Wednesday, April 3, 2013




(Wednesday April 3, 2013, Kaufman, TX)  The multi-agency task force that has been investigating the recent murders of two prosecutors from this sparsely populated county southeast of the Dallas Metroplex, their attention shifted to a small rural hamlet over 1000 miles away in the hills of southern West Virginia.  Earlier today in Williamson West Virginia the Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum was shot in the head as he sat in his patrol car eating his lunch in his customary location.  A suspect has been shot after a brief chase and an exchange of gunfire.  He has been identified as 36 year old Tennis Melvin Maynard.  He has been transported to Huntington for medical care.

The eyes and attention of the Texas law enforcement task force turned to West Virginia today because the cases they’re presently investigating bear distinct similarities to the assassination of Sherriff Crum.  This hard-nosed Sheriff is the fourth law enforcement official to be gunned down in cold blood since January 31st of this year.  Last Saturday evening the Kaufman County (TX) District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were shot to death in their home just miles from the County Courthouse.  He had been deeply involved in the murder of his Assistant DA, Mark Hasse on January 31, 2013 who was shot in broad daylight as he made the familiar walk from his parked car to the Courthouse.

The investigation has active elements in the upscale, wooded hamlet of Monument Colorado where the Colorado Director of Prisons, Tom Clements was shot to death in his secluded home on March 19th.  Clements had also served in a similar position in the Missouri Department of Prisons.


As a rule most law enforcement officers (LEO’s) do not believe in coincidences.  Investigators focus on the detection, collection and analysis of physical, eye witness and circumstantial evidence.  Detectives build their cases methodically, sometimes painstakingly, assembling the elements knot a coherent narrative supported by facts.  If there are “leaps of faith” made by investigators they are usually the product of years of experience, hard earned instincts, and the occasional “hunch”.  Despite the portrayal of the detective process in TV programs and films, the process is typically a straight forward slog sometimes punctuated by “breaks” that may come in the form of laboratory forensic evidence or the late development of witness testimony.

Detectives also look for patterns, for similarities when there is more than one crime involved as is the case here in Texas.  Modern policing has benefited enormously from technology particularly in the establishment of national and local data bases, networked systems linking federal, state and local law enforcement agencies as never before.  The FBI has spent years refining their techniques and methods in their efforts in “criminal profiling”.  As the databases continue to grow and evolve more diverse resources can be brought to bear on any individual investigation.  The four murders of men in the law enforcement community appear to be related and not isolated incidents attributable to mere coincidence.  They may prove to be unrelated but that is clearly not the approach the officers and agents involved are adopting at the present time.  The idea that these four events are unrelated seems to be a stretch.

Officially the task force is reluctant to say conclusively that the murder of the Assistant District Attorney and the District Attorney in Kaufman are related to the murders of Tom Clements in Colorado and Sheriff Crum in West Virginia are related or have been perpetrated in a deliberate and preconceived plan by a single group or gang.  Certainly, there is no lack of suspects and motives; actually, there is a wealth of both. 

A phrase made popular in the wake of the gross intelligence failures that allowed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, there are plenty of “dots” that can be connected.  Until today the connected dots defined an oddly shaped triangular region from central Colorado to Decatur and Kaufman County.  Sheriff Crum’s assassination altered the shape of that triangle but is uncannily similar to the other murders.  The notion that Sheriff Crum’s murder was perpetrated by a “copycat”, a not uncommon occurrence after high profile murders, is being carefully considered; no leaps of faith will be made despite the inclination to make such leaps. 

 Kaufman County Prosecutors Hasse and McLelland
Murdered eight weeks apart


Two days after the murder of Tom Clements in Colorado, a man recently paroled from that state was killed after a shoot-out with local authorities in Decatur Texas. After a high speed chase and the exchange of gunfire Evan S. Ebel was killed.  Ballistic analysis proved that the same gun used to kill Clements was used by Ebel in Decatur.  Ebel had been driving a vehicle that eye witnesses had seen near the Clements’ residence around the same time of his murder.  Also found in this vehicle was what authorities are calling “bomb making materials”.  The fact that Ebel fled to Texas certainly presents the possibility that he was part of a broader “criminal conspiracy”, in other words, part of a concerted effort aimed at targeting specific members of service (MOS) in the law enforcement community (LEC).  Ebel’s alleged association with the notorious prison gang; The Aryan Brotherhood is being carefully investigated since the two Texas prosecutors had taken a vigorous approach to prosecuting members of The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, an off-shoot of the larger gang.

