To Catch A Sniper
Bonnie M. Wells
From A Distance
I'd been listening to the news ever since the shooting spree in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. began. I couldn't believe someone could gun down half a dozen people and no one saw what he looked like, what he was driving, which direction he went, or anything else. It was difficult to imagine, but if one considered the fact that he was not shooting people at "point blank range," it became a little more understandable. They said he was shooting from about forty yards .... that was one hundred and twenty feet away. That was a pretty good distance, and with all the commotion that he was causing, it would be difficult to get a good look at him.....or them, whichever it turned out.
What Type Of Person?
Normal curiosity made me wonder what type of person could hurt so many innocent people. I decided I already knew what type of person he was.... selfish, greedy, jealous hearted, resentful and belligerent, with little, if any respect for the rights, possessions or lives of other people. I guess I'd known a few of those in my time ..... even been related to one or two of them.
Still, I suppose I was as befuddled by the sniper's actions as anyone else in the country, and by the time I actually "got mentally involved" in the situation ten people had been shot, and eight of them had died.
Although I had noticed a few things that I thought might indicate "psychic connections" I had not really felt drawn to the situation .... and besides that.....I'd been "drawn" to several cases and none of the information ever seemed of any value to anyone so I was about ready to call it quits with the psychic stuff.
The only things I'd noticed anyhow really could not be considered psychic, but had to be coincidental in nature. Things like....the number on the bullets shooter was using......223. That was the address of my doctor....box 223. It was also the birthday (2-23) of the girl that worked in my daughter's beauty shop.
Of course I considered "Washington" a clue since I lived in "Washington County of Ohio," and when the killer struck in Virginia I couldn't help but think about the Virginia detective (John Lyerly) who came to my home to discuss an unsolved Virginia case. But that had been a year ago. I wasn't sure it meant anything at all so I said nothing, and went on about my business.
Minding My Own Business
And I was still minding my own business when the e-mail came in from a woman that I've spoken to a few times about various "cases" that seem to plague our nation. I guess the last situation that we'd discussed was the abduction of Jennifer Short in Virginia. Gee, Virginia seemed to have a lot of troubles all of a sudden.
"Rhonda" had written back at that time and said she felt a "North Carolina" connection to Jennifer Short. That case had numbed my senses to the point that I wasn't sure what I "felt" about it, so I didn't say much to anyone except that I thought it was awfully strange that a woman named Jennifer Short had signed my guest book just days before nine year old Jennifer Short was abducted ..... and ultimately killed. Still seems like quite a coincidence to me, but, I'm finally getting accustomed to the coincidences. I just hope everyone else is!
I received the frantic letter from Rhonda on the 11th of October. She asked for my help in passing it along to law enforcement.
I've never refused anyone assistance, so I wrote back and said I'd do my best. And I did.
Rhonda said she had watched a movie called FRAILTY, which came out about the same time the shooting spree began.
She insisted that the movie and the killings had many things in common. After considering her list, I agreed.
According to Rhonda, the movie's plot was something about removing "evil" from the world. It seemed there were chosen people who were called "God's Hands" and there were two lists of people that these "hand's" were to remove from this earth. The groups were divided into seven people each.
By the time I sent out the first batch of e-mails to various law enforcements, the "sniper" had already shot nine people, seven of which were dead. I'd never seen the movie, but Rhonda insisted that the actual people who had been gunned down closely resembled the victims in the movie. But I think what really got to both of us was the "calling card" that the sniper had apparently left for the police. It was the death card from a Tarot deck and it said .... "I am God."
Of course Rhonda and I both knew "he, whoever he was," wasn't God, but at this point and time it didn't matter a whole lot what either one of us knew. What was important was determining if this maniac was indeed following a movie script. If so, I had some pretty good ideas about how he could be identified and apprehended.
After all, I was the original thinker when it came to watching stories acted out! I'd been doing that for years. 'Course, even now there weren't many who "believed" .... in serial killers, crimes of obsession and madness, drama's that cost innocent people their lives. That was okay. They didn't need to "believe." I had enough faith for all of us. I was having some difficulty obeying the prosecuting attorney of Washington County though.....and I was praying the FBI didn't call him and ask his advice! After all, he was the one who told me and a friend if we didn't want any trouble from a serial offender in this area to just "stay out of the man's way and don't bother him!"
Well, it was working pretty well. I was still alive ..... and still shaking my head in disbelief!
I think what had Rhonda so upset and near panic was the fact that in this movie .... Frailty, the second list of names (victims) contained an FBI agent. Rhonda was convinced that if the shooter/sniper was actually following the movie script, he would kill an FBI agent.
