Who writes history? (“All the News…” Part I)
Over the past 10 days or so, as the media’s daily advisements were issued with appropriate alarm, the Wisconsin nut-job who burglarized (not “robbed”….this is becoming tedious) a gun store on April 4 had been the subject of a massive manhunt. This was presumably because in addition to the minor arsenal he helped himself to, he also penned a reportedly disturbing 161 page “manifesto”, addressed to President Trump.
Certainly newsworthy, and the dissemination of the culprit’s photos was I hope) a positive contribution by news outlets. Bravo.
The coverage, however, reminded me just how arbitrarily seemingly newsworthy items are brought to the attention of the public. Specifically, it conjured up memories of a couple of my cases. Sometimes it is the pure whim of an individual reporter which determines, essentially, whether that tree ever did fall in the forest.
One case similar to the Wisconsin manhunt involved a gentleman name Frank Darwin Alexander, of Morgan City Louisiana.
Frank Darwin Alexander
Does the name Frank Darwin Alexander ring a bell? He too, was dissatisfied with the Commander-in-Chief, who at the time was President Clinton.
[Let me note that is is very tough to wrote a “blog”; that is, to keep my observations short. I could probably write a book – a very long book – about a number cases I handled over 30 years – and may do so yet.]
For purposes os this discussion, allow me to cut to the chase regarding Mr. Alexander – he mailed not a “manifesto”. but a package containing a bomb, addressed to “W.J.C.“. The address was “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.” The White House.
A second device was mailed to televangelist John Hagee’s Cornerstone Ministries in San Antonio.
Eerily, each bomb contained a tarot card which separated electrical contact points; once the cards were moved, contact would be made and detonation triggered. Alexander had carefully selected the appropriate tarot cards for each package. While President Clinton was to be the recipient of “Thor”, Minister Hagee would receive “Mother”.
Leaving out many, many disturbing details, let me cut the tension by disclosing that the Hagee bomb detonated on a conveyor belt in a Dallas mail facility. And the President Clinton bomb blew up in the back of a mail truck in Washington, causing smoke to pour out of the truck and resulting in a thorough dousing of water. A lot of damaged mail, but thankfully no injuries.
So why did this receive so little national news coverage? Some pretty chilling details about Alexander were disclosed, locally, at his detention hearing.
If you’re wondering about the third bomb alluded to in the headline, once Alexander took a Greyhound bus from Louisiana to Las Vegas, he attempted to mail another bomb – to the local ATF office. This one was “Atlas”. Looong story – too long for here. It was, ultimately, however, dismantled safely. Eventual end of story: Alexander pled guilty to all three attempted bombings.
On January 3, 2000, Frank Alexander was sentenced to life imprisonment.