Saturday, January 28, 2006

Fifth Nail Revelations: Discovery and Reaction

It has been one week since the existence of Joseph Duncan's new blog, Blogging the Fifth Nail: Revelations, was leaked to the media by at least one person who had seen and understood the contents of some of the letters he wrote from his jail cell at the Kootenai County Jail in Idaho. It has also been a week of media flurry concerning Duncan's "new" blog, wild speculation concerning the identity of the "ghost blogger," and vitriolic comments directed at this blogger and anyone else "involved" in this situation.

That person, or people, who contacted the media apparently did not know the URL (web address) to Duncan's new blog. Had they known, they would have shared that with their media contacts, and I wouldn't have received e-mails from the media last Saturday asking whether I knew about it (or was blogging for him), and would I care to share the URL? So it's a small hop to narrow down the leak to someone at the KC jail or someone in law enforcement or involved in Duncan's prosecution or defense. The URL was not written in Joseph Duncan's letters; only his written blog entries were visible, and his instructions for putting them on the blog- including checking for spelling errors, and the deletion/replacement of one entry with a new one. Yes, it would have been obvious to anyone with knowledge of the letter contents to figure it out- Duncan was blogging again! But what was not easy to discover was the URL of his new blog.

Steve Huff makes a guess that echoes my suspicions, in his January 24 blog entry,…
In a Way, Joseph Edward Duncan III ‘Returns…’

If I were to hazard a guess — only a guess — I’d say someone on Duncan’s defense team did it, and they did it after reading the letter from the Kootenai County lockup that was intended to be that blog entry, as it is likely Duncan’s correspondence is monitored.
Steve's got a hell of a sniffer on him, as any casual reader of his blog knows. And while he's a friend of mine, and knew about this blog from the beginning- he did not know I had read some correspondence written by Duncan which also lead me to believe this was the case.

Imahologram caught the whiff early on, too. In her January 25 blog entry, The Devil's Revelations; Joseph Duncan's Secret Blog, she cites Steve's blog entry and concurs:
I’d say that the defense determined that the only way to shut Duncan up was to expose the blog. Surely the latest entry dictated by Joseph Duncan is enough to make any defense team shift into damage control and try to prevent their client from saying anything else incriminating – and that last entry is certainly incriminating. One doesn’t need a degree in psychology to realize that the “serial killer" Joseph Duncan refers to in this entry is himself. So again if I had to guess, I would agree with Steve Huff and speculate that the defense team has a leak.

One week ago today it began to unfold. Reporter Melissa Luck from ABC News4 in Spokane was the first to break this story in the mainstream media, reporting responsibly and in detail. She contacted noted handwriting and document examiner Hannah McFarland for her expert opinion on the "blog" entries allegedly written by Joseph Duncan. While shown faxed copies of the scanned letters (.jpg files), Ms. Mcfarland compared them with earlier, known samples of Joseph Duncan's writings and determined, in her preliminary examination, that the letters "likely came from the same person."

Imahologram and Steve Huff both knew about this "ghost blogging for Duncan" situation from the start. As did the FBI, which to me is a given- but some readers prefer to think we "amateurs" shouldn't have been involved at all. And that's where I knew I'd be taking some lumps. For sure, the accusations that I was the "ghost blogger" came banging at me like a screen door in a hurricane- e-mail, blog comments, message board posts, phone calls... in person (Oh, those were fun- DO call again! Heh heh...)

Not a few of the outright accusations were thinly-veiled ploys designed to induce me to offer up the identity of the "ghost blogger," I'm sure. Sorry to disappoint some of you, but when I say that I'm going to protect a source's identity- I mean it. Just as I have a personal interest- my reputation- in corroborating evidence and demanding proof of the things I choose to blog about here at The Cellar.

Those who need someone to blame, besides Joseph Duncan himself, for this new blog of his- need look no further than websites like,,,, and many, many others which traffic in the sale of letters, art, and other "collectibles" from notorious criminals: usually murderers and serial killers ( no longer allows the sale of "murderabilia"). The monetary interest of at least one person who wrote to Joseph Duncan, who was asked to blog for him, spurred this whole endeavor.

