Friday, May 29, 2020

George Floyd: Syncs, Coincidences, and Name Games


Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, center, and his teammates warm up before an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings, Tuesday, December 9, 2014, in Los Angeles. Several athletes have worn “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm ups in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died July 17, 2014, after a police officer placed him in a chokehold when he was being arrested for selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.



LeBron James (above) and Kyrie Irving (below) showed solidarity with people protesting the Staten Island Grand Jury decision not to indict the police office who killed Eric Garner with a chokehold on July 17, 2014, donning a black t-shirt with Garner's last words (on Monday, December 8, 2014).




Divided House

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln delivered an important speech to 1000 delegates at the Springfield, Illinois, statehouse for the Republican State Convention. The Republicans of that time were the party of the North, of the abolitionists, and of the "all people are created equal" point of view.

In Lincoln's speech, he uttered the memorable lines:
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
The title, "House Divided Speech," reflects part of the speech's introduction, "A house divided against itself cannot stand," a concept familiar to Lincoln's audience as a statement by Jesus recorded in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke). Source.

In Abe Lincoln in Illinois, John Brown, comforts his dying son at Harper's Ferry, as he is arrested by Robert E. Lee. Brown was played by John Cromwell, the director of the film.



I watched Raymond Massey's Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) in the wake of having viewed the three-night History Channel's mini-series Grant this week (May 25-27, 2020).  Massey's tour-de-force performance as Lincoln shows him struggling with the decision to fight slavery. Grant does equally well demonstrating the pre-Civil War Grant grappling with the fact he finds he owns a slave he inherited because he married into a slave-owning family. "Timely" seems the least I can say about both of these docudramas based on a legacy of slavery in the USA that continues in today's events.



As reviewer Nick Schager points out:
Grant is an active attempt to rehabilitate the historical record, positing Confederate adversary Robert E. Lee as a symbol of the intolerant, aristocratic, treasonous old guard, and Grant as an emblem of a more open, just, unified modern America. Grant’s disgust for the Confederacy and the rancidness it stood for is on full display throughout this series, which pointedly contends that—good ol’ boy revisionism be damned—it was slavery, not simply the more euphemistic “states’ rights,” which drove the South to secede and take up arms against the Union. At the same time, Grant’s compassion and levelheadedness also remains front and center, epitomized by the lenient terms of surrender he ultimately offered to the defeated Lee, which helped him secure support throughout the South in the years following the end of the war.
George Floyd is Killed

The Incident: A Summary



The death of George Floyd occurred on May 25, 2020, when Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kneeled on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, with 2 minutes and 53 seconds of that occurring after Floyd was unresponsive, according to the criminal complaint filed against Chauvin. Floyd was handcuffed and lying face down on the road, while Chauvin had his knee on his neck.
The incident occurred during Floyd's arrest in Powderhorn, a neighborhood south of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was recorded on cell phone video by several bystanders. The arrest was conducted after Floyd, an African-American, [shortly after 8:00 pm] attempted to use a $20 bill that a grocery store employee identified as counterfeit. Police alleged that Floyd "physically resisted" after being ordered to exit his vehicle, a claim that has been contradicted by available video recordings. The video recordings of the arrest, showing Floyd repeatedly saying "I can't breathe", were widely circulated on social media platforms and broadcast by the media.
The four officers involved were fired the next day. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the incident at the request of the Minneapolis Police Department. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is also investigating possible violations of Minnesota statutes. On May 29, Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter for Floyd's death, with Hennepin County attorney Michael O. Freeman saying he anticipated charges to be brought against the other three officers at the scene of Floyd's death.
After Floyd's death, demonstrations and protests in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area were initially peaceful on May 26, but later that day turned destructive as windows were smashed at a police precinct, two stores were set on fire, and many stores were looted and damaged. Some demonstrators skirmished with law enforcement officers, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets. Source.

Videos Record Floyd's Death 
Part of the arrest was recorded by a bystander and streamed to Facebook Live, which went viral.
When the video starts, Floyd is already pinned chest down to the ground, and Officer Chauvin is kneeling on his neck. Floyd repeatedly tells Chauvin "Please" and "I can't breathe", while also moaning, groaning, and sobbing. A bystander tells police, "You got him down. Let him breathe."
Another bystander says, "One of my homies died the same way", and after Floyd responds "I'm about to die the same", Chauvin tells Floyd to relax.  The police ask Floyd, "What do you want?" Floyd answers, "I can't breathe." Floyd states: "Please, the knee in my neck, I can't breathe." Someone tells Floyd to "get up and get in the car" (which Agence France Presse, CBS News and WVLT-TV identify as one of the officers, while Buzzfeed News says it is "unclear" whether it was an officer speaking), to which Floyd replies, "I will ... I can't move." Floyd cries out, "Mama!" Floyd says, "My stomach hurts, my neck hurts, everything hurts", and requests water. The police do not audibly respond to Floyd. Floyd begs, "Don't kill me."
One bystander points out that Floyd is bleeding from the nose. Another tells the police that Floyd is "not even resisting arrest right now". The police tell the bystanders that Floyd was "talking, he's fine"; a bystander replies that Floyd "ain't fine". The bystander protests that the police were preventing Floyd from breathing, urging them, "Get him off the ground ... You could have put him in the car by now. He's not resisting arrest or nothing. You're enjoying it. Look at you. Your body language."
Floyd goes silent and motionless, but Chauvin does not lift his knee from Floyd's neck. The bystanders protest that Floyd is "not responsive", and repeatedly ask the police to check Floyd's pulse.  A bystander questions, "Did they f*cking kill him?"
An ambulance eventually arrives, and Chauvin does not move his knee until emergency medical services put Floyd's unresponsive body on a stretcher. Floyd was initially found pulseless by HCMC paramedics, but CPR was not initiated by the paramedic crew. Floyd is loaded into the ambulance and taken away to 36th Street and Park Avenue, according to an incident report by the Minneapolis Fire Department. A male bystander says that the police "just really killed" Floyd. Chauvin knelt on Floyd's neck for at least seven minutes, including around four minutes after Floyd stopped moving.
Medics in the ambulance checked Floyd's pulse several times, but found none. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Source.

