Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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The “camo pants” coincidence in Newtown, CT, part 3: updates and caveats

Here’s anoth­er update on the reports of a “sec­ond shoot­er” and the still uniden­ti­fied “camo pants” man:
It appears that the mys­tery of Mr. Rodia has poten­tial­ly been cleared up and he appears to be inno­cent and only coin­ci­den­tal­ly caught up in this event:
It looks like Mr. Rodia was actu­al­ly pulled over in his car dur­ing the event and was not dri­ving the pos­si­ble sus­pect “vehi­cle”.

First, go here to the police scan­ner audio and skip to ~25:36 and you’ll hear an offi­cer list a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent set of plates and say “radar” (sug­gest­ing it was a pulled over speed­ing vehi­cle). We then hear that same offi­cers voice(or a very sim­i­lar voice) at ~30:43 say “run the oper­a­tor as well, the name is ...” and then he lists Mr. Rodi­a’s name and date of birth. And a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent voice calls in the “pos­si­ble sus­pects vehi­cle” as “872 YEO” plate at ~30:22. So at this point the only evi­dence regard­ing Mr. Rodia is the fact that he was appar­ent­ly speed­ing some­where with­in the range of the indi­vid­ual that was record­ing the radio scans and got pulled over. The list­ing of his name and date of birth was coin­ci­den­tal­ly done ~20 sec­onds after an offi­cer reads the “872 YEO” plate num­ber on the shooter’s vehi­cle. That’s it. This is a reminder of why we must main­tain the stance of real­ly believ­ing these indi­vid­u­als that get swept up in the post-tragedy after­math are inno­cent until proven guilty, espe­cial­ly ear­ly on when min­i­mal info is avail­able. Unless infor­ma­tion comes out sug­gest­ing that he was speed­ing away from the school wear­ing “camo pants”, we should prob­a­bly all take the atti­tude that Mr. Rodia just got real­ly screwed by cir­cum­stance. The guy did­n’t deserve this so if you meet him, buy him a beer (assum­ing you’re 21+).

Mov­ing on a tan­gen­tial top­ic, as the inter­webs has been por­ing over the unre­solved mys­ter­ies sur­round­ing this event, I have observed this default atti­tude that if there was more going on than meets the eye in this sto­ry, it’s clear­ly because this a all part of a secret gov­ern­ment plot to steal Amer­i­can’s guns. And then it’s off to the FEMA camps or some­thing. This is a dom­i­nant atti­tude in main­stream news com­ments spec­u­lat­ing on a “coverup” as well as the vast vast major­i­ty of posters/commenters on the var­i­ous web­sites that delve into these types mat­ters. The point being, those folks that are con­vinced that the gov­ern­ment is stag­ing ter­ror­ist attacks to take away every­one’s guns should recall that Tim­o­thy McVeigh bombed a Fed­er­al build­ing in order to incite a gov­ern­ment crack down on the mili­tias and even­tu­al­ly trig­ger a civ­il war. Folks need to review the mate­r­i­al on this site regard­ing the neo-Nazi lit­er­a­ture that lays out grue­some ter­ror­ist attack tem­plates that are intend­ed to pro­voke a gov­ern­ment back­lash in order to desta­bi­lize soci­ety. Notice how the rapid­ly grow­ing ‘prep­per move­ment’ — one of the most heav­i­ly armed and already alien­at­ed sub­sets of soci­ety — is now in the nation­al cross-hairs and fear­ing that that they will now have their guns tak­en away AND they also might be invol­un­tar­i­ly com­mit­ted to a men­tal insti­tu­tion if new men­tal health screen­ing regimes get under­way and they’re deemed crazy. That may not be part of the cur­rent pro­pos­als but it’s the implied “endgame” of the new “holis­tic” approach­es that focus on pre­emp­tive men­tal health screen­ings to catch those that aren’t yet crazy enough to go on a shoot­ing spree. Peo­ple will project out­ward from what­ev­er the new men­tal health screen­ing approach­es are dis­cussed in the nation­al dis­course so when vague talk of “we need to pre­vent crazy peo­ple from get­ting guns” becomes part of the nation­al dis­course, keep in mind that a lot of “crazy” peo­ple cur­rent­ly have guns and might be freaked out about such pro­pos­als. From a social desta­bi­liza­tion stand­point that kind of sit­u­a­tion is kind of ide­al for any groups look­ing to foment soci­etal dis­cord, espe­cial­ly when infused with a “they’re com­ing for your guns to take your free­dom” polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment. Note the NRA’s pol­i­cy pro­pos­al: “Good guys” with guns in every school. When one of the most pow­er­ful lob­bies in the coun­tries advo­cates turn­ing soci­ety into a John Wayne movie in response to an event like this, you know we are in dan­ger­ous ter­ri­to­ry.

