WTF story

There are times when I run across a story/idea that I just can’t leave alone.  They beg to be picked on, praised, or given the “WTF”.

This story falls in the WTF category. 

 Here is the gist:

A 64 year-old man from a small town in Minnesota was supposedly a little nervous about recent robberies in his town.  While in his basement, he heard the sounds of a break-in on the floor above him.  Armed with a Mini-14 (a rifle) and a 22 caliber handgun,  he waited in the basement. 

(The rest of the story is full of WTF moments)

The first intruder started to come down the stairs.  When the intruder was visible from the waist down, the man opened fire on the intruder that he knew NOTHING about.  The intruder fell down the steps, where the man then shot the intruder in the face with his rifle.  The man then DRAGGED the body into his basement workshop and went back to wait at the stairs.

The second intruder started to come down the stairs.  When the second intruder’s hips were in view, the man shot the second intruder with his rifle.  The man then pulled out his handgun and shot the second intruder in the chest multiple times. 

The man dragged the second intruder over and put them next to the first intruder.  The second intruder was still alive and gasping for air.  Not satisfied, the man put the handgun under the second intruder’s chin, pointed the barrel towards the cranium, and fired a shot that the man reportedly described as being “a good, clean finishing shot.”

Who were the intruders?  The first intruder was a 17 year-old boy, and the second was an 18 year-old girl (the boy’s cousin).

When did this happen?  Thanksgiving day.

Can this story get any worse?  Hold on to your pants (or whatever you might be wearing)….

Did the man call the police right after he killed the teens?  No.  Did he wait for a few hours?  No.  He asked for advice  from his neighbor and called the police the NEXT day.

When he was asked about why he didn’t call the police after it happened, he supposedly said he “didn’t want to trouble (them) on the holiday.” 

Morrison County Sheriff, Michel Wetzel said the following about this whole situation –  “The law doesn’t permit you to execute somebody once a threat is gone.”

So let’s talk about this.  What are the problems that you see here?  I know I see so many problems that I feel like I’m playing “pin the tail on the donkey” on the world’s largest jackass.  I could close my eyes, point to almost any part of the story, and say “There is a problem.” 

Since I think there are so many issues (this story is FUBAR), please let me point out the first that comes to mind: 

Two young kids lost their lives needlessly.  Killing isn’t the quick, seemingly easy act that entertainment (games/movies, etc) would have us believe.  It is horrible.  It can take a very long time for a person to die from gunshot wounds to the torso, and even to the head.  Lives were taken.  A family has been changed forever.  Killing somebody is like dropping a stone in a pool.  The ripples are change, and they touch everything. 

Other problems I have with it:

*   I own guns (plural).  Part of this has to do with my employment, but it’s not the only reason I do.  I think (note this is my personal opinion) that it is a good idea to allow RESPONSIBLE citizens to own and use guns.  How does this kind of behavior make good,sensible, and law-abiding gun-carrying citizens look? 

*  The cold brutality of the killing.  How does a person get to the point where they are so calloused that they can do something like this?  It’s a horrific yet interesting field of study.  I have worked a number of cases that have involved inhuman acts of violence and degradation, and it always makes me wonder how an individual gets to that point.

I could go on, but I won’t.  How do you feel about this?  Share your thoughts and comments.

(the man was going to be charged with second degree murder)


8 comments on “WTF story

  1. With a former law enforcement officer in residence, we, too have guns hidden everywhere. But, he’s trained. He’s trained to remain calm under pressure and deploy his weapons only when required. He’s faced lunatics with sawed-off shotguns, and talked them into surrender without a shot being fired.

    [Having lived with this man, I understand why the dude surrendered rather than endure any more speech…Whoop! Whole ‘nother story.]

    He wanted me to learn how to fire a rifle and a handgun. I refused. Not because I am an anti-gun peace advocate. [Although, there is much merit in the ‘make love not war saying.’]

    I refused because my IQ moves in inverse proportion to my adrenaline level. I do not trust myself with a weapon at hand in a high stress situation. (Discounting marital discord, of course. That’s why God put cast iron skillets and Louisville Sluggers on earth. Kidding! Call off the drone.)

    Here’s an idea my husband gave our neighbor. Keep an unloaded shotgun in the house. If you hear an intruder [Supply the right word for me here, Zack. Please. And, thank you.] click it as if chambering a shell. The unmistakable sound will echo through the house, most likely warning off the intruders.