Perhaps I should have questioned Rhonda more .... or gone to see the movie before accepting what she told me ..... or perhaps I should have been concerned about my own reputation and stood in silence .... I did none of these things. Instead, I began writing to anyone and everyone I could get in touch with, and I sent the warning that an FBI agent might very well be on the sniper's hit list.
Letter To Law Enforcement
That was on Friday, October 11th, 2002. Each letter was the same .....
Attention.....All Law Enforcement:
Subject: Sniper .... Virginia/Maryland/DC
Movie: Frailty ..... The victims in real life and in this movie look quite a bit
The time the film was released was when these shootings started.
In the movie, the killers are known as "God's hand" and the tarot card left
by the sniper says I am God: There are 2 lists. the first list there are 7 names (in the movie) of
"demons" they are to destroy to rid the world of evil: 7 killings close together: The second list contains 7 names
(in the movie) the final victim on the 2nd list is an FBI agent.
Bonnie M. Wells
Little Hocking, Ohio
I contacted the West Virginia State Police, Detective John Lyerly of Front Royal, Virginia; The FBI; The Montgomery County Task Force, and Detective Robert Surgenor of northern Ohio.
If I was right, the sniper would ..... well, never mind....
The week-end came and went. I left at least one of my four tv sets tuned in to FOX NEWS where the sniper was the top story.
There were interviews with one expert after another .... almost all of which were men. They talked about serial killers, which interested me. It was refreshing to actually hear people admit that such a thing even existed. And it was encouraging to realize that there actually were people who had studied these evil minded, cold blooded killers and knew how they thought.
However, it was pretty unsettling to learn that "most" serial killers are never caught! And I wonder why ..... no I don't. I know why!
** I guess the most impressive thing that I heard from any of the experts though was this one man....and I'm ashamed to say, I don't recall his name right now.....but he told the news reporter/interviewer that he had studied serial offenders, and that he had determined a "pattern" to their crimes. He said the "sniper" had established a pattern too!
The reporter almost went into shock! He kept saying ......."Are you telling me that there is a pattern to this killer's crimes?"
The expert replied that oh yes, there was definitely a pattern and he'd seen the same thing many times. He called it a "wedge pattern" ...... I stared at the tv in stunned silence.
How many times had I said ......Triangles, dammit, triangles ......the killings form triangles!!!! I'd even done up an entire section in my book series called The Triangle Maps and Reports! I'd spent months drawing the maps free hand, and showing the connections between certain words and crimes.
** See footnote **
Of course it is purely coincidental that this information occurs in book number 10 and is titled Triangles Of Murder! I already had the book written and named long before an expert discovered a "wedge shaped pattern" to a madman's actions in the "10th" month of the year, so just don't even go there! It's also a coincidence that book number ten also contains a story about the President of the United States and a U.S. Senator!!!!
And speaking of "COINCIDENCE" ..... it seems to me that I've been hearing that word more and more frequently on FOX NEWS. But, it seems most of those reporters, investigators, FBI agents, former FBI Profilers ..... all those experts, are having a bit of trouble with my favorite word. Seems they don't believe quite as strongly as some in this area do. Oh well, they'll come round eventually.
Monday, October 14th.
A woman by the name of Linda Franklin is gunned down as she and her husband leave a Home Depot store in Washington DC.
This time the sniper seems braver or more foolhardy, whichever one chooses, as he allows himself to be seen by several people. His vehicle is also seen.
He speeds away to freedom as victim number eleven lays dying. She is an FBI employee.
Some Respond, Some Don't
I received two responses to the messages I sent out. They appear below.
Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.
We have received your information. Due to the overwhelming response to
the web site, we cannot respond to each message personally. Your message
will be evaluated and given appropriate consideration. Please furnish any
additional information you deem appropriate to http://www.fbi.gov.
Thank you for your support.
There was no response of any kind from the West Virginia state Police, or Detective Surgenor in Ohio.
It appears that Detective John Lyerly has changed his e-mail address. Perhaps so he could not be disturbed by unwanted e-mails. I don't know when he did this, so it's pretty obvious he hasn't been bothered by me. After all, I've already been told...."Don't bother the man!"
Rhonda Sends An Update
She has informed me that she called the FBI after Linda Franklin was murdered, and was informed that Franklin really wasn't an FBI agent.
Why am I not surprised?
All I can say at this point is ..... I hope Rhonda and I are both wrong about the killer following a movie script .... and if we aren't wrong.... then I hope the shooter doesn't believe that an FBI employee is not the same thing as an FBI agent. For the sake of all those people walking around in well marked jackets that can be seen a mile away .... I hope to hell the sniper is convinced he took out an FBI agent. And, had I not heard this same comment on national television, I would not have added it here tonight, because I honestly believe this deranged individual may be following a movie script in his mind.
