February 12, 2013

"Dorner Enflamed?"

TV right now has shots of a fire in or near a cabin where the cops think Christopher Dorner is holed up.

Reminds me of the March 1974 cop shootout at a house where the Symbionese Liberation Army (who were wanted for kidnapping heiress Patti Hearst) had holed up on a quiet street in L.A.. More than 9,000 shots were exchanged. Eventually, the cops' exploding tear gas canisters burned the whole house down. Pretty spectacular after-school viewing 39 years ago. (Here's a video.)

It was carried live nationwide, which was unusual in those days, which somewhat fits in with my theory from my pre-Dorner article on killers, "Monsters of Egotism," about why some crimes become canonical memories among Baby Boomers and others don't. Before video technology, there were occasional spectacular shootouts and the like, but a lot weren't captured on film. After the media excesses of the Lindbergh's Baby case, a gentleman's agreement among newspaper barons toned down the tabloid coverage, until the coming of advances in TV news technology.

40 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

And a long time before that, there was John Wilkes Booth in the barn.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Dorner kills again. Two sheriff's deputies in Angelus Oaks were shot, one fatally.

The USAF should scramble an F16 and put a 500 lb bomb down the chimney of the cabin where this kook is holed up. If this dope wanted to kill for Obama and not get terminated with extreme prejudice he should have become a drone pilot.

Tom in VA said...

What we need now is the Philadelphia Air Force, er, Police Department.

anony-mouse said...

Suicide by cop? He did say he didn't expect to live.

Anonymous said...

"Suicide by cop? He did say he didn't expect to live."

Yeah, but getting burned alive must have been a rude shock for him. Definitely not a good death. Unfortunately, he probably shot himself in the head before there was any serious flesh melting.

Anonymous said...

I knew the cops were going to find some way to let the cabin "accidentally" ignite. They couldn't afford to let this standoff go on past sundown.

Anonymous said...

Are the cops allowed to set fire to a house if they believe a suspect may be inside?

Sham Wow said...

"I knew the cops were going to find some way to let the cabin "accidentally" ignite. They couldn't afford to let this standoff go on past sundown."

Exactly. They threw in an incendiary grenade into the cabin.

Of course, the official story will be that tear gas canisters set the cabin on fire. Just like with Waco, SLA, etc.

Anonymous said...

KFI decided to pre-empt the SOTU for this; helpfully they explained, "You can hear it at our Clear Channel sister station on 1150 AM" [i.e. the low-rated 'progressive talk' station]

Anonymous said...

Incendiaries, the police equivalent of an air strike.

Anonymous said...

You see in the SLA video that the LAPD had access to M-16/AR-15s and other semi-military hardware in 1974. Presumably they were among the first municipal departments to obtain it.

agnostic said...

No, that's the Symbionese Liberation Army. This is the Ecumenical Liberation Army.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping the networks face a barrage of angry callers telling them to get Barry outta the way so they can have coverage of Dornan and the fire.

Reminds me of Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451." When the government chased down the readers and the book hoarders, they did it at night and staged captures of the offenders, complete with the burning of their books and their houses because "fire was so pretty" and the tv audience was enraptured.

So, why would I prefer the Dornan coverage to the SOTU and its deliverer? Well, fire is pretty as long as any good guys aren't trapped in it...and Barry is so empty.

Anonymous said...

"kidnapping heiress"

So that's how the Hearsts amassed their fortune!

Anonymous said...

Not so smart afterall... He led them right to himself. smh. Wasn't the burning truck supposed to be a diversion, a cold trail? This is all we get after years of planning and a manifesto? I feel cheated for having followed this story. I knew when he published his manifesto he was more of an attention whore than a ninja avenger.

Cail Corishev said...

Are the cops allowed to set fire to a house if they believe a suspect may be inside?

Only if they really, really want to.

Prof. Woland said...

39 years ago the three national television stations and their affiliates would air something once then it would be archived where it would forever remain. There was no internet, no YouTube, and not even VCRs. If you can show an image enough times it will changes people's perceptions. Done enough times, they can even make people think cigarettes are safe and cool.

jody said...

But Steve what if Dorner was right all right? What if he had been railroaded by Teresa Evans, a white female cop?

Anonymous said...

As I recall Jim Dougherty was both a pioneer in the SWAT team concept and one of the officers that perp walked Patty Hearst out.

Dougherty was semi-famous for having married a sixteen year old to keep her out of the orphanage, who went on to become the most famous movie star in history. She later married and divorced Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. Not to mention a dalliance with JFK.