So while inter­web spec­u­la­tion over what hap­pened in New­town is inevitable giv­en the dis­as­ter­ous report­ing filled with anom­alies, the folks that are inquir­ing about evi­dence of accom­plices in this lat­est tragedy need to keep in mind that a sit­u­a­tion that points towards a “coverup” but nev­er actu­al­ly solves “who did it” is also an ide­al out­come from a social desta­bi­liza­tion stand­point. If we are left with a sense that “some­thing” was off but we nev­er get any res­o­lu­tion, that is exact­ly the kind of sce­nario that could con­tribute towards mil­lions of very right-wing gun-own­ing Amer­i­cans that “the gov­ern­ment” is stag­ing false flag hor­rif­ic events in order to get take every­one’s guns away. Again, folks need to recall that the far-right has a real­ly scary track record when it comes to domes­tic ter­ror­ist attacks intend­ed to pro­voke a ‘response’:

FBI: McVeigh knew chil­dren would be killed in OKC blast
March 29, 2001

A bomb ripped through the build­ing on April 19, 1995, killing 168 peo­ple in the dead­liest ter­ror­ist attack on U.S. soil. Fif­teen chil­dren inside a day-care cen­ter were killed when the bomb ripped through the build­ing; four oth­ers else­where in the build­ing were killed.

FBI agent Dan­ny Defen­baugh says he has no doubt McVeigh knew the day-care cen­ter was there.

“No mat­ter what ... if you look at the build­ing, you’re going to see all the lit­tle cut-out hands, all the lit­tle apples and flow­ers show­ing that there’s a kinder­garten there — that there are chil­dren in that build­ing,” Defen­baugh told CNN Cor­re­spon­dent Susan Can­diot­ti in an exclu­sive inter­view.

In excerpts from a book that were dis­trib­uted to news­pa­pers and broad­cast­ers by the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, McVeigh for the first time told his sto­ry of what he did and why.

McVeigh express­es no remorse and calls the chil­dren killed in the bomb­ing “col­lat­er­al dam­age.” He was even angry that he did­n’t destroy the whole build­ing. “Damn, I did­n’t knock the build­ing down,” he said.

“I under­stand what they felt in Okla­homa City. I have no sym­pa­thy for them,” McVeigh told the authors of “Amer­i­can Ter­ror­ist: Tim­o­thy McVeigh and the Okla­homa City Bomb­ing.”


While the nation­al media con­tin­ues to fix­ate on how to pre­dict which of the mil­lions odd “lon­ers” in soci­ety will pos­si­bly become mass-killers (because that approach isn’t going to cre­ate more peo­ple with a soci­etal per­se­cu­tion com­plex or any­thing. The War on Men­tal Ill­ness will be awe­some), we have to recall that one of the effec­tive pre­dic­tors of a will­ing­ness to go on a mass killing spree for no clear rea­son is an indoc­tri­na­tion into far-right mil­i­tant extrem­ist ide­ol­o­gy. That’s some­thing all the folks on the inter­webs that are assum­ing a “false flag ter­ror attack=”“the gov­ern­ment wants to take our guns” should also recall.

