OT: Psycho on the Appalachian Trail

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Messages 1 - 53 of total 53 in this topic
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Topic Author's Original Post - May 12, 2019 - 11:08am PT
https://www.wsls.com/news/virginia/southwest-virginia/two-assaulted-on-appalachian-trail-in-wythe-county
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 12, 2019 - 12:23pm PT
He was with a dog, apparently - and was seen hitting his dog earlier.
Hope the dog is in a good shelter now (and not running around starving)
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 14, 2019 - 01:48pm PT
Some new details are coming out:
https://www.outsideonline.com/2396150/appalachian-trail-murder-2019-james-jordan

So, 4 hikers - 2 men and 2 women - were hiking way out there unarmed (bad idea)
Next, the raving mad dude approaches them and acts dangerously.
They later setup camp for the night and the dude finds them at night in their tents saying he'd pour gasoline over them and burn them (!)
The hikers, apparently, still haven't prepared at least some heavy logs to provide coordinated response and turn that guy into mashed potatoes.
They come out of the tent and he threatens them with a very big knife.
They didn't have trekking poles and camping axes to deal with him, seems like...
2 of them just run off and the guy chases after them (but doesn't reach them, so he turns around)
2 remaining hikers are still in their campsite at that point (!). He comes up and fatally stabs the male hiker, then he chases after a woman who'd run at that point. He catches up and stabs her - she survives - only because she played dead.
Some lessons to be learned here!
And one would think they're safe peacefully hiking in the group of 4.

The guy's dog was the one who lead his capture. Earlier, he publicly threatened to eat his dog putting a knife to his throat. After what happened, the dog run straight to the ...police. They followed him and it led them right to his owner hiding in the woods.
The hero here is the dog.
Hope it gets the best kind of food from now on.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 14, 2019 - 01:58pm PT
Some lessons to be learned here!

Very sad. It is amazing how few people are able to think on their feet.
More amazing that they would camp and have no plan. Not even sticks?
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
May 14, 2019 - 02:03pm PT
Yikes! I have 2 friends that did the whole thing and talked about running into odd folks here and there but no issues just concern. They did say that they would kinda form groups depending on pace.

For my part I have found myself in the back country of the desert twice with sketchy people nearby. I think one was schizophrenic the other I think did something and was hiding out. I didn't sleep those times and just burned all my wood till sunrise and left. Obviously nothing happened just weird.

S....
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 14, 2019 - 02:04pm PT
You say itís a bad idea to go hiking unarmed...I think itís a terrible idea to go hiking armed. Iíve been hiking, often alone, for well over half a century and have never run into the occasion to wish that i was armed.
On the very rare occasions that I encountered another hiker who was armed I saw it as an aberration and gave them a wide berth.
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 14, 2019 - 02:07pm PT
They didn't have trekking poles and camping axes to deal with him, seems like...

I've never done any long distance hikes like the AT, but I wouldn't think a camping axe would be a standard thing to bring. Maybe large knife, or maybe a small gun . . .
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 14, 2019 - 02:07pm PT
I'd guess they'd at least have the bear sprays on the AT...it has pretty good range.
Would make sense to be sleeping in turns after prior encounter, especially since there're whole 4 people.
My guess is they felt overconfidence that he wouldn't really mess with 4 of them.
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 14, 2019 - 02:09pm PT
You say itís a bad idea to go hiking unarmed...I think itís a terrible idea to go hiking armed

Nope. It's a very very bad idea to be hiking unarmed. Not everyone would like to defend themselves with "tooth and claw", especially against prevailing physical force and weight class or someone very determined.

Iíve been hiking, often alone, for well over half a century and have never run into the occasion to wish that i was armed.
Privilege...it goes the long way

gave them a wide berth
That's good, that's exactly what they wanted, especially a solo female hiker.
ddriver

