, actually through threats of "pressing charges" - for sites to take his or her quotations down from blogs. Those sourced statements have now been removed here too, not because of the legal threats but because the individual seems to have placed their material online without any awareness that it obviously would be read and copied. Everyone can make foolish mistakes like this, once or twice.)

Several primary media sources were consulted to confirm this event, which did, indeed, involve a Joker copycat event, here, here, and here.

Clinton is a city in Vermillion County, Indiana, United States. The city is named after DeWitt Clinton (March 2, 1769 – February 11, 1828), who served as 6th governor of New York from 1817 to 1823, and was responsible for the building of the Erie Canal (at the time called "Clinton's Ditch").

Clinton, Indiana is the birthplace of Colonel Charles Edward ("Chuck") Jones (November 4, 1952 – September 11, 2001), a United States Air Force officer, a computer programmer, and an astronaut in the USAF Manned Spaceflight Engineer Program, who was killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, while aboard American Airlines Flight 11, when it hit one of the Twin Towers.

Full credit and thanks to Behemoth blogger Ben Fairhall for sending along the initial alert on this event.

The Wicker Man Burns

The Wicker Man is set on fire to pay tribute to the gods. The sacrifice of the humans inside is part of a religious ritual to increase fertility, crops, commerce, or merely to re-ignite the chances that bad times will disappear.

According to Julius Caesar in his Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentary on the Gallic Wars), the Wicker Man was a large wicker statue of a human used by the ancient Druids (priests of Celtic paganism) for human sacrifice by burning it in effigy. Other records talk of people being placed inside.

Despite any debunking of Caesar's accounts by modern skeptics, the imagery of the burning of the Wicker Man lives on and its use cannot be denied in modern neo-pagan rituals. Whether the Wicker Man exists in historic Pagan accounts, in modern neo-Pagan events (such as at Nevada's Burning Man), or in movies and contemporary events, the symbolism is very real and powerful.

And quite obvious.

For those interested in deciphering the unfolding of the sacrifices (including murder-suicides and costumed violence of late) during these difficult times, please pay attention to these signs, noticed already by those to whom the twilight language is being directed.

As I already have mentioned in these pages, it goes beyond coincidence to find the moniker of the Wicker turning up during incidents from the Son of Sam killings to last year's Chicago area "Phantom Clown" sightings and near-abductions of children. Keep your eyes open.


From an article published this morning, comes news of this celebration:

A 12-foot tall Wicker Man will be set on fire tonight [Friday, January 30, 2009] in a pagan winter ritual close to the Fermanagh border [Northern Ireland].

[The name Fermanagh is an Anglicization of Fhear Manach which means "Men of the Manacháin tribe," so named after their chief O'Manacháin (Anglicized as O'Monaghan), the famous warrior monk. Contae Fhear Manach or Fear Manach = "Men of Monach" in Irish.]

The folk ceremony at Aughakillymaude Mummers Centre near Derrylin will celebrate the loosening of winter’s grip and the impending return of spring as it marks February 1, known as a Quarter Day in the Celtic agricultural calendar.

At 10 pm [local time] the straw mummers hats worn all winter by the troupe performing their traditional drama will be set on fire to mark the close of the mumming season and the Wicker Man will then be lit.

The huge figure has been created by model maker Gordon Johnston from flexible sally rods — willow rods used for wicker furniture and fencing. According to Jim Ledwith of the Mummers Foundation, little is known about the origins of the Wicker Man, apart from Julius Caesar’s second hand accounts of druidic winter rituals of human sacrifice during the Gallic wars.

These alleged that female slaves and criminals were burned alive inside effigies 100 times the size of the Fermanagh one.

“While the details of the wicker man ritual may have become coloured with the telling, it represents a tradition of sacrifice by burning practiced by the continental Celts.

“Indeed, the practice of human sacrifice was still prevalent in fifth and sixth century Ireland,” Jim said.

“Throughout Celtic Europe the wicker man legend lives on and the effigy is still burned ceremoniously as a mock sacrifice in themed ceremonies, especially at Beltaine (May) to mark the rite of spring — notably without the human sacrifice element.”

Mummers will light a gas beacon at Aughakillymaude to symbolise the sun’s return.

The 1973 movie The Wicker Man, starring Edward Woodward and Christopher Lee, is regarded as one of the finest horror films of all time, and it ends with Woodward, playing a police detective, being burned alive inside the chest of the effigy.


Don't Look Now an Anglo-Italian thriller, directed by Nicolas Roeg, was released in 1973. In the double-billing that took place back then, 1973's The Wicker Man was the "A" feature on their original UK theatrical dual release.

The figure of the "little person" in the red rain gear in Don't Look Now serves as a trigger or key. As Wikipedia notes, the "spiraling vortex of coincidences, recurring themes and motifs (light on water, breaking glass, the colour red)...reaches a dramatic conclusion in an old bell tower. John [Baxter, the lead character, played by Donald Sutherland] confronts the mysterious figure in red, realizing too late that his visions were premonitions of a grisly end."

A less well-remembered American remake of The Wicker Man, with Nicolas Cage in the lead, was released in 2006 with the film's tale being set on a private island in Puget Sound, Washington. In this 2006 version, a little girl is seen running around in a red coat. As well, there is a pair of twins, old women, both of whom are blind.

In the feature film Flatliners, Kiefer Sutherland is tormented by a small childlike figure in a red hooded coat in an homage to his father's film.

The theme of the little red-clad Venetian figure is used in a dream sequence in the "Book Clubbin'" episode of television series "Absolutely Fabulous," Series 5.

The Irish feature film Intermission (starring Colm Meaney and Colin Farrell) references Don't Look Now's chase of a small figure in a red coat several times.

Don't Look Now's drowning scene is referenced by the 2005 film The Dark starring Sean Bean and Maria Bello in which their daughter drowns wearing a bright red sweater.

In the 2005 film Hostel, a figure fleetingly glimpsed wearing a red raincoat is pursued through narrow alleyways.

The end chase scene of Don't Look Now is referenced in the 2006 release of Casino Royale where James Bond is pursuing Vesper through Venice while she is wearing a red coat.

The Wicker Man burns red.

Sources: "Fired up Fermanagh all set to torch Wicker Man," by Linda McKee, Belfast Telegraph, Friday, January 30, 2009; Film Facts by Patrick Robertson, Billboard Books, 2001; Wikipedia; my files.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lam's Sacrifice

This event exudes elements requiring some in-depth twilight language decoding. First there are the overt names that catch one's attention: "King" (as in the county), "Queen Anne" (being the apartment complex), and "Gross" (the prosecutor's graphic moniker which vividly describes the scene itself).

In almost a revelation of the process, even "an unidentified language" is found in this tale.

