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, 5nrevelations.blogspot.com…
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 supernaught.com, murderauction.com, newcriminologist.co.uk, skcentral.com, lowbrowartworld.com and many, many others which traffic in the sale of letters, art, and other "collectibles" from notorious criminals: usually murderers and serial killers (eBay.com 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.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 Ebay.com to cease hosting this type of auction:
"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.
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:
5nrevelations.blogspot.com needs to exist, as does fifthnail.blogspot.com. 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.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.
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.
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.