Trad climber
SLC, UT
May 14, 2019 - 02:35pm PT
Having done the JMT, but not the AT, the standard approach is to measure and trim weight down to the tenths of ounces. Things like camping axes and bear spray weigh far too much for most anyone to carry on these type trips. Pick up a rock or a stick. More likely to encounter an idiot like this at the grocery store anyway. I'll start carrying my bear spray into Whole Foods.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 14, 2019 - 03:01pm PT
Very unusual case. But it is good reason to camp well off the trail when you are a short days hike from civilization, and keep the yapping to a minimum, which is good trail etiquette anyhow. If everyone carried a gun we would all be pulling them out every time we got approached by a stranger because a gun in the bottom of your pack is next to worthless. Not sure I want to travel like that. That is especially scary in stand your ground states. I am more worried late in the evening when arriving at trailheads, guard is down and the day was successful.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 14, 2019 - 03:08pm PT
A 3Ē knife weighs 3 oz. You can make a very serviceable spear in a couple of minutes, but if youíre not mentally prepared to use it just run or play dead. But 4 people not staying together and working together just shows their incompetence.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
May 14, 2019 - 03:14pm PT
Special zipper/velcro Fanny pack right in front over my pack belt/buckle. Takes about 2 seconds with no motivation.

Looks like a camera. Let's call it a Cannon. High Speed wireless too.

I wouldn't worry where Donini hikes either. Around here or on the AT there can be crowds of all sorts.
Lynne Leichtfuss

Sport climber
moving thru
May 14, 2019 - 03:16pm PT
I may stay away from the AT. About a year ago another zany killed a woman and man hiking the trail.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 14, 2019 - 04:39pm PT
Former climber...if hiking in America gets to the point where I feel I need to be armed this country is in serious trouble.
And no, Iím not someone who doesnít know about or hasnít used firearms. The more people who walk our trails armed, the more violence there will be.
ron gomez

Trad climber
May 14, 2019 - 04:48pm PT
Iím with Jim! Firearms in the backcountry....BAD idea. If I think I need one, Iím not going in. I see what guns and loons do in urban settings. Not anti gun if using it for sport or food. For people, NO.
Peace
originalpmac

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
May 14, 2019 - 04:52pm PT
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/features/murder-woods-shenandoah-national-park/

Happens occasionally, unfortunately. Virginia definitely has some weird folk in the hills.

I remember when this happened, I was in elementary school. Not far from where I grew up.

I've hiked plenty unarmed, a few times armed. Felt good knowing it was there. Solo overnight motorcycle trips feels a LOT better with a gun. Can only get a large expensive motorcycle so far off the road.

Edit per Ron. It would be a terrible thing to use a gun in self defense from a person. I bet those hikers wish they had one though.

10b4me

Social climber
Lida Junction
May 14, 2019 - 09:34pm PT
Iím with Jim! Firearms in the backcountry....BAD idea. If I think I need one, Iím not going in. I see what guns and loons do in urban settings. Not anti gun if using it for sport or food. For people, NO.
Peace

agreed
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Topic Author's Reply - May 15, 2019 - 05:08am PT
...were hiking way out there unarmed (bad idea)

formerclimber, I can say this with certitude, you've never been on the Appalachian Trail. Unless, of course, your definition of 'way out there' is a day hike from a parking lot.

And by 'unarmed' I'll assume you mean they should have been carrying a gun (or two).

Wow, just wow.
kpinwalla2

Social climber
WA
May 15, 2019 - 06:21am PT
I agree with Jim, but I have to admit that when I'm solo in the backcountry these days I often take a can of bear spray and a sound grenade to deter animals - both weigh next to nothing. Bear spray would have stopped the dude on the AT.
stevep

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
May 15, 2019 - 07:02am PT
There's a possibility of nuts anywhere. More people=more nuts.
I don't consider bear spray or a small knife as being "armed". And bear spray probably would have done plenty to discourage a guy like this.

I'm with Donini and others, if things get to the point where I feel like I should be carrying a gun while hiking, I'd rather be hiking somewhere else.

That said, there's clearly a fair number of people who think it is standard equipment. I see a lot more folks open-carrying these days than I did back in the 80s. I'm not thrilled about that, but it doesn't make me feel like I need to bring one.
jamatt

Social climber
Asheville, NC
May 15, 2019 - 07:05am PT
This guy had popped up on the radar on the AT in Madison County, NC for threatening folk. They found him and arrested him in Tennessee for some misdemeanor stuff but let him go.

Oops.
donini

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
May 15, 2019 - 07:27am PT
I think the real pussies in America are the dudes who open carry....your manhood is not in your holster,
WBraun

climber
May 15, 2019 - 07:38am PT
Ho Mannn....

The guy used a machete.

