Author Archives: Trench Reynolds

Is there a link between Columbine and other shootings? Hell yeah there is

school-shooting

According to WMAR in Baltimore, researchers are trying to find a link between Columbine and other mass shooters. I am far from a learned scholar but if you’ve been paying attention for the past 15 years it’s hard not to notice a link.

Columbine is the firs of what I call the five major school shootings in America. The others being Red Lake, Virginia Tech, NIU and Newtown. In each of those cases the shooters, Jeff Weise, Cho Seung-Hui, Stephen Kazmierczak and Adam Lanza, all had some degree of not only fascination with Columbine but in some cases sympathy or hero-worship of the killers. Weise wanted his shooting to be on the anniversary of Columbine. Cho referred to the Columbine killers as martyrs in his videotaped manifesto. Kazmierczak had an obsession with both the Columbine shooting and the Virginia Tech shooting. Lastly most recently Adam Lanza kept spreadsheets with detailed information about Columbine and other mass shootings. That’s not even mentioning other school shooters that don’t get as much attention like TJ Lane, Alvaro Castillo, Kimveer Gill, Aaron Ybarra, etc.

One researcher goes on to mention the media’s role in all this without saying if they’re to blame one way or the other. I think the media does share some of the blame as more and more media outlets try to be first rather than correct along with the sensationalist nature of today’s major news sources. Reports from these sources can sometimes be viewed as glorifying the killers.

The other thing that is a problem is the dissemination of misinformation that has perpetuated since Columbine. What’s the first thing that people think when they hear a school shooting has happened? Most people will wrongly assume that the shooter must have been bullied, yet there is no evidence that any of the six gunmen involved in the five major school shootings were bullied. Yet as I’ve said many times before this bullying trope, or myth as a I like to call it, has refused to die in the face of evidence that says otherwise.

I used to refer to people who idolized or sympathized with school shooters mutants. Since that time the internet has latched on to the term columbiners. Kids who weren’t even alive during the time of Columbine are on the internet professing their dedication to the two cowardly killers from Columbine and the others that have killed after them. Any one of them could be your kid. This is not normal behavior for anyone and will only set them down a path of destruction either for themselves or someone else. If your kid is one of these Columbiners intervene before it’s too late.

How America’s Police Became An Army

north-hollywood-shootout

I just saw the headline to an article that read “How America’s Police Became An Army”. The answer is obvious but since it’s popular to hate cops these days no one dares say it. The criminals became armies first. Does no one remember the North Hollywood Shootout? In a nutshell back in 1997 two men attempted to rob a Bank of America branch in North Hollywood, California and outgunned the LAPD and SWAT for 44 minutes.

After that the nation was aghast that a large metropolitan police department could be overpowered like that by only two men and most communities sought to have their police departments with the ordinance they needed to fight crime. Yet when the police use that ordinance every one gets their panties in a bunch and cries ‘police state’ while most of you wouldn’t know a police state if it put a black bag over your head.

California TSA agent charged with being a craigslist creeper

George Hristovski

George Hristovski

54-year-old George Hristovski of Elverta, California, used to be an agent for the TSA. I say used to because he was recently arrested by the FBI for allegedly looking for mother-daughter sex on craigslist.

Investigators say that Hristovski placed an ad on the casual encounters section of craigslist looking to have sex with a mother and underage daughter. He received a response to his ad from a 30-year-wold woman with a 13-year-old daughter who said she was willing to entertain his sick requests. Reports say that e-mails sent from Hristovski to the mother were quite graphic and explicit. Of course the mother was actually an investigator for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department who traced his IP address to a Homeland Security owned computer. Homeland Security oversees the TSA and the TSA has terminated Hristovski’s employment. The FBI said that at the time of his arrest at his home Hristovski tried claiming that it was just a fantasy. Right, and if he showed up at a meeting point he probably would have been there to just ‘hang out’.

Just another sexual predator on craigslist who possibly could have used his government connections to do God only knows what to his victims. Yet craigslist gets yet another pass. Heaven forfend they should actually do any kind of moderation of their own site.