"I Can't Breathe"

Floyd's death has been compared to the 2014 death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who also repeated "I can't breathe" eleven times after being placed in a choke hold by a New York police officer during an arrest.



On July 17, 2014, Eric Garner died in the New York City borough of Staten Island after Daniel Pantaleo, a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer, put him in a chokehold while arresting him. Video footage of the incident generated widespread national attention and raised questions about the appropriate use of force by law enforcement.

Syncs, Coincidences, and the Name Game

As the George Floyd incident unfolded, I was sent or directed to various "twilight language" segments of the event and the people surrounding it.


George Floyd Name Game

From Greek, the meaning of the name George is from georgos meaning tiller of the soil, or farmer. Famous bearer: St George, patron saint of England, who struggled with a fire breathing dragon symbolizing the devil.
The name Floyd means gray or gray-haired, and is of English origin, from a Welsh byname, llwyd. Floyd is from Lloyd, a name originating with the Welsh adjective llwyd, most often understood as meaning "grey" but with other meanings as well.
Floyd and Coronavirus

 A widely circulated photograph of George Floyd at his job as a security guard shows him next to a poster of Corona beer. Floyd was laid off due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.



Kobe Bryant


"I can't breathe" was a slogan that Kobe Bryant began using in 2014, due to the Garner episode. Bryant was able to convince his teammates to all wear "I can't breathe" teeshirts. 

Both George Floyd and Kobe Bryant were successful basketball players in their own tiers, and about the same height. Floyd was 6 feet, 7 inches in height. Kobe Bryant was 6 feet, 6 inches tall.

Bryant died on January 26, 2020. Floyd died on May 25, 2020, almost exactly five months later, and one day after his birthday.

Kobe Bryant, 41, died with his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, in the helicopter crash. George Floyd, 46, is survived by two daughters, one is 6-year-old Gianna. 


Chauvin Name Game


 

The police officer's name who is seen in the video with his knee on George Floyd's neck is Derek Chauvin. The roots of Chauvin are the same as for chauvinistChauvin's meaning is derived from the French diminutive of Chauve, a nickname for "a bald man," from Old French chauf "bald" (Latin calvus).

Derek Michael Chauvin, a 44-year-old Caucasian man, had been an officer in the Minneapolis Police Department since around 2001. Chauvin had 18 complaints on his official record, two of which ended in discipline from the department including official letters of reprimand. He had been involved in three police shootings, one of which was fatal.

Floyd and Chauvin Both Worked As Security Guards at El Nuevo Rodeo 


A bizarre twist in the murder of George Floyd was reported on Thursday night, as a former club owner in south Minneapolis revealed that Floyd worked at her club as a security guard, alongside recently fired police officer Derek Chauvin, the man who killed him.
Club owner Maya Santamaria says that the two both worked the same security shift at El Nuevo Rodeo club on Lake Street, before the business was sold a few months ago.
“Chauvin was our off-duty police for almost the entirety of the 17 years that we were open. They were working together at the same time, it’s just that Chauvin worked outside and the security guards were inside,” Santamaria told KSTP.
However, Santamaria said that she can’t be certain that Chauvin and Floyd knew each other, because often over a dozen security guards working at the club on any given night.
Still, they did work overlapping shifts, and the fact that one man ended up killing the other should justify further investigation into whether or not the two had a prior relationship.
If Chauvin and Floyd were not meeting for the first time in the moments before Floyd’s death, that could potentially mean that there was a deeper motive behind the murder. Source.

Floyd and Chauvin both worked as security guards and had overlapping shifts at the Latin nightclub, El Nuevo Rodeo. Owner Maya Santamaria said Chauvin had worked there for 17 years and Floyd had worked at about a dozen events. She said it was not clear if they knew each other but that she did not believe so. Santamaria described Chauvin as using overly aggressive tactics in her club, which she had asked him to tone down. Source.
Dakota syncs?