Well, what else can I say? And how can it be said?
"A Tisket......A Tasket ....
I wouldn't put all my eggs in the same basket."
Dreams Come In
Another week has come and gone since Linda Franklin was shot and killed. Everyone held their breath and hoped she was the last. I feared she wouldn't be.
There has been two dreams that have come in ..... one my own, one that my friend Mysde had. And there has been some actual information since the original posting of this story. I have faithfully sent the information on to the proper people, and there has been no acknowledgment of any kind. I guess that's okay, but for the sake of my readers, I'm now going to tell the information and the dreams. The readers can draw their own conclusions, and when it's all over we can all look back and see what was said and done.
Before getting into the information and dreams, some background information is necessary:
Mysde's husband is a police officer named Jason: My husband's name is Mike and he is a supervisor with Englander Bedding.
Many years ago .... long before I ever knew Mysde, Mike was a supervisor with the old A.B.Chance Company in Parkersburg, West Virginia. In fact, that's where we met. I was an inspector in the Inspection Department.
Shortly after I quit Chance and came home to raise my dogs and design a house that we would eventually build, Mike was shot while at work! One of the women in his department was trying to free herself from an abusive alcoholic husband and he didn't take too kindly to losing his pay check. He had given warning three days in a row that he intended to come into the factory and kill his wife as well as the man she was dating. No, the man she was dating was not my husband!
Regardless, no one warned the foremen about this nut case, and therefore when he did come into the factory no one was prepared. Mike was talking to another foreman when one of his workers went past him screaming. Both men headed for the machinery which was extremely dangerous. Both thought there had been an accident on one of the machines.
Mike rounded the corner just as the lone gunman drew down on the back of his wife's head. She was trying to get away from him by running into the next department. He pulled the trigger and Mike took the full blast in the stomach. After Mike went down, the man continued shooting and actually emptied the pistol inside the factory! They said bullets ricocheted off steel beams in all directions!
The bullet ripped through Mike's sternum bone and the liver, and had he not been 6' 3" tall, it would have probably went through his heart and killed him instantly.
I walked into the emergency room that day to find half a dozen nurses and two doctors desperately trying to locate the bullet. They informed me that he had already been to x-ray but would have to go back because the x-rays did not reveal the bullet and they knew it was still inside him.
Oh the marvels of modern medicine! I opened his shirt and stepped back so I could see his chest, stomach and side.
"Your bullet is lying between the third and fourth rib," I informed the doctors.
"Well if that isn't the damnedest thing ..... we can't see the bullet with e-rays, and the man's wife walks in and looks at him and says, Oh, here's your bullet!" I heard one doctor say to the other as Mike was wheeled away toward surgery.
Mike recovered from his injury and the shooter went to prison for three years. Local authorities refused to charge him with attempted murder even though he had threatened for three days to kill someone. That was my very first experience with the justice system, and its peculiar workings. It hasn't changed much ..... at least not here.
And the fact is ..... neither have I. I've never been the type of person to panic, never been unreasonably fearful or paranoid about anything, never been known to become hysterical or dysfunctional regardless of the situation.
I do not live my life based upon dreams ..... but neither do I ignore dreams, especially if I believe they are intended to save someone's life or to help catch someone who has taken another's life.
On with the dreams and information that I believe might be important in the serial shooter case.
On or about October 16th, a man named Jason (not Mysde's husband) was returning to the Little Hocking area, from the direction of Athens, Ohio. As he traveled on the newly constructed four lane highway he came upon a white van with a rack on top of it. He thought to himself...."I wouldn't want to be driving a white van with a rack on top of it now days," just as he noticed the van had a Maryland license plate on it!
Being a level headed person, Jason noted the license number and cut out to pass the van. As he passed, he glanced over at the van's driver and said he'd never in his entire life seen such a cold, hate-filled stare, as the driver gave him.
Once around the van he attempted to put some distance between them. The driver of the van sped up. The first exit Jason came to was the Coolville exit. He had not planned on turning off at Coolville, but under the circumstances he decided that's exactly what he was going to do. He gave a signal that he was turning off and realized the other vehicles behind the van cut out to pass him but the van didn't. It stayed right on his tail and all but came to a complete stop on the highway as he turned off, almost as if trying to decide whether to follow him into Coolville. Thankfully, the driver decided against that action and continued on northward.
Jason phoned the police that same night and gave them the information he'd gathered, including a complete description, make, model and the license number from the white van. He said they wouldn't tell him much, but did say that the plate did not belong on that vehicle and that it was an expired tag!
**Within a few hours of Jason's sighting of this suspicious vehicle, there was a shooting in northern Ohio in which a semi-truck and a passenger car was damaged as a bullet came through their windshields. The incident took place on Interstate 71 right close to the Route 95 junction.