Man accused of Snapchat sexual assault on teen

Steven A. Bahr

Steven A. Bahr

I really wanted to use one of those “You won’t believe what happened next” type of headlines because I think this something that all parents and kids need to see. However I refuse to stoop to those levels.

Anyway, 31-year-old Steven A. Bahr of Sheboygan, Wisconsin is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl after she posted a pic of herself on Snapchat. For those of you who may not know Snapchat is a smartphone app where the picture someone takes is supposed to disappear after a certain amount of time, usually within seconds.

Reports say that the girl sent out a picture of herself at a local supermarket. Bahr allegedly replied to the photo asking if she wanted to ‘chill’. Bahr is said to have driven up to the girl and asked her to get in. When she refused Bahr supposedly grabbed the girl by the arm and put her in his truck. They made several stops before getting to Bahr’s place but the victim said she was afraid to ask for help. The alleged assault took place at Bahr’s residence. The girl reportedly said she was 17 on Snapchat but told Bahr that she was 15 before the assault took place.

Usually I’m not one to have problems with a victims story but I have a problem with this one. The first is that I thought someone had to be on your friends list to see your Snapchat pictures. (Please correct me if I’m wrong about that.) Was Bahr on hers? Secondly the fact that she lied about her age and didn’t ask for help during any stops make me wonder IF she voluntarily went with Bahr.

HOWEVER none of that matters because of one thing, the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18. 17, let alone 15, is well out of range of a 31-year-old man.

So parents, once again I say to you check your kids’ phones for this app. If they have it make sure you know who everyone on their friends list is. If you feel that your child should not have an app like Snapchat take steps to have it removed and blocked from the phone. I’m sure you don’t your child getting into the truck of a man in his 30s alone.

Pedophile: Kik well known within our ‘industry’

kik

For those of you who may think I’m exaggerating about letting your kids have unfettered access to smartphone messaging apps like Kik please allow me to share something with you. The Trentonian newspaper in New Jersey claims to have had an actual pedophile call their news offices to discuss apps like Kik. He is said to have called in after reading an article about a child porn sting. What he had to say is both eye-opening and disturbing…

“There are two applications on the internet that kids go on, but adults are also on it,” said the man, who would not identify himself. “I could go on it now and probably within 20 minutes have videos, pictures, everything else in between off the app because I know they’re both still active. That’s where all the child porn is coming off of.”

The pedophile said any predator could simply download the Kik messenger app for a mobile phone, make up a bogus username, and through Kik download another app called Hit Me Up.

“With the combination of both of those apps, you go on and say ‘I like little boys between this age and this age,’ and people would start sending you pictures,” the Gloucester County man said. “Because that’s how I did it when I was doing it.”

“I made a stupid username and within five minutes, I got 20 pictures,” he said of the app that allows users to talk, browse and share content. “Kids are always on. You can even ask the kids on there to send pictures and they do. Those apps are well known in our industry.”

The fact that he refers to child porn an ‘industry’ disgusts me to no end.

As I’ve said before if your kids are using Kik on their smartphones someone would need to know their username to contact them. Unfortunately since their usernames aren’t tied to their cell numbers too many kids give out their Kik usernames freely.

I urge you to check your kids phone’s not only for the Kik app but check their friends list on the app as well. Make sure that someone like Mr. Industry isn’t soliciting them for photos.

The Journal of the SPU shooter

ybarrajournal

Late last month a King County, Washington judge made the journal of the Seattle Pacific University shooter, Aaron Ybarra, public. In shootings of this nature there’s almost inevitable a journal and they almost always appear like every known school shooter is reading from the same script. Ybarra is no exception.

In the first part of the released journal Ybarra talks about how he underwent mental healthcare for two and a half years and how he felt it didn’t help. Considering he went into it on day one determined that it wouldn’t help him it’s no surprise. You can’t be helped if you don’t want to be. He also talked about how he only underwent treatment because his friends and family kept urging him to. If everyone you know is telling you to get help maybe there is actually something wrong with you.