More twilight-dwelling, perhaps, but needless to say much more covertly, there is this ritual sacrifice's suspect with the given name of "Oumar Lam." It is a name that allows various anagrams, of course, but it should be mentioned that one is "Amoral MU," alluding to the vanished continent, located in the Pacific Ocean but now, like Atlantis and Lemuria, said to have sunk beneath the sea.

More significantly, researcher Richard Hendricks, whom I fully credit for passing word of this incident to me, notes the following:

"Between January & March, 1918, Aleister Crowley performed a series of magickal rituals, the Amalantrah Workings, while in New York. One of his goals during this series of rituals was to bring an intelligence into physical manifestation. He claimed he did, and drew a celebrated portrait of the being he said he conjured. That intelligence, of course, was Lam, whose resemblance to alien greys and other paranormal entities has been noted since. At any rate, the story below caught my eye: rituals; chanting; the man 'yelling in an unidentified language.' his last name, Lam."

It is quite easy to find more about the overlap between the facial features of "Lam" and the "greys," if you wish, e.g. here and here.

But for the moment, however, merely read the following, which took place this week, kindly shared by Mr. Hendricks:

King County prosecutors filed assault charges Wednesday [January 28, 2009] against a Seattle man accused of attempting to "sacrifice" his live-in girlfriend.

According to police, Oumar Lam's 26-year-old girlfriend arrived at their Queen Anne apartment Sunday to find him lying naked on a couch near a candle-lit altar. The woman told police she was seated on a bed when Lam attacked her from behind, pulling a pillowcase over her head and attempting to suffocate her.

Pulling her head back, Lam, 31, allegedly sliced the woman's throat while yelling in an unidentified language, according to court documents. She told police she attempted to break away from him as he pulled her toward the altar, at which he had apparently been praying for hours before her arrival.

Police assert that Lam continued stabbing her during the struggle, cutting her chest, back and shoulder before she was able to dial 911. The woman, police said in court documents, "was extremely fearful that Lam was trying to kill her as part of a sacrifice."

The woman told police he was ranting to himself throughout the attack.

"Die, die and go alone," Lam said repeatedly, according to police reports. "You have to go by yourself."

The woman fled the apartment, pursued by a still-nude Lam, according to police. Lam dragged her back to the apartment.

Weakened from blood loss, the woman was still able to rush to the door when officers knocked. According to police, Lam continued to chant when confronted by officers.

On Wednesday, prosecutors filed a first-degree assault charges against Lam, with sentencing enhancements for domestic violence and the use of a deadly weapon. Requesting that bail be set at $1 million in the attack, Deputy Prosecutor David Gross described the incident in court documents as a "vicious attack (that) shows that the defendant is an immeasurable threat to the community."

The woman underwent emergency surgery at Harborview Medical Center after the incident and is expected to survive.

Bail has not been set in the case because Lam, who remains in the King County Jail, has refused to attend two hearings. He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 11 and faces 10 to 13 years in prison if convicted.

Source: "Charges filed in man's attempted 'sacrifice': Girlfriend survives stabbing attack on Queen Anne," by Levi Pulkkinen, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, January 29, 2009.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Anagram: Gelder = Ledger

Discussions - and broader attention from the Drudge Report to the English media - regarding the Dendermonde Joker killer - continued on January 26, 2009. There were new speculations of a possible 4th killing, more on the suspect's copycat behavior, and continued interest in the strange links between Heath Ledger's and Kim de Gelder's names.

Belgian police now believe the man they are holding for the January 23rd daycare killings in Dendermonde may also have stabbed to death a 73-year-old woman who lived nearby on January 16th.

"There are very clear indications of links between the murders in Dendermonde and the death of the elderly woman," said spokesman Christian du Four. No details were forthcoming, although the suspect is due in court on Tuesday. (Update: Kim de Gelder has admitted to the court that he killed three at the daycare, but says he was not the person who killed the elderly woman, earlier.)

By Monday, the earlier links that had been being detailed first in the Belgian media, at The Copycat Effect, and throughout the blogosphere by Todd Campbell, Ben Fairhall, The Anomalist, SMiles Lewis, Theo Paijmans, and others, were being acknowledged by the UK and American press and then even by the Drudge Report (who seemed later than usual in picking up the copycat thread on this one, curiously).

The UK's Telegraph wrote on Monday: "Belgium's Le Soir newspaper has even speculated on the significance of the fact that the name Gelder is an anagram for Ledger."

This had Todd Campbell wryly observing over at "Through The Looking Glass": "Our trade gone mainstream???"

A comment maker (unnamed) left the remark noting that "Gelder" is an anagram of "Ledger" on this blog at 9:41 PM ET on Saturday, January 24, 2009.

I must add, the spooky links to the decapitation death of Tim McLean, who was beheaded on the Greyhound bus in Alberta on July 30th, allegedly by Vince Weiguang Li, 40, may rest in onomatology someday. If we ever decipher the ties between "Ledger," "Gelder," and the perhaps purely operational name "Badger," in the vortex of these events, no telling where this might lead us.


Vince Weiguang Li is taken into custody after police found "Badger" carrying McLean's head (box).

A police officer at the scene of the fatal stabbing on the Canadian bus saw Li hacking off pieces of McLean's body and eating them, according to a police tape leaked on the Internet on August 2nd. In the tape of radio transmissions, officers referred to the attacker, who also beheaded the victim, as "Badger." They said he was armed with a knife and scissors and was "defiling the body."

"Badger's at the back of the bus, hacking off pieces and eating it," an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said on the tape.

The RCMP described the tapes as "operational police communications and, as such, are not meant for public consumption." The tape was posted on YouTube among other sites.

Further news is now being revealed that the suspect in the Belgian creche stabbings is said to have quoted Heath Ledger from The Dark Knight when he was arrested.

When he was arrested, Kim de Gelder's only words were: "I have a question."

According to the Telegraph, picking up their information from Belgian media, they report:

The words echo a scene in Batman: the Dark Knight when the Joker violently gatecrashes a party looking for a the fictional attorney general of Gotham City, Harvey Dent.

"I only have one question: where is Harvey Dent? I'll settle for his loved ones," says the character played by Ledger, before threatening a woman with a knife.

Patrick De Mey, the police officer who arrested Mr De Gelder, described the suspect as being in a passive and trance-like state.

"When I asked him to step off his bicycle and put his backpack on the ground he obeyed perfectly," he told the Gazet Van Antwerpen.

"But in answer to my questions, he clearly had no understanding. He continued to stare at me all the time with wide open eyes and a large grin on his face."

A wide grin? Like the Joker?

A trance-like state? We've certainly heard that before.

The most repeated reference to that kind of trance is the "Manchurian Candidate" state of being mentioned when Sirhan Sirhan was arrested after allegedly shooting RFK. I've noted others in my writings, of course.