Andy Kahan, Director of the Houston, TX Mayor's Crime Victim's office, has been crusading against the profit made from this kind of "murderabilia" since 1999.

Kahan's crusade to end the sale of murderabilia began when he stumbled across a Web site selling the merchandise. Appalled that criminals could profit from their crimes, Kahan began following the auctions and purchasing murderabilia items hoping to catch the attention of state legislators.

"I was shocked. I can't think of anything more nauseating than criminals hawking items of their crimes for pure profit. I am not against making money, but you've got to draw the line somewhere," Kahan said.

High-profile people like Mr. Kahan, and John Walsh, of TV's America's Most Wanted, jumped on this type of auction years ago, succeeding in forcing mega internet auction site to cease hosting this type of auction:
Eventually bowing to public pressure, eBay decided to ban the sale of murderabilia items in May 2001, forcing the industry underground, where it continues to be pursued by the likes of John Walsh.
Enter a like-minded private citizen who had corresponded with Joseph Duncan and read my previous blog entry about one of the bottom-feeders hoping to make a buck off Duncan's letters on auction websites. This private citizen found the possibility of Duncan and someone else making money off the letters and/or blog as distasteful as I did. And so they decided to step up and change that. They offered to "ghost blog" for Duncan. Without any intent on making a buck off it.

Steve Huff's blog entry defends this act in a way I couldn't touch, so for the few readers who have not yet read his take on this, I refer you to his rundown on the situation: how it began, how it unfolded, and why it's not the evil act some people choose to think it is: needs to exist, as does But they don’t exist now for the man in jail writing the words found there. These blogs should be considered as existing for the rest of us. They are a kind of warning. Duncan isn’t enlightening anyone in the way he believes, with his writings of God as “William,” or the “Will I Am,” he is giving an answer to everyone who hears of crimes like he may have committed. Those who ask “why?”

Most of us, that is. The rest of us.

Imahologram's blog entry also aims to elucidate the birth and cultivation of this new Fifth Nail blog to the readers somewhat new to internet postings and blogs:
Duncan had specific requests, one of which was that he wanted a specific type of template, one that he felt would befit the subject matter. He believed that his verbal flatulence was readily available to the entire Internet. However the reality of the situation was a little different, the blog code was tweaked so it would not show up in search engines. It was not listed or advertised any where. The viewing audience was limited to four people - the ghost writer, Capt. Fantastic, Steve Huff and myself.

Law enforcement was notified of the existence of the blog and Duncan’s defense team became aware of the blog on their own, most likely through the security procedures used on inmate mail. The federal defense team knew of the blog, it is believed that the state defense team also knew of the blog.
I thank them both for their clearly-written blog entries concerning Duncan's "new blog," the "ghost writer," and how it all came to pass. If a few 24/7 TV news junkies with miniscule reading and comprehension abilities are still incapable of wrapping their brains around the situation after reading those two blog entires... that's OK. Some people need something to bitch about, however misdirected is their anger. Content in recusing themselves from being part of a solution, they are simply part of the problem.

Which brings me to an important blog entry Steve Huff wrote today, “… Everything Else is Just More Crime…” in which he compares the latest Fifth Nail: Revelations blog entry to entries Joseph Duncan made as far as one year ago on his original Fifth Nail blog:

... any disappearances, deaths, unsolved murders, you name it, that occurred between May, 2004 and May, 2005 in an area where Duncan would have lived or traveled need to be examined very thoroughly with the idea in mind that he could have been the abductor, attacker, the killer.

If Duncan was “looking for control again,” it could have been anyone, and for all we know, not always a sex crime, per se. At least, not outwardly.

I’ve solicited this sort of input before, but it is worth doing again — if you can think of unsolved murders and/or disappearances between the spring of 2004 and spring/summer of 2005, particularly in the west and midwest, that do not currently have a viable suspect connected to the incident, please let me know through the contact form or in the comments made on this blog entry.

