LV murder-suicide tied to conspiracy theories, cosplay, racism and… Slenderman

More violence from conspiracists who are more than a bit detached from reality. And well-armed.

Two Cops, Three Others Killed in Las Vegas Shooting Spree – NBC News.com.

A Las Vegas couple who shot to death two police officers, a third person and then themselves delivered an ominous message as they left home before the ambush with a shopping cart of weapons, a neighbor said.

“We gotta do what we gotta do,” Jerad Miller told Kelly Fielder, adding that he and his wife, Amanda, were departing for an “underground world.”

Amanda Miller then embraced the neighbor and said, “I am so sorry.”

Fielder said she had heard the husband make anti-government statements in the past — including a desire to overthrow the government and President Obama and kill police officers — but was not alarmed by them. The couple also liked to dress up like the Batman character, The Joker, and his sidekick Harley Quinn.

And, damn it, if Slenderman doesn’t make ANOTHER appearance.

Source: Possible ‘manifesto’ found in Las Vegas shootings – CNN.com.

The neighbor, Krista Koch, told the station the man also sometimes dressed as Slenderman, a fictional horror character that recently surfaced in the stabbing of a 12-year-old girl in Wisconsin.

Koch also told the station the couple had told her they were going to carry out an attack, but she thought they were “crazy,” so she dismissed what they said.

The neighbors thought they were all talk yet they were clearly unhinged. In addition, they has a stockpile of weapons and were following the Cliven Bundy situation. They were anti-government and apparently had white supremacist tendencies. A recipe for disaster. And so it was.

No, Slenderman and Batman had nothing to do with it. But is their obsession with counter culture a sign of disconnect with reality? What can we do about such fringe aspects of society? It’s no easy fix. But with the media reporting a violent attack seemingly every day this week in America, some of us can’t help but feel this really is like living in a nightmare. The perception is hard to get past, especially when those who want desperately to curb the violence feel their voice in support of better weapons enforcement is ignored or criticized.

sad

Tip: Jeb Card and Jason Korbus

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  25 comments for “LV murder-suicide tied to conspiracy theories, cosplay, racism and… Slenderman

  1. spookyparadigm
    June 9, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    They were Alex Jones fans, unsurprisingly.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/06/09/alex-jones-alleges-that-las-vegas-cop-ambush-wa/199644

    And Jones’ reaction is quite predictable.

    • June 9, 2014 at 3:13 PM

      Why is HE never blamed? //What about the bad parenting and lack of internet controls???// What about encouraging a violent revolution? How is that not part of this puzzle with the gun-toting, disenfranchised, unhinged, American conspiracy culture?

      • spookyparadigm
        June 9, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Do the “bad parents” and “internet” and “pop culture” marshall a key radical component of the political spectrum? Do they sell enthusiasm for certain well-funded lobby groups?

        There is also the flip side. The militia/”patriot” movement has so radicalized since 2009, elements of the Federal government are clearly concerned that if they crack down on these groups when they commit criminal activities, it will open an explosion of violence. From the perspective of limiting violence in the short term, backing down at the Bundy ranch was wise. From the perspective of encouraging more radicalism, it probably wasn’t.

        Given how angry and vocal the radical right is, and how there is no real dividing line between it and the “mainstream” American right, there might also be darker fears that if violence were to erupt in the wake of another Waco, followed by another OKC, this time there might be more serious political operative willing to support a coup attempt.

        All conspiracy theory has elements of the political, but Jones and his followers, like these two murderers, are clearly part of the more active political scene in America. And just to make sure everyone knows it, they brought a Gadsden flag with them (seized upon as the major banner of the Tea Party) to drape on their victims.

      • Brian
        June 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        Maybe Alex Jones is part of some govt program? It would explain how he gets away with the things he does….

  2. Douglas
    June 9, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    I don’t believe guns are the problem, but they sure as heck appear to be a SYMPTOM of the problem.

