Update on the Aaron Bassler Story

The story of Aaron Bassler,the sweet faced young man who ended up murdering two beloved Mendocino men, has a new chapter as information continues to come out.

The Ukiah Daily Journal has a new story which contains a variety of info on Aaron Bassler–everything from the odd fact that his backpack contains a rubberbanded stack of cards–all 8 of spades from different decks–to the information that marijuana blunts were found at the scene of the murders of Jere Melo and Matthew Coleman as well as in Bassler’s backpack. There is quite a bit of information here and this is definitely worth a read.

Aaron Bassler’s father speaks up here on his son’s mental illness (this piece was originally published in the Fort Bragg Advocate but I hadn’t read it before.) The piece is incredibly sad.  Bassler’s father, James says,

The real significant change in his behavior started in late summer of 2010 when he became more and more prone to outbursts of anger. Lots of things were going bad for him. The biggest problem came when he learned he would have to move from his home because of a change in ownership of the property. He had worked for years to make it his home, and it was a special private place where he could get away from people. Whenever I entered his home, it was both shocking and heartbreaking, a little like an insane asylum without any staff. His frustration with losing his home, and his dire financial situation put him under a lot of stress and it came out in angry outbursts. He was drinking more, doing more drugs, and spiraling out of control. There was not much we could do and he was getting very scary.

We need to find some way to help our mentally ill.

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37 comments

  • I always thought that a “blunt” was a fat joint or marijuana cigar, not a tinfoil pipe.

    • Anne, I agree but I thought maybe they knew something I didn’t. But I just did a quick search and I can’t find any top searches using blunt to describe a pipe of any kind.

  • I always thought that a “blunt” was a fat joint or marijuana cigar, not a tinfoil pipe.

    • Anne, I agree but I thought maybe they knew something I didn’t. But I just did a quick search and I can’t find any top searches using blunt to describe a pipe of any kind.

  • Eight of spades or eight of clubs (your tag says clubs)? It actually might be an important distinction.

  • Eight of spades or eight of clubs (your tag says clubs)? It actually might be an important distinction.

  • charlie two crows

    The Ace and 8 of spades are death cards. My father was a airborne ranger. Had a tattoo of a skull with dagger through it with two cards sticking out of skull. One card ace of spades and one card 8 of spades. My father told me they were death cards. Maybe some branch of service lost an opp. Maybe that’s why they killed him! It’s just a thought!

  • Charlie Two Crows is correct. Many units used every spade in the deck.

    Here’s a different perspective on Spades.

    Spades – Wisdom – Labor – Acceptance

    8 of Spades – Power in Work

    Karma for the 8 of Spades – Materialism

    These people have a keen sense of their inherent obligation to work. They have been known to tax their health and sacrifice their loved ones in their drive to get things done. The Eight of Spade often ends up inheriting property or money from their parents or will otherwise obtain substantial help from family members.

    Although primarily concerned with hard work, this Card does have a higher calling. It is often considered the Healers Card. Should the 8 of Spade use their enormous spiritual energy, and the application of higher wisdom to accomplish their goals, they are sure to find their place among the great ones.

    Still another class of Eight of Spade will realize nothing besides their innate power. They work soley for the amount of money they can amass, and the joy of being called a “big shot”!

  • Charlie Two Crows is correct. Many units used every spade in the deck.

    Here’s a different perspective on Spades.

    Spades – Wisdom – Labor – Acceptance

    8 of Spades – Power in Work

    Karma for the 8 of Spades – Materialism

    These people have a keen sense of their inherent obligation to work. They have been known to tax their health and sacrifice their loved ones in their drive to get things done. The Eight of Spade often ends up inheriting property or money from their parents or will otherwise obtain substantial help from family members.

    Although primarily concerned with hard work, this Card does have a higher calling. It is often considered the Healers Card. Should the 8 of Spade use their enormous spiritual energy, and the application of higher wisdom to accomplish their goals, they are sure to find their place among the great ones.

    Still another class of Eight of Spade will realize nothing besides their innate power. They work soley for the amount of money they can amass, and the joy of being called a “big shot”!

  • Also there’s a story in the current AVA where Bassler’s father endorses Laura’s law, requiring mental health treatment in certain cases.

  • Also there’s a story in the current AVA where Bassler’s father endorses Laura’s law, requiring mental health treatment in certain cases.