Mingo County West Virginia, Sheriff Crum’s jurisdiction, is a well-known hotbed of the illegal drug trade and in particular the manufacture and distribution of “meth” (methamphetamine), a major source of revenue for The Aryan Brotherhood.  The Aryan Brotherhood has not been shy about leveling threats to law enforcement officials across the country and does indeed have a “national reach” as one Texas Ranger commented.  But some Texas officials have been quick to point out that their list of possible suspects range from local gang members to elements of the Mexican drug cartels. 

One investigative avenue being pursued in the murder of Tom Clements has to do with a decision he made just a week prior to his assassination.  A Saudi national and prominent member of the Denver Muslim Community, Homaidan al-Turki who had been convicted in 2006 for sex offenses among other charges, had requested to serve the remainder of his sentence in Saudi Arabia.  Clements denied his request due to the fact that al-Turki had refused to participate in a prison-based program for sex offenders.  Al-Turki claimed the denial was based on his tenuous association to Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

The investigators working the various angles in each of these cases as well as those endeavoring to locate some relationship among them are being very tight lipped.  The bulk of the investigative resources are being applied to each of the individual cases foremost; pursuing a common thread that links them is not the primary goal.  Each of these murders is being rigorously investigating towards the aim of making arrests. 


Every man and woman who works in the criminal justice system, from judges, magistrates, prosecutors, sheriffs, federal agents, and local police forces is acutely aware that their chosen profession comes with a set of obvious risks and hazards.  Aside from the “on the job” dangers every law enforcement officer lives and deals with, targeted execution is not one of them.  There have been times in the annals of law enforcement history when “lawmen” were specifically targeted by various groups.  During the “race riots” that ravaged some American cities in the late 1960’s, Police Officers in places such as Camden and Newark, New Jersey, the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles and Oakland California, were the targets of gunmen and snipers.  Most recently during the “drug wars” that plagued New York City in the early 1980’s, several members of the NYPD were shot “execution-style” while others faced gun fire from rooftops while on routine patrol.  Every year members of the law enforcement community are killed in the line of duty but the incidence of obvious murders that required some measure of premeditation is very low comparatively speaking.  That is what gives these four murders so closely clustered in time and all occurring in rural locations appear to be in some fashion related or connected.  That law enforcement officers must now take into consideration that there may in fact be some sort of gang “vendetta” or ‘bounty” on their lives adds an undue amount of stress to an already high stress profession.


In our Democracy each individual life is (at least theoretically) of equal value in the eyes of society and the law.  The ideal of equal rights is among the cornerstone predicates on which our country has been anchored since 1776.  Justice, in both application and accessibility, is to be afforded each American citizen in as “blind” a fashion as possible.  While “justice” is alleged to be blind, we are not.  It is difficult to find many citizens completely capable of viewing the world around them, matters of crime and punishment in as objective a manner as our Constitution prescribes.  That is just human nature.

Just as each individual is equal to every other, the lives of law enforcement officers are of no higher or greater value than any other member of society.  However, in cases where members of the LEC are killed in the line of duty, a just punishment would be the penalty of death.  Each time a MOS of the LEC is killed in the line of duty the fabric of our society becomes a bit more frayed and strained. 

Whether we realize it or not all of us live within the boundaries of an unwritten social code, a set of principles and beliefs that under-gird all aspects of our lives particularly in respect to what we consider to be “criminal” behavior.  Our social compact or covenant places a great deal of authority and pursuant responsibility on those who serve in the criminal justice system and the LEC. In our society the “Police” do not “keep law and order”; no, not by a long shot.  What does in fact keep law and order is the concept of the Police, the recognition that there are laws and there are those assigned to enforce them. It has been argued in many forums that most people do not commit crimes because they are afraid of being caught or, more idealistically, they are good, honest, decent people who easily conduct their lives within the boundaries of the law.  This is a debate that will never be amicably settled. Whatever the reasons that 90% of the population is law abiding and only 10% is responsible for 100% of all crime becomes a rhetorical argument better suited for academia than the streets of America.

We have held murder in all its varied manners and methods, guises and circumstances, in a special category of most contemptible deeds just as it has been considered the most heinous of criminal act since antiquity.  Given our social construct each time a MOS of the LEC is killed in action, we recognize the severity of the crime not because of the value of the individual Officer but rather because it is such a gross insult to society as a whole.  It is for this very reason and this reason alone that any person legitimately convicted of murdering an Officer, Sheriff, Agent or other member of the LEC, should be put to death in a timely manner.  Such state sponsored executions are not intended solely to have any deterrence value at all.  No, the execution would be a purely punitive act, the ultimate meeting of Justice in the form of the ultimate punishment.  This concept is of course among the most hotly contested and controversial issue we as a society periodically engage.  But this issue is a side issue to today’s headlines and headlines over the last eight weeks.