  3. June 9, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    I’m looking through their Facebook pages now. It’s like conspiracy theory bingo. Chemtrails, NWO, climate change denial, Alex Jones and, of course, guns guns guns! For Christmas 2013, one of them received a copy of The Shooter’s Bible and Extreme Survival. The other? A gun-shaped toilet brush.

    Sorry, I’m obsessed.

    • One Eyed Jack
      June 10, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      It’s like conspiracy theory bingo

      That sounds like a great idea for a real game.

  4. June 9, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    And people say that conspiracy theories aren’t dangerous…

    Actually they’re usually not dangerous because most people don’t take them to seriously, but when someone does take a conspiracy theory to seriously it can really screw up their mind and cause them to act in ways that make others not want to be around them, and in some extreme cases cause a person to commit an act of violence, or in cases where a conspiracy theory causes a person to become extremely frightened of what might happen to them, suicide. I actually know a person whom was seriously thinking about committing suicide due to fear brought on by FEMA camp conspiracy theories.

    • spookyparadigm
      June 9, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      A CT whose main purveyor has been Alex Jones.

  5. spookyparadigm
    June 9, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    Breakdown of stuff on their fb pages, which are still up (I did look through them).

    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2014/jun/09/look/

    He’s in a video talking to reporters at the Bundy ranch (someone put that in comments)

    Often the political motivations of the lone wolves are muddled in the reading. Not today.

    PS: Sharon, you might want to look at her TV likes. ARIGs, ARIGs everywhere

  6. spookyparadigm
    June 9, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    BTW, I doubt they’re straight up white supremacists. The swastikas sound more like warnings against the police state.

    These are dyed-in-the-wool militia/”tactical” far-right wingers with a gun obsession and a hatred for the government, as if they haven’t screamed it to the world loudly enough.

    • F89
      June 9, 2014 at 8:53 PM

      ” The swastikas sound more like warnings against the police state.”

      Interesting point.

    • June 9, 2014 at 9:22 PM

      I see it mentioned in passing a lot but there is no direct reference to go on.

  7. James G
    June 10, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    Eventually the mainstream gets fed up with this fringe to the point where it gives the government the mandate to suppress them. They’re terrible at keeping a low profile, so ideally, once they raise their heads, you should be able to intervene. I’m not sure what that intervention looks like. Perhaps it’s as simple as taking away their weapons. They don’t embrace reason or logic; I don’t think you’ll be able to reach many through dialogue.

    We’re having similar problems in Canada. Three mounties were killed last week in Moncton after an anti-authority radical went on a shooting rampage that sounds like it specifically targeted police. Our government may soon have such a mandate.

    It’s expected a large chunk of the city of 70,000 will turn out for the funeral, and about 7,000 from the rest of the country have travelled to the city to attend. There are no hotel rooms left, and people are being billeted in people’s homes.

    Tolerance of these fringe elements is waning quickly and there will be a very emotional funeral shortly with red serge uniforms and Stetson hats that will get a lot of coverage. We might see a crackdown on people espousing violence over the internet (not protected speech up here). It’s so unpopular at this point, I think a lot of ‘moderate’ radicals will soften their outlook and distance themselves from these groups.

    • Brian
      June 10, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      I am absolutely amazed this has not happened down here (Central FL). The cops down here are very corrupt, and their antics should have had every gun toting lunatic trying to wipe out all of them on an almost weekly basis. With all the honestly impressive crazy people down here… Very odd in itself.

      • Bill T.
        June 10, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        Brian, Actual police corruption or other pathological situations are not clear predictors of these people’s actions. The illegal actions of local police can actually support some of these nut-cases’ delusional agendas. More often they are reacting to perceived threats by authority, which causes them to ake actions that bring them to the authoritie’s attention, which feeds their paranoia, causing them to take actions …

        • spookyparadigm
          June 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM

          They had been in Indiana, and only moved to Las Vegas to take part in the Cliven Bundy standoff with federal forces. They sold all their goods to move there, and then were kicked out of the ranch because he had a felony record.

