More on the Hunt for Aaron Bassler


This morning’s Press Democrat
has another in depth look at the Aaron Bassler killings. Well worth the read.

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24 comments

  • This broke my heart.
    “I just called for him like I would when he was a kid,” his father said. “I said his mother and I are worried about you. Then I had to add, leave the gun and come out.’”

  • It’s just all so awful for so many people – for that whole community. Like you said, the story is well worth the read.

  • –> On first reading, it’s possible that the main reason to read this article — 11 screens of mostly-self-serving blabla from Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, dished up as Sunday’s front-page “news” — is to demonstrate how far the “press” can be gotten to go in doing damage control for the police.
    The architect of Allman’s Ambush does, however, present selected bits of info from the search warrant (previously released on the listserv) that morphed into the MCSO’s taking over Aaron Bassler’s mother’s house as their “command center” … the early action which arguably forced Bassler to flee into the forest, and set the stage for the weeks-long SWAT muster, and for the summary execution to come. (NOTE that Alameda County SWAT — on whose supposed “firefight” with Aaron Bassler the MCSO’s attempted justification of the ambush execution is based — is mentioned in this account only as “deputies”.)
    1. NOTE the Sheriff’s NEW claim that the number of gunshots sustained by the Sherwood Road victim were THREE … not SIX, as the MCSO’s previously — presumably to support its “automatic weapon” publicity — stated.
    2. Note also, in an indirect quote, the repetition here of some psycho-babble Sheriff Tom Allman’s used before:”Bassler’s motive to kill, perhaps driven by undiagnosed mental illness, appears linked to a longheld disdain for people in authority.”
    –> Aaron Bassler’s “disdain” aside, Chaney-Balassi-Melo AND the man shot on the north coast all reportedly had threatened Bassler with POLICE attention. (What-all had happened to Aaron Bassler at the hands of the Fort Bragg Police Department and the MCSO, including during Bassler’s tased-and-pepper-sprayed (and apparently more, based on Bassler’s booking foto from February) arrest and incarceration? And why — even leaving out of the equation the disappeared letters (see below*) — was Aaron Bassler, who was in jail (supposedly partly in solitary confinement) for a month, not known to Dr. Rosoff?
    Amid the police propaganda, there are a few more memorable sentences, including:
    — “Jere Melo had talked to me about Aaron Bassler before,” said Allman, who had known Melo for years. “He told me that there were possibly poppies on the property … “My very first thought was, ‘I hope Jere’s OK,’Allman said.”
    –> What, then, accounts for Allman/Smallcomb’s incessant and heavy-handed “marijuana fields” publicity early on?
    — “two lines crossed in a plus sign within an eight-inch circle …Was he trying to communicate with us?” Allman said … Investigators were stumped.”
    –> Investigators were “stumped”? Sigh.
    * — “[Aaron Bassler’s father] sent letters asking jail staff and a public defender to request a psychiatric evaluation, but no officials have admitted receiving the letters.”
    –> “Croak said Thursday he cannot comment on whether he ever received a letter from James Bassler or whether he passed it on. “I cannot comment on whether the letter exists,” he said Thursday. Rosoff said Thursday he was told by the County Counsel’s office not to discuss the case, but earlier this week he said he was unfamiliar with Aaron Bassler’s case. “Sheriff Tom Allman said he was unaware of the letter and that it would have been passed on to the jail’s medical staff.”
    — Fort Bragg suspect’s family says system failed
    By GLENDA ANDERSON / THEPRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.Last Modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110901/ARTICLES/110909925

    More to come.
    –> Those who are following the MCSO’s ever-changing accounts of various facets of the Allman/Bassler debacle might want to archive this PD piece. <–

    • Interesting commmentary. Definitely some spin and choosing what to include and avoid including clearly makes parts of this challenging, I agree.

