Shooting At Holocaust Museum; Alleged Perp James Von Brunn Had Criminal Record
5:28 p.m. Update: Von Brunn appears to be the classic drifter with stops in New York City, Maryland, Florida, California, New Hampshire and back to Maryland. NY Daily News interviews his ex-wife: "'He used to make the statement that he was going out with his boots on,' she said."
"Because of the arson attack in California, we were afraid for the baby's safety — and our own. We bought a house near Hanover, NH. I acquired a real estate broker's shingle. I listed several commercial properties including a Holiday Inn, and some prime acreage. Again, money was tight. Brokers were folding their tents. I supplemented my income by free-lancing layouts for local advertisers and an ad agency there. I sold two oils at a Dartmouth exhibit; another was stolen. In the evening I used Dartmouth library to research the Federal Reserve System. I met a conservative professor of Economics and knew I was on to something after learning the FED was a private corporation. Unable to earn a living, I was now on the run.
My wife, despairing of my unprofitable obsession, wanted to return to Maryland, which we had fled 10 years earlier. In Maryland I placed my R-E brokers license with Coldwell Banker, in Annapolis. Brokers in Maryland also were falling like autumn leaves. I set a record for listings, but interest rates discouraged buyers. Banks were foreclosing, repossessing valuable properties for a song. I attended a real-estate brokers' meeting in D.C. Paul Volcker, FED Chairman, was keynote speaker. One of his memorable remarks to the large nervous audience was: "You guys are going to hate me because tomorrow I'm going to bankrupt you." Sure enough, there followed a repeat of the Florida fiasco. Prime-rate was raised and America was plunged into an even deeper depression. 'Kill the Best Gentiles !'"
4:30 p.m. Update: City Desk just obtained the police report filed in Superior Court from Von Brunn's kidnapping case. It reads:
"On 12-7-81, [unreadable] at approximately 1155 hours the defendant entered the Federal Reserve Board located at 20th and C St. NW, went to the second floor of that location and was confronted by W-1 [witness one], who is employed at that location as a security guard. The defendant then placed a .38 Smith and Wesson, five shot revolver in W-1's stomach. W-1 [called] other security personnel for assistance and the defendant was eventually disarmed."
The police account goes on to state:
"Also confiscated from the defendant were a Remington 12 gauge shotgun, which he had concealed under his coat, a hunting knife, and a camera case which the defendant advised contained a bomb. Only books were found in the camera case.
Members of the Metropolitan Police Department were summoned and the defendant was subsequently arrested.
After being advised of the miranda warning the defendant gave a written statement (See PD 118) advising that his actions were politically motivated and that he intended to take the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and its members hostage in order to allow to voice his opinions over the media."
The police document notes that Von Brunn refused his one phone call.
4:22 p.m. Update: Superior Court: Von Brunn in his kidnapping case dumped his first defense attorney and tried to fight case pro se. He eventually got another defense attorney in the summer of '82.
4:02 p.m. Update Von Brunn writes about getting a DWI on the Eastern Shore:
"At the police station they said I was arrested for DWI. I said that I wanted my attorney contacted. They said first you're going to be booked. I had never been arrested before. I didn't like the idea of giving them my fingerprints and being photographed. They insisted. It was hot. I was getting drunker. There were five cops and the Sheriff. They insisted. I refused. They grappled me up from the chair and slammed me face to the wall. When they pulled me around there was the Sheriff with his Polaroid. I hit the camera out of his hands. The cops were all over me with mace and clubs. They kicked me down the stairs, then locked me up....
"I lost my drivers license. Lost my presidency at the Academy. My family was mortified. I was humiliated and ashamed. I raked the leaves in the prison yard, worked on Judge Mace's homestead. He regularly used State labor, and State materials to fill and maintain his driveway, paint his house, tend his garden and foliage. I developed a staph infection in my neck. The prison doctor recommended that I be released immediately. I served about 4 months."
After he got out, Von Brunn writes that he got a call from an old cellmate with an idea:
"I received a telephone call from Frankie Lew. He had occupied a cell next to mine in Cambridge. Frankie was a water man. His grip powerful as a steel trap, his hands gnarled, calloused, the fingers permanently bent from handling oyster tongs most of his life. He was about 35, his face scarred from barroom brawls where chains and pool cues were favorite weapons. He hated "nigras." He told me he'd go to Ocean City and wait for a mixed couple to appear on the Boardwalk. He'd scoot up ahead of them, then u-turn. When he approached the nigra he'd jam a knife into the guys gut. The Negro wouldn't feel it, kept walking till he collapsed. Frankie said he wanted to come up and see me."
It's unclear whether the two ever went through with the Ocean City plot.
Eventually there is this bit of racism from his long bio:
"Over my years of adversity, it became clear to me that a JEW strategy had emerged: "Kill the Best Gentiles !" The tactics were WAR & DEBT. My father's generation struggled through the Great War "to end all wars" and the Great Depression. One of my uncles was forced to take in washing and iron laundry. A dear family friend stole from the market to keep his young family fed. One of my father's boyhood pals shot himself, another attached a hose to the tailpipe of his auto and gassed himself. My Brit father-in-law, a Sandhurst grad, Oxford student and RFC officer, stole food from the A&P so his family could survive. I had earned decent wages in NYC but I was never financially secure. I was chased from one job to another for not genuflecting before God's Chosen. When a Jew CEO deliberately farts in a business meeting, to express his contempt, I seem to react unfavorably."