Synchromystic Ed Lin is working on research of "Minneapolis (Longtitude W 93 Thelema) where the Floyd riots began on May 26, 2020 and the history of the Twin Cities (11), which told of the mass execution (38 / 11 lynched in one day) and expulsion of Dakota Sioux Indians who spoke Dakota dialect. Then suddenly I saw a new article about new photos surfaced around the time John Lennon met his killer Mark David Chapman in front of the Dakota Building (where Rosemary's Baby was shot). Trying to connect the current situation with the Native American curse (The Shining / Dakota oil pipeline that ends in Stanley)." Source: Kitchen Sync Facebook.


See "Dakota" here at Twilight Language, August 3, 2011.

This souvenir building replica of the Dakota is produced by InFocusTech. 


Freeman



Michael Orville Freeman (born May 7, 1948) is an American attorney and politician from the state of Minnesota. He is currently the county attorney for Hennepin County, the most populous county in the state, of which the county seat is Minneapolis, and the person in charge of investigating the police officers involved with George Floyd's death...He is the son of Orville Freeman, who was a former Minnesota governor and Secretary of Agriculture under presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. Source.
In July 1960, Orville Freeman (Michael's father) nominated U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts for president at the Democratic National Convention.

By coincidence, "Freeman" was a surname taken by freed slaves, before and after 1863's Emancipation Proclamation of Abraham Lincoln.







See also:


Fayette Factor: Buffalo (June 7, 2020).

Take Heed on June 17 (June 8, 2020).

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Update

June 10, 2020

Matthew Bell has posted an extension of several of the themes above and more here: "The Strange Case of Jekyll and Floyd."







Also, Bell passes along the following:

(1) The February 23, 2020 shooting of Ahmaud Arbery occurred in Brunswick, Georgia right across from... Jekyll Island -- and just north of the "Floyd's Neck" location I identified in the video.

(2) Arbery had apparently been jogging on Holmes Road. Of course, in 2012, you extensively covered James Holmes, the man convicted of murdering 12 people and wounding 70 at the Aurora, Colorado Century 16 theater at the premier of... you'll recall... the Dark Knight Rises.

(3) And, unless my map is mistaken, Holmes Rd. is just south of the Jekyll Island Causeway, designated U.S. Route 17 -- which seems to fit into the Nicolas-Chauvin / Derek-Chauvin "17" numerical pattern.

(Possible secondary addition: U.S 17 apparently also connects up the State Route (SR) 520 just East of I-95. 520 is 6 short from the number of seconds in 8 minutes, 46 seconds, i.e., 526.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The Death Ripple of Sandy Hook: Peter Manfredonia, Newtown, Incels, and Copycats

Update: Manfredonia Captured.


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Peter Manfredonia, 23, wanted for murder.

The Manfredonia Manhunt

Peter Manfredonia, a Newtown native and University of Connecticut student has been accused of killing two men and injuring another. He was looking for a young woman he knew as he carried out his murderous spree, according to the wife of one of his victims. Peter Manfredonia, 23, a senior at the university who is still at large, was looking for the woman before he crossed paths with her neighbor, 62-year-old Ted DeMers, the man’s wife said.

“He was clearly walking to her home with a mission, with a machete in his backpack,” Cyndi DeMers told the Associated Press.

DeMers also said she talked with the woman’s father over the weekend and was told the family had been considering filing for a restraining order against Manfredonia, who had visited the home in the past.

Police believe Manfredonia, whose family they said has a history of mental illness, killed DeMers and another man in separate attacks before fleeing the state with stolen firearms in a stolen car.

After killing DeMers, Manfredonia was then headed to a friend’s house, who also lived in Derby, and allegedly killed the man, identified by cops as 23-year-old Nicholas Eisele. The suspect left that murder scene and allegedly abducted Eisele’s girlfriend and stole a 2016 black Volkswagen Jetta from her home. Authorities later Sunday found the car in New Jersey at the Pennsylvania border. Eisele’s girlfriend was also found unharmed. Manfredonia then crossed the border into Pennsylvanian, where he remained at large on Sunday night.
Manfredonia Meaning. Italian: habitational name from the region of Manfredonia in Apulia, named for Manfredo, king of Sicily.
Manfredo Meaning (Italian), from the Germanic personal name Mag(in)frid, composed of the elements mag(in) 'strength', 'might' + frid 'peace' (common in Lombardic records in the mid- and late 8th century). Manfred is derived from the Germanic elements magan "strength" and frid "peace". This is the name of the main character in Lord Byron's drama Manfred (1817).



Alleged sighting and the killing locations for Peter Manfredonia. Manfredonia was last seen Sunday, May 24, 2020, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, after he allegedly killed two men and seriously injured another in two separate attacks in Connecticut.


Victim Ted DeMers


Nicholas Eisele

Victims Nicholas Eisele and his girlfriend.



The stolen black 2016 Volkswagen Jetta was recovered at the Travel America truck stop in Knowlton Township, New Jersey, on Sunday, May 24, 2020. Eisele's girlfriend was found in the car, alive. The truck stop photograph is an updated file copy.