  • –> On first reading, it’s possible that the main reason to read this article — 11 screens of mostly-self-serving blabla from Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, dished up as Sunday’s front-page “news” — is to demonstrate how far the “press” can be gotten to go in doing damage control for the police.
    The architect of Allman’s Ambush does, however, present selected bits of info from the search warrant (previously released on the listserv) that morphed into the MCSO’s taking over Aaron Bassler’s mother’s house as their “command center” … the early action which arguably forced Bassler to flee into the forest, and set the stage for the weeks-long SWAT muster, and for the summary execution to come. (NOTE that Alameda County SWAT — on whose supposed “firefight” with Aaron Bassler the MCSO’s attempted justification of the ambush execution is based — is mentioned in this account only as “deputies”.)
    1. NOTE the Sheriff’s NEW claim that the number of gunshots sustained by the Sherwood Road victim were THREE … not SIX, as the MCSO’s previously — presumably to support its “automatic weapon” publicity — stated.
    2. Note also, in an indirect quote, the repetition here of some psycho-babble Sheriff Tom Allman’s used before:”Bassler’s motive to kill, perhaps driven by undiagnosed mental illness, appears linked to a longheld disdain for people in authority.”
    –> Aaron Bassler’s “disdain” aside, Chaney-Balassi-Melo AND the man shot on the north coast all reportedly had threatened Bassler with POLICE attention. (What-all had happened to Aaron Bassler at the hands of the Fort Bragg Police Department and the MCSO, including during Bassler’s tased-and-pepper-sprayed (and apparently more, based on Bassler’s booking foto from February) arrest and incarceration? And why — even leaving out of the equation the disappeared letters (see below*) — was Aaron Bassler, who was in jail (supposedly partly in solitary confinement) for a month, not known to Dr. Rosoff?
    Amid the police propaganda, there are a few more memorable sentences, including:
    — “Jere Melo had talked to me about Aaron Bassler before,” said Allman, who had known Melo for years. “He told me that there were possibly poppies on the property … “My very first thought was, ‘I hope Jere’s OK,’Allman said.”
    –> What, then, accounts for Allman/Smallcomb’s incessant and heavy-handed “marijuana fields” publicity early on?
    — “two lines crossed in a plus sign within an eight-inch circle …Was he trying to communicate with us?” Allman said … Investigators were stumped.”
    –> Investigators were “stumped”? Sigh.
    * — “[Aaron Bassler’s father] sent letters asking jail staff and a public defender to request a psychiatric evaluation, but no officials have admitted receiving the letters.”
    –> “Croak said Thursday he cannot comment on whether he ever received a letter from James Bassler or whether he passed it on. “I cannot comment on whether the letter exists,” he said Thursday. Rosoff said Thursday he was told by the County Counsel’s office not to discuss the case, but earlier this week he said he was unfamiliar with Aaron Bassler’s case. “Sheriff Tom Allman said he was unaware of the letter and that it would have been passed on to the jail’s medical staff.”
    — Fort Bragg suspect’s family says system failed
    By GLENDA ANDERSON / THEPRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.Last Modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20110901/ARTICLES/110909925

    More to come.
    –> Those who are following the MCSO’s ever-changing accounts of various facets of the Allman/Bassler debacle might want to archive this PD piece. <–

    • Interesting commmentary. Definitely some spin and choosing what to include and avoid including clearly makes parts of this challenging, I agree.

  • I dont believe any of the lies and propaganda that Tom Allman constantly shoves at us.

  • I dont believe any of the lies and propaganda that Tom Allman constantly shoves at us.

  • Thank you Kym for the link. That was helpful to read with all the extra details we hadn’t heard before.
    I wish there was some way we could let the Bassler family know that, even though we don’t approve of their son’s behaviour, we feel for them, their pain and anguish is real, anyone who has a child can empathize with them.
    Also, realizing that he was mentally ill, and fell through the cracks in the system earlier in his life is an important aspect of the compassionate understanding many of us feel.
    Thanks for all you do, Kym!

  • Thank you Kym for the link. That was helpful to read with all the extra details we hadn’t heard before.
    I wish there was some way we could let the Bassler family know that, even though we don’t approve of their son’s behaviour, we feel for them, their pain and anguish is real, anyone who has a child can empathize with them.
    Also, realizing that he was mentally ill, and fell through the cracks in the system earlier in his life is an important aspect of the compassionate understanding many of us feel.
    Thanks for all you do, Kym!

  • Contiuing:
    Note that the second paragraph of the PD piece says that Melo and Ian Chaney “set out on a Saturday in late August to find a man … ” — not (as the MCSO previously claimed) to follow water lines, search for marijuana, etc. (however, note that the PD/Allman stay with the phrase “drug camp”). Apparently the planned Saturday roust of Aaron Bassler (in which the authorities reportedly had declined to be involved) had been the subject of discussion in Fort Bragg on Friday. A lttle later on in the article, Allman’s account mentions “The man they were looking for, 35-year-old Aaron Bassler”. The MCSO’s previous claim was that the witness “recognized” Aaron Bassler.

    Third paragraph: “Chaney, who lives on family land abutting the timber property”: back in the early days of the manhunt media blitz, there was confusion in the press, prompted partly by the MCSO’s phrase “independent witness”, about just how MANY people Jere Melo accompanied. Two Chaneys plus Ted Balassi have made their way into local reports SO far — but since the MCSO used the name “Ian Chaney” in material presented in court, presumably they’re … stuck with it.