    Continuing with my novella masquerading as a comment: The man gave no warning to the teens? Disabling the intruders wasn’t enough? He had to disfigure them as well? And, consult with his neighbors before notifying the authorities?

    The eternal optimist in me believes private citizens exercising their right to bear arms need to be and someday will be screened before purchasing weapons. The eternal optimist in me believes anyone who owns a gun should be trained on proper use, and screened (somehow) for mental stability.

    This was overkill. He may call it self-defense, but he displayed signs (IMHO) of psychopathic behavior — or, at the very least, dementia — in his over-the-top response.

    Two young lives lost, and the ripple effect of grief for friends and family. I agree. He should be tried for murder. Sad story. Tragic and sad, Zack.

    • zkullis says:

      [Having lived with this man, I understand why the dude surrendered rather than endure any more speech…Whoop! Whole ‘nother story.] <—- LMAO

      I think the idea is pretty good. The 'click-clack' of a round being racked/chambered is the universal sound for "get your ass out of my house". The only problem with the idea is if the intruder is also armed, hears what he/she thinks is a potential 12-gauge slug with their name on it, and decides that it is do or die time.

      Maybe if he left the chamber empty, and then loaded the gun with the tell-tale sound if trouble came through his door. Seriously though, for anybody that has not heard that sound, it initiates the "Pucker Factor" that is off the charts.

      It is a very sad story, but one that should cause people to think. What about the poor guy's family? I can't imagine how they must be feeling.

      Thanks for the reply gloria!

      • I suspected my [whoop, off topic!] might ping your humor button, Zack.

        I have a morbid fascination with dissecting the minds and rationale of serial killers. I couldn’t write a story about one, but I read the Mind Hunter several times. Criminal profiling is fascinating. In your experience, how much of the profiling shown on shows like Criminal Minds is accurate?

        Using the little knowledge I have on the subject, if this 64 year-old-man had no history of violence, something triggered unreasonable anger more than fear. And, disfiguring the teens with head shots to both of his no-longer-threatening victims might have been his way of dehumanizing them. How did I do? Must I reread Mind Hunter?

        I always find your communications thought provoking, educational, and moving.

        What in the cluck is FUBAR, btw? FBI alphabet soup acronym, no doubt. I suspect the first two letters match the last two in SNAFU.

  2. zkullis says:

    The human mind is fascinating, especially the criminal mind. I’m going to be honest with you. I can’t watch those shows. They are often full of inconsistencies and flawed procedures. To be fair to the producers, it wouldn’t be very easy to make it realistic and have it fit their time/plot constraints.

    I DO know that a number of those shows have contacted our Washington Field Office for information and advice about how we handle similar cases.

    The kind of disfigurement you are talking about often occurs in cases where there is also a strong sexual element related to the crime (at least in the cases I have worked). This disfigurement was typically post mortem. But you are correct in your understanding that disfigurement is used to dehumanize victims and assuage the attacker’s sense of having done something wrong.

    FUBAR is millitary jargon that has been around for quite a while. It is more common in some branches than others, “hooah”. FUBAR (the first two letters you correctly guessed) is F U Beyond All Recognition.

    Thank you, dear Gloria, for the compliment.


  3. Okay, obviously this dude went overboard. He didn’t need to go all vigilante and shoot to kill.

    And yet.

    They were intruders, yes? People coming into his home? People he didn’t know? What the hell were THEY doing? You can’t just walk into someone’s home. Crap. As a person who lived through a home invasion, I can tell you I wish I had a weapon.

    That guy must have been scared as shit.

    I hate guns, and I don’t think our founding fathers would be pleased with what we’ve got going on in the name of freedom. And obviously this man went too far and did too little too late. It’s a disaster: a perfect storm.

    A tragedy.

    • zkullis says:

      Yes, they were intruders. According to the account I read, the teens broke a window to get in.
      The man was in a scary situation. I know I would defend my life and home against an agressor.

      What happened in your home invasion? (if you don’t mind me asking)

      I’m a firm believer in using justifiable force. To know what kind of force is justifiable, you have to know whether or not the intruder can cause harm. The intruder typically needs to demonstrate the ability to cause harm.

      But like you said, Renée, it’s a disaster.

      Thanks for the reply!
      (love your new banner)

  4. It’s extremely odd that he didn’t call the cops afterward. I’m also surprised he didn’t wait to see their faces. Otherwise, they were intruders, although I’m surprised the second victim, a female no less, headed for the stairs after hearing gunshots. I would have headed for the door.

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