Those same inter­web con­spir­a­cy sleuths need to also recall that it’s not just the Columbine shoot­ers that were immersed in neo-Nazi ide­olo­gies. Every­one remem­ber how the 2005 attack on an Indi­an reser­va­tion in Min­neso­ta was con­duct­ed by a young man infused with white-pow­er hatred? Every­one remem­ber how the 2008 NIU shoot­er had a his­to­ry of vio­lent impuls­es and delved so deeply into the Satanism and white-pow­er hate ide­olo­gies in high school that he had to have him hos­pi­tal­ized to treat it? Or the attacks by overt white-suprema­cists? And any­one not­ing how a pat­tern of no dis­cernible motive in these shoot­ings being con­duct­ed by peo­ple infused in dehu­man­iz­ing ide­olo­gies that pro­mote domes­tic ter­ror­ism as a means of social desta­bi­liza­tion? Of course we don’t remem­ber that stuff because every time one of these things hap­pen the only thing we seem to recall about past shoot­ers is that they were “odd” and “qui­et lon­ers” with­out a his­to­ry of vio­lence or any real warn­ing signs beyond their shy awk­ward­ness. It’s an “odd” sit­u­a­tion.

So folks on the right-wing that are gen­er­al­ly wary of “Big Gov­ern­ment” and scared of get­ting your guns tak­en away:
Don’t be dupes and don’t fall for the “the Gov­ern­ment is plot­ting to dis­arm you and impose Com­mu­nist tyran­ny” BS. The wealthy and pow­er­ful are the ones that run this coun­try and they aren’t exact­ly inter­est­ed in Com­mu­nism. Grow up.

And folks delv­ing into the “sec­ond shoot­er” angle of this recent tragedy:
Don’t be dupes and fall for the “all con­spir­a­cies are part of the glob­al NWO Freema­son­ic Illu­mi­nati Roth­schild Banksters over­lord” BS. Yes, there’s A LOT more truth to “con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries” than most peo­ple real­ize, but the meta-nar­ra­tive of “NWO Freema­son­ic Illu­mi­nati Roth­schild Banksters over­lords want to dis­arm soci­ety and impose a Com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor­ship” that dom­i­nate the online con­spir­a­cy-the­o­ry world is a meta-scape­goat. Those indi­vid­u­als cur­rent­ly delv­ing into details of this recent tragedy might want to try view­ing things through a non-“NWO Freema­son­ic Illu­mi­nati Roth­schild Banksters” frame­work and read up on the larg­er his­to­ry of fas­cist pow­er net­works. His­to­ry might start mak­ing a lot more sense.

And all the “main­stream” folks that are call­ing for more gun con­trol and bet­ter men­tal health “screen­ing”:
Rec­og­nize that calls for pre­emp­tive men­tal health checks on those that “fall out­side the main­stream” with the implic­it threat of strip­ping peo­ple of their guns AND label­ing them “men­tal­ly ill” is quite pos­si­bly one of the most effec­tive means that one could have ever devised of push­ing mil­lions of peo­ple into the mil­i­tant far-right’s world­view of “the gov­ern­ment is out to get me”. Don’t for­get that the mil­i­tant far-right brands itself as the war­riors for “free­dom”. See­ing as so many of past spree killers appear to have fall­en under the sway of far-right ide­olo­gies, per­haps a nation­al dia­logue that explores the long his­to­ry of far-right extrem­ist influ­ences that jus­ti­fy mass killings as “col­lat­er­al dam­age” might be a more ‘tar­get­ed’ approach to address­ing this prob­lem and iden­ti­fy­ing poten­tial future mass killers. If there is a far-right agen­da to desta­bi­lize soci­ety by pro­vok­ing fears amongst as many Amer­i­cans as pos­si­ble that “the gov­ern­ment wants to take away my guns and call me crazy” it might make sense to focus any “ear­ly inter­ven­tion” efforts on the small­est tar­get groups that actu­al­ly have a track record of going on vio­lent killing sprees. Shy, awk­ward lon­er kids do NOT have a his­to­ry of going on craze killing sprees. Shy awk­ward lon­er kids that become infused with white-pow­er hate ide­olo­gies AND have a his­to­ry of men­tal ill­ness AND have a his­to­ry of vio­lent, impul­sive behav­iors AND are sui­ci­dal AND have the means to go on a killing spree ARE in that “high risk group”. And it’s not even all that high a risk. There are plen­ty of oth­er rea­sons peo­ple go on shoot­ing sprees, but it has to be not­ed that a large num­ber of the “no dis­cernible motive” events involve peo­ple with his­to­ries of mil­i­tant extrem­ist influ­ences.