        • Brian
          June 10, 2014 at 6:50 PM

          Well, it would explain it. It also explains some of the other stuff going on down here.

    • Cole
      June 20, 2014 at 11:13 AM

      Isn’t reason and logic subjective?

      I see these “radicalized” people / movements and the violence that accompany them directly or indirectly caused by government. You cannot deny that the government isn’t spying on every citizen and collecting his/hers information anymore can you? You cannot deny police brutality occurred during occupy wall street protest, can you? I don’t see that this is a right or left issue, it is an American one.

      The people who snap are weak in their mind or are prone to violent propensities. When they snap, their weapon of choice is a gun but knifes, cars, pressure cookers, etc. can be just as deadly. Social stress is on the rise much of it do to economic conditions. 102 million working age Americans are without a job. I think we are just now seeing the beginning of the violence. I believe if economic condition don’t improve, much more violence is on the way.

      Their are tons of news stories and internet video’s showing police violence and government corruption. Someone with a conspiracy mindset can easily turn this information into anything that fits their agenda. As far as gun violence and gun laws, it is a political fallacy. I live in so cal and can go into watts or south central and buy a gun off the street any time I want. Guns are part of our society like it or not. The criminals will always have them regardless of what laws the politicians pass. You can ban all guns and guess what, guns will still be available. Mexico has a gun ban and the drug lords have been killing people with them for many decades.

      I believe the violence will subside once more people are financially stable. I am surprised it isn’t worse. 2007 took a toll on allot of people and many haven’t recovered from it yet.

  8. Massachusetts
    June 10, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Do you guys think Alex Jones is deliberately lying and misleading people, or he really believes in these conspiracy theories? And if he does, what does that signify? Mental illness, or something else?

    • Rich
      June 11, 2014 at 9:37 AM

      I know. It’s a fascinating question. I think Spooky Paradigm posted a comment elsewhere about the general nature of believers, whatever it is they happen to have fixed their belief on. Perhaps Jones regards himself as, and enjoys being, the priest of a truthful revelation. (I’m not putting in all the inverted commas I should, there, or we’ll be here all day.) He has followers. He is fiery and (self-) righteous. He clearly feels important.

      Perhaps he honestly believes he’s doing a good thing. Perhaps he’s just an attention whore with tragically withered critical thinking abilites.

      Brian Dunning did a Skeptoid episode called “Sarah Palin Isn’t Stupid,” the crux of which was that it doesn’t help just to assume people you don’t agree with and who believe mad stuff are mentally deficient assholes, because that doesn’t really advance anything and it’s rude. It’s really, really hard sometimes, and Alex Jones is one of those times.

    • spookyparadigm
      June 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM

      There are some straight up con-artists in conspiracy theory, but most of them aren’t IMO. Jones definitely isn’t

      But you can’t view it as what they believe in. It’s what they’re against. Conspiracy theorists and mystery mongers (here I’m talking about advocates, not just clickbait media like Gawker network etc.) aren’t generally for anything. They’re against something. They are, in the vernacular, haters. This also holds true of some, though not all, pseudoscientists (some clearly are for a particular idea, others are just critics). They have a belief system, but it is a negative one. Much has been made, rightfully, that a lot of occult and paranormal ideas are the re-enchantment of the modern world after science and industry disenchanted it (see Max Weber). Many beliefs that have filled the void have been positive (in intention), arguing for something they want to see happen (even if the rest of us think their utopia would be horrible). Some want to change the world, some want to change themselves through inner peace, etc.

      But when it comes to conspiracy theory and certain brands of pseudoscience (the ones obsessed with “closed minded” science and skepticism), they are not generally arguing for anything in particular, they’re just screaming that Authority is wrong. That authority can be government, it can be a class hierarchy, it can be religious and cultural institutions, it can be scientific learning. They know that core “truth,” but what they use to communicate how they feel can change opportunistically. It is a political process, and political operatives seize on opportunities to hurt their opponents, discarding damaging positions when they are outmoded.