The last sighting of Manfredonia was in Pennsylvania. He is shown in the green rectangle.






The walls of Manfredonia's room was a treasure trove of warning signs. No one paid attention.






The father of Peter Manfredonia, the University of Connecticut student wanted in two murders was arrested last month for allegedly groping an underage teen girl he supplied booze to, a police report said. The alleged incident involving Robert Manfredonia, whose son Peter Manfredonia is still at large, occurred on April 10, 2020, the Connecticut Post reported, citing police. The elder Manfredonia is accused of giving alcohol to two teen girls and, after one of the girls left, allegedly touching the other, according to an arrest warrant obtained by the paper. One of the girls told authorities they also smoked weed. Police charged the father, who’s free on $50,000 bond, with sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and providing alcohol to a minor.

Still at large, police describe Peter Manfredonia as a 6-foot-3 white man who should be considered armed and dangerous.

Manfredonia is a 2015 graduate of Newtown High School and a senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in finance and mechanical engineering, the Connecticut Post reported. Police said that the driver's side of the stolen Jetta car had a bumper sticker on it paying tribute to the 26 victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre, which took place in Newtown. Manfredonia once fundraised against gun violence due to his personal involvement in the Sandy Hook massacre.

Adam Lanza and Newtown

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, came to the Sandy Hook Elementary School and undertook a mass shooting. This event resulted in 27 people (20 children and 6 adults plus the gunman by suicide), to die at the school in Newtown, Connecticut. The gunman had killed his mother before coming to the school.

Although not labeled as such at the time, Adam Lanza appears to have been an "incel."



The Los Angeles Times observed that boys without fathers "are the ones that we need to watch out about. Those account for 26 out of the 27 mass shooters that have killed eight or more since 1949. Those account for almost all your school shooters and almost all your mass shooters. Dylann Roof, Elliot Rodger, Adam Lanza — even the 6-year-old [school shooter] Dedrick Owens had a background of fatherlessness."

According to the special report conducted by the Newtown Police, a search of the Lanza house produced several examples of material that showed Adam Lanza read extensively about school and mass shooters, and on suicides.

The documents listed in that report included:



One of the final items listed elsewhere indicated Lanza also possessed, "Two videos showing suicide by gunshot."

The Sandy Hook school shooting ended with Adam Lanza's self-inflicted death. The police heard the final shot at 9:40:03 a.m.; they believe that it was Lanza shooting himself in the lower rear portion of his head with the Glock 20SF in classroom 10. Lanza's body was found wearing a pale green pocket vest over a black polo shirt, over a black T-shirt, black sneakers, black fingerless gloves, black socks, and a black canvas belt. Other objects found in the vicinity of Lanza include a black boonie hat (a bucket hat with a stiff brim and usually having a camouflage pattern] and thin frame glasses. The Glock was found, apparently jammed, near Lanza, and the rifle was found several feet away from him. A 9 mm SIG Sauer P226, which was not fired during the incident, was found on Lanza's person.


Lanza Copycats

Other shooters have copycatted Adam Lanza.

A school shooting occurred at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, United States, in the Houston metropolitan area, on May 18, 2018. Ten people – eight students and two teachers – were fatally shot and thirteen others were wounded. The suspected shooter was taken into custody and later identified by police as Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old student at the school.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis reportedly studied mass shootings of the past before killing 10 students and teachers and wounding 13 others. A source told ABC News he “used aspects of those (attacks) in his own shooting.”

Mirroring the attacks in Parkland, Florida, the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, and Columbine High school in 1999, Pagourtzis snuck a .38 caliber pistol and Remington shotgun in his black coat and brought it to school Friday morning (May 18) and opened fire before the first bell rang.

William Atchison killed two people on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 2017, before killing himself in Aztec, New Mexico, in a shooting at Aztec High School, where he had previously been a student. He had used the pseudonym "Elliot Rodger" on several online forums, and praised "the supreme gentleman" (a term Rodger had used to describe himself, which has since been adopted as a moniker by incel communities).

Atchison's online activity included posting pro-Hitler and pro-Trump thoughts on alt-right forums and white nationalist websites like The Daily Stormer under such usernames as "Future Mass Shooter" and "Adam Lanza," and joking about school shootings, in particular the Columbine High School massacre. Via a Steam chat group he was in contact with the perpetrator of the 2016 Munich shooting. He also posted about his frustration with life in rural New Mexico and bleak career prospects. Atchison was also a sysop in Encyclopedia Dramatica, a website he joined when he was 11.

The journey for Peter Manfredonia continues.



Source, among many.

Thanks for Johanna Lenski for pointing out an initial link.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Aurora 2020

Twilight Language Phantasmagoria: Colorado, Aurora, Waffle House, and the Watts Name Game

In my second book, published in 1978, Jerome Clark and I picked this quote for the dedication page:
There is not wanting a feast of broad joyous humor in this strange phantasmagoria, where pit and stage, and man and animal, and earth and air, are jumbled in confusion worse confounded. ~ Thomas Carlyle, 1795-1881.

