Monday, November 3, 2014

Inside a sick mind

Eric Frein
Residents of our neighboring state of Pennsylvania were able to return to normal living last Thursday, as their police arrested Eric Frein following a long manhunt in the woodsy northeastern part of the state. He was booked at the same barracks where he allegedly ambushed state troopers last month. For reasons buried deep in the foul rag and bone shop of his heart, Frein, an avid hunter, military recreationist and cop hater, shot one state trooper and wounded another outside their barracks on September 12, leading to a seven-week manhunt.

Tiffany Frein

During the search, his sister, Tiffany, was interviewed by Reuters near the family's home in Canadensis, PA.  She said the week before the arrest that she thought her brother had fled the area, and she urged him to give up. If she could have talked to her brother, Tiffany Frein told a reporter, she'd have told him "to do us all a favor and turn yourself in. This is too much," the sister said. "This is just too stressful."

None of us know what went on inside this man's mind, or how he was raised to be so hateful as to carry out a blood vendetta against police who, from all indications, had no contact with him. People said he had a bizarre interest in playing soldier. Frein is part of a collection of groups called "Red Alliance."  They practice MilSim -- recreating battles or wars with real uniforms and weapons for recreational purposes, with a particular interest in Eastern European armies. Frein helped found the MilSim group Eastern Wolves, according to ABC News.

Shortly after authorities found him Thursday, they shackled him with handcuffs belonging to Cpl. Bryon Dickson, the state trooper he allegedly fatally shot on September 12.

The fugitive was then driven away in the slain officer's police car.

"We just thought it was fitting," State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.

For the dead officer's family, the wounded officer and his family, the rest of the PA State Police and the dozens of personnel from other agencies who helped in the search, the Frein family, the terrified locals who dreaded leaving their houses while the madman roamed the wooded countryside - all of this had devastating consequences.

And all because he wanted to play Army.

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