      For example, Graham Hancock has supported polar shifts, extraterrestrials, coastal flooding, and talking to extradimensional beings in drug induced states, all as explanations for there being an advanced civilization hidden from archaeology. The specific elements have changed, but the core message has always been there: there was a golden age long ago and mainstream archaeology cannot or will not detect it. But he can. The nature of Hancock’s civilization, and the evidence keeps changing. The one part that doesn’t? Mainstream archaeology is wrong, but Hancock is right. That part is permanent.

      Alex Jones has one persistent core belief: that a global elite is conspiring to destroy “traditional” heartland American Christians, that Jones knows it, and that he is constantly under threat as a result. Everything else of how this may happen will shift depending on what best gets that message of antagonism across. This is why it can look he doesn’t believe his own material (that he makes quite a bit of money hawking survivalist products to people he spends all day scaring doesn’t help either).

      The thing that has always separated Jones from most of his “colleagues” is his manic style, which manifests in two ways. One, he acts like a carnival barker. And two, he can easily mish-mash stuff from the grand databanks of occulture lore in his “rants,” zooming from “mundane” conspiracy theories about the post office buying ammunition to Terrence McKenna, machine elves, and the global elite opening the way for the Great Old Ones through the extradimensional portal of the Large Hadron Collider (actual example).

      This manic style has two effects. The first is that it impresses the hell out of conspiracy-interested watchers. He comes across as a professor who knows everything and can synthesize it. Watch him for long, and it becomes clear that he’s throwing everything in with no respect for making a real synthesis. But by then, you’ve usually decided to get on board or reject him. It is the EXACT same thing you see with the still popular Behold a Pale Horse by Bill Cooper, which threw everything against the wall, and had the same impact (and yes, I do think this sort of effect provides an attractive playground to people with an impaired ability to differentiate reality from delusions).

      The second effect is that he fits the “madman” stereotype that people find amusing. He’s exactly what people think a conspiracy theorist would be like, and he’s self-aware of this to the point that he has emphasized it and puts on a show. That’s probably the most dishonest part, he knows he’s playing a role, but its a role that’s probably very close to what he really thinks. Which again, a lot of people do (I refer to my teaching as stand up comedy, both because I use comedy, and because while I’m not lying to the students, there is an element of planned stage performance).

      This second effect is, I believe, why he’s famous. He became well known in Austin, and did make his way in the conspiracy theory subculture. But he has been helped along by more elite culture makers who find him “engaging” which is another way of saying he puts on a show and is funny in that bourgeois detached manner of slumming for meaning and amusement, and if they’re particularly pretentious, calling it a brave exploration. Frankly, I think Richard Linklater has some to answer for helping mainstream Alex Jones.

      When you see Jones screaming at the families of the dead, that their loved ones were part of a conspiracy, remember this interview (which was in 2013, so it’s after some of the worst of Jones), and ask yourself who is worse: the ranting ideologue, or the critics darling who gave a ladder to the ranting ideologue because he thought he was funny to watch?

      http://on.aol.com/video/director-richard-linklater-discusses-friendship-with-alex-jones-517786843

    • spookyparadigm
      June 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      I’ll also say this: Jones is not even close to being alone in beliefs or style. There is one major difference: rather than write books, he got in front of a camera. Long before internet video was common, he understood the power of video and television. Video is more expensive than text or sound, yes. But it doesn’t have to be high-end video, in fact that increases its authenticity. And he knew how important it was to control that message himself, to produce your material rather than sell his image to someone bigger.

      He’s harmful to the country but there is a lot that can be learned from him.

  9. Graham
    June 11, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    Your president has finally said something that should have been said a long time ago,

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/24210449/obama-hails-aussie-gun-laws/

    While I’m saddened it took a blood response I’m glad that when push came to shove our conserative politicians did the right thing.

  10. G
    June 14, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Wait, now, /Batman/ (even his villains) is not counter culture, not these days.

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