Belgium's state-run media has issued more widely the high school photograph of Kim de Gelder.

As mentioned in early postings, according to witness statements and police drawings, the suspect had painted his face white, blackened his eyes and had colored his hair red, apparently to mirror the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Police have addeded another film inspiration, as well. His (so-called) "gruesome and bizarre" garb naturally caused investigators to note the Joker comparison, but then they made a link to another (to quote them) "cult Goth film," The Crow, which they say inspired Ledger in his Batman role.

Perhaps The Crow (1994) was important to de Gelder, but I'm not sure about its influence on Ledger. Actually, from my reading of contemporary Heath Ledger interviews, to prepare for the role, Ledger lived alone in a hotel room for a month researching the character and developing his performance. Ledger claimed he was basing his characterization upon Sid Vicious and the charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge (played by Malcolm McDowell) in A Clockwork Orange (1971). (BTW, "DeLarge" = "A Ledger," "A Gelder," as pointed out in the Bibliophile's comment below.)


Former classmates at the Roman Catholic Sint Carolus school, in the town of Sint Niklaas [= Saint Nicholas], described Kim de Gelder as "a fan of Goth music who could sometimes behave oddly."

He was nicknamed "Satan" because of his long black hair, notes the Belgian and UK press.

De Gelder studied to become a chemist's assistant (humm, an "alchemist"?) and successfully completed his exams in 2006.

ledger joker long


Prosecutor Christian Du four has said that there are "very concrete elements" linking the nursery attack to the murder of the elderly woman, De Gelder has said he knows nothing about the latter incident.

Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that investigators had found a document on De Gelder's computer with precise information about the elderly woman, which was created several days before the murder.

Next to her name, Elza Van Raemdonck, was written: "Result of the action: one," according to the newspaper.

The newspaper said that the computer file also left no doubts that the nursery attack had been planned in detail in advance and that he targeted other day-care centres as well.

Other recent posting on this topic, here, are:

Joker Copycats

Dendermonde Joker

Belgian Crèche Attacked By "Joker"

Decapitation, Death and the Damned

Mad Butcher

The reign of terror ranks up there with Jack the Ripper's, but few today have heard of the decapitating legacy of the "Mad Butcher."

January 26, 1936

On this day 73 years ago, police found the third dismembered victim of the so-called Mad Butcher, sparking a citywide panic in Cleveland.

The body of Florence Polillo, 42, was discovered in a basket and several burlap sacks behind a downtown business. Like the others, she was beheaded and cut with precision.

The official count is 12 victims between 1935 and 1938, although the lead Cleveland detective believed the Mad Butcher could have been responsible for more than 40 deaths around Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown, Ohio.

The victims were usually drifters whose identities were never determined. Sometimes the torso was cut in half; in many cases, the cause of death was the act of decapitation itself.

One suspect, an actual butcher named Frank Dolezal, was interrogated for 40 straight hours until he confessed to killing Polillo. However, he changed his story and killed himself in his cell. Few authorities believed Dolezal was actually the killer.

The true identity of the Mad Butcher remains a mystery.

Washington D. C. Examiner, January 26, 2009.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dendermonde Joker

The Joker was at the door, and they let him in.

The painted face of the alleged Belgian killer has been drawn by an eyewitness and has now been published. His face and name have now also been revealed (new update for 01.25.09 below).

This drawing was made based on data provided by Rudi Brusselmans who was a witness of the arrest of the crèche attack suspect now being held. (See here for more details on the attack.) The attack happened in the "Fairytale-land" or "Fabeltjesland" creche or daycare.

More comparisons with the Joker have surfaced in the Belgian media.

Correctly, the press there is noting that although the alleged attacker's face was painted white and his eyes were made black, and his distinctive pink/red hair was cut in spikes, "as if he had cut his hair himself," his mouth was apparently not painted, as was Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight.

Incorrectly, the European media said that the day (January 23, 2009) of the Dendermonde crèche or daycare attack was on the same date as the death of Heath Ledger. The first anniversary of Ledger's death, however, was January 22, 2009. To be exact, Heath Ledger was declared dead at 3:36 pm Eastern DST in Manhattan, New York, on January 22, 2009, and hit the news that night and the next morning. The attack on the nursery occurred at 10:00 a.m. CET (9:00 a.m. UTC) on January 23, 2009.

Nevertheless, there appears to be strong evidence the Dendermonde Joker reflects the copycat effect in this instance.

A police officer confirmed: “He had his face painted like Heath Ledger playing The Joker.”

The comparisons are clearcut in terms of mode of violence (knives), outward appearance, and even the arrest behavior. For example, in a headline and subheadline published on Saturday, January 24th, in the UK's Telegraph, the copycat imagery is summed up:
"Belgium 'joker' creche killer snorted with laughter in police interrogation: Belgium's suspected 'joker' killer snorted with laughter when interrogated by police about a frenzied knife attack that left a woman and two babies, aged six months and nine months, dead."
The two infant victims of the attack on a creche in the Belgian town of Dendermonde on Friday, January 23, 2009, have been named as Leon a baby boy aged six months and Corneel, a girl aged nine months.

Marita Blindeman, the 54 year old childcare worker who was killed, raised the alarm before being killed.

Police and prosecution sources have said that the 20-year-old man, dubbed "the Joker" because of his painted white face, eye shadow and ginger hair, has no history of mental illness.

He tricked his way into the Fabeltjesland ("land of fairy stories") day care center at 10 am local time by claiming to have a meeting with one of the members of staff. He then drew a 12-inch-long knife and began to slash at children aged between a few months and two years old.

There were 21 infants in the creche and six supervisors. All of the victims were stabbed in the throat or head. Parents gathered in the Dendermonde town hall and, with psychologists in support, identified the victims using photographs.

The addresses of three daycare locations were found on the suspect ("Kim D") when he was arrested.

Update Sunday, January 25, 2009:

The alleged attacker, now under arrest, and his victims have been fully identified.

The man in custody for the stabbings is Kim de Gelder, 20, originally of Sint Niklaas (= Saint Nicholas), which is eight miles from Dendermonde. His colleagues described the Flemish man as being "crazy about movies."

De Gelder would translate, in English, as "the gelder" = "one who gelds or castrates." But there appears to be an alternative explanation for the name in Belgian (see the comments below), which is related to the word for "gold."

The Church of Saint Nicholas was founded in the 13th century and gave its name to de Gelder's former hometown. The history of Sint-Niklaas proper starts in 1217, when the bishop of Tournai, following advice from the local clergy, founded the church to Saint Nicholas there. The city keeps seven giants: Janneken, Mieke, Santa Claus and Zwarte Piet, and the three Magi: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.