So in the inter­est of not cre­at­ing the kind of social envi­ron­ment that induces men­tal ill­ness and sui­ci­dal thoughts in mil­lions of shy lon­er kids that push­es them right into the arms of ide­o­log­i­cal extrem­ist dur­ing their for­ma­tive years, how about a nation­al dis­cus­sion about the potent mix of men­tal ill­ness, extrem­ist ide­olo­gies, ram­pant eco­nom­ic dis­lo­ca­tion, and all of the oth­er fac­tors in soci­ety that might push a poten­tial­ly men­tal­ly ill per­son down the path towards extreme vio­lence. And make it very clear that it’s a nation­al dis­cus­sion and no one plans on sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly dis­arm­ing those deemed to hold what are deemed to be “extrem­ist” ide­olo­gies. Because that would be stu­pid. Once again, the mil­i­tant far-right wants to be placed in a sit­u­a­tion where it will be viewed in the most sym­pa­thet­ic light as pos­si­ble.

We don’t know yet what the case was with the lat­est shooter’s back­ground. There are hints at a far-right back­ground but no sol­id info. But when it comes to craft­ing a nation­al pol­i­cy response to avoid more tragedies like this, we have to remind our­selves that the spe­cif­ic char­ac­ter­is­tics of this shoot­er are kind of irrel­e­vant because craft­ing a pol­i­cy response based on a sin­gle inci­dent would be incred­i­bly stu­pid. Instead, regard­less of the spe­cif­ic attrib­ut­es of this shoot­er, we should be exam­in­ing the broad­er pat­tern that has emerged in the his­to­ry of these kinds of inci­dents and that broad­er pat­tern includes a LARGE num­ber of mass killers indoc­tri­nat­ed into far-right mil­i­tant extrem­ist ide­olo­gies.

Or we could just focus on how most past shoot­ers weren’t very social and gen­er­al­ly kind of qui­et. You know, how they ‘looked the part’:

Wash­ing­ton Post
A frus­trat­ing search for motive in New­town shoot­ings
By Marc Fish­er, Robert O’Harrow and Peter Finn, Pub­lished: Decem­ber 22

NEWTOWN, Conn. — His hair is unchang­ing through the years, a lit­tle boy’s sim­ple bowl cut. His eye­brows do not arch or smile. His lips are nei­ther pursed nor puck­ered but always flat, giv­ing noth­ing away. His eyes, year after year, pop out from the snap­shots, open wide, con­nect­ing with no one.

This is what Adam Lanza’s pur­suers are left with. In vio­lent death as in iso­lat­ed life, he gave away lit­tle. The 20-year-old who on a bright Fri­day morn­ing killed 26 peo­ple at the ele­men­tary school he had attend­ed, as well as his moth­er and him­self, destroyed one promis­ing key to his unspo­ken pas­sions, ham­mer­ing his computer’s hard dri­ve into dig­i­tal silence. He left no note, con­fid­ed in no friend. His moth­er, the one per­son he was known to have spo­ken to in any­thing more than mono­syl­lab­ic respons­es, he shot in the head, four times, while she was in bed, in her paja­mas.

Like Jared Lough­n­er in Ari­zona and James Holmes in Col­orado, Lan­za stares out at us, bug-eyed and dis­con­nect­ed, in the grainy snap­shot that is our first win­dow into his soul. Mass shoot­ers, almost always lon­ers, often look the part, mean­ing that the pub­licly avail­able images of them por­tray them in no social con­text, look­ing but not see­ing, seen but not known.


Folks, don’t be dupes.

