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.


Anonymous said...

In this report on the incident in Belgium --

-- there's a reference to the attacker having painted his face:

"The unidentified assailant, whose face was reportedly painted with black and white make-up..."

Is this an Insane Clown Posse thing?

Anonymous said...

police have stated to believe the attacker is seriously mentally ill. he did try to get away, by bike..

Anonymous said...

"Is this an Insane Clown Posse thing?"

No. No Real Juggalo would EVER hurt a child!

Foxfilling said...

he had four other adresses with him + he had an axe in his backpack.

cryptidsrus said...

Hi, Loren!!!

Though I'd post over here, too. Love this site, too.

What was unusual about this was the fact that the new I saw (at least CNN) did not mention the assailant was dressed like a "Joker." Self-censoership, maybe? Hmmm...

Anonymous said...


more liek they were not engaged in tacky speculation like some other sensationalist news services.