Sinterklaas (also called Sint-Nicolaas or De Goedheiligman in Dutch and Saint Nicolas in French) is a traditional Winter holiday figure in the Netherlands, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles and Belgium, celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas' eve, December 5, or, in Belgium, on the morning of December 6. (Ah, the day after, just as the attack in Belgium was the day after Heath Ledger/The Joker's death day.) The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of, among other things, needless to say, children.

The young victims of Dendermonde's ("Rumble or Thunder World's") Fabeltjesland ("Fairytale Land") were nine-month-old Leon Garcia and six-month-old Corneel Vermeir. Marita Blindeman, 54, a daycare worker lost her life attempting to save others.

See comments below for a discussion of what "Fabeltjesland" may or may not mean.

The Belgian and Dutch media and the UK's Telegraph began publishing the photograph of the suspect on January 24-25, 2009. The image being published is the high school year book picture of self-confessed mass-murderer Kim de Gelder. Reports indicate that he cut his hair short soon after finishing high school.

De Gelder is on suicide watch in his undisclosed location in Bruges, Belgium. He has gone on a hunger strike and was moved to the medical section of the Bruges jail.

Sunday media report that "some 7,000 of Dendermonde's 43,000 residents walked in a silent march past the creche Fabeltjesland (Fairytale Land)."

Thanks to Dutch/Belgian translations from Theo Paijmans.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Belgian Crèche Attacked By "Joker"

Early on Friday, January 23, an unidentified male assailant, whose face was reportedly painted with black and white make-up, armed with a knife, went on a rampage in a childcare center near Brussels.

Sky News said the crèche was attacked by a knife-wielding man wearing black and white facepaint, "like a joker," who is allegedly extremely thin, with red hair. (Update: U.K.'s Independent reporter Vanessa Mock in Dendermonde, noted on Saturday, 24 January 2009, that the man has "his face painted like the Joker character in Batman.")

This crèche (French for "daycare") is located in northwestern Belgium.

Researcher Theo Paijmans, reporting via email to me, while watching the Belgian media, writes that the death toll is two (2) babies and one female daycare worker fatally stabbed, with 10 children and 2 daycare workers wounded.

Early alerts said five people have been killed. Flemish VTM television at first had said three children and two adults have been killed, and other reports said a further 20 people have been injured.

Reports have been confusing and breaking fast, all day.

At first, Belgian officials would only confirm an incident was taking place in Dendermonde, west of Brussels, but could not give any details of reported deaths or injuries.

A huge police operation took place in the town. The suspect was finally arrested, an hour after the stabbings, at a supermarket. What was he doing there?


Belgian and Dutch news reports indicate the attacker (wearing a bulletproof vest) had his "eyes painted black and cheeks painted white and carried a backpack. He rang the doorbell; said inside he wanted to ask something and walked straight through to the baby care dept. There he stabbed wildly around. Then he went to the childrens dept," according to Paijmans.

Upon his arrest, the suspect has been apparently "playing with the police," Paijmans mentions in translated media accounts. "The man does not want to divulge his identity to the police. He had no identity papers on him during his arrest. He gave the police various false names and addresses," says one of the latest dispatches. (The "Joker" is often a "Trickster" in folkloric motifs.)

Rumors that the accused escaped from a psychiatric ward or was high on drugs or alcohol have been proven to be baseless.

According to the Flemish newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the man allegedly admitted to the killings after 10 hours of interrogation during which he laughed several times.

The newspaper also claimed that police prevented "a second bloodbath" as the man had on him the address of another child daycare center. He was wearing a bulletproof vest. In his backpack, he was carrying a second knife and an axe.

Theo Paijmans also points out a name game angle. The daycare center is named "Fabeltjesland" meaning: "Land of Fables" (Fairie?, Fairy?). "Fabeltjesland" was a popular children's television series in the 1970s, in the Netherlands. Later news reports merely noted the translation of "Fabeltjes" as "Fairytales." AFP recorded the daycare's name means "The Country of Fables."

This named location closely parallels the "LaFayette" ("Little Enchantment," "Little Fairy") monikers found in conjunction with onomatology (the study of names) and toponomy (the study of places) examples I have investigated elsewhere.

For more updates and the new drawing of the arrested suspect ("Kim D"), please click on "Dendermonde Joker."

Meanwhile, earlier, a "school shooting" in Norway took place, which appears to be a policeman-related murder and his attempted suicide.

A police officer in northern Norway shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, then critically wounded himself Friday, January 23, outside the elementary school where she was a student teacher, police said. No children were injured.

The shooting happened in a parking lot between the Slettaelva elementary school and a kindergarten in Tromsoe, the main city in the Norwegian Arctic, police said.

Police initially said both victims had died, but Tromsoe Police Chief Truls Fyhn later corrected that information, saying the 53-year-old man was in "extremely critical condition" at a local hospital.

Fyhn told a news conference broadcast on national radio that the woman, who was in her early 40s, had been living with the police officer until they broke up last week. He said he could not release their names, pending notification of next of kin.
Fyhn said it wasn't immediately known whether the man had used his service weapon in the shooting.

Police said it was not clear how many children were nearby when the shooting occurred, but it was likely that at least some were in the vicinity. The shooting was reported to police at about 8:30 a.m. (0730 GMT).

Tromsoe is about 250 miles (400 kilometers) north of the Arctic Circle.

Also, on Friday, January 23, 2009, there was a total lockdown and search of the students at Lafayette High School, Lafayette, Louisiana, because a text message was received by many students saying a school shooting would occur on that day at that site. No school shooting took place.

Much appreciation to Theo Paijmans for translations from the European media.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Decapitation, Death and the Damned

On this, the first anniversary of the death of Heath Ledger, news of a decapitation, Mason County deaths, and the movie industry's recognition of The Joker are hitting the media.

Exactly one year ago today, on January 22nd, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in The Dark Knight, was found dead in his fourth-floor apartment at 421 Broome Street, between Crosby and Lafayette Streets in SoHo, New York City, on the day of the Full Moon.


The link between the Joker and decapitations has already been made on this blog, often.

Last night, the horror of a decapitation merged with a familiar location in school violence history.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009, police reported a woman was slain on the Virginia Tech campus and decapitated, according to wire services including AP and Fox News. Xin Yang, 22, was killed Wednesday night after arriving at the campus from Beijing on Jan. 8 to begin studying accounting, Virginia Tech Police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

The first 911 call came into police around 7:06 p.m., saying a woman was being assaulted inside the Graduate Life Center, just outside the Au Bon Pain cafe.

A police officer who responded to an emergency call has told how she entered the cafe to find the male attacker holding the female victim's head in his hand. Police say the victim was decapitated with a kitchen knife while having coffee at the cafe with the suspect.