Next, they'll come for your machetes and your lawn mower which is nothing more than a motor driven machete.

All over the American suburban landscape, there will be open carry lawnmower protests.

You will not take my lawn mower from my cold dead hands .......
divad

Trad climber
wmass
May 15, 2019 - 07:48am PT
Nobody brought a machete to the OK Corral..
jamatt

Social climber
Asheville, NC
May 15, 2019 - 10:14am PT
I just can't fathom waking up in the morning and holstering up your firearm in the mindframe that the world is such a dangerous place you might have to kill someone to get through your day alive.

I guess Ronald Sanchez found out otherwise. Condolences to his family. What a huge mess.

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Mill Valley, Ca
May 15, 2019 - 11:01am PT
I would say bear spray would be more effective than a gun in any event - you only need to aim in the general direction and a giant cone reaching 30' and several feet in diameter will make any creature reconsider any aggressive action - that's putting it mildly!

More info, from a personal experience:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/383140/Idiot-Report-I-opened-a-can-of-whoop-ass-on-myself
blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 15, 2019 - 11:39am PT
I would say bear spray would be more effective than a gun in any event - you only need to aim in the general direction and a giant cone reaching 30' and several feet in diameter will make any creature reconsider any aggressive action - that's putting it mildly

You're making a strong and possibly unwarranted assumption about the effectiveness of bear spray.

I recall being in downtown Denver many years ago when one of the sports teams won a championship, idiots started smashing stuff, and police used tear gas. People I were with seemed to act like they'd been hit with Zyklon B: didn't seem that bad to me, just a mild irritant.

If I had a machete and was hell-bent on smacking someone with it, I think there's a good chance that a whiff of bear spray or whatever may just make me a swing a little harder.

A lot of reasoning on this thread is something like:
I don't like it that there are a certain number of murderous psychos out there that prey on people hiking the AT (or similar trails), and I choose to put that out of my mind because I don't like dealing with an unpleasant reality;
I don't like it that some law-abiding people carry guns because that reminds me that the dangerous psychos are out there, which I was trying to ignore/forget; therefore
The law-abiding people are bad!
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
May 15, 2019 - 12:20pm PT
I don't own a firearm. I have a BB gun for raccoons around my house. I can say that in addition to my upthread post I was on a 3 week road trip with 2 friends and we somehow ended up camping in the mountains outside Tucson.

As we were getting settled a large group of "partiers" showed up and one dude said " Hey you mind if we kick it in your campsite?" in a urban kind of way. He wasn't looking for an answer. It was hostile. My buddy is a former Navy Seal, not a large guy I am bigger than him, but he pulled out his gun but just kept it behind his back. He talked them down calmly and they left.

At the time I felt comfort that my friend was armed and was a Navy Seal. The situation felt unpredictable. Those "gangsters" wouldn't have stood a chance. But I also didn't think we would have such an encounter.

S....
Ikat

Social climber
north of here
May 15, 2019 - 12:27pm PT
Kimber Pepperblaster II

Pscho dude will be unable to get off the ground for about 45 minutes

Enough time to get everyone safely a long way back on the trail
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 15, 2019 - 03:34pm PT
To a large degree I agree with Jim. when you are armed you project a bad vibe that attracts bad vibes. I like the pepper spray because for the most part it is non threatening and when you are in the back country you have a legit reason to have it in bear country which makes you seem benign and non threatening. Non threatening is good when dealing verbal ju jitsu with fragile egos. Carrying a gun is a PINTA and a huge responsibility. As far as open carry goes it's plain rude and creepy. I give those asshats a wide berth if possible. Guaranteed they are far more likely to go postal than they are to be hero's and save the day. Got no problem with meat hunters and redneck kids wandering around farm fields plinking varmits. I have a huge problem with tools who think the constitution that they actually know next to nothing about makes it perfectly ok to carry assault rifles and hand cannons around in public places.

All this being said our country is getting weirder by the minuet. When isa and I travel I plan our bivy spots the best that I can and pay attention. . I have the kitchen knifes and bear spray if something gets too weird. We stay away from citys and when we have to pass through them we plan it so that we are back in the country by the time our travel day is finished.
Happiegrrrl2

Trad climber
May 15, 2019 - 03:44pm PT
It's a terrible thing but really, I wonder what fraction of a percent of people who hike the ATC end up in a situation where they would have to make a decision to defend themself.