Auntie Analogue said...


In 1963 it was unusual that all three networks aired live coverage of the transfer of Lee Oswald from Dallas Police headquarters, so that everyone in the nation got to see Jack Ruby fire his revolver into Oswald's gut. This was eleven years before the police siege of the Symbionese Liberation Army hideout.

Since then police have pretty much perfected two things: one, keeping Media-Pravda at arm's length to keep suspects secure or to limit access to information; and, two, affording Media-Pravda controlled access for the staged perp walk.

Anonymous said...

But Steve what if Dorner was right all right? What if he had been railroaded by Teresa Evans, a white female cop?

Well, I guess we'll never know now, which is probably why the LAPD was determined not to take him alive. Their itchy trigger fingers over the past few days suggests that everyone on the Force knew the score.

As soon as they cleared out the media helicopters, I knew they were about to go Ruby Ridge up there.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Are the cops allowed to set fire to a house if they believe a suspect may be inside?"

Probably not. However they're also not supposed to shoot up a truck and it's occupants because it kinda looks like a truck they're looking for, but they did that. Twice.

Anonymous said...

But Steve what if Dorner was right all right? What if he had been railroaded by Teresa Evans, a white female cop?

Probably not the right answer... But in certain professions, namely law enforcement and military, where there is overwhelming public and political scrutiny, where many rules were put in place by politicians to appease the media or the public, it is impossible to follow all of the rules and still get the job done. It almost seems to be designed that way as a way to hold something over everyone's head. The byproduct being it creates an insular culture of loyalty even when the infractions become severe.

ben tillman said...

Are the cops allowed to set fire to a house if they believe a suspect may be inside?

Yes, the cops are allowed to set fire to a home even if it is full of women and children and there never was a suspect (i.e., they weren't serving an arrest warrant) in the first place. That's what they did to the Branch Davidians.

Basically, cops are allowed to do anything they want because the people who decide what is "allowed" are part of the same criminal organization.

Anonymous said...

"What if he had been railroaded by Teresa Evans, a white female cop?"

From what I read Teresa Evans is black, which makes sense because her first name is a misspelling of Theresa.

Rasputin said...

Is there any reason, besides cost, the police couldn't just have waited him out?

If nothing else, he will have to sleep at some point.

Anonymous said...

The cops were determined not to take him alive because that's what's done with cop killers.

Dutch Boy said...

I don't think the cops used tear gas with Dorner - they just set the place on fire.

Anonymous said...

"What if he had been railroaded by Teresa Evans"?

Are you joking with this? You are stating that you don't believe a murderer had the capacity to lie.

Marc B said...

I'd prefer they hadn't pulled an Operation M.O.V.E/Waco on this piece of garbage. It will only make him more of a martyr to his legion of deluded admirers while giving credence to law enforcement using this tactic to resolve other armed standoffs.

They guy was pinned down and injured. He wasn't going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Teresa" and "Theresa" are both correct as common spellings. Teresa Brewer wasn't black.

Svigor said...

Is there any reason, besides cost, the police couldn't just have waited him out?

If nothing else, he will have to sleep at some point.


I think it's just as reasonable to ask if there was any reason, besides Monday-morning quarterbacking, that the police couldn't just go in and force the issue?

The guy was a lunatic who'd killed 4 people in 3 separate shootings. He made it perfectly clear that he was on a rampage and didn't intend to be taken alive.

If he wanted to surrender peacefully, he had ample time over the last week. He could have worked something out with the media and arranged to have a camera present, rolling, and pointed at him as he laid on the ground, face down with his fingers interlaced behind his head, when the police rolled up.

He made it clear that bullets were all he had for the cops. They burned him out. An extended standoff would have played into his media-whoring desires, and would only have delayed the inevitable choice between "go in and risk being shot at" and "burn him out."

The guy killed two cops and put two more into the hospital, after going on the run for murder. Burned out is what guys like this get. Better than paying to house and feed and care for this 270 lb. child on the taxpayer tit for the rest of his natural life.

Svigor said...

"Pulled a Waco" is very flattering to Dorner, IMO. Sure, they burned the place down with tear gas. That's the end of the similarities. The Branch Davidians were on their own property, minding their own business, when the gov't decided they wanted someone to fuck with.

Dorner went on a killing/shooting/kidnapping spree.

Svigor said...