  • I’m interested in the report that Bassler encountered a group of hikers and did not threaten them… Is there any further word on that?

  • I’m interested in the report that Bassler encountered a group of hikers and did not threaten them… Is there any further word on that?

  • My dim memory is that he visited with some folks in a homeless camp without incident.

  • My dim memory is that he visited with some folks in a homeless camp without incident.

  • Here’s some interesting info relating to the subject.

    http://www.mentalhealthstigma.com/subvertingthelaw.html

  • Here’s some interesting info relating to the subject.

    http://www.mentalhealthstigma.com/subvertingthelaw.html

  • Excerpts from the Anderson Valley Reporter’s The Short, Sad Saga of Aaron Bassler by Bruce Anderson for readers:

    He didn’t have any empathy,” his father has said about his son’s descent into a suicidal isolation. “He just sort of flat-lined.” Mr. Bassler also said that he slept with a gun handy on his nightstand; he’d become that fearful of his son. …Bassler’s family says Aaron became so isolated, spent so much time alone in the woods, that he found even a few minutes of ordinary conversation so stressful that “he would just walk off.”

    BASSLER has always been closer to his mother. She had driven her son to the Rockport area where he subsequently shot and killed Matthew Coleman. Persons close to Bassler’s mother say she, too, had become afraid of him, and had driven him to the Rockport area simply to get him away from her… It is still not known why Bassler wanted to go to Rockport…

    A LONER, who had spent years in the woods by him¬self, Bassler was first arrested in October of 1994, the year of his graduation from Fort Bragg High School. The charge was receiving stolen property, specifically a pair of AK 47 assault rifles and another gun an acquaintance had stolen from his father…

    AND on it went as the young man’s mental health deteriorated, a deterioration expedited by heavy drinking and methamphetamine. The Bassler family’s repeated warnings to Mendo¬cino County authorities that their son was quite likely a danger to others were simply ignored.

    ONE of the conditions of his federal probation was that he stay with his mother at her home on Sherwood Road, Fort Bragg. But when his federal probation ended, Bassler resumed drug and alcohol use and, according to his father, “became increasingly delusional and anti-social.” His parents couldn’t help but see a steady deterioration in their son’s rationality while his criminal record indicated an increasing tendency to life threatening behavior.

    THE consensus, though, from everyone who dealt with Bassler, including law enforcement, is that Bassler presented a mental health dilemma not unique to him. Mental health staffers, not speaking for attribution, say that “drug induced mental illness” isn’t, strictly speaking, mental illness as we usually think of mental illness.

    “THESE people aren’t crazy when they are off drugs,” a Mendocino County Mental Health staffer has said. Prevalent in Mendocino County for years now, methamphetamine often leads its consumers into temporary psychosis. At any one time, there are lots of people pinballing around the County in varying states of self-induced mental illness because of methamphetamine. Off the drug, they function normally…”

    (More reading of the full Anderson Valley Reporter article is here. Hat tip and thanks to Normelle, above)

  • Excerpts from the Anderson Valley Reporter’s The Short, Sad Saga of Aaron Bassler by Bruce Anderson for readers:

    He didn’t have any empathy,” his father has said about his son’s descent into a suicidal isolation. “He just sort of flat-lined.” Mr. Bassler also said that he slept with a gun handy on his nightstand; he’d become that fearful of his son. …Bassler’s family says Aaron became so isolated, spent so much time alone in the woods, that he found even a few minutes of ordinary conversation so stressful that “he would just walk off.”

    BASSLER has always been closer to his mother. She had driven her son to the Rockport area where he subsequently shot and killed Matthew Coleman. Persons close to Bassler’s mother say she, too, had become afraid of him, and had driven him to the Rockport area simply to get him away from her… It is still not known why Bassler wanted to go to Rockport…

    A LONER, who had spent years in the woods by him¬self, Bassler was first arrested in October of 1994, the year of his graduation from Fort Bragg High School. The charge was receiving stolen property, specifically a pair of AK 47 assault rifles and another gun an acquaintance had stolen from his father…

    AND on it went as the young man’s mental health deteriorated, a deterioration expedited by heavy drinking and methamphetamine. The Bassler family’s repeated warnings to Mendo¬cino County authorities that their son was quite likely a danger to others were simply ignored.