The phantasmagoria continues.


We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the "ideas" with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience.― Joan Didion, The White Album (1979)
A phantasmagoria indicates changing successions, combinations, or sequence of real, fantastic, bizarre, or imagined imagery like those seen in a dream or nightmare.

Phantasmagoria (also fantasmagorie, fantasmagoria) was a form of horror theatre that (among other techniques) used one or more magic lanterns to project frightening images such as skeletons, demons, and ghosts onto walls, smoke, or semi-transparent screens, typically using rear projection to keep the lantern out of sight.

We interpret what we see, select the most workable of the multiple choices. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images, by the “ideas” with which we have learned to freeze the shifting phantasmagoria which is our actual experience. ― Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, Swan Song (2018)

The etymology of the term gives a virtual early history of its appearance.
From French phantasmagorie, from Ancient Greek φάντασμα (phántasma, “ghost”) + possibly either αγορά (agorá, “assembly, gathering”) + the suffix -ia, or ἀγορεύω (agoreúō, “to speak publicly”).
Paul Philidor announced his show of ghost apparitions and evocation of the shadows of famous people as Phantasmagorie in the Parisian periodical Affiches, annonces et avis divers of December 16, 1792. About two weeks earlier the term had been the title of a letter by a certain "A.L.M.", published in Magazin Encyclopédique. The letter also promoted Phylidor's show. Phylidor had previously advertised his show as Phantasmorasiin Vienna in March 1790.
The English variation Phantasmagoria was introduced as the title of M. De Philipsthal's show of optical illusions and mechanical pieces of art in London in 1801. De Philipsthal and Philidor are believed to have been the same person. Source.
Phantasmagoria came to the United States in May 1803 at Mount Vernon Garden, New York. Much like the French Revolution sparked interest in phantasmagoria in France, the expanding frontier in the United States made for an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear that was ideal for phantasmagoria shows. Many others created phantasmagoria shows in the United States over the next couple of years, including Martin Aubée, one of Robertson's former assistants.
Early stop trick films developed by Georges Méliès most clearly parallel the early forms of phantasmagoria. Trick films include transformations, superimpositions, disappearances, rear projections, and the frequent appearance of ghosts and apparent decapitations. Modern-day horror films often take up many of the techniques and motifs of stop trick films, and phantasmagoria is said to have survived in this new form.

Once could say that what is occurring all around us today, inside the theater and outside, is phantasmagoria.

Aurora, Colorado

Should we be surprised to find ourselves revisiting, Colorado, indeed Aurora, literally "Red Dawn"? This was the "red dawn" location of the theater mass shooting of July 20, 2012, at the opening of The Dark Knight Rises.

Following a Friday the 13th, on Saturday, Valentine's Day, February 14, 2015, there was another Aurora shooting, this one at a Waffle House.

Now we are back...

If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn't matter which path you take.
― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland (1865)

Waffle House! Colorado! Aurora! "Watts" Name Game!

If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you might think I'm making this news story up, but I did not.

The Aurora Waffle House photo online, pre-pandemic.


The Aurora Waffle House pictured, May 2020, at the time of the shooting.


It all began in the middle of a pandemic in Colorado, on May 14, 2020.

On the early morning of May 14, a man named Kelvin Watson, 27, went into an Aurora, Colorado Waffle House on 12880 East Mississippi Avenue without wearing a face mask. He was told several times to wear one due to the coronavirus pandemic, then became belligerent and pulled out a gun.

He left and returned with a mask, but he wasn't wearing it over his mouth, and threatened staff at the restaurant, telling the 25-year-old cook, "You better shut the f--k up before I blow your brains out," while allegedly displaying a gun, police said in the affidavit.

According to witnesses, he told the cook, “I can blow your brains out right now.” A waitress suspected Watson was high.

Watson left, and police were called, but the victim refused to press charges at the time.

The next night on May 15, 2020, Watson returned to the restaurant and again demanded he be served while still not wearing a mask. He was also told to leave because the restaurant was at capacity, the affidavit states. But Watson refused, became very upset, and slapped the 25-year-old cook across the face with an open left hand.

After the alleged assault, the victim ran out of the restaurant's back door and called police. But Watson followed the victim, making numerous statements to the effect of, "you better shut the f--k up and serve me," according to the affidavit. The victim told police that Watson then shot him once as the victim continued to his apartment a short distance away.

Watson was identified as the suspect after interviewing several witnesses and reviewing surveillance video from the restaurant and along the route the Watson allegedly fled. Staff told police that Watson was a regular at that Waffle House location. During the investigation, Aurora police also learned that he was a suspect in a Denver shooting on April 23, 2020, where he reportedly shot up Wyatt's Towing facility for towing his BMW. No one was injured in that shooting.