However they're also not supposed to shoot up a truck and it's occupants because it kinda looks like a truck they're looking for, but they did that. Twice.

I find this much more worthy of discussion than the other aspects of this story. Once, could be extenuating circumstances. Twice, and we see pretty clearly that LAPD are a bunch of trigger-happy thugs and douchebags. Thugs with badges.

Svigor said...

Basically, cops are allowed to do anything they want because the people who decide what is "allowed" are part of the same criminal organization.

I think it's past time we took all the fun out of policing. Their idea of "fun" seems too much like everyone else's idea of mayhem. Time for round-the-clock surveillance on cops (always-on cameras and recorders), federal laws protecting the public's right to record police when they're on duty, etc.

Also, Obama should be trying to disarm the police. They're clearly a menace to society. If disarming the police saves just one life, it will be worth it.

Cail Corishev said...

He made it clear that bullets were all he had for the cops. They burned him out.

Wouldn't "burned him in" be more accurate? I mean, does anyone still believe the police are trying to get the people to surrender in these "Oops, the tear gas caught on fire again" cases?

Looks to me like they were trying to kill him, with the least risk to themselves. That may be perfectly justified; I don't know. But if it is, they ought to just say that, instead of pretending it's something it's not.

Svigor said...

"He made it clear that bullets were all he had for the cops. They burned him out.

Wouldn't "burned him in" be more accurate? I mean, does anyone still believe the police are trying to get the people to surrender in these "Oops, the tear gas caught on fire again" cases?"


Burned him down, then. No, at this point I don't think anyone can plausibly deny that the po-po wanted to burn Dorner down, and that burning people down is something they do when they're really pissed off or scared.

Looks to me like they were trying to kill him, with the least risk to themselves. That may be perfectly justified; I don't know. But if it is, they ought to just say that, instead of pretending it's something it's not.

Well, there's a lot of latitude available here for legal purposes, and they have to keep legal purposes in mind. But yeah, that's pretty much it; they were looking to drop him with the least risk to themselves. Yeah, I personally think it's totally justified. They had a positive ID, they were certain it was him, and once you've got that, it's time to put the guy down with the least risk to cops and civilians. They gave him a couple of hours in the cabin, remember. After a couple of shootouts with him, eff it, toss in the burners. I'm okay with that.

I'm actually really kinda shocked at the response to this thing, online. Daily Caller is a right-ish site, right? You'd think it was DU the way they're carrying on in there. Sure, some of 'em are just cop-hating leftoids and NAMs, but a lot of them sound like libertardians. They keep mentioning Waco and making libertarian arguments.

When did it become cops' job to put their lives at extra risk to bring in a maniac who's already killed 2 civilians and 2 cops in 3 separate shootings, put two cops into the hospital with GSWs, kidnapped at least 2 people, maybe 4 or more (still haven't figured out what happened to the married couple he supposedly tied up, nobody's mentioning them any more), committed multiple robberies and carjackings, etc.

The guy was a mad dog. You wanna go in there and play Marshal Dillon with him? Sit there and wait until he decides to come out shooting, and by your inaction expose officers to increased risk?

Now, the three innocent people LAPD lit up in trucks of make, model, and color not matching Dorner's, there's some cause for outrage at LAPD.

Svigor said...

We're going to see if the creator of Justified (Graham Yost, IIRC?) actually has some conservative cojones. The Dorner Rampage is right up his alley, and if he's got stones he's going to write it into an episode or three.

Mr. Anon said...

Just a couple of days prior to the LAPD administering the old medieval trial-by-fire to Dorner, he had home-invaded another cabin and held two cleaning women hostage for a couple of days. Did the LAPD and the San Berdoo Sherriffs know for a fact that Dorner didn't have a hostage or two with him on the premises before they decided to "burn the motherf**ker down"? Did they care? Or was that just an acceptable risk - like giving the Bonnie-and-Clyde treatment to those two wome delivering newspapers (and that other guy too)?

What is interesting in all this is how it has made manifest something that was just below the surface of our public discourse: Large numbers of people now take it for granted that some police departments - LA's certainly - make no pretense about being neutral and dispassionate enforcers of the law when they feel threatened and/or just want somebody dead. And those police forces don't seem to care that that is how they are perceived. A line has been crossed here.

Anonymous said...

Police departments are simply factions within a highly fragmented state apparatus. Different factions are at war with other factions and alliances are formed among them. They look after their turf and foster a clannish mentality. The US is a lot like the Third Reich in that respect.