Responding officers found the woman had been stabbed to death and beheaded. They arrested the suspect, a 25-year-old Chinese graduate student named Haiyang Zhu. He is a Ph.D. student in agricultural and applied economics. The police also recovered a large kitchen knife they believe was used at the scene.

Haiyang Zhu was charged with first-degree murder and is being held in Montgomery County jail.

[Au Bon Pain-French for "place of good bread"- was founded by Louis Kane as a bakery in Boston's historically significant Faneuil Hall in 1978, known for Samuel Adams' revolutionary speeches and its famous grasshopper weathervane used to tell British spies from Patriots. In 1982 Au Bon Pain debuted a bakery cart at Logan Airport in Boston. Au Bon Pain Inc. (later renamed Panera Bread Company) went public in 1991, and today has 230 units worldwide.]

The Au Bon Pain decapitation was the first violence on campus since April 16, 2007, when Korean student Seung-Hui Cho killed two students at West Ambler Johnston Hall, and then two hours later, after walking across campus to Norris Hall, killed 30 others and himself.

Meanwhile, on January 22nd, the Academy Award nominations were rolled out, and as expected, Heath Ledger was named as a candidate for Best Supporting Male Actor for his work in The Dark Knight. (He already has won that award from the Golden Globes.)

Elsewhere, another horizon event is unfolding. For you see, it must be recalled that the movie The Mothman Prophecies began screening this Friday, seven years ago, as one group of the original witnesses, the Mallettes were attending a funeral in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Stephen Mallette, who was one of the first four witnesses, was mourning the passing of his brother, Charlie, due to a brain tumor. Charles Putnam "Charlie" Mallette, 43, of Point Pleasant, died on Thursday, January 22, 2002, at his home. This, of course, is the same date as Heath Ledger’s death date, which occurred six years later.

The last week in January 2002, during that same initial movie release time period, there were five fatalities in and near Point Pleasant, in two crashes involving four automobiles on January 26, and three other fatal wrecks in the next five days. For rural Mason County, the eight road deaths in six days was the most in 40 years, according to the State of West Virginia. In one major crash, two tractor-trailer rigs and a Volvo resulted in the death of truck driver Richard Clement, 61, of Mukwonga, Wisconsin.

Now comes word that two men were killed and a third man remains in a Huntington (West Virginia) hospital following a single-vehicle accident that happened near Point Pleasant late Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

According to a spokesman with the Mason County Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, Benjamin David Norvell, 32, of Point Pleasant, was driving his 1993 GMC Sonoma pickup truck east on Sand Hill Road with two passengers when his truck allegedly went off the right side of the road, causing him to lose control and strike a utility pole.

The accident happened around 10:20 p.m. on Sand Hill Road, near the intersection with Finch Drive (a location with a bird name, please note).

According to the state police, Matthew D. Scott, 21, of Columbus, Ohio, and Ryan Beckner, 32, of Point Pleasant, were pronounced dead at the scene. Norvell was taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington by helicopter, where he remains in critical condition, according to Sharon Shaw, spokeswoman for the hospital.

The spokesman for the state police said none of the three men were wearing seat belts. According to investigators, the three men were celebrating Scott’s birthday and were on their way home when the accident happened.

Sand Hill Road was closed for a brief period of time as emergency crews cleaned up the scene. Members of Mason County Emergency Medical Services and the Point Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene as well.

Cpl. C.K. Zerkle and Cpl. K.M. Gilley are continuing their investigation of the cause of the accident, reports the Point Pleasant Daily Register, January 22, 2009.

Humm, Sand Hill Road.


In 1966, when the initial reports of the "Big Bird" (later labeled "Mothman" by an Ohio copyeditor who was a fan of the "Batman" TV series), one debunker said the eyewitnesses had seen nothing strange, only a sandhill crane (Grus canadensis). The "sandhill crane explanation" has become part of the lore of the early days of Mothman.

It is worth pointing out that the great intellectual anomalist Charles Fort, writing of the "Devil's Hoofprints" in his 1919 The Book of the Damned, Chapter 28, records:

"In the Illustrated London News, March 17, 1855, a correspondent from Heidelberg writes, 'upon the authority of a Polish Doctor of Medicine,' that on the Piashowa-gora (Sand Hill) a small elevation on the border of Galicia, but in Russian Poland, such marks are to be seen in the snow every year, and sometimes in the sand of this hill, and 'are attributed by the inhabitants to supernatural influences.'


(Thanks to tips from Todd Campbell, Brandon and Misty Tittel, Ben Fairhall, and others.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Assassination Threat From Contactee "Trinity"

Today, sadly, President Barack Obama's Inauguration may have a strange, fringe "contactee" footnote to it. News is developing that an earlier arrest for an assassination threat has a deeper bizarre UFO connection.

Ben Fairhall's The Daily Behemoth posting, "Contactee responsible for Obama murder threat?" alerted me to this info.

Fairhall writes:
A man arrested for issuing threats against the life of President Elect Barack Obama did so on a UFO forum, sources claim. John Christopher, 42, has posted several video clips to You Tube describing the multi-dimensional nature of reality and the inner earth.

Several wire service stories, such as the following one, confirmed the arrest at the end of last week:

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Wisconsin man has been arrested in Mississippi for threats he allegedly made against President-elect Barack Obama on the Internet.

Steven Joseph Christopher, 42, was arrested Friday [January 16, 2009] by the Secret Service in Brookhaven, Miss., and was charged with threatening to assassinate Obama for what he claimed was "the country's own good," according to federal prosecutors. The criminal complaint was sealed until Christopher's appearance in federal court.

Judge James C. Sumner ordered Christopher held until a bail hearing next Thursday. Sumner suggested Christopher be held in isolation for his own safety.

A news release says Christopher made the threats Jan. 11 and 15 on the Web site

A more in-depth overview of the arrest is carried at the Huliqsite, including this:

Steven Joseph Christopher, age 42, has reportedly made the threats on January 11, 15, and 16 in a chat forum on the site, a website about UFOs and aliens, the US Department of Justice said. He has created a new forum topic entitled, "ok we have 9 days until my Presidential Assasination[sic]." He referred to Obama as a 'sacrificial lamb.' "Yes, I have decided I will assassinate Barack Obama. It's really nothing personal about the man. He speaks well, has a loving although controlling wife and two cute daughters. But I know it's for the country's own good that I can do this. Barack Obama, I view more as a sacrificial lamb, but the sacrifice must take place," Christopher wrote on January 11.

* * *

As it turns out this man calls himself "Stevie the Playboy", "SHR," "Trinity" and in some cases "god". Christopher also spent time on the internet, using at least three different usernames to post about 70 different YouTube videos. The Alien-Earth Web site administrator notified a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service of the posted web messages.