When I had my apartment broken into a few weeks after moving to Washington Heights in NYC, one of my brothers offered me a pistol. My older brother asked "Are you willing to use it if necessary?" The answer was "no," and I didn't take the pistol.

People have offered me shotguns where I am, because it is a pretty isolated place that is actually still in close proximity to towns and major highways. If someone thinks an ATC hiker ought to have arms, they would absolutely think I ought to. Seriously. So far, on the two times I ever thought I might need to defend myself, I wasn't where the shotgun would have been anyway on one(and would you believe that a ranger from my work actually did drive by at the precise moment where I had just heard myself think "Uh ohhhh."? They stopped and said "So....what's going on?" and the moments ago threatening male started sputtering like a crapping out boat motor. It really happened.) The other I scared off the intruder with a loud threat. I bet that chipmunk thought twice next time about scurrying around by my place at night!

Sorry, but I truly believe a majority of people who have guns don't have decent training in their use and general gun safety, nor the level head such a responsibility requires. I heard people talk, this winter in AZ, about being armed just in case. A good number of these people seemed to think they had a very good chance of being called into service with their firearm. A good number of them seemed like they would be dangerous. I think the thought of a gun in hand give many people a false sense of bravado. When something bad is going down, a big talker is probably not going to be someone who is reliable.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 15, 2019 - 04:08pm PT
Happie. you are correct. In my experience The vast majority of gun owners are completely unqualified to carry and many of them are downright scary... A combination of incompetence and suspect mental status that makes it a miracle that we don't have more shootings...
WBraun

climber
May 15, 2019 - 04:40pm PT
when you are armed you project a bad vibe that attracts bad vibes.

Most of you ARE armed with st00pid ideas in your foolish minds ......
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
May 15, 2019 - 04:50pm PT
..if hiking in America gets to the point where I feel I need to be armed this country is in serious trouble...

Agreed

The more people who walk our trails armed, the more violence there will be.

Strongly disagree. I'd say in the summer in Alaska close to 1/2 the people you come across hiking are armed. In the 20+ years I've been here, I don't recall a single altercation between armed hikers. There have been a bear attacks that have been thwarted.

Urban violence is a completely different issue. IMHO avoidance is the best approach, when that can't be avoided having the ability to protect yourself or loved ones with whatever force is necessary is prudent.

blahblah

Gym climber
Boulder
May 15, 2019 - 05:26pm PT
Happie. you are correct. In my experience The vast majority of gun owners are completely unqualified to carry and many of them are downright scary... A combination of incompetence and suspect mental status that makes it a miracle that we don't have more shootings...

Which is more likely:
There is miracle occurring which causes fewer shootings than we would have but for that miracle, or
your assumptions about the vast majority of gun owners being unqualified to carry and being scary to you may not be entirely correct?

I get that a lot of people are double scared because (1) they are scared of guns, and (2) the guns remind them there are lots of other things to be scared of, and that makes them uncomfortable.
But you're just going to have to get over it -- people have a right to bear arms, and if they decide they don't want to risk running into a machete-wielding psycho or whatever out in the woods unarmmed, that's their choice. Respect it and move on.




Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 15, 2019 - 06:05pm PT
How do you concealed carry folks ever get the nerve to rack up and lead. You folks are afraid of your shadow. Kinda sad.
zBrown

Ice climber
May 15, 2019 - 08:27pm PT
Machete Attack on Surfers near Pavones Costa Rica




