Another Bridgewater, Another Day of Violence

By: Twilight Language

The copycat effect is real. This event was scripted in the blood of others who died at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Charleston. Be forewarned, the pattern is one known to the killers, so you should know it too. One week from this incident, more powerfully at the two-week mark, and then one month from today – four weeks and/or on the 26th – my friends in the media, especially doing live on air feeds, please be on guard. Be aware, be safe.

Violence has hit a another Bridgewater.

A gunman was on the loose early in the drama, after killing two broadcast journalists in a shooting that was captured on live television in Moneta, Virginia. It happened at the tourist attraction called Bridgewater Plaza, early Wednesday morning, August 26, 2015.

WDBJ camearman Adam Ward (far right, above) was filming reporter Alison Parker (middle) interviewing Vicki Gardner (below), the local chamber of commerce director, for a light-hearted segment at the water park at 6:45am when fifteen shots rang out.

Screams were then heard as the women duck and the camera falls to the floor. A person dressed all in black is then seen standing nearby with what appears to be a gun raised in one hand pointed at Ward.

Later, we were to discover the suspect’s name, Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, who went by the media name Bryce Williams. He worked at the same station, WDBJ, and allegedly was fired two years earlier.

Guess what name game Vester is linked to?

Trees. (See “Trees Again.”)

Vester is from a Roman name meaning “of the forest,” from Latin silva, “wood, forest.”

The general manager at the CBS station later came on the air to confirm Parker and Ward’s deaths. Parker was 24 and Ward was 27.

ABC News said it received a 23-page fax from someone named Bryce Williams after the shooting. ABC shared the fax with police, and posted some of its contents Wednesday afternoon. The fax came about two hours after the shooting. Williams/Flanagan also called ABC twice in the hours after the shooting.

In the fax, Flanagan wrote, “Why did I do it? I put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15. The Church shooting in Charleston happened on 6/17/15 … What sent me over the top was the church shooting. And my hollow point bullets have the victims’ initials on them.”

He also referenced Virginia Tech shooter Seuing Hui Choi, calling him “his boy,” and expressed admiration for the Columbine High School shooters.

Vester Flanagan owned cats. One of the messages he included in his “manifesto,” “suicide note,” or whatever the media wishes to call it, is that he killed his cats in the forest.

Flanagan tweeted an old article about his discrimination suit days before the shooting. According to federal court records, he sued WTWC-TV, a Tallahassee, Florida station, in 2000 for “discrimination and retaliation.” The case was dismissed.

I was called and interviewed by USA Today, late in the day, regarding the copycat effect.

“Disturbed’ Va. gunman angered by Charleston shootings

The increase in attacks on journalists plays into killers’ desire to get attention, said Loren Coleman, the author of The Copycat Effect. He said the rise in violence against journalists only increases the media’s interest in those attacks.

“One of the best ways to increase the dissemination of their message is by attacking the media,” Coleman said. “He knew exactly how his message, his manifesto, his grievances would get out there through the media.”

Follow @tylerpager on Twitter.

The live video has been widely disseminated (see here).
As many of my readers know, I coined the phrase “Bridgewater Triangle” in the 1970s, to describe a special area of bizarre Forteana, cryptids, and strange crime in Massachusetts. I first published about the Triangle in April 1980, in Boston Magazine, and in book form, in Mysterious America in 1983. A recent documentary, The Bridgewater Triangle, was made and now available, here, by professional filmmakers, directors Aaron Cadieux and Manny Famolare. A heavily-edited version, with 50% content, will be broadcast on September 5, 2015, on the cable network, Destination America with the new name, “America’s Bermuda Triangle.”

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