    More to come …

  • Contiuing:
    Note that the second paragraph of the PD piece says that Melo and Ian Chaney “set out on a Saturday in late August to find a man … ” — not (as the MCSO previously claimed) to follow water lines, search for marijuana, etc. (however, note that the PD/Allman stay with the phrase “drug camp”). Apparently the planned Saturday roust of Aaron Bassler (in which the authorities reportedly had declined to be involved) had been the subject of discussion in Fort Bragg on Friday. A lttle later on in the article, Allman’s account mentions “The man they were looking for, 35-year-old Aaron Bassler”. The MCSO’s previous claim was that the witness “recognized” Aaron Bassler.

    Third paragraph: “Chaney, who lives on family land abutting the timber property”: back in the early days of the manhunt media blitz, there was confusion in the press, prompted partly by the MCSO’s phrase “independent witness”, about just how MANY people Jere Melo accompanied. Two Chaneys plus Ted Balassi have made their way into local reports SO far — but since the MCSO used the name “Ian Chaney” in material presented in court, presumably they’re … stuck with it.

    More to come …

  • Ambush? Summary execution? Sounds like the police are catching the blame for something here. They did a tough and dangerous job, to protect you.

    Seems more like the murderer AB was rehabilitated before he killed again. It could easily have been one of you. I don’t blame the cracks as much as I tend to let AB take responsibility for his actions. He was impared but knew what he was doing. He refused medication and help. It’s a good excuse for a crime spree and used by many criminals.

    With the war in Iraq finally winding down, perhaps our legislators could find funds for many badly needed services.

  • Ambush? Summary execution? Sounds like the police are catching the blame for something here. They did a tough and dangerous job, to protect you.

    Seems more like the murderer AB was rehabilitated before he killed again. It could easily have been one of you. I don’t blame the cracks as much as I tend to let AB take responsibility for his actions. He was impared but knew what he was doing. He refused medication and help. It’s a good excuse for a crime spree and used by many criminals.

    With the war in Iraq finally winding down, perhaps our legislators could find funds for many badly needed services.

  • G.I.B. writes:
    “Ambush? Summary execution? … ”

    Exactly so — a human rights violation, according to the United Nations.

    Something to think about: here’s another case from less than a year ago, another 30-something suspect — Mendocino County’s “Most wanted” — shot to death by the MCSO:

    “Hutchins ran outside and into the brush but was pursued by a deputy who confronted him and shot him, Smallcomb said.
    A Lahmon Lane neighbor said Thursday –> she distinctly heard at least four shots in rapid succession, apparently from the same gun. <–
    Authorities said emergency medical aid was summoned, but Hutchins died before they could arrive.
    The name of the deputy, who has been placed on administrative leave, has not been released."
    — 'Most wanted' parolee shot, killed by law enforcement in Mendocino County
    By MARY CALLAHAN
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 1:26 p.m.
    Last Modified: Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20101111/NEWS/101119904/1010/sports?p=1&tc=pg

  • G.I.B. writes:
    “Ambush? Summary execution? … ”

    Exactly so — a human rights violation, according to the United Nations.

    Something to think about: here’s another case from less than a year ago, another 30-something suspect — Mendocino County’s “Most wanted” — shot to death by the MCSO:

    “Hutchins ran outside and into the brush but was pursued by a deputy who confronted him and shot him, Smallcomb said.
    A Lahmon Lane neighbor said Thursday –> she distinctly heard at least four shots in rapid succession, apparently from the same gun. <–
    Authorities said emergency medical aid was summoned, but Hutchins died before they could arrive.
    The name of the deputy, who has been placed on administrative leave, has not been released."
    — 'Most wanted' parolee shot, killed by law enforcement in Mendocino County
    By MARY CALLAHAN
    THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
    Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 1:26 p.m.
    Last Modified: Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20101111/NEWS/101119904/1010/sports?p=1&tc=pg

  • Where’s the human rights violation here?

    Wasn’t Mr. Hutchins an armed parole violator?

    It’s S.O.P. to place an officer on A L after a shooting incident.

  • Where’s the human rights violation here?

    Wasn’t Mr. Hutchins an armed parole violator?

    It’s S.O.P. to place an officer on A L after a shooting incident.

  • Nice to see I’m not the only one that looks at this mainstream media propaganda with some objectivity.

  • Nice to see I’m not the only one that looks at this mainstream media propaganda with some objectivity.

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