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Nutcase on the AT

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Nutcase on the AT

Old 05-13-19, 03:04 AM
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Nutcase on the AT

Arrested once for brandishing a machete. Now someone ends up dead and another injured.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/james-...ease-from-jail
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Old 05-13-19, 03:04 AM
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Old 05-13-19, 05:54 AM
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WTH? But sadly, it's not the first time someone has been murdered on the AT.

BTW...I did a quick search about the whole maritime jurisdiction. Sounds like where this happened was on federal land:

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-...l-jurisdiction
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Old 05-13-19, 06:56 PM
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wow! The witness to the first assualt did not show up for court...so the killer walked.

the judge will have some explaining to do. why he or she didnt find a way to stop him going back out onto the trail. like a mental heath screening. Hiking with a machete on a hiking trail should be instant red flag.

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Old 05-13-19, 08:45 PM
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Not trying to start a major storm here but if I would be hiking the AT I would pack some heat. Have a way to defend yourself instead of getting hacked up by a machete. This tragedy is just crazy. Everyone I have encountered on long day hikes in BFE were very nice and appreciated the same thing hiking has to offer. I have helped out unprepared hikers that needed first aid or food and water but I never fortunately ran across a psychopath.
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Old 05-13-19, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Not trying to start a major storm here but if I would be hiking the AT I would pack some heat. Have a way to defend yourself instead of getting hacked up by a machete. This tragedy is just crazy. Everyone I have encountered on long day hikes in BFE were very nice and appreciated the same thing hiking has to offer. I have helped out unprepared hikers that needed first aid or food and water but I never fortunately ran across a psychopath.
problem with heat is that is heavy.
thru hikers keep pack light and count grams like roadies.

i surely would find hiking with a hunk of metal on my waist to be uncomfortable.

it is not practical to carry heat on a long dist hike.

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Old 05-13-19, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
wow! The witness to the first assualt did not show up for court...so the killer walked.

the judge will have some explaining to do. why he or she didnt find a way to stop him going back out onto the trail. like a mental heath screening. Hiking with a machete on a hiking trail should be instant red flag.

i hope there is better coordination btn law enforcement and hiking community. alert hikers of potential threats. keep track of dodgy people on the trail.
It's not uncommon for hikers here to have clippers, sometimes a machete, to clear overgrown trail. It's traffic this happened and in hind sight it seems obvious. But the judge key the guy go because the law says he had to. The rules have to apply to everyone, and sadly that means the rules will get it wrong occasionally.
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Old 05-14-19, 02:07 AM
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Something similar happened on the multi-use path in Dallas a couple of years ago. Jogger was hacked to death by a homeless insane guy. The victim's wife later committed suicide from grief. The assailant's family knew the attacker had a history of mental illness but insisted he hadn't been dangerous. So he fell through the cracks and two people are dead.

And Texas "fixed" the problem by legalizing open carry of swords. So, problem solved, Wild West style.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
problem with heat is that is heavy.
thru hikers keep pack light and count grams like roadies.

i surely would find hiking with a hunk of metal on my waist to be uncomfortable.

it is not practical to carry heat on a long dist hike.
This. Also, I want to point out that it isn't practical for a witness to go back for a hearing. They are moving 15-20 miles per day north, do not have access to cars and only see a road crossing occasionally.

And it wouldn't be legal to conceal carry from State to state without a permit in each.
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Old 05-14-19, 10:09 AM
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Maybe pepper spray? Just something to buy some time to get away from a crazy guy. The last thing I’m thinking about while out hiking or biking is hacking up people with a machete. I’m guessing this nut blindsided the hikers in an ambush. Hiking is so peaceful and all then something like this happens.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
This. Also, I want to point out that it isn't practical for a witness to go back for a hearing. They are moving 15-20 miles per day north, do not have access to cars and only see a road crossing occasionally.