Update 01/06/2013
Well, let’s hope this final­ly clos­es the case on Mr. Rodia. The Con­necti­cut Post has a sto­ry on this par­tic­u­lar case of trag­i­cal­ly mis­tak­en iden­ti­ty and the guy and his fam­i­ly have already received a num­ber of death threats. He actu­al­ly comes off as a class act in the arti­cle, espe­cial­ly giv­en the cir­cum­stances (he has a great line the arti­cle). He and his fam­i­ly are sto­ical­ly get­ting total­ly screwed by awful luck (with an assist from folks on the inter­webs *sheep­ish look*) and he’s fac­ing unjus­ti­fied infamy with dig­ni­ty so kudos to him and his fam­i­ly. And, once again, a very nec­es­sary caveat:

Con­necti­cut Post
Police: No New­town con­spir­a­cy
Anne M. Ama­to
Updat­ed 12:16 am, Thurs­day, Jan­u­ary 3, 2013

NORWALK — In the dark and shad­owy world of Inter­net blog­gers and con­spir­a­cy the­o­rists, Christo­pher Rodia is a mys­tery man con­nect­ed to last mon­th’s school shoot­ing in New­town. But police say that’s just not true.

Still, that has­n’t stopped the post­ings and has­n’t stopped Rodia from receiv­ing death threats.


“That was such a heinous crime, I don’t want to be con­nect­ed to it in any way,” Rodia said.


“I’m a big boy and can take care of myself,” he said, but added his 72-year-old moth­er, Diane, is afraid to have her young grand­chil­dren come to vis­it because of the threats.

“We should­n’t have to be wor­ry­ing about this,” his moth­er said.


How­ev­er, “Spit­fire list,” a web­site of blogs by anti-fas­cist researcher and radio per­son­al­i­ty Dave Emory, has updat­ed its infor­ma­tion con­cern­ing Rodia, say­ing he “appears to be inno­cent and only coin­ci­den­tal­ly caught up in this event” and not dri­ving the “pos­si­ble sus­pect vehi­cle” men­tioned on the tape.

This is a reminder of why we must main­tain the stance of real­ly believ­ing these indi­vid­u­als that get swept up in the post-tragedy after­math are inno­cent until proven guilty, espe­cially ear­ly on when min­i­mal info is avail­able,” accord­ing to a post­ing on that site. “The guy (Rodia) did­n’t deserve this so if you meet him, buy him a beer (assum­ing you’re 21+).


Dit­to! And a pre­emp­tive dit­to for any­one else that may get caught up in this kind of spec­u­la­tion in the future should that unfor­tu­nate­ly occur. Since that seems sort of inevitable, just FYI, If you read this stuff on the inter­webs and are crazy enough to con­clude that you know enough about who did what when to jus­ti­fy call­ing in a death threat you’re not just a crazy ass­hole, you’re a crazy stu­pid ass­hole. You don’t know what hap­pened. Don’t be a crazy stu­pid inter­net ass­hole. It’s not fun and I’m pret­ty sure death threats are ille­gal so, yeah, crazy stu­pid. Don’t be that.

The police spokesman in the arti­cle stat­ed there was a sin­gle shoot­er and we need to keep in mind that a sin­gle shoot­er sce­nario is still very pos­si­ble even giv­en the strange “camo pants” inci­dent. So let’s hope the final report clears that top­ic up in a con­vinc­ing fash­ion so we can put the mul­ti­ple-shoot­er the­o­ry to rest. If inves­ti­ga­tors can some­how con­vinc­ing­ly put it to rest before the final report that will be even bet­ter because the spec­u­la­tion on the iden­ti­ty and motive of the “camo pants” man is only going to grow and this could be a dis­as­ter on many lev­els.