I’ll also remind the anti-pharmaceutical Luddites that Ybarra went off his meds before attacking SPU. That doesn’t matter to them anyway because they like to play both sides of the argument. If he was on meds it was because of the meds. If he went of his meds it was because of the meds. They are the living embodiment of trying to have your cake and eat it too.

Next, Ybarra talks about all the people he wanted to get revenge on for perceived slights against him and his family. None of whom, as far as I can tell went to SPU and none of them were Paul Lee, the man who Ybarra killed. Like most school shooters Ybarra is just another coward lashing out violently against people who had nothing to do with his own inadequacies and over-inflated sense of entitlement.

Then Ybarra notated about how he scouted out SPU and how everyone was so nice and helpful to him. You think that may cause someone to reconsider their actions but not Ybarra. Like most school shooters he’s just a selfish punk looking to make a name for himself.

Lastly, on the day of the shooting he writes about how he used to feel bad about the people killed during school shootings but now he’s being guided by Eric Harris And Cho Seung-Hui. Like those who came before him Ybarra is just another unoriginal loser unable to cope with the real world.

While some may think that this is a good way to make a name for themselves in a few years his name will be forgotten. We may remember the Jesse James’ of the crime world but how many outlaws were there whose names have been forgotten to history?
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Grisly double craigslist murder in Michigan

Brady Oestrike

Brady Oestrike

While I was off taking some downtime from the world of crime one of the most horrific craigslist related crimes happened in western Michigan. To be honest I’m having a hard time trying to come up with one that was more violent and cruel.

31-year-old Brady Oestrike of Wyoming, Michigan is believed to have killed 18-year-old Brooke Slocum and her boyfriend 25-year-old Charles Oppenneer. From what I can gather from the media reports Brooke Slocum was in contact with Oestrike through craigslist trying to set up some kind of sex for housing deal on the urging of Oppenneer. It’s unclear exactly what happened next but after the trio had met up Oppenneer’s headless body was found in a nearby park.

An investigation of Brooke’s Slocum’s computer led authorities to Oestrike. When they tried to arrest Oestrike during a high risk traffic stop he fled and shortly afterwards crashed his car. Oestrike took his own life by shooting himself before police could apprehend him. When police opened the trunk they found the body of Brooke Slocum who had been strangled to death. She was also 8 months pregnant at the time of her murder. As of yet Charles Oppenneer’s head has still not been located. Investigators are looking into whether or not Oestrike was connected to any other murders but are saying that nothing is concrete at this point. I am only scratching the surface with my description of this most disturbing crime. Please read the news links that I’ve provided below.

Brooke Slocum’s family have set up a GoFundMe in order to help pay for her and her unborn child Audi’s funeral expenses if you’d like to donate.

Now I hate to speak ill of the dead and especially a victim of such a violent crime but I have to wonder if maybe Brook was being turned out on craigslist by her boyfriend. Brooke’s own father even said that her relationship with Oppenneer was not healthy

“I know that love is not manipulation; love is unconditional and that wasn’t the case,” Slocum said. “My daughter deserved better than that.”

I’ve posted more than one story on this site concerning craigslist where boyfriends or husbands have manipulated their significant others into prostitution or pimps have caused women and girls to believe they were their boyfriends while the pimps were just using them as their prostitutes. I’m not saying I’m 100% certain that this is what happened but it is definitely one avenue to explore.

Lastly, once again I find myself trying to warn people to the dangers of craigslist especially when it comes to the seedier parts of the site like the personals and the casual encounters section. Horrible and vicious people like Oestrike are out there waiting for an opportunity to find a victim that craigslist basically brings to their door. I urge you to not be that victim.

Thanks to Soobs for the tip.