http://www.rightthisminute.com/video/machete-attack-surfers-sea




https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IvoggEy7XEg
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 16, 2019 - 03:01am PT
Toleman. Those armed people in Alaska are armed for bear. In AK that is pretty legit and not a mentaly unstable decision to bring a 12ga along on a fishing hike. That is a totally different vibe. We have no legit reason here in the east to arm ourselves against critters. If half the people hiking the AT were armed against people that would be a completely Fcked up vibe.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 16, 2019 - 03:33am PT
Bla bla bla. Not scared of guns just keenly aware of how incompetent and fcked in the head most gun owners are. The last time I taught a pistol course I canceled it after the 2nd week. I had Rambo trumpers showing up with tactical hatchets on their belts... The vice president of the gun club flinched so bad that he couldn't hit a full size silhouette target at 7m with a laser sight. Doubly funny because you could see exactly what the laser was doing with every shot. The president of the gun clubs wife didn't know how to drop the hammer to safe on her .40cal sig that she was not strong enough to confidently work the slide and the whole pistol was way too big for her hands. didn't say much for the presidents competence in setting his wife up with a gun too big for her hands and not teaching her how to put it on safe. Out of the 10 people in the course 2 were safe enough to have been able to make it through an IPSC match without being DQed on safety violations. 4 of them had a temperament that was reasonably compatible with being armed... scary sh#t...
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
May 16, 2019 - 06:04am PT
To a large degree I agree with Jim. when you are armed you project a bad vibe that attracts bad vibes.

lol...

I'm going to miss absurd quotes like that when the taco goes 404....

tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 16, 2019 - 04:03pm PT
simple stuff actually. live by the gun die by the gun. Guaranteed if you carry 24-7 you stand a much higher chance of a violent death than if you don't own a firearm.... That being said there are times when they come in handy. INMOP more often they are a hinderance.
overwatch

climber
Arizona
May 16, 2019 - 04:23pm PT
yep, pretty simple alright
formerclimber

Boulder climber
CA
May 23, 2019 - 08:20am PT
Anyone who says people shouldn't be armed on trails is nuts... should be hiking own hike, keep it shut and keep their nonsense views to themselves (and not tell others to turn the other cheek to the criminals or fight them by stone age means).

I remember that one clueless entitled PCT hiker from Germany who kept whining how bad it was that people in the States got guns (she only been in the states to partially hike PCT). She almost got raped in the shelter in WA, was saved by the group of approaching hikers. The pitiful fool still couldn't connect the dots and understand that it's the fact of most residents around PCT areas being armed was what allowed her to even hike PCT (she should try to solo "hike", say, across wild Russia...they wouldn't even find her bones then). She also thought that illegal weed growers "should not" be where they are while she can hike unarmed wherever like if they just disappear from her unarmed presence and become law-abiding....delusional snowflake. People who grew up in privileged environment often got no sense of self preservation, they always think some powerful magic nanny will save their ass and everyone around is well-meaning like their cookie-baking rich housewife neighbors.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 23, 2019 - 09:16am PT
Nice deranged rant from a gun nut;)
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
May 23, 2019 - 01:28pm PT
Gonna miss your insane rants comrade formerclimber. What forum are you migrating to, you are hilarious.
ron gomez

Trad climber
May 23, 2019 - 01:32pm PT
Comical rant!
Peace
Digits

Trad climber
Ca
May 23, 2019 - 02:57pm PT
Wow. Would rather have someone like formerclimber around when Psycho came around. At least he'd have my six. Buddy of mine saved group of training camp counselors, mostly female, from 3 meth heads. One of them was waving a gun around and my friend had pistol concealed under his jacket. To each their own
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
May 23, 2019 - 03:12pm PT
lots of us out there that are both gun handy and savvy enough to know that using your brain is much better than relying on a gun.... just think of it as all clean all free. proper route selection is key. Start by staying away from citysÖ with the exception of Seneca I have pretty much written off the south after the last election cycle. No point in hanging out with people that mean and stupid...
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Topic Author's Reply - May 24, 2019 - 05:44am PT
Buddy of mine saved group of training camp counselors, mostly female, from 3 meth heads. One of them was waving a gun around and my friend had pistol concealed under his jacket.


Buddy's name? Harry, Dirty? How many punks did Harry blow away that day?

Yeah, some Meth head gets the drop; I bet your pal did nothing.
Digits

Trad climber
Ca
May 24, 2019 - 02:36pm PT
My BUDDY didn't blow anyone away. he got the drop on the freak waving the gun and the dude pissed his pants. Freak was disarmed and my BUDDY was interviewed for 2 hours by Sheriff and cleared. Why so hostile? Geez
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
Topic Author's Reply - May 25, 2019 - 08:54am PT
Why so hostile? Geez

Yikes! That's hostile? I was going to make a joke (obviously 'Harry, Dirty' didn't cut it), but I backspaced over it for safety reasons. TTFN.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
May 25, 2019 - 09:26am PT
Really! It figures that it took some sheriffs two hours to figure out he wasnít a meth head.
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