The police spokesman also states in the arti­cle that “we aren’t look­ing for any­body else — for any oth­er per­son”. Since the inves­ti­ga­tion is clear­ly keep­ing its cards very close to its chest we should­n’t read too much into that state­ment at this point. The destruc­tion of the shooter’s hard dri­ve, is poten­tial­ly going to take a while before any of that infor­ma­tion is avail­able and the shooter’s read­i­ly-exist­ing online tracks may not yield much, if any­thing. So it’s entire­ly pos­si­ble that the inves­ti­ga­tion of out­side/online ‘help’ is still be active­ly con­sid­ered but the data required to pur­sue those leads sim­ply isn’t avail­able yet. They were report­ed­ly open to the pos­si­bil­i­ty of out­side influ­ences at the begin­ning of the inves­ti­ga­tion and thought the com­put­er hard dri­ve might yield such clues so it’s also dif­fi­cult to see how that avenue could be closed before the hard dri­ve data is retrieved. Also note that it could be a night­mar­ish­ly dif­fi­cult inves­ti­ga­tion because — if any coor­di­nat­ing was done online — it could be done from any­where across the globe.

In oth­er words, it’s very rea­son­able that we should have to wait for an extend­ed peri­od before we hear any sort of defin­i­tive infor­ma­tion from inves­ti­ga­tors regard­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the shoot­er was coor­di­nat­ing with oth­ers. As such, the folks on the inter­webs fol­low­ing this sto­ry could be stuck in ‘spec­u­la­tive’ mode for long long time. Now would be a great time for those folks to employ cau­tious patience *sheep­ish looks*. Giv­en the ongo­ing “camo pants” issue, the grue­some nature of the case, the lack of any dis­cernible motive, and the mas­sive amounts of spec­u­la­tive mis­in­for­ma­tion that have plagued the reports on this tragedy from the very begin­ning there is a real dan­ger that an extend­ed peri­od of spec­u­la­tion is going to lead to more of these kinds of awful sit­u­a­tions. So peo­ple spec­u­lat­ing online, get very patient and remem­ber this and while you’re doing your spec­u­lat­ing.


4 comments for “The “camo pants” coincidence in Newtown, CT, part 3: updates and caveats”

  1. Here is a web­site by a fam­i­ly of one of the vic­tims- who try to show how the Columbine inves­ti­ga­tions was faulty- also its con­nec­tion to the Franklin Coverup-


    Posted by Oddball | December 24, 2012, 2:57 am
  2. Thanks, Pter­ra, for anoth­er thought pro­vok­ing post.

    What do you make of today’s shoot­ing of fire­fight­ers in Web­ster, NY? http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20121224/NEWS01/312240026/Webster-shooter-jailed-killing-his-grandmother The shoot­er is a con­vict­ed mur­der­er who served his time and his parole. Today he set fire to the house in which the 1980 mur­der was com­mit­ted, laid in wait for the fire dept. to respond, then opened fire on them, killing 2 fire­fight­ers and wound­ing 3 oth­ers before turn­ing the gun on him­self.

    I sus­pect it will be used for more desta­bi­liza­tion, but the angle has­n’t emerged yet. Per­haps he was him­self desta­bi­lized by recent talk of men­tal eval­u­a­tions you men­tioned.

    Posted by Mike J. | December 24, 2012, 1:26 pm
  3. @Mike J:
    I have to admit that it crossed my mind when I first saw the sto­ry head­line. Now we learn that the 62 yr old sus­pect spent 17 years in prison for mur­der­ing his grand­moth­er in 1980 so, at a min­i­mum the, guy prob­a­bly had at least some expo­sure to White Suprema­cist ide­olo­gies. But we don’t know much about the guy yet. Based on the reports so far, he killed his 92 yr old grand­moth­er), did 17 years of prison time. He was release from prison 14 years ago, and appar­ent­ly had his last con­tact with the parole sys­tem in 2006. There was no motive list­ed in the type­writ­ten note he left behind oth­er than a dec­la­ra­tion of mur­der­ous intent accord­ing to the arti­cle below. He lived in a house with his mom he was close to and a sis­ter he appar­ent­ly loathed. He was “on meds” as of last year accord­ing to a neigh­bor so pre­sum­ably there’s some sort of men­tal health record avail­able. The mom died in Octo­ber and rel­a­tive spec­u­lates that dis­pute over the inher­i­tance ensued between he and his sis­ter. Two months lat­er this hap­pens:

    NY Times
    Gun­man Who Killed 2 Fire­fight­ers Left Chill­ing Note

    Pub­lished: Decem­ber 25, 2012

    WEBSTER, N.Y. — On Mon­day morn­ing when dark­ness was still raw, William Spen­gler Jr. armed him­self with a rifle, a revolver and a shot­gun. He had killed before. Har­bor­ing a deep-seat­ed hatred of his sis­ter, who lived with him, and a desire to harm his neigh­bors on a beach­front strip off Lake Ontario, Mr. Spen­gler com­posed a rough, type­writ­ten plan that fore­told of the destruc­tion to come.