Go. Read. Be part of the solution.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Joseph Duncan: Sex Crimes and Serial Killers

Joseph Duncan writes about sex offenders and a friendly "serial killer" in a recent letter dated January 8th, and unwittingly underscores the need for Dylan's Law:

If you take control away from a person who has an obvious need for control (a “sex offender”—just for example) then what do you think they’ll do? Give up? Not likely. They are going to find a way to take control back, at any cost. And guess what? Do you really think they’ll look for a new way to get control, or resort to the one way they know? Hmm, maybe if common sense doesn’t snap us out of our delusion history will. Since America started getting tough on Sex crime in the mid 80’s we now have more than double the sex crimes per capita than the 70’s.

He goes on to detail the alleged crimes of a "friend" of his- a "serial killer," in order to underscore the "uselessness" of the current and newly-proposed laws aimed at protecting our children from these disgusting, violent freaks:
...a very good friend of mine who happens to be a “serial killer” told me that he committed more sex crimes during the two years he was on parole (including killing three children) than he did in the entire five years he was not on parole.

"With friends like that, who needs enemies?" as the saying goes. Damn, I thought his previous blog entry about his "remorse" (rather, lack of!) was about as bad as it was going to get. No, this one is just as bad- if not worse. Joseph Duncan clearly has no remorse for the vile molestations, tortures and murders he has committed throughout his life. Duncan shares an awful lot of similarities with this "serial killer friend" he writes about. Hmm.
In fact—he tells me that while he was not on parole he committed NO crimes until the police started doing illegal quarterly registration checks at his home (coming to his house to make sure he was complying with the law). He said that was when he started looking for control again—to prove (consciously and subconsciously to himself) that “they” couldn’t control him. So now more people are dead and hurting because some police chief decided to take it upon himself to “get tough on sex crime.”

Oh yes, the same diatribe against sex offender "check in's" that he wrote about in his original Fifth Nail blog. This recent letter is so disturbing and revealing: he even goes on to rail against an unnamed "police chief" in this missive- much as he complained about (and taunted via the "Chat with the Chief" forum) Fargo, ND police chief, Chris Magnus, on his blog.

This new, controversial blog entry was briefly posted late this morning (EST), and then quickly pulled. However, I understand this new blog entry will be re-posted to Joseph Duncan's new blog again tonight, after KXLY News4's Melissa Luck breaks this story in the mainstream media on their 5:00 (PST) news.

Updated: 8:08 p.m.- the entry is now on the blog, here.
Edited 1/24 11:45 a.m.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

On the Blog Again

Updated 1/22:

Yes, Joseph Duncan has been blogging all this time. From jail.

His new blog entries can be read here if you choose to read them:

At this time, the person writing the entries for Joseph Duncan wishes to remain anonymous, and has assured me that they are not and will not be selling the letters on any "murderabilia" auction sites.

I'm confident these are really Duncan's writings, as I have seen some evidence that satisfied me. So after double-checking a few things, I can now post the URL.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Justin Harris: Another Joseph Duncan victim?

Why not? We know Joseph Duncan wasn't exactly picky when it came to his prey...

True Crime Blogger Imahologram, who is also a fellow Cellar Dweller and friend, boils it down in her recent blog entry about Joseph Duncan and the Disappearance of Justin Harris.

Ima broached this possibility in the Cellar forum back in August (Topic "Did Duncan snag a victim in WY?") and hasn't given up on it since.

Sometime between the late hours of Saturday, February 14th and the early morning hours of Sunday, February 15th 2004 thirteen year old Justin Phillip Harris disappeared.

At the time of his disappearance Justin was reported to be approximately five feet tall, weigh roughly 100 pounds and have a cognitive ability of a 6 or 7 year old. Justin had been residing at the R. L Mills Home, a state-run facility, located at 116 East “H” Street in Casper, Wyoming since the summer of 2003...

Especially compelling to this case is the odd entry Duncan made in his Fifth Nail blog on February 16, 2004 about having gone skiing that weekend. Alone. For the first time in his life.

We know Joseph Duncan had lied in the past, on what he assumed was a "record," concerning his whereabouts. Was this just another instance of his fabricating an alibi? Many followers of this case who are famliar with Joseph Duncan's blog are aware of his overstated need- compulsion- to minutely detail his whereabouts on certain dates. Usually dates when children have gone missing. This is just one of them.