The Waffle House released the following statement regarding the incident:
"We are deeply saddened and regret that this senseless act of violence occurred, causing injury to a member of our Waffle House family early Friday morning. We have learned that the hospital released our injured associate on Friday afternoon to recover from what has been described as a non-life- threatening injury. Our thoughts are with him, his family and coworkers at this difficult time. We ask that anyone who has any information about this incident to contact the local authorities as soon as possible. We are cooperating fully with the investigation, and direct all additional questions regarding the specifics of this incident to the local authorities handling the case."
Aurora police used Watson’s credit card receipt from the night before to track him down. CBS4 has learned Denver police were also looking for him in connection with another shooting that happened in April. It allegedly occurred at a tow yard where Watson’s car had been impounded. The rounds from that shooting were of the same caliber in the Waffle House shooting.

By May 21, 2020, Watson was already released. Charged with attempted murder in the Aurora Waffle House shooting, Kelvin Watson was out of jail soon after his arrest. Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said his office argued that the 28-year-old’s bond should have been set at $500,000. Instead, it was set at $100,000.

“I respect the court, we just had a different opinion as to what the bond should be for this alleged behavior,” Brauchler told CBS4’s reporter Dominic Garcia.








Besides the location being a Waffle House, which has been spotlighted here often, and Aurora/Red Dawn being special too, the alleged gunman's name lands right in the middle of the "Name Game."

Watson means "Son of Wat/t."

The Watt surname derives from early forms of the personal name Walter. The popular Middle English given names Wat and Watt were pet forms of the name Walter, meaning "powerful ruler" or "ruler of the army," from the elements wald, meaning rule, and heri, meaning army.

Our awareness is especially keyed to the name "Watts." In earlier Fortean Times columns and then in my 1983 book, Mysterious America, after discussing the special weirdness surrounding the name "Watkins," I wrote:
Cryptologic or coincidence? Jim Brandon should be credited with calling attention to the name Watts/Watkins/Watson, and its entanglement with inexplicable things. Some other names involved in mysterious events pinpointed by Brandon are Bell, Mason, Parsons, Pike, Vernon, and Warren. The influence of such names as Mason, Pike, Warren, and Lafayette, for example, issues, in some cryptopolitical and occult way, from their ties to the Masonic tradition.
Watts (part of the moniker of the Aurora shooter) is tied to the discoverer in England of the "ley lines," one Alfred Watkins. Place is important, and in this case you have the double impact of a Waffle House and Aurora too.

Jim Brandon penned the following thoughts in his 1983 book, The Rebirth of Pan: Hidden Faces of the American Earth Spirit
If there are certain numbers entangled with certain phenomena, the same would have to be said of certain words. Likewise, these words tend to be involved in events of, at best, a sort of Puckish drollery and at worst, tragedy. I have not yet found a name, or number, that seems to be favorable. Possibly this is because journalism and the other anecdotal reportage we must rely on in this barely respectable compiling of ours concentrate on the formidable, the uncanny, rather than on the mundane fortunate. Sometime, one should do a study on, say, winners of sweepstakes and Nobel Prizes.
I'm not talking here of such spooky tongue-twisters as H.P. Lovecraft's Yog-Sothoth or Arthur Machen's Ishakshar, but of quite ordinary names like Bell, Beall and variants, Crowley, Francis, Grafton, Grubb, Magee/McGee, Mason, McKinney, Montpelier, Parsons, Pike, Shelby, Vernon, Watson/Watt, Williams/Williamson. I have others on file, but these are the ones which I have accumulated the most instances.

So, I guess no one should be shocked in this weirdest of year, to discover a Watson not wearing a mask while shooting a Waffle House cook in Aurora, Colorado ~ that same community where a Holmes killed people at a theater in 2012.
Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age. There's an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it's God's own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.
― Arthur Conan Doyle, His Last Bow: The War Service of Sherlock Holmes (1917), with a brief preface, by "John H. Watson, M.D."

Friday, May 22, 2020

Future American Military Bases Will Be Attacked



The copycat effect is back.


I have engaged in several decades of working in the realm of mental health hospitals, treatment facilities, juvenile corrections, law enforcement consultations, and academia, before and after earning a graduate degree in psychiatric social work at Boston's Simmons College and doctoral work in social anthropology and family violence. I devoted part of my professional and academic research life to the field of suicide prevention, mass violence prevention, and aligned social policy. Related work in this area has included a study of the influence of media on creating unreasonable expectations. My 2004 Simon and Schuster book, The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines offered what a Kirkus reviewer described as "persuasive and chilling evidence" that acts of violence promoted by media reports "often inspire imitation."

The Copycat Effect and The Media


It is probably not remarkable to accept the fact that when The Copycat Effect appeared, the media (in the form of reviewers with journals, newspapers, and television), in general, ignored the book. In the United States, only one newspaper, the Boston Globe, had a writer take the time to harshly review my book and dismiss the media's influence on extending the violence rampant in their news stories. The international reaction was pointedly different in Canada, and, for example, in South Korea, some open-mindedness to examine the "copycat effect" occurred. Beyond the borders of the USA, the reality of the copycat effect was viewed, where as in the USA, my thesis was ridiculed.

Nevertheless, I knew from private correspondence, in law enforcement circles and among some in the military, there was an understanding of the lessons to be learned by watching the unfolding of mass shootings, terrorist attacks, and related events. Warning signs were clear, if you watched and looked.