    “I still have to get ready to see how much of the neigh­bor­hood I can burn down and do what I like doing best — killing peo­ple,” Mr. Spen­gler, 62, wrote, in a note the police recov­ered.

    It had been 32 years since he beat his grand­moth­er to death with a ham­mer in the Lake Road house next to his.

    As Christ­mas Eve dawned in this sub­urb of Rochester, local author­i­ties say, Mr. Spen­gler set fire to a car, as a trap. When an engine com­pa­ny came roar­ing down the street, he start­ed shoot­ing at the first respon­ders, most like­ly from his Bush­mas­ter .223-cal­iber rifle. It was the same type of semi­au­to­mat­ic weapon used in the school shoot­ing 10 days ear­li­er in New­town, Conn.

    “He was equipped to go to war to kill inno­cent peo­ple,” the Web­ster police chief, Ger­ald L. Pick­er­ing, said of Mr. Spen­gler.

    The author­i­ties say Mr. Spen­gler fired shots that killed two vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers from long range and seri­ous­ly wound­ed two oth­ers, and set a “rag­ing infer­no.” The police found him dead on a berm about five hours after the siege start­ed, with a self-inflict­ed gun­shot wound to the head.

    On Tues­day, the author­i­ties added anoth­er like­ly vic­tim: Cheryl Spen­gler, 67, the gunman’s sis­ter. Chief Pick­er­ing said “human remains” were found at the shooter’s house, 191 Lake Road, that they believed were of Ms. Spen­gler. The Mon­roe Coun­ty med­ical examiner’s office did not return requests for com­ment on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the remains or the cause of death.

    Mr. Spengler’s note, Chief Pick­er­ing said, con­tained no motive, just ram­blings, and spoke only to a mur­der­ous intent. He said he was not at lib­er­ty to dis­close it in full because of the inves­ti­ga­tion.

    As inves­ti­ga­tors tried on Tues­day to deter­mine rea­sons for the bru­tal acts that shat­tered the hol­i­day peace of a close-knit town, details emerged about Mr. Spen­gler and his bit­ter rela­tion­ship with his sis­ter. A rel­a­tive said it was pos­si­ble the two were in a dis­pute over who would inher­it the fam­i­ly home after their mother’s death in Octo­ber.

    The sib­lings had such antipa­thy for each oth­er that they lived on sep­a­rate sides of the house, a for­mer neigh­bor, Roger D. Ver­cruysse, said Mon­day.

    “He hat­ed his sis­ter, but he loved his mama,” Mr. Ver­cruysse said.


    John Kohut, 68, whose house burned down in Mr. Spengler’s attack, described him as qui­et, social­ly awk­ward and “kind of rough” from his years spent in prison.

    Last sum­mer, Mr. Kohut had asked him if he want­ed a beer because it was a hot day. “He said, ‘No, because I’m on meds,’ ” Mr. Kohut recalled Tues­day, while wait­ing to be let back onto Lake Road.

    Con­sid­er­ing that the guy had a his­to­ry of served 17 years in prison and also ille­gal­ly owned a Bush­man .223, the same weapon used in New­town, CT, it’s pos­si­ble that the events of last week some­how played a role in caus­ing him to snap like this but who knows. Like with almost all of these cas­es where no motive is ever known, it will prob­a­bly just be assumed that the guy is nuts and that alone was why he did it. The fact that he left such a chill­ing note is, unfor­tu­nate­ly, only going to con­tin­ue spread­ing the notion that “men­tal ill­ness = a desire to kill”.