Imahologram goes on to explain her reasoning behind this suspicion:
When I first posed the theory that Justin Harris had become a victim of Joseph Duncan, I thought that perhaps I was grasping at straws. Mainly because Fargo, North Dakota is about 900 miles or so, give or take from Casper, Wyoming. It’s roughly about a 12 hour drive, again give or take.
So let’s assume that the weekend of the 15th Joseph Duncan decided to take a drive. He had no plans for the weekend other than making a web page. So he decided to get in his car and just head down the road, maybe only for an over night trip. Perhaps he didn’t even have the thought of hunting for a victim in his head at the time. There's a Wi-Fi hotspot in Cheyenne, he could create his web page away from home and upload it to the Internet from there, if he was so inclinded.

If Joseph Duncan ended up headed toward Casper, Wyoming from Fargo guess what Interstate he would have found himself on? Interstate 25 South, right in front of the Mills Home where Justin Harris resided.
Exactly. Add to that, the number of state and national parks in the area- known Joseph Duncan killing/disposal grounds- and we have a serious possibility here.

Justin Harris is considered an "endangered runaway." Justin was last seen Feb 15, 2004.

Please visit Imahologram's blog to read more about Joseph Duncan and the Disappearance of Justin Harris.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Dylan's Law update

News4's Melissa Luck brought Dylan's Law to the forefront in her January 11th coverage of numerous sex offender bills being presented to Washington lawmakers.

The proposed law would have put Dylan's accused killer, Joseph Duncan, behind bars for life in the early 1980's.

The initiative will need 225,000 signatures by July to get on the November ballot.

Be sure to watch the video of this segment here.

Visit CFAOSL's website to view the press release here. Also, read the FAQ for Dylan's Law (One Strike Law) here.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Steve Huff's new website

Steve, webmaster and Crime Blogger Extraodinaire of The Dark Side, now has a new web address:

The link on my sidebar was automatically updated, but I wanted those of you who don't use those links to know the deal. Congrats on your new home, Steve- lookin good!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Dylan's Law

Citizens For A One Strike Law's (CFAOSL) Tracy Oetting has now filed the initiative for Dylan's Law! "Dylan's Law is a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole for violent and predatory sexual crimes such as kidnapping, to the vicious rapes and molestations of our young and defenseless children."

Initiative Measure #861
(I-861) is viewable as a pdf file from the Washington Secretary of State website, here. The draft summary is on Tracy's website, here.

Please visit the CFAOSL website for more information:

On January 1, CFAOSL's Mike Schuler began placing his handmade 4' x 8' signs around Spokane, WA and wrote about it in the Cellar forum to much praise and support:

They are at one of the busiest intersections in town, right across the street from Spokane Community College.

I hope they draw some attention.

A lot of people who live in Idaho and work in Spokane travel this way, as it's the quickest route to Rathdrum and Hayden Idaho.

Mike goes on to explain why support is needed from citizens outside WA as well:
It's not just Washington State. The whole country needs Dylan's Law. If Washington State is the first to enact it, it will force all of the other states to follow suit, and get off their empty smoke screens that aren't really solutions at all.

As it was with Megan's Law, the Jessica Lunsford Act, and many others.

Too many others. How many more laws and acts concerning sexual violence against children will it take for our legislators to acknowlege their "best" hasn't been good enough? Requiring these predators to register as a Level II or III Sex Offender and making that information available to the public is NOT good enough! A "mandatory 25-years to life with parole [so, they get out in maybe 15 years with perhaps some "counseling?"] and then GPS monitoring," even for the remainder of their lives, is NOT good enough!

It didn't stop Joseph Duncan. GPS monitoring? Ha! He'd probably be laughing his ass off as he removed that device and went on his way across the northwest, molesting and murdering people, unrecognized, until *he* decided it was high time to show his face in Coeur d'Alene. Nope, none of that would have prevented Joseph Duncan from doing what he did. And I certainly don't think it would have stopped Jesse Timmendequas or John Couey, either. So, of course I feel that Megan's Law and the Jessica Lunsford Act- while they have helped- have not enough teeth to really make a difference.