Suicide Clusters Based On The Contagion Factor


Since my earlier book, Suicide Clusters (Faber and Faber, 1987) had laid down the foundation of the "copycat effect" via the then widespread clustering of suburban communities' waves of deaths by suicide, the jump in school shootings between 1987 and 2004, gave more evidence of the phenomenon.

After 2004, the skepticism of the existence of the "copycat effect" became less apparent as the growing evidence from broader acts of school shootings and terrorist attacks made the rejection of the  contagion factor not tenable.

The Copycat Effect in the 21st Century

While my book may be forgotten in terms of its academic influence, within popular usage, the term "the copycat effect" could no longer be ignored.

Examples abound of the struggle with the concept and the growing evidence that cannot be overlooked. But the challenge to accept the copycat effect continues up to today. 

The Washington Post published an article, "Yes, mass shootings tend to produce copycats. So do terrorist attacks," December 4, 2015. The piece was by Erica Chenoweth is a Professor at Harvard Kennedy School and a Susan and Kenneth Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The German media publication DW published a selection entitled "Terrorism and the copycat effect," May 9, 2017, by journalist Julia Vergin. Psychology Today published "Terrorists or Copycats? What's The Difference?" by Sue Kolod, Ph.D., May 3, 2018. Kolod's article even links to the 2017 guidelines for journalists to use in reporting on mass shootings (which hark back to those from the 1980s for reporting on suicide clusters and the 1990s for reporting on school shootings).

The questioning of the "copycat effect" is still around. The National Center for Health Research, before COVID-19 drew most of their attention, published late in 2019 or early in 2020, with a 2020 copyright date, "Does Media Coverage Inspire Copy Cat Mass Shootings?" by Alex Pew, Lauren Goldbeck, Caroline Halsted, and Diana Zuckerman, PhD, National Center for Health Research.

As has been indicated, suicide clusters, school shootings, and mass shootings have been joined by various types of terrorist attacks around the world. These include vehicular terror attacks, especially in Europe.



These articles routinely, when looking at the copycat effect in America, reprint the Mother Jones graphic from data analysis by the Harvard School of Public Health.  These charts track mass shootings from 1982 through 2014. The increase in the waves of mass shootings can be clearly shown, with some familiar names are recognized because of the media attention they received.

9/11 Gap In The Copycat Effect

As I discussed in The Copycat Effect (2004), one of the big gaps in the mass shootings takes place after 9/11/2001. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the mainstream media went into a period of blackout and directed attention. Domestic school shootings was no longer at the top of their media's agenda. The news was focused on terrorism, the events of 9/11, and the new wars against terrorism (including the military actions directed at Afghanistan and Iraq).

The first media attention to post-9/11 mass shootings were not in the USA. Again, as I pointed out in The Copycat Effect, after the Twin Towers and same day attacks, it was over a year without any school shootings and workplace shootings being reported. The "return" of mass shootings was signaled first by international news of school shootings.



























After 9/11, the gap in school shootings vanished with February and April 2002 school shootings in Munich and Erfurt, Germany. The death toll of 17 in Erfurt was noted widely in the US. Then there was an April 2002 high school shooting in Vlasenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and another high school shooting in January 2003 in Taiuva, Brazil.

It was not until January 2003 at the Burger King in Pomona, California, with 2 dead; a workplace in February 2003 in Huntsville, Alabama, with 4 dead; and a middle school in April 2003, in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, with 2 dead, when mass shootings were in the news again.

The Copycat Effect in the Time of COVID-19

What patterns can we see developing in a similar fashion in May 2020?

Since early in March 2020, the news media ~ whether via television, social media, newspapers, or radio ~ have almost entirely concentrated their stories (or as it is euphemistically called on cable television: "Breaking News") on two major themes: COVID-19 and President Trump.

The tracking of the number of new cases of the novel coronavirus, the number of deaths, the society's reaction, the economic input, and the government's responses (mostly through President Donald J. Trump's "news conferences") have been the only "news" most people hear.

Now, as the economy and businesses re-open as we move into late May and spring-like weather across the USA, the alert to the copycat effect must be raised.

Notice what has occurred.

International Mass Shooting: 2020

First, there has been an international mass shooting incident that produced media attention.

In Nova Scotia, on April 19, 2020, a 12 hour mass shooting spree ended with the gunman dead. With his victims, 23 including a RCMP officer were dead. See here, for details.


This mass shooting is part of the growing "incel" trend. Gabriel Wortman, the gunman, is pictured.

Post-Quaratine Shootings: 2020

What is happening? Do we need a weatherperson to tell us which way the wind is blowing?

Arizona

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Arizona, was hit with a shooting. Three people were injured in the mall shooting on Wednesday night, with one critically, and two with non-life-threatening injuries.


The police in Glendale, Arizona, said on Thursday May 21, 2020, that they had a suspect in custody, 20-year old Armando Hernandez Jr. He used a "black assault rifle." State Senator Martin Quezada identified it as an AR-15.