And it wouldn't be legal to conceal carry from State to state without a permit in each.
Agreed on both points. I am not even sure that carrying "open" is legal in some states up in the NE.
I do wonder what the legality is concerning carrying something like a camp (shot)gun? Everywhere that I am aware of it basically legal to carry a rifle or shotgun.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
This. Also, I want to point out that it isn't practical for a witness to go back for a hearing. They are moving 15-20 miles per day north, do not have access to cars and only see a road crossing occasionally.
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Old 05-14-19, 11:57 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
. Hiking with a machete on a hiking trail should be instant red flag.
Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It's not uncommon for hikers here to have clippers, sometimes a machete, to clear overgrown trail..
There has been an ongoing rabies outbreak here that is primarily affecting foxes. The sick ones have multiple times attacked people on the trail and they will attack until death. So if attacked you have to kill them - one guy had to strangle one, another crushed head with rock. So during peak of outbreak I took to hiking with my hiking pole and machete strapped to side. I didn't like the look.

I've found clippers to be far better than machete for trail work. Most new growth is thin and flexible and doesn't provide enough resistance for a sharp machete to cut thru.
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Old 05-14-19, 12:47 PM
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The really overgrown trails don't have enough room to swing a machete. It never seemed like the right tool for me personally, but I know people do it.

With USFS running out of money for road maintenance, a lot of folks clear brush in the fall to ski in the winter. Several people show up, fan out and work, have lunch together, and make a day of it. We have hiking trails that were lost decades ago, with thick vegetation, some that people are bringing back.

Ruby Mountain

Pretty scary to run into a rabid fox!

Last edited by Seattle Forrest; 05-14-19 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 05-14-19, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
Agreed on both points. I am not even sure that carrying "open" is legal in some states up in the NE.
I do wonder what the legality is concerning carrying something like a camp (shot)gun? Everywhere that I am aware of it basically legal to carry a rifle or shotgun.
Flare pistols with a shark load slipped through California's even-then stringent firearms restrictions in the mid '80s at least. SDPD confiscated one from an 18 year old girl I knew back then but they had to return it and the round of shark load ammo when she went to claim them at the SDPD property room.

She got it from an acquaintance who worked the fishing boats. I don't believe I'd like to risk being shot by anything made to penetrate shark skin.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
Flare pistols with a shark load slipped through California's even-then stringent firearms restrictions in the mid '80s at least. SDPD confiscated one from an 18 year old girl I knew back then but they had to return it and the round of shark load ammo when she went to claim them at the SDPD property room.

She got it from an acquaintance who worked the fishing boats. I don't believe I'd like to risk being shot by anything made to penetrate shark skin.
I was thinking flare gun just before I look back on this thread. That would stop a nut long enough to get away it might even mess up a predator permanently. Why do you have a flare gun? Well, in case I get lost I can shoot off a flare and you can find me. I have flares on my boat for worse case scenario, basically being rescued.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
The video I posted is now taken down. But it was from the other couple involved in the incident.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I was thinking flare gun just before I look back on this thread. That would stop a nut long enough to get away it might even mess up a predator permanently. Why do you have a flare gun? Well, in case I get lost I can shoot off a flare and you can find me. I have flares on my boat for worse case scenario, basically being rescued.
Hell a blank round will poke a hole in a ceiling a couple of feet away . . . And no I didn't fire it. Innocent bystander in questionable company.
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Old 05-15-19, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
Flare pistols with a shark load slipped through California's even-then stringent firearms restrictions in the mid '80s at least. SDPD confiscated one from an 18 year old girl I knew back then but they had to return it and the round of shark load ammo when she went to claim them at the SDPD property room.

She got it from an acquaintance who worked the fishing boats. I don't believe I'd like to risk being shot by anything made to penetrate shark skin.
I would be concerned at using a flare pistol for the possible fire danger. It would be much more harmful to an area to have a forest fire than a dead psycho with a hole in him.
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Old 05-15-19, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I would be concerned at using a flare pistol for the possible fire danger. It would be much more harmful to an area to have a forest fire than a dead psycho with a hole in him.
You are quite right and, in part, the notion has actually come up in people speculating on possible terrorist methods immediately post 9-11. And that's all I want to say about that. I wouldn't dream of using a conventional flare out there for that very reason.