    Still, it’s worth spec­u­lat­ing about the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the cur­rent gun control/mental health debate could play a role in actu­al­ly caus­ing peo­ple to “snap” and go nuts (thus requir­ing stricter mea­sures to mon­i­tor and demo­nize the men­tal­ly ill...see what fun we have ahead of us?). For all the dis­cus­sion of “we need to improve our men­tal health care in this coun­try”, there seems to be lit­tle acknowl­edg­ment in the press and amongst our polit­i­cal lead­ers about the impor­tant role that envi­ron­men­tal fac­tors oth­er than video games and movies can play in the onset and pro­gres­sion of a men­tal ill­ness. Things like an ‘envi­ron­ment’ that increas­ing­ly includes a nation­al media and polit­i­cal lead­ers that appear intent on asso­ci­at­ing men­tal ill­ness with ran­dom acts of mass vio­lence. As we’ve learned all too often in recent years, cyber-bul­ly­ing can lead to sui­cide and that should­n’t be entire­ly unex­pect­ed in the new age of inter­ac­tive media where some­one can be so eas­i­ly an com­plete­ly humil­i­at­ed with the click of a mouse but­ton. Maybe we should be apply­ing that les­son as we turn shy nerdy kids and the ‘men­tal­ly ill’ into the new Willie Hor­tons of Amer­i­ca:

    NBC’s Meet the Press tran­script,
    Dec 23, 2012


    I don’t think it will. I keep say­ing it, and you just won’t accept it. It’s not going to work. It has­n’t worked. Dianne Fein­stein had her ban, and Columbine occurred. It’s not going to work. I’ll tell you what would work. We have a men­tal health sys­tem in this coun­try that has com­plete­ly and total­ly col­lapsed. We have no nation­al data­base of these lunatics.

    23 states, my (UNINTEL) how­ev­er long ago was Vir­ginia Tech? 23 states are still putting only a small num­ber of records into the sys­tem. And a lot of states are putting none. So, when they go through the nation­al instant check sys­tem, and they go to try to screen out one of those lunatics, the records are not even in the sys­tem.

    I talked to a police offi­cer the oth­er day. He said, “Wayne,” he said, “let me tell you this. Every police offi­cer walk­ing the street knows s lunatic that’s out there, some men­tal­ly dis­turbed per­son that ought to be in an insti­tu­tion, is out walk­ing the street because they dealt with the insti­tu­tion­al side. They did­n’t want men­tal­ly ill in insti­tu­tions. So they put them all back on the streets. And then nobody thought what hap­pens when you put all these men­tal­ly ill peo­ple back on the streets, and what hap­pens when they start tak­ing their med­i­cine.

    We have a com­plete­ly cracked men­tal­ly ill sys­tem that’s got these mon­sters walk­ing the streets. And we’ve got to deal with the under­ly­ing caus­es and con­nec­tions if we’re ever going to get to the truth in this coun­try and stop this–



    Again, a lot of peo­ple would agree with that...


    Well, the first con­ver­sa­tion we should have is how heart­bro­ken we are as Amer­i­cans. I don’t think there’s any­body in the coun­try does­n’t feel sick to their stom­ach. I can’t imag­ine a worse sit­u­a­tion than get­ting a call as a par­ent say­ing, “Some­thing hap­pened as school with shoot­ing,” or any­thing else, and you go there and your child is killed. So let’s just start with that under­stand­ing.

    Here’s the con­ver­sa­tion. We can talk all day long. We had an armed guard in Columbine. We had an assault ban. Nei­ther one of them worked. We’re talk­ing about pre­vent­ing mass mur­der by non- tra­di­tion­al crim­i­nals, peo­ple who are not tra­di­tion­al­ly crim­i­nals, who are not wired right, for some rea­son. And I don’t know if there’s any­thing Lind­sey Gra­ham can do in the Sen­ate to stop mass mur­der from some­body that’s hell bent on doing crazy things.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 26, 2012, 12:45 am
  4. The Bush­mas­ter was not used in the attack.


    Posted by Jack | December 28, 2012, 6:20 pm

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