* * *

"I'm trying to get people's attention, they were only bluffs. I'm trying to get everyone to listen to me because I have an important message from God," said Christopher. "Everyone needs to move to Florida by December 31st, this is the end of the world as we know it," he further warned in a video posting.

Some of Christopher's thoughts about planetary relationships sound more like the Heaven's Gate and Solar Temple cults (see pages 75-93, The Copycat Effect), than ufological, in nature, however.

Indeed, reading his rambling threats, Steven Joseph Christopher, a man with three first names, who sometimes called himself "Trinity," it turns out, seems to be deeply anti-semitic and mentally ill.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Death In Threes

Perhaps the idea is overblown, overstated, and overemphasized, but the notion does exist that "death comes in threes."

Let's look at three possible origins, expressions, or foundations for this idea that naturally reinforces a copycat mentality in reporting histories, tragedies, and breaking news:

Avery's Rule of Three

"Trouble strikes in series of threes, but when working around the house the next job after a series of three is not the fourth job -- it's the start of a brand new series of three."


The Rule of Three in Writing

The rule of three is a principle in English writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. From slogans ("Go, fight, win!") to films, many things are structured in threes. There were three musketeers, three little pigs, three billy goats Gruff, Goldilocks and the three bears, and Three Stooges.

A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, and finally released. Similarly, adjectives are often grouped together in threes in order to emphasize an idea.


The Rule of Three in Wicca

The Rule of Three (also Three-fold Law or Law of Return) is a religious tenet held by some Wiccans. It states that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times. Some subscribe to a variant of this law in which return is not necessarily threefold.

According to John Coughlin the Law posits "a literal reward or punishment tied to one's actions, particularly when it comes to working magic." The law is not a universal article of faith among Wiccans, and "there are many Wiccans, experienced and new alike, who view the Law of Return as an over-elaboration on the Wiccan Rede." Some Wiccans believe that it is a modern innovation based on Christian morality.

The Rule of Three has been compared by Karl Lembke to other ethics of reciprocity, such as the concept of karma in Dharmic religions and the Christian edict, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Matthew 7:12), also called the "Golden Rule."

The Rule of Three has a possible prototype in a piece of Wiccan liturgy which first appeared in print in Gerald Gardner's 1949 novel High Magic's Aid:

'Thou hast obeyed the Law. But mark well, when thou receivest good, so equally art bound to return good threefold.' (For this is the joke in witchcraft, the witch knows, though the initiate does not, that she will get three times what she gave, so she does not strike hard.)

The first published reference to the Rule of Three as a general ethical principle may be from Raymond Buckland, in a 1968 article for Beyond magazine. The Rule of Three later features within a poem of 26 couplets titled "Rede of the Wiccae," published by Gwen Thompson in 1975 in Green Egg vol. 8, no. 69 and attributed to her grandmother Adriana Porter.


Trilogies of Death

BTW, this sense of a trilogy among death is found in various popular cultures and can be demonstrated by noting the following three collected works:

1) Three Deaths: A Tale (Russian: Три смерти, Tri smerti) is a short story by Leo Tolstoy first published in 1859. It narrates the deaths of three subjects: a noblewoman, a coachman and a tree.

2) Death Times Three is a collection of Nero Wolfe novellas by Rex Stout, published posthumously by Bantam Books in 1985. The book contains three stories, one never before published:

"Bitter End," first printed in the November 1940 issue of The American Magazine, and collected in the limited-edition volume Corsage: A Bouquet of Rex Stout (1977). The story is a re-working of Stout's Tecumseh Fox story Bad for Business.

"Frame-Up for Murder," an expanded rewrite of the 1958 novella "Murder Is No Joke" that was serialized in three issues of The Saturday Evening Post (June 21, June 28 and July 5, 1958) but never published in book form.

"Assault on a Brownstone," an early draft of the 1961 novella "Counterfeit for Murder".

3) Curse, Death & Spirit is a 1992 three-part anthology of Japanese ghost stories from popular director Hideo Nakata (Ringu, The Ring 2).

The movie consist of three storylines.

The Cursed Doll: Satomi is being called by someone in her dreams. Following this voice, the voice seemed to be coming from a doll in which she realize that there is a spirit of her dead sister inside of it.

The Spirit of the Dead: A woman takes her son camping after her husband's death but was disrupted when a ghost of a woman thinks that the boy is her child.

The Haunted Inn: A spirit forces three girls who are on a vacation in a traditional Japanese inn, in which a tragedy had occurred a long time ago, to repeat the events of the day.

JFK and Threes

Writings of a "twilight language" nature on the JFK assassination often mention the first Masonic Temple site in Texas, Dealey Plaza, as the location of the shootings. When they go on and note that the killing of the President (the symbolic "King") occurred near the banks of the Trinity River, next to the Triple Overpass, lined up on a map on the 33 degree parallel with the Trinity Site in New Mexico, therefore, these may also be an extension of the "death comes in threes" literature.

Material on the last point is extensive within the triple-decker works in conspiracy, synchromystic, and assassination thoughts, which are often remarkably scholarly in nature.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

When The Wolfbane Blooms

What does tonight's first Full Moon of 2009 foretell? This one is called the Wolf Moon, a Full Moon in Cancer, and it is indeed a precursor to a year that will be full of werewolf news.

"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright." - The Wolf Man, 1941.

The word is slipping out.

Todd Campbell takes a look at the interplay between hidden forces, the Moon, in a Sirius vein, in his new notes delivered in "Bark at the Moon", over at Through The Looking Glass.

In the new edition of Entertainment Weekly, January 16, 2009, reporter Tanner Stransky gives us a hint about how some of this will be reflected in the popular culture via his ""Movie News":

In 2009, Werewolves Answer Hollywood's Call of the Wild

"The furry beasts are popping up everywhere, including the upcoming Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, New Moon, and more

"Take a gander at the big screen this year because you're likely to spy a full moon — and we aren't talking about Will Ferrell's bare butt. If 2008 marked a comeback for the vampire, the next 12 months belong to the werewolf. On Jan. 23, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans showcases the woolly beasts, while a furrier-than-usual Hugh Jackman returns in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1). Later this year, Benicio Del Toro stars in The Wolfman (Nov. 6), and in the Nov. 20 Twilight sequel New Moon, heroine Bella moons over werewolf Jacob. TV loves a lupine too: Fox just ordered the ludicrously titled dramedy pilot Bitches — about a quartet of female werewolf friends in New York City — and it's rumored that season 2 of HBO's True Blood will get hairy."

"So what's with the comeback? 'The last time this happened was World War II,' notes Brad Steiger, author of The Werewolf Book. 'It's reflective. We want to worry about something that can get us besides bailouts. I'm eager to see [these projects]. Benicio, God bless him, looks like a werewolf without the makeup.'"