As the intense investigations into these four deaths continues in locales from Colorado to West Virginia, the men and women of the LEC continue to report to work, walk their beats, man their posts, cover their sectors and enforce the laws in their jurisdictions.  They do so day in, day out often quite anonymously and they accept that. 

For as long as these particular crimes remain unsolved MOS of the LEC may be a bit more on edge, have a heightened awareness of their immediate environs  while at work and more conscious of what is going on around them in their off-duty time in public and at home.  These murders have been delivered in a cold and calculating manner in the homes of some victims and in otherwise safe and familiar surrounding for the others.  Hopefully progress is being made and apprehensions of the individuals responsible and those, if any, that may have abetted as part of a criminal conspiracy will soon be off the streets.  One way or another, the boldness and brazenness of those who’ve perpetrated these assassinations should prompt every American citizen to rethink their ideas on crime and capital punishment.



Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 1, 2013


The new picture of health and happiness in America

(Monday April 1, 2013, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland)  In what will undoubtedly ignite a contentious debate among researchers, medical scientists, physicians and others in the health care field, the results of a recently concluded long-term study will be released later this week.  The results of the study conducted over the last 43 months by a diverse team of medical researchers and experts in fields ranging from physiology, cardiology, pulmonary medicine and kinesiology to nutrition, internal medicine and others has reportedly revealed that lazy people have a better quality of life and actually tend to live longer than their more active counterparts.  These results appear to contradict most of what has been the established medical dogma of the past 40 years.  An abstract of the complete report that will appear later this week in the renowned Journal of Aging, Living, and Dying (JALAD) was leaked to selected media outlets over this past weekend.

Essentially the results of this long-term study have indicated a very strong correlation between modest to very low activity levels and the length of one’s life.  For most of the past 50 years it has been common knowledge and accepted as medical science gospel that exercise was a key factor to living a “healthier, longer life.”  Dr. Hugh R. Stout, the lead author of the study and the Research Director of the Center for Idiopathic Epidemiology where the research was conducted, here on the sprawling campus of The National Institutes of Health, commented, “I know, I know.  We are anticipating a huge amount of blow back from the medical community and the dietary-exercise-weight loss industrial complex.  Certainly, our research debunks virtually everything they have been preaching for a good many years.”  While Dr. Stout admits his team’s results are controversial, he also is confident that “the American public will welcome the results of our work and embrace our findings.  Just letting people know it is perfectly acceptable if not actually favorable to be lazy, will add years to countless lives.”

The researchers are confident that the rigorous methodology employed throughout the almost four years of active research where they studied, in depth,  the habits and health of over 47,000 male and female participants across all  demographic groups in 5 states, will help curb the initial wave of criticism they are expecting from the mainstream medical community, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and gyms, spas, and sportswear retailers to name just a few of those with “a vested interest in the status quo” added Dr. Stout.

Beginning in the early 1970’s and the “jogging craze”, the concept of personal health and fitness has blossomed into a multibillion dollar a year industry and has also been among the primary tenets of modern medicine.  From the days of the fitness industry’s infancy the stress on aerobic exercise several times a week as a means to control everything from resting heart rate, blood pressure, body composition and weight has become part of our society.  Many companies today offer their employees modest discounts on their health insurance premiums if they participate in “wellness” programs either on-site at their work place or somewhere else.  Also, cigarette smoking has decreased by over 75% since it was first strongly linked to various malignant diseases, emphysema, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), hypertension and halitosis, which has added dramatically to the overall health of the American public. 

But what has been miscalculated and perhaps even under evaluated is the quality of a person’s life as measured by such devices as the Life Quality Index (LQI) and other metrics that are designed to measure an individual’s overall contentment, stress level, socialization, and other components more subjectively assessed said Dr. Harrari al-Bezbhahl who spearheaded the segment of the study that analyzed a person’s happiness. Dr. al-Bezbhahl continued, “The laziest people we studied were beyond doubt the most content.  It seems that those individuals who are very concerned about their health and weight, their appearance and attractiveness live with a level of stress that is very counterproductive to their actual health.  Since lazy people tend not to worry about such concerns, they live with far, far less stress and that translates into a better quality of life and a longer life, too.  The detrimental effects of stress on the human body are well documented.  Remove sources of stress and people become healthier and happier.  It just that simple.”