3:58 p.m. Update Von Brunn writes of his failed kidnapping attempt:
"Over the years Revisionists have asked me to write about my effort in 1981 to place the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (FED), under legal, non-violent citizens-arrest. The subject resides in my memory like old road-kill. What could have been a slam-bang victory turned into ignoble failure. Recalling all of this presents an onerous task. I am getting near the end of the diving board."
3:54 p.m. Update Salon has Von Brunn in his own words describing motivations behind '81 kidnapping attempt.
3:36 p.m. Update Nexis records show Von Brunn lives in an apartment in Annapolis, Maryland. At least he did in 2007. Before 2007, he lived in Easton, Maryland. DOB: 1920. His possible e-mails (via We Love DC).
3:29 p.m. Update According to a subsequent Post piece in '83, a D.C. Superior Court judge sentenced Von Brunn to a minimum term of "more than four years" for attempting kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board in 1981. The Post goes on to state that Von Brunn told authorities he wanted to hold board members accountable for country's economic woes.
3:18 p.m. Update: Eerie. This is the Post account of Von Brunn's trial in '83:
"A D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday convicted a New Hampshire man of attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve Board, stemming from a 1981 incident in which the man was arrested at the board's headquarters carrying several weapons.
According to police, James Von Brunn, 61, of Lebanon, N.H., told them after his arrest that he wanted to take board members hostage....
Von Brunn entered the board's headquarters at 21st Street and Constitution Avenue NW with a bag slung over his shoulder. He was captured by a guard after running to the second floor, where the board was meeting. He was detained outside the board room and was carrying a revolver, a hunting knife and a sawed-off shotgun, police said.
The jury yesterday convicted Von Brunn of attempted kidnaping while armed, second-degree burglary, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a pistol without a license and two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon."
2:55 p.m. Update: James W. Von Brunn's records in D.C. Superior Court show he was found guilty by a jury on March 2, 1983 after being charged with Assault w/ Deadly Weapon (gun) and Armed Burglary. It appears that there were 15 counts charged by prosecutors. The case opened in June 9, 1982. It is unclear what sentence he received but he was sentenced to a period of confinement. Check below for his own crazy-ass take on his Superior Court experience.
2: 41 p.m. Update MSNBC confirms name of alleged shooter: James W. Von Brunn.
2:10 p.m. Update: Shooter is allegedly a white male born in 1920. Sources: here. Alleged man's alleged's name: James W. Von Brunn. We Love DC comes up with some anti-Semitic stuff on a website by Von Brunn.
Website is full of hate; Holocaust written in quotes.
2:04 p.m. Update: Washington Post updates its piece on the Holocaust Museum shooting with witness interviews:
One witness, Dave Unruh, of Wichita, Kan., said he was waiting to enter the museum when he heard one gunshot, then a sequence of four or five gunshots. He said he then heard someone scream, "Hit the floor!." He and his wife, Karen, and their two teenage grandchildren hit the floor and were subsequently herded out of the building by authorities.
1:57 p.m. Update: CNN is reporting that a private security guard and another person were shot in the early afternoon at the Holocaust Museum. Both were taken to G.W. Hospital and are in serious condition:
Dave Pearson, a 6th grade teacher in the Washington, D.C., area, said he was on the museum's fourth floor when he heard a loud noise.
"At the time, we're visiting and all of a sudden there's like a boom, and all of a sudden they told us to stop where we're at," he told CNN's Ed Henry.
On the alleged shooter's alleged name's website, there's a bio. So far I haven't seen this guy confirmed as the alleged shooter. But here it is apparently written by the man himself. I'm only taking part of it:
"In 1981 Von Brunn attempted to place the treasonous Federal Reserve Board of Governors under legal, non-violent, citizens arrest. He was tried in a Washington, D.C. Superior Court; convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal. He served 6.5 years in federal prison."
WJLA is reporting that a gunman walked into the Holocaust Museum and started shooting. There are reports that two people were wounded.
"At least two people are wounded after a shootout at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Southwest Washington Wednesday afternoon, D.C. police assistant Chief Diane Groomes told ABC 7 News. Groomes said one person was shot inside the building and one person was shot outside. A third person may have been wounded.
D.C. police spokeswoman Traci Hughes says a person walked into the museum with a rifle and shot a guard. Hughes says the shooter was also shot."
WTOP is reporting that the suspect was fired upon and shot by two security guards inside the museum. A third person was injured by flying glass. Both suspect and guard were taken to G.W. Hospital.
AP is reporting that there was a possible third shooting victim.
The Washington Post reports that police were notified at 12:52 p.m. about the shooting:
"U.S. Park Police said a gunman opened fire on the security guard and that other security guards returned fire. The gunman was reported wounded.
The shooting was reported to police at 12:52 p.m., and officers rushed to the scene just south of Independence Ave. bordering the Mall.
D.C. Fire Department spokesman Alan Etter said there was no immediate information on the shooter. Nor was it immediately clear serious the injuries were..."