Steiger's book is one of several similar books that have shape-shifted into our world lately, indeed, returning some old words in new presentations.

The republished The Book of Werewolves by Sabine Baring-Gould is a new classic in hardback in a series from Cosimo Books.

Meanwhile, A Cryptozoological Study of the Shunka Warak'in by Mystical Mikal, published by BookSurge Publishing, late in 2008, looks at the overlap between one old saga of a werewolf-like creature and cryptozoology.

Yes, if Vampires seemed to rule in 2008, it appears certain the true Masters of the forests and the night, the Werewolves may be on the horizon.

Maleva: "Whoever is bitten by a werewolf and lives becomes a werewolf himself."
Larry Talbot: "Ah, don't hand me that. You're just wasting your time."
Maleva: "The wolf bit you, didn't he?"
Larry Talbot: "Yeah. Yeah he did!"

Stay tuned, for you have just been bitten.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Budapest School Shooting: Workplace Violence

A principal and teacher were killed Wednesday, January 7th, 2009, when a masked gunman opened fire in a private elementary school in Budapest, Hungary's capital city, police said.

The lone gunman entered the private school in the 21 district of Budapest at 6:40 p.m. (12:40 p.m. ET) and started shooting arbitrarily, Budapest police spokesperson Endre Kormos told the media. There were no children in the school at the time.

Both men were killed and a security guard was injured. The guard was shot in the hand and taken to the hospital, police said. Police set up checkpoints around the city to try to track down the gunman and issued a reward of 5 million Forints (about $26,000) for public assistance in the case.

The two male victims were shot in the head.

Csepel, the specific site of the shootings, is located on the northern tip of a large island in the Danube River and during the communist regime it was the hub of Budapest's heavy industry.

January 8th update:

Two suspects have been arrested in a Budapest, Hungary, school shooting that left a principal and a teacher dead, police said Thursday.

One suspect is a security guard who was injured in Wednesday's shooting at the private elementary school, CNN reported. He sustained a gunshot wound to the hand which police said could have been self-inflicted.

Police said the other suspect is the school's finance director.

Police indicated both suspects had been laid off about a week before the attack and indicated revenge may have been a motive, CNN said.

No children were in the school when a masked gunman entered and began shooting , police said.


The location: Budapest, Hungary, was the setting for the start of the "Gloomy Sunday" copycat suicide wave, beginning in 1936, which swept throughout Europe.

In two recent school shootings in Europe, January was the month of the event (e.g. Jan, Sweden, 2001, and The Hague, Netherlands, 2004). Both of those involved an individual young shooter.

This date in history: On January 7th, 1973, Black Liberation Army member Mark James Essex fatally killed 10 people. He also wounded 13 others at the Downtown Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge in New Orleans, Louisiana, before being shot to death by police, who launched an assault using 600 officers and a helicopter gunship. Most of the victims who were targeted by sniper Essex were Caucasian, and firefighters, military and law enforcement officers.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Panetta's CIA Think Tank?

Has Leon Panetta been connected to intelligence activities for years? Are the media overlooking the visible hints?

Panetta is President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for the Director of the Center of Intelligence Agency. People are acting shocked.

But is Panetta closely linked to having perhaps set up a military-intelligence university think tank in California?

Panetta's visible biography is well-known.

His seemingly military-related experience seems thin (but don't be fooled). In 1964, Panetta joined the United States Army as a Second Lieutenant. There he received the Army Commendation Medal, and was discharged in 1966 as a Captain. He was a Congressman from 1976-1993. While a member of Congress, he was Vice Chairman of the Caucus of Vietnam-Era Veterans in Congress, but he does not seem to be credited as being a member of any intelligence oversight subcommittees. On July 17, 1994, Panetta was appointed White House Chief of Staff by Clinton, a position he held until January 20, 1997. In 2006, he was part of the Iraq Study Group, also known as the Baker Commission.

No one denies that Leon Panetta is a member of the secretive Trilateral Commission. What other things has he done, quietly?

How well is it known that Panetta was involved in the planning and converting of the former military base of Fort Ord in California into "Panetta's University" and more?

Few realize that Panetta was instrumental in starting the California State University – Monterey Bay (CSUMB). Or that CSU Chancellor Munoz favored a different name for the location, the University of Fort Ord, which would have had the intriguing acronym, UFO.

But is what remains, around the edges at Fort Ord, a military secret of some import, thanks to Leon Panetta? What does the Panetta Institute really do? It certainly seems like it is often used as a CIA think-tank.

Interesting reading, furthermore, can by found in an article entitled "The Countdown to 9-11":

Let us get a firm grip on [what] we do know, so that when fresh facts arise we may be ready to fit them into their places.
~ Sherlock Holmes
The Devil’s Foot

Fort Ord takes its name for General Edward Otho Cresap Ord, whose military career spanned 1839 to 1881. Gen. E. O. C. Ord acquired for $40 the marble topped table, present when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee met with Gen. U. S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. The small wooden table, not to be confused with Gen. Ord’s table, went to Gen. Sheridan for $20, who gave it to “boy wonder” Gen. George Armstrong Custer. Today, that table rests in the National Museum of American History, Washington, DC. Whereas the marble topped table resides in the Chicago Historical Society’s Civil War Room. Controversy over which table sat Grant, and which sat Lee continues––but it is certain one of the signatures to the surrender terms was signed on Gen. Ord’s table. No word yet as to the disposition of the desk upon which Bill Clinton signed-off on his political career.

Leon Panetta, however, has offices and archives his congressional record on Fort Ord. He received $1,400 per day as an educational consultant, $350,000 from incoming CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, for startup costs and salaries for the “bipartisan” Leon Panetta Institute for Public Policy, plus $50,000 in “materials” from Vermont gubernatorial hopeful, Peter P. Smith. According to the Otter Realm, CSUMB’s fledgling newspaper (sea otter: school mascot), the Panetta Institute also sought a permanent endowment of $10 million-dollars. Panetta to Otter Realm, “It is important for people to feel the reward of service.”

Little did the graduating seniors realize the event Panetta referenced at the first class graduation was a precursor. The incident he talked about had happened on September 11, 1994 (see the story of Frank Eugene Corder, pages ix-x in The Copycat Effect)!

In May 1997, CSUMB held its first commencement....Leon Panetta...gave the Seniors who stayed the course short shrift––but recounted the White House incident, in which a small plane crash-landed on the East Lawn during the predawn hours. Leon Panetta asked his startled staff, presumably by telephone, “Has anybody done anything yet?” Panetta pounded the podium. Without alluding to the specific protocols for such an event, his message to the gowned captives under the rent-a-tent: “Get it done.”