    ONE of the conditions of his federal probation was that he stay with his mother at her home on Sherwood Road, Fort Bragg. But when his federal probation ended, Bassler resumed drug and alcohol use and, according to his father, “became increasingly delusional and anti-social.” His parents couldn’t help but see a steady deterioration in their son’s rationality while his criminal record indicated an increasing tendency to life threatening behavior.

    THE consensus, though, from everyone who dealt with Bassler, including law enforcement, is that Bassler presented a mental health dilemma not unique to him. Mental health staffers, not speaking for attribution, say that “drug induced mental illness” isn’t, strictly speaking, mental illness as we usually think of mental illness.

    “THESE people aren’t crazy when they are off drugs,” a Mendocino County Mental Health staffer has said. Prevalent in Mendocino County for years now, methamphetamine often leads its consumers into temporary psychosis. At any one time, there are lots of people pinballing around the County in varying states of self-induced mental illness because of methamphetamine. Off the drug, they function normally…”

    (More reading of the full Anderson Valley Reporter article is here. Hat tip and thanks to Normelle, above)

  • Kym: See what corruption does to people like you? Where’s the proof Bassler killed anyone? All you’ve got is Tom Allman’s word or accusation. 50 years of corruption and lawlessness and what do we get today? Rule of Law? Anarchy and chaos and the cause is manifest in people like you that continue to try to justify this filth. You say, “The story of Aaron Bassler,the sweet faced young man who ended up murdering two beloved Mendocino men, has a new chapter as information continues to come out.” That’s enough to make any decent person sick.

    Problem is, people like you are too stupid to understand what’s really going on here. Change the situation a fraction and you get the police using the same rational on your boys or you neighbor’s.

    • Joe, it is certain that a corrupt person can create some lies. I know Tom Allman. In my estimation, he is a good man trying to do a hard job. Beyond Tom’s word, we also have many people within law enforcement who say they have Bassler’s DNA on similar items found at the scene of two murders and on his person. I’m comfortable making a reasonable assumption that Bassler was guilty. His own family appears to think he committed the murders. Unless you have some facts to offer, I’ll stick with my assumption.

      • Kym, Your last statement is the reason why the justice system’s use of juries produces so many innocent people being put to death in this country. The police and District Atorneys love people like you. The fact I offer is that there is no “legal” proof or facts that he was guilty of anything. Your “reasonable assumption” is just that – a worthless assumption based upon absolutely nothing, but someone’s worthless opinion or in this case “word” based upon opinion. What people like you don’t see, but will learn the hard way, is that when you support this kind of wanton police state action on people you deem less valuable than you or your family, it can be used against you at a whim. You and your kind are a far greater threat to our society and community then any 1,000 Basslers.

        • — when you support this kind of wanton police state action on people you deem less valuable than you or your family, it can be used against you at a whim.

          But Joe, why not support it? Bassler was soooooo obviously a murdering thieving opium smoking scumbag. It was all proven to us in the news. Right from the mouth of Tom Almann to the Press Democrat to you. That’s good dependable solid proof about good solid police action from good dependable poeple that you can trust. These folks would never falsify evidence, manidpulate dna, make false eye witness reports, or fabricate other “facts”. Of course they wouldn’t. For what reason? Dont you know, they are hard men trying to doing a good job,

          LOL!

          So don’t think twice about itl we can trustingly lap up everything they feed us and sleep well at night. And, whats really really awesome is that he was dead before he ever hi t the grout. So there wont have to be any messy trial wasting any more of your hard earned tax dollars to investigate whats been a given truth.

  • Kym: See what corruption does to people like you? Where’s the proof Bassler killed anyone? All you’ve got is Tom Allman’s word or accusation. 50 years of corruption and lawlessness and what do we get today? Rule of Law? Anarchy and chaos and the cause is manifest in people like you that continue to try to justify this filth. You say, “The story of Aaron Bassler,the sweet faced young man who ended up murdering two beloved Mendocino men, has a new chapter as information continues to come out.” That’s enough to make any decent person sick.

    Problem is, people like you are too stupid to understand what’s really going on here. Change the situation a fraction and you get the police using the same rational on your boys or you neighbor’s.