Craigslist Killings: Father of victim says she was in unhealthy relationships
Craigslist murders: Wyoming police release investigation timeline
Pregnant teen strangled, boyfriend decapitated in Craigslist sex case
Exclusive: Photos inside home of suspected Craigslist Killer
Jessica Heeringa investigators look into Craigslist Killings
Brooke & Baby Audi Funeral Services GoFundMe

Criminal masterminds from AR able to circumvent Backpage’s screening process for minors

backpage2

Recently in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the married couple of Doncouri and Sherwanda Wells were arrested for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old girl on Backpage. To hear Backpage tell it you would think they have a foolproof screening system for these kind of ads since they claim to delete a million inappropriate ads a month. So how were the Wellses able to get past such a rigorous screening process?

The girl was found to have several ads for prostitution on the site, according to arrest reports.

Both Wellses had user names posting ads, police said. Both admitted using their credit card to post the ads.

Such a complex scheme rivaling of some of the greatest criminal capers in history. No wait, scratch that. That’s how every ad for an trafficked teen is placed on Backpage. So what exactly does your process entail Backpage because it’s obviously not working.

I don’t know if I’ve made this offer to you yet Backpage but I’m going to make you the same one I made to craigslist. I’ll give you the solution to all this then you can pay me a tidy consulting fee. Do you know what the best way is to prevent teens from being trafficked in sexual slavery on your website? Stop publishing ads for prostitution.

You’re welcome.

Can a website be blamed for prostitution? If it’s Backpage they can.

backpage

Last week the Allentown Morning Call posted a four page article about the issues local police have been having with prostitution and Backpage. I’ve seen the article ridiculed online with people saying “You can’t blame a website for prostitution.” They’re wrong, you sure as hell can.

Think about it. Do you think that the people, and I use that term loosely, that run Backpage think that all the ads on the adult section of the site are for legal services? Of course not. Any idiot cab see that the ads are for prostitution. Yet they still collect money from these ads while saying they’re doing all they can to stop sex trafficking. Obviously they’re not doing all they can or they’d stop taking the money.

Our favorite spokesweasel, Liz McDougall, was even quoted for the article…

Backpage.com removes or blocks about a million ads per month, notably those that appear to involve minors or sex for money, said Liz McDougall, the site’s general counsel. And it has cooperated with police.

I’d like to see the ads they block since the ones they allow are obviously for sex for money and minors are still being trafficked on their website. Yet they’re still collecting the money. How many of those ads are there for Backpage to collect the millions of dollars they make in profit every year?

So can a website be blamed for prostitution? As long as they’re collecting the money and turning an obviously blind eye to the women and children that are being trafficked on their site then they damn well can be blamed.

Guns in the media and the SPU shooting

mediaandguns

Apparently it’s not the media’s job to inform anymore but to incite. It’s not about reporting the facts anymore, it’s about how to get as many pageviews and clickthroughs as possible and the best way to do that is to piss people off. For example, take an article from the Seattle Times about Seattle Pacific University shooter Aaron Ybarra.

The headline from the article is “SPU shooting suspect once had AK-47, 7 other firearms at home”. The article constantly mentions that Ybarra’s family owned the guns but not him. The article also goes on to state that the guns in question were stolen from the home and none of the guns mentioned were the one that Ybarra used when he killed SPU student Paul Lee.

The article also obsesses over the fact that one of the guns owned by the Ybarra family was an AK-47. I don’t know why the AK-47 keeps getting demonized just because it’s one of the most mass-produced guns in the entire world. It’s the Toyota Camry of guns. It is no more or less deadly than any other gun but for some reason the media has this obsession over the AK-47.

What really gets me is that while the article obsesses over guns that had no part whatsoever in the SPU shooting it totally buries the lede in the article.

Aaron Ybarra and his family members kept eight firearms in a safe at their Mountlake Terrace home, even though Ybarra had been hospitalized in 2010 after hearing the voice of Columbine killer Eric Harris telling him to hurt people, documents say.

Emphasis mine.

So let’s blame the shooting on guns and not the fact that he’s a psychotic mutant.

While I consider myself to be a centrist on the issue of guns, having guns in the house is not like having some kind of radioactive element in the house that infects everybody with wanting to kill disease by being exposed to it.