The suspect told detectives “that he was planning on going to Westgate to harm 10 victims with this horrendous act,” and that it was unclear why the number 10 was chosen. “He said that he went to Westgate to target victims,” the police said. “He wanted to gain some respect and he felt that he had been bullied in his life.”

The gunfire erupted just about 7:25 p.m. local time at the Westgate Entertainment District, where panicked shoppers and store employees rushed for cover. The large outdoor shopping center, which is about 10 miles outside Phoenix, had been closed under a stay-at-home order in Arizona and reopened on May 8.

Texas

On Thursday, May 21, 2020, an apparent terrorist attack occurred at the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas. The copycat effect exists. Possible future Naval Station attacks should be on the radar of local law enforcement and military police.

A twenty-year-old male named Adam Alsahli of Corpus Christi drove to an entrance at the naval station and shot a security forces member in the chest, hitting the guard in her bulletproof vest and inflicting non-life-threatening injuries. Alsahli then accelerated towards the gate entrance and crashed into a barrier. After exiting the vehicle, he began shooting, and was shot and killed by naval security forces.

The base was put on lockdown after security forces responded to reports of an active shooter around 6:15 a.m. CT, according to the Navy.

A preliminary law enforcement investigation into the shooter has identified him as a US resident who was originally born in Syria, and likely a supporter of Salafi-jihadist ideology. Officials have identified various social media accounts, which initial reports indicate are likely associated with the shooter, the source said. Online postings by these accounts expressed support for ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi has been home to Naval pilot training since 1941.

Florida: Copycat Source of 2020's Attack?

May 20, 2020's shooting took place three days after the FBI and Attorney General Barr held a news conference announcing they had found a link between al Qaeda and a Saudi military trainee who killed three US sailors and wounded several others in a terror attack in 2019 on Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Mohammed Said Alshamrani (pictured), a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force who had been training at Naval Air Station Pensacola, was killed by law enforcement during the attack.
The shooter in that attack had communicated with al Qaeda operatives as recently as the night prior to the shooting. His ties to the AQAP began as far back as 2015 and were "significant."


Alshamrani had made anti-American, anti-Israel and jihadi posts on social media -- including one on the September 11 anniversary -- that stated "the countdown has begun," and another two hours before the attack that referenced the words of an al Qaeda cleric. During a 15-minute shooting spree, Alshamrani shot at a photo of President Donald Trump as well as a former president. He made statements during the attack that were critical of American servicemen overseas, the FBI has said.
AQAP had claimed responsibility for the Pensacola attack and said it was in touch with Alshamrani. In February, the White House announced that Qassim al-Rimi, the leader of the group, had been killed in an airstrike in Yemen.

The timing of the Florida attack matched the pattern at the Naval base in Texas. On the morning of December 6, 2019, a terrorist attack occurred at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida. Prior to the attack, at 6:39 a.m. a message on Twitter was posted by a user using the handle @M7MD_SHAMRANI, which declared hate for Americans due to its support of Israel.
The shooting was first reported at 6:51 a.m. when the suspect, armed with a 9mm Glock handgun and several extra magazines, opened fire in one of the classroom buildings. During the incident he moved through two floors of the building, discharging his weapon on both. One of the victims was able to make his way away from the scene to alert the first response team of the location of the shooter amongst other details. The suspect was shot and killed at 7:45 a.m. after two deputies from the Escambia County Sheriff's Office exchanged gunfire with him.

Future 2020 Military Base Attacks?

Military bases in the USA are not the fortresses against penetration that they once were thought to be. The enemy on the outside and inside are causing casualties. As the Mother Jones chart from 2015 testifies, the Washington (D.C.) Navy Yard shooting of 2013 involved a high death toll. In that incident, 13 (including the gunman) died. The Fort Hood shooting of 2009, involved a total body count of 14 (including one unborn child). 

Increasingly, military bases in the US have been the site of active shooter incidents. Between 2000 and 2018, there were 277 active shooter incidents, what the FBI defined as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area." In total, 2,430 people were either killed or injured.

From 2000 through 2018, seven of the 277 active shooter incidents were on military property.

During 2019, four of the active shooter incidents were on military bases. These were:

January 1, 2019: On New Year's Day, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Riley Kuznia was killed by another on-duty Marine at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks.

April 5, 2019: At the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a 25-year-old male Navy sailor was killed by base security after shooting a female sailor in the parking lot. The woman was taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

December 4, 2019: A 22-year-old active duty sailor killed two people and injured another at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu, Hawaii, according to authorities. The shooter opened fire on shipyard personnel with his M4 service rifle and then used his M9 service pistol to shoot and kill himself.

December 6, 2019: An active shooter was reported at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, on Dec. 6, 2019. Four people, including the suspected shooter, were killed. (Detailed above.)

Warning

With the "re-starting" of active shooter situations in 2020, military bases in the United States should consider the rising rate of incidents at their locations alarming. These location must be on alert and prepared for the impact of the copycat effect in the future.

Look to the special dates and situations that terrorists and terror wannabes will try to match with past incidents, times, and numbers.

Be safe.