    • Joe, it is certain that a corrupt person can create some lies. I know Tom Allman. In my estimation, he is a good man trying to do a hard job. Beyond Tom’s word, we also have many people within law enforcement who say they have Bassler’s DNA on similar items found at the scene of two murders and on his person. I’m comfortable making a reasonable assumption that Bassler was guilty. His own family appears to think he committed the murders. Unless you have some facts to offer, I’ll stick with my assumption.

      • Kym, Your last statement is the reason why the justice system’s use of juries produces so many innocent people being put to death in this country. The police and District Atorneys love people like you. The fact I offer is that there is no “legal” proof or facts that he was guilty of anything. Your “reasonable assumption” is just that – a worthless assumption based upon absolutely nothing, but someone’s worthless opinion or in this case “word” based upon opinion. What people like you don’t see, but will learn the hard way, is that when you support this kind of wanton police state action on people you deem less valuable than you or your family, it can be used against you at a whim. You and your kind are a far greater threat to our society and community then any 1,000 Basslers.

        • — when you support this kind of wanton police state action on people you deem less valuable than you or your family, it can be used against you at a whim.

          But Joe, why not support it? Bassler was soooooo obviously a murdering thieving opium smoking scumbag. It was all proven to us in the news. Right from the mouth of Tom Almann to the Press Democrat to you. That’s good dependable solid proof about good solid police action from good dependable poeple that you can trust. These folks would never falsify evidence, manidpulate dna, make false eye witness reports, or fabricate other “facts”. Of course they wouldn’t. For what reason? Dont you know, they are hard men trying to doing a good job,

          LOL!

          So don’t think twice about itl we can trustingly lap up everything they feed us and sleep well at night. And, whats really really awesome is that he was dead before he ever hi t the grout. So there wont have to be any messy trial wasting any more of your hard earned tax dollars to investigate whats been a given truth.

  • Joe, I see your point. It’s a good observation. The same thoughts came to me. There are questions. What could be a vigilante ending is also seen as a bizarre act of seemingly self justified assassination– outside of the court or rule of law. There wasn’t any due process. The implications are frightening. I do wonder what type of follow up or investigation will ensue? Yeah, I get it– and see what you’re saying. I’ve certainly seen, heard, and witnessed ‘entitled’ abuses in my line of work. We probably all have.

    On a minor note, I’m listening but sometimes have a hard time hearing. When hearing words such as ‘People like you,’ ‘you and your kind,’ or ‘People like you are too stupid to understand,’ the important message gets lost. No need beating anyone up driving a point home when writing well kindly suffices. A difference of opinion is what makes for gambling and missionaries; one doesn’t always remember what was said to them, but they’ll always remember how we made them feel. If they feel well, they’ll not only listen but successfully hear. But what do I know? I’m not always so good with that myself. I try to treat others well and respectfully, but often fall short. Perhaps I’m old-school and stupid, me and my ilk. Nonetheless, you brought up some important considerations.

  • Joe, I see your point. It’s a good observation. The same thoughts came to me. There are questions. What could be a vigilante ending is also seen as a bizarre act of seemingly self justified assassination– outside of the court or rule of law. There wasn’t any due process. The implications are frightening. I do wonder what type of follow up or investigation will ensue? Yeah, I get it– and see what you’re saying. I’ve certainly seen, heard, and witnessed ‘entitled’ abuses in my line of work. We probably all have.

    On a minor note, I’m listening but sometimes have a hard time hearing. When hearing words such as ‘People like you,’ ‘you and your kind,’ or ‘People like you are too stupid to understand,’ the important message gets lost. No need beating anyone up driving a point home when writing well kindly suffices. A difference of opinion is what makes for gambling and missionaries; one doesn’t always remember what was said to them, but they’ll always remember how we made them feel. If they feel well, they’ll not only listen but successfully hear. But what do I know? I’m not always so good with that myself. I try to treat others well and respectfully, but often fall short. Perhaps I’m old-school and stupid, me and my ilk. Nonetheless, you brought up some important considerations.

  • The implications really are frightening because AB would have killed again, if not for the intervention of law enforcement. The number of lives saved will never be known.

    Nothing old school though about having polite conversations and sharing ideas.

  • The implications really are frightening because AB would have killed again, if not for the intervention of law enforcement. The number of lives saved will never be known.

    Nothing old school though about having polite conversations and sharing ideas.

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