Obviously even these leaked aspects of the study are already stirring controversy among doctors who have seen the abstract.  Dr. Carol M. Buetol a Professor of Wellness and Preventative Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore commented, “This study cannot be taken seriously…I mean, really??  Everything I have read so far about this research tells me the results are beyond suspect.  I am curious to read the full report and examine closely the methodology they used.  All I can say at this point is that it seems like a big load of horse shit to me.”  Dale Kyle Furnstead, the inventor of trail mix, was reached at his mountain retreat in Golden Colorado earlier today and noted, “What a person eats does matter.  How much a person exercises does matter.  A person has a great deal of control over their health and this NIH study seems to me to be kinda nutty.  But, since I have made my living being kinda nutty in my own way, I suppose I’ll just have to wait until I get the next issue of JALAD.”

Segments of the economy that stand to benefit tremendously from these research results include the fast food retailers, snack and junk food producers, bakeries, diners, sandwich shops, ice cream parlors, beer and alcohol marketers and the grocers of America.  Kevin O’Beese, President of the Council of Deep Fried Food Vendors, a Washington DC based lobbying and advocacy group, was noticeably pleased by the results. In a gracious mood in his well-appointed office on K-Street, between bites of Beef Jerky and onion rings commented, “It’s about time science has caught up with what most people have known all along.  All this fitness and working out stuff has been just a big crock of shit.  It has been a concerted, deliberate effort by the Left wing Liberals in the Democrat Party to make people feel guilty if they smoke, don’t work out, are a bit chubby and don’t really want to spend any more time sweating than they have to.  It has been fueled by the Hollywood elites and the clothing, cosmetics and health food industries all of which have a fascist-socialist-communist influence.  Hell, I’m lazy and damned proud of it.  I’m what America is really all about.”

Other segments of the economy have greeted the news of this study’s results impending publication quite differently than those such as Mr. O’Beese.  Rex Burrlap who owns and operates a chain of high-end gyms and fitness centers from Florida to Maine was visibly angry when interviewed.  He commented, “This is crazy, right?  Is this some sort of joke?  This research actually proves that lazy people are happier and healthier than folks like those who work out in my gyms and fitness centers?  Impossible.  I cannot believe it…I won’t believe it.  I mean, personally, if I don’t work out vigorously for at least 3 hours a day, every day, I feel like a slug.  I am happy.  I watch what I eat and am very content with my life.  Just ask my therapist, my psychiatrist or my yoga guru.  They’ll tell you.”


After a generation of being told what we must do and not do to live healthy and happy lives, it seems Americans are ready for a change.  A majority of the study participants in the age groups of 15-23 years old, 24-34 years old and the 35 and above age group said they were “tired” of feeling as if they had to “do something” to change the way they look simply because “society” was sending them signals particularly about their weight and physical appearance.  The research clearly illustrated that those participants who admitted to “sitting in a chair watching a football game” made them feel better about themselves (71%) were represented overwhelmingly when compared to only 3.7% of the participants who claimed “running, jogging, or walking on a tread mill” gave them comparable good feelings.

In a series of double blind experiments where the a selected number of study participants were housed in a closed environment that was under closed circuit TV coverage 24/7, the residents chose to eat food items such as cheese dogs, spam stew, chili, French fries, burgers, pizza, banana splits, pie a la mode, salami, bratwurst, assorted candies, cupcakes, fondue, and anything that was deep fried, twice baked, stuffed, or smothered in Velveeta instead of lettuce, baby carrots, quiche, granola, white rice, steamed beets, kale, or Kiwis.  As many times as this experiment was conducted the results never varied beyond the statistical margin of error which was miniscule.

Arnold Zyzmanski a Professor of Modern American Society and Culture at Stanford University found the results of the NIH study “very interesting”.  He commented, “laziness is as American as the recliner, as much a part of our culture as the automobile, as much a part of our lives as convenience stores.  I hope people take this research seriously because I believe once society gives us all the approval to be lazy, we will have much less violence and tension among us and we will just be a happier country.”

Zyzmanski added that Bill Gates, one of the greatest intellects of his generation and one of the people most responsible for the technological culture we enjoy today had once famously said, “Whenever I have a difficult task I always assign it to a lazy person.  I know he will find the easiest way to do it”.


Copyright The Brooding Cynyx 2013 © All Rights Reserved