I've never seen one fired but I believe a shark load is strictly a weapon to penetrate sharkskin and not a conventional flair. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. If you've never had a chance to skin a shark I can tell you it's got incredibly tough abrasive stuff on it's outside.

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Old 05-15-19, 03:10 PM
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I would not carry heat or flare or pepper spray. They all have potential legal liabilities.

I figure if you are attacked by a machete. If you can get to your backpack, you should be able to find improvised weapon to give yourself a fighting chance to survive. You can use your backpack as a shield against a machete. Use the tent poles are a club. Mosquito spray as mace. Pocket knife. Rocks on the ground. Dead wood on the ground. Etc. Use natural resources like tree branches...make a spear...rocks make a sling shot. Think what would Rambo do.

Be prepared. Even if you can run away, Psycho might catch up to you, sneak up on you after dark when you think you're safe. Stick together with other hikers is best defense. Not guns.

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Old 05-15-19, 04:12 PM
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For perspective, this almost never happens. It's nation wide news (there's a thread on the Seattle area hiking forum about it) because it's so rare. I go hiking all the time and have never encountered anything like this; I'll continue to hike a lot, and never will. I'm not going to start carrying anything because this happened, the odds are so heavily in my favor.

You know what's a good defence, though? A steep uphill trail. Nobody's going to put in the effort just to kill somebody, they'll pick a flat trail instead.

Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I was thinking flare gun just before I look back on this thread. That would stop a nut long enough to get away it might even mess up a predator permanently. Why do you have a flare gun? Well, in case I get lost I can shoot off a flare and you can find me. I have flares on my boat for worse case scenario, basically being rescued.
I carry a PLB for this. The battery just expired though. Haven't decided what to do about it. Flare is a non starter because of fire danger. With a PLB, you just press the button and wait for the calvary to arrive.

In my neck of the woods, if you hit the SOS button, the default expectation is a helicopter tomorrow morning. So an insulated jacket and foam pad are way more important to carry than a firearm.
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Old 05-15-19, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I would not carry heat or flare or pepper spray. They all have potential legal liabilities.

I figure if you are attacked by a machete. If you can get to your backpack, you should be able to find improvised weapon to give yourself a fighting chance to survive. You can use your backpack as a shield against a machete. Use the tent poles are a club. Mosquito spray as mace. Pocket knife. Rocks on the ground. Dead wood on the ground. Etc. Use natural resources like tree branches...make a spear...rocks make a sling shot. Think what would Rambo do.

Be prepared. Even if you can run away, Psycho might catch up to you, sneak up on you after dark when you think you're safe. Stick together with other hikers is best defense. Not guns.
Yep.

This is a tool for stopping yourself if you fall on steep snow or ice, and preventing a fall in the first place. Very common to see one strapped to somebody's pack, especially this time of year when nobody really knows what's melted out and what isn't. Looks pretty intimidating.



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Old 05-15-19, 04:55 PM
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And/or a flashlight strobe to the face will disorient attacker

I recommend this one
https://www.fenixlighting.com/produc...le-flashlight/
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Old 05-16-19, 11:06 AM
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A few points as this within a dozen or so miles from us. When we heard about the murder, we knew who did it from the report a week earlier.

The original reports of a machete were supposedly disproved and it was reported that he had a camera in his hand. It made little sense to us when we heard the news report.

The people who first made the report refused to file a complaint. You cannot be subpoenaed or compelled to file charges. Especially if travel is involved and a lot of criminals get off by preying on people from out of town.

I believe that the judge was under some restrictions as to how long the person could be held and he was charged according to the guidelines. The Unicoi County Sheriff was on TV last night speaking about it and was disheartened that they had no legal recourse but to let the guy go.

Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia all have concealed carry reciprocity. When you get to the North East of Virginia that you can run afoul of the law.

Several of my cycling routes take me across the AT or in close proximity to it. When I am out in the mountains, I am always armed. It used to be moonshiners, but now it is meth heads. A little paranoia in their minds can make for a bad experience.

I am from the Midwest originally but it didn't take long to figure out the hills can be as dangerous as the inner city.
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