Today, California State University, Monterey Bay, is a small public university in the California State University system on the site of the former Fort Ord, on the Central Coast of California. CSUMB was founded in 1994 with a student enrollment of 654 students. As of 2007 the university had 4,080 students and 141 full-time faculty members.

In June 2006, Ed Salven, one of Ft. Ord's veterans from the Vietnam era, published a book, The Soldier Factory, chronicling his personal history as a soldier, and reflecting upon a return visit to the Fort in the late 1990s. Along with poetic reflections, the book includes color reproductions of paintings of soldiers that Salven found hung from barracks' windows as he explored the grounds, rendered by students from California State University, Monterey Bay.

An annual "Secrets of Fort Ord" tour is given, beginning from the campus of CSUMB. Locations are reached by bus, and the tour takes approximately two hours. Though much of the fort appears abandoned, "tourists" learn otherwise upon seeing the buildings in full use with soldiers in training within the broken down buildings. Much of the tour takes place beyond public reach, behind closed off limits. Some places are only viewable from the outside, though, such as the former prison, recently used for paintballing and now housing a concrete works and other industry.

A small portion of Ft. Ord remains under Army control and is now called the Presidio of Monterey Annex. It includes the Ord Military Community, California National Guard posts, the DoD Center, and the gunnery ranges.

The military still has a presence at Fort Ord, in the form of several California Army National Guard units, facilities administrated by the Presidio of Monterey, and the continued operation of the base PX and Commissary to cater for retirees who chose to settle in the area and are entitled to shop at such facilities. Management of the military housing has been outsourced to private firms, but the homes are still occupied by personnel stationed at the Presidio of Monterey and Naval Postgraduate School and retired military members. Ft. Ord's housing, PX, chapel, and Commissary are now called Ord Military Community.

What is really going on at Fort Ord? And how important was Panetta's involvement in the development of "his" university in keeping all of this out of the limelight?

Why should we be surprised that Leon Panetta is going to be the Director of the CIA?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Police Kill Nazi-Uniformed Man

Occasionally genius is misunderstood, and every death like the one described here is not suicide-by-cop.

Miles Allen Murphy was a bright, eccentric man, who sometimes dressed in historically correct uniforms and clothing. He was shot dead on January 1, 2009, because Seattle police felt threatened by his actions.

If the facts are as stated, Murphy appears to have acted irresponsibly while celebrating the New Year, and law enforcement officers were placed in an untenable position.

Nevertheless, the tragedy is widespread, for Murphy's family, the police personnel, and their families.

Nick Perry and Emily Heffter, reporters for the Seattle Times, have written a comprehensive essay on Murphy's death:

Miles Allen Murphy
Seattle police shot and killed a University of Washington senior who was dressed in a World War II-era German uniform and who officers say was brandishing a long rifle with a bayonet early Thursday [January 1, 2009] in his University District apartment.

The student, identified by friends as Miles Allen Murphy, was well-known on campus as a smart, eccentric history buff who loved to participate in WWII re-enactments and would even show up to class, at times, dressed in a historic uniform.

Friends said Murphy, 22, would entertain at parties by playing everything from old German folk songs to Britney Spears tunes on his accordion.

Murphy was killed about 2 a.m. Thursday when police responded to neighbors' complaints that several men were shooting vintage, military-style rifles and shotguns into a dark alley near the 5200 block of 17th Avenue Northeast, police spokesman Jeff Kappel said.

When police were called, Kappel said, neighbors pointed out an apartment in a large white house. When police knocked on the door, one of the suspects opened the door brandishing a long rifle with a large bayonet attached.

Uniformed police officers warned the man several times to drop his weapon. He didn't, Kappel said, and he pointed it at one of the officers. Two officers shot him several times. He died at a hospital Thursday morning, Kappel said.

Spencer Bray, a UW senior, was one of about 20 friends who gathered Thursday night to share stories about Murphy. Bray said Murphy — a German cultural-studies major — had amassed a large collection of WWII memorabilia from the Internet, goodwill stores and from antique dealers.

"He was one of the most peaceful guys I have met. He was really just a nice guy," Bray said. "I never heard him espousing any Nazi ideology; none of that interested him. He liked the physical stuff from WWII because he was such a history buff."

Bray said Murphy sometimes would wear kilts or uniforms to class — including German and U.S. gear from WWII — but would make sure the outfits didn't have symbolic additions such as swastikas.

"He had this Russian snow coat that he'd been wearing recently," Bray said. "It was military issue from WWII."

He said Murphy spoke good German and Swedish, as well as some Finnish, and wanted to be a professor of German literature.

"He was eccentric, but he was very well-liked," Bray said. "It's a huge shock. I read the news today and ... it was really, really hard to hear for all of us."

Murphy worked part time at Red Mill Burgers on Phinney Ridge, Bray said, and always would tip well when he ate out as a result of his experience in the hospitality trade.

On the social-networking site MySpace, Murphy wrote, in a joking fashion, that he lived in a 1920s room and only entered the 21st century when "absolutely necessary." He wrote that he collected vintage clothes and never turned down a well-mixed martini. He listed "Mr. Bayonet" as his lucky charm and said he was "kind of impulsive."

Bray recalled one party when Murphy entertained the crowd on his accordion with everything from old folk songs to "Les Miserables." Murphy also could play piano, violin, banjo and guitar, his friend said.

"He could figure out just about any song on any of the instruments that he played," Bray said. "It was really cool. It was fun to have him play and sing."

The shooting took place in a quiet neighborhood of large homes near the university.

The man who lives in the apartment next door, Mark Kedziora, said that before Thursday night he hadn't seen his neighbor wearing a full German military uniform, but said the man wore a black mustache, combed-over hair and military boots.

Kedziora said he saw his neighbor and two other men with guns standing in the alley at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday. He looked outside when he heard a loud bang, thinking the guns were fake. But when he watched the men reload, he realized the guns were real and said to his friend, "That guy's an idiot."

One of the men was wearing an olive uniform and a military helmet, Kedziora said, and his neighbor was wearing a Nazi military uniform.

"I didn't know he had the whole get-up," he said. A third man was wearing street clothes. It wasn't clear if either of the other two men live at the apartment.

Kedziora said he heard confusion outside and could hear police warning the man to drop his weapon. A few minutes later, they watched out the window as the wounded neighbor was taken away and SWAT teams searched the neighborhood.

Police searching the apartment after the incident found the large collection of German military regalia and a lot of alcohol, Kappel said.

At one point, police evacuated the building, waking tenants.

A few scraps of yellow police tape remained in the alley Thursday afternoon.

No one answered the door at the apartment where the shooting occurred, although the lights were on. Cardboard partially covered a pool of blood on the landing outside the door.

The police officers who fired at the man are on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

It is a sad opening to 2009.