Joseph Duncan served 14 years of a 20-year sentence for his rape and assault of a 14-year old boy before he was first released on parole. He did not complete counseling. In fact, he even escaped during an overnight family visitation with his mother to masturbate while window-peeping in the neighborhood outside the facility- oh, and he brought an extension cord with him!- while in a counseling program.

Just a year and a half after paroled to "IT House" in Seattle, Washington, Joseph Duncan allegedly murdered Sammiejo White and Carmen Cubias while on supervised parole. He admitted involvement with their murders before he was muted. Then on April 4, 1997- about two and a half years after Duncan's parole- Anthony Martinez was kidnapped from Beaumont, CA. Joseph Duncan's own confession to the FBI- and his fingerprint- tie him to this crime. (Then, of course, there are numerous other child molestations and murders during that time frame which Joseph Duncan could have committed, the kidnapping, molestation and murder of Deborah Palmer on March 26, 1997, just 8 days before Anthony Martinez, being one of them.)

There we have at least three child molestations-murders, as admitted by Joseph Duncan, during the time he was on supervised parole. When he absconded after his failed polygraph exam (and kidnapped and murdered Anthony Martinez during this flee from the law), he was not caught until August 27, 1997, at a relative's home in Kansas City, MO-a known location he might have been visiting, nonetheless. Oh, big surprise. This, a full five months after he absconded, and at least one molestation/murder later- that of Anthony Martinez- unknown at the time (only admitted 8 years later while in the hot seat for the Groene kidnappings/murders/molestations).

So, in late August, 1997, Joseph Duncan was sent back to prison for another three years, to "finish" his original sentence. That's right, "finish," even though three more years would still only bring his total time served to 17 years out of the TWENTY he was sentenced to serve! No extra time was tacked on to his sentence for his 5-month Excellent Adventure (again, even though no one knew he had molested and killed at least one child during this time!).

Readers... one child molestation/murder is one too many! I think we all agree on that, yes? If you have any doubt, just ask Anthony Martinez' family. It is time for We, the People, to make our voices heard.

Joseph Duncan is not an anomaly. He is the NORM for sexual predators. How many crimes did he commit that he was never even suspected of? A dozen? A hundred? I'll give you a hint: it's certainly more than 5.

After Joseph Duncan served these additional three measly years, he was released. He moved to Fargo, ND. He took to trolling the roads and parks around the area- and around places he visited while camping, skydiving, scuba diving, etc... - for victims. Joseph Duncan managed to "handle" the visits from law enforcement. After all- he wasn't being a bad boy just at that moment... only after these visits, apparently. When he got excited, exhilarated, cautious about being caught. To hear his local friends, teachers, neighbors, and area businessmen tell it: Joseph Duncan was a reformed Sex Offender who was making amends for his crimes. He was a responsible adult who was gaining a degree in college, gainfully employed, yadda-yadda... puke.

Come on! That bullshit has become a euphamism for "cat's still acting squirrelly, but we can't exactly blame him for anything." No, one couldn't blame someone like this for anything, save that hinky feeling they radiate. It's not IF they will re-offend, it's WHEN.

This is why Tracy and Mike need our support; our children need this protection! We can all help, whether we live in Washington, Ohio, Canada or even Australia. I'll boil it down here for the casual reader- but please, visit the CFAOSL website for more information, and bookmark it.

Washington residents, especially Spokane locals:
  • CFAOSL needs Volunteers to be Area Coordinators to help with
  • Area Volunteers who will gather signatures and pass out flyers, and
  • Volunteers to host fundraisers
  • Monetary contributions are needed!
  • Print and distribute the fundraising letter, here.
  • Write to your WA state legislator, asking them to please support I-861/Dylan's Law. Find yours here.
Please sign up at the CFAOSL website Volunteer page, here.

Non-WA residents:
  • Your monetary support is needed, please donate.
  • Contact media (e-mail forms from their websites are quick & easy!) and ask them to support and publicize I-861/Dylan's Law.
  • Spread the word about Dylan's Law and the website! Add it to your e-mail signature line.
When contributing your monetary support by mail, please make checks payable to "Citizens For A One Strike Law" and mail them to:
P.O. Box 192
Skykomish WA, 98288

There are more ways we can all help at the CFAOSL website.