It was announced one time.....and one time only on our local news as a "Copycat Shooting." I continue to wonder if it really was.
This information has all been sent to authorities in Virginia.
On to the dreams, both of which came in on October 17th, shortly before I learned of Jason's experience:
** See Footnote **
My dream:The Birthday Party:
This was a very simple dream ..... I dreamed I was invited to John Winstanley's birthday party. There were many people there and I knew none of them. It was held in an outdoor area that I thought was a road side park because I could see many trees and pic-nic tables.
(John Winstanley is a former detective with the Washington County Sheriff's Department. I have not seen John or spoken directly to him for six years or more. We were never "friends." We were simply two people doing our jobs. I have never been to his home and he has never been to mine. There is no reason that I would dream of attending his birthday party .....especially since I had the dream three days after his birthday!)
Mysde's dream: The Pine Boxes
Mysde dreamed that she was at an outdoor function of some type. Her husband Jason was standing behind her and she could hear him talking but every time she turned to look at him he was not there. Someone said something to her about getting shot and she replied that she had never been shot but she knew someone who had. She told the person he needed to talk to Mike Wells because he got shot at Englander Bedding Company!
She then noticed some small, green boxes and went to investigate. They were set out in groupings of three. Each had a small opening cut in the side of it and a glass tube sitting down inside of it. The glass tubes were filled with something that looked like potpourri. As she held each box up and looked into the opening she could see that each said something about "pine." ..... "pine fragrance, pine scent, pine aroma," etc.
The dream ended with her trying to see Jason once again, but being unable to even though she could hear his voice.
I didn't send either of these dreams to law enforcement, as I have finally gotten it through my head that they find dreams a waste of time. So be it.
But for those who wish to know what I thought about the dreams.....here goes....
The only person at John Winstanley's birthday party that I knew was him: The only person in the state of Virginia that I know, or have met, seen and spoke with is a "cop named John!"
The last victim of the shooter/sniper was Linda Franklin and she was murdered on John Winstanley's birthday. The dream was telling me that "Franklin was not the end. The "party" would continue. It would continue in outdoor areas where there were tables, trees, etc. and that I would know none of the people who were there/shot." However, since John Winstanley and I share the same wedding anniversary, there was a strong possibility that the next victim would be married and with his/her spouse at the time of the shooting, just as Linda Franklin had been. My own understanding of the psychopathic mind warned that the next victim might very well be a man since the last had been a woman.
Mysde's dream concerned me the most. I was afraid the pine boxes represented coffins .....and she couldn't remember how many she had seen! I tried to take her back into the dream to recover this important number but all we could get was groups of three, and she knew there were at least a dozen boxes if not fifteen, or eighteen.
Hearing Jason but not being able to see him told me that the shooter would eventually "speak" to someone, but it would be after he had shot another person. I saw the reference to "pine" as symbolic of a location......perhaps a pine grove, outdoor park area, road side rest area, etc. and I thought the small holes cut in the boxes represented the "scope" the shooter looked through before he pulled the trigger.
Mike being shot at Englander Bedding puzzled me. Mysde knew Mike had worked for Chance at the time he was shot. Why would she dream it was Englander Bedding? I couldn't answer that one. All I could think of was the silly comment I'd made to Winstanley one time about....."England swings like a pendulum do......bobbies on bicycles two by two."
However, it made me think a "man" was going to be the next victim. And I wouldn't be surprised if his name was "Mike."
The mentioning of Mike within Mysde's dream caused me to think of my own dream about Winstanley. I also thought about the woman named Rhonda who had first contacted me about the sniper, and I recalled how recent news had connected Rhonda Manley with a criminal in Tennessee and how he would soon be sent back here to stand trial. Ronda had been murdered on Mike's birthday in 1992. I thought Virginia had some trouble coming, but I could be wrong.
The Facts & The Fulfillment:
On October 19th, the sniper found himself another victim.
A man and his wife were leaving a "Ponderosa" restaurant at approximately 8:00 pm. As they walked toward their vehicle, parked on the back of the large parking lot, a shot rang out from the direction of the grove of trees to the rear of the restaurant.
The "man" was struck in the "abdomen" area by the bullet.
I do not know this man's name. No one is telling it. All I can do is wonder why.
They have said that he and his wife were not residents of Virginia but were traveling through. I figured they had stopped for dinner before finding a motel and "bedding" down for the night!
The man has now undergone surgery and the bullet has been removed. It matches the others from the snipers gun. I had no doubts that it would. This brings his victim list to an even dozen. Will there be more? If so, I'm betting on three, or six, or nine...