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  1. #281

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinnah View Post
    The reporting is that this man had been in and out of the system long before he started threatening people on AT this year. That he was out in the general population without close monitoring and supervision is a result of our country having among the worst health care systems in the industrialized world in terms of health outcomes. As a country, our answer to profound mental illness is to push the mentally ill into homelessness. Some of them are violent and many more are violently assaulted themselves. Sad stories like this one would be greatly diminished if we as a country provided adequate health care and mental health care and imo, that is a real tragedy.
    I agree that our health system is inadequate, especially when it comes the mentally ill. Another thing that must be considered is the cooperation of the mentally ill. Mr Jordan, being an adult, cannot be forced to seek treatment or take medicine unless he is legally declared incompetent. Unknown (for me) is how involved his family was in his treatment. From what I have seen he just took off from MA due to legal issues. No healthcare system in the world can help adults who do not cooperate.

  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthN View Post
    Apparently he is not planning to use the insanity defense. https://www.wjhl.com/local/court-doc...ty-/2003516468



    he might not even get that far------as in stand trial..

    the judge has ordered an evaluation of his mental health to determine whether or not he can be prosecuted....

  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    Why distinguish between thru-hikers, and other hikers, for something like this? I read somewhere that this will be the 12th on the trail since 1974.
    If I were a police officer, I would pay attention to the special risks and outcomes they face.

    But I am not.

    I am a thru hiker (or former thru hiker) and feel a special kinship to that group.

    It is also a group that is well defined.

    An ATC spokesperson has already reminded the public that 3 million people visit the Trail each year. In that context, a murder here or there seems almost to be expected, right?

    But if you think of the relatively small community (thru hikers) with whom some of us have such an automatic bond, even one is a very, very big deal. A huge deal. And to think there have been 6 or 7 more from our community murdered by a stranger over the years, it is — dare I say, statistically significant.

    That said, all lives matter equally in the end, and if anything I have posted suggests that I think differently, then I am sincerely sorry, for that is not the case at all.

  4. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    he might not even get that far------as in stand trial..

    the judge has ordered an evaluation of his mental health to determine whether or not he can be prosecuted....
    Insane or not, he will be locked up for many many years. it is a shame that a person had to pay with his life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Speaking of James Jordan's dog, is there any information on where it was taken, what happened to it, what will happen to it? Is it placed in a shelter in Bristol? Will it be available for adoption? I would hate to see it euthanized for no other reason than it's former owner is a lunatic.
    One of the news articles said that at his initial hearing he expressed concern over his dog. It then went on to say something to the effect of arrangements were then made for the dog to be held in a no kill kennel, and a family member was contacted to pick up the dog.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

  6. #286

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    [COLOR=#222222][FONT=Verdana]No, I am not a psychiatrist, nor did I ever qualify myself as one. My comments are just personal observation of his reported behaviors. But in my personal experience, people with many different forms of mental illness often minimize and/or hide their illness from others. There's lots of stigma associated with even fairly common conditions like depression, and there are often unwanted or even adverse consequences that lead people to modify their behavior, say they are okay, or even hide what's really going on. I was just pointing out that it's not unusual for people to behave differently when they have reason to.


    I would guess that no one can diagnose
    specifically
    what is wrong with Jordan without detailed examination. What's observable on the surface is that he is violent, delusional at times, but when necessary, knew how to act when it suited his purposes. But to be considered legally insane, his defense would have to prove that he basically didn't know he was "doing harm/wrong" at the time of the act. Whichever way that goes, yes, he will still very likely be locked up for life.


    Will Unicoi County/Sheriff get sued? Probably, and they may settle if for no other reason than exposure/defense costs. But he was charged and the case was adjudicated. So who knows?
    If declared insane, he may be released at some point. For example, see John Hinckley Jr., the man with schizophrenia who attempted to assassinate former President Reagan.

  7. #287

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinnah View Post
    Thanks for the thoughtful and careful response. If you don't mind though, I'd like to press a bit deeper.

    While I really like and agree with the advice to carefully size people up, the reports of this attack suggest this was not sufficient. I think people who encountered this young man quickly understood that he was disturbed and dangerous.

    The other issue I find haunting about this story is our inability to quickly put distance between ourselves and a threatening person while on the trail, particularly at night when you've already made camp. Fleeing into the night, perhaps with no footwear, creates its own set of problems.

    Lastly, I suspect that you, like nearly all LEOs have received more than a little self-defense training while I, like most hikers, have not. And, as this story shows, even a combat veteran can be overtaken.

    I have to wonder if any of the 4 hikers been armed with non-lethal OC spray if that would have increased their chances? I understand that OC spray has it's limitations and those who advocate carrying a firearm point that out frequently.

    I'm closing in on 60. While I'm a big man, I'm not going to physically stop a knife attack by hand. I can certainly recognize a threat when I see it but my ability to leave a threat like this in a situation like this is about nil.

    So, I'm looking for advice on how to stay safer. OC? Something else?

    Edited to add: IMO, the real tragedy of this story is the lack of universal health care and with that, the lack of adequate mental health resources.
    Carry mace and use hiking poles. I feel like I could defend myself quite well with just my hiking poles, atleast from a knife attack. Or, carry a gun and keep it ready to use at all times, and hope you don't accidentally shoot yourself in the process. A gun seems like more trouble that it is worth.

  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by hokieav8r View Post
    Many folks have reached out regarding the dog. The dog was placed in a no kill shelter and the suspect/owner is allowed to make arrangements for a family member to take the dog. Nothing else has been printed regarding whether someone will get the dog, but the dog will be humanely taken care of as the shelter will ensure it receives a new adopted family if the owner does not do so.

    I have read every single post here and a lot of posts on the FB pages for thru hikers.

    It is a sad series of events. I equate it to watching a slow motion train wreck that you watched for days as the train slowly went down its path and eventually hit something in front of it. I had a bad feeling regarding this individual when we first heard about them in April. I am sure plenty of people felt the same way.

    Keep posting on what you see of note as well as all the beauty and good times you find as you continue on your trek/journey/hike and remember to embrace the great times and moments you find.

    Always have a plan in the wilderness, having a plan, no matter what you possess/carry with you, always lends itself to acting on something you have thought of prior to the moment.

    People yearn for the views, the hike, the interactions with people and they make plans for those events.

    You must plan for contingencies as well. For they will possibly happen. People plan for mail drops, hostel stops, resupply, good meals, places to camp, etc.

    You must plan for the things you loath too. Bad weather, rain gear, warm gear, heat and proper clothes and band aids.

    Plan on how your pack can place a huge object in between you and something else, know that your trekking pole can puncture something or someone and keep at least 100cm or 120cm between you and them. know how to quick release your pack and break into a sprint, know where you keep your blade and how to draw it quickly when you want to use it fast instead of for opening that mountain house meal that didn't have the quick tear nick in the top right, where you like it.

    If you rehearse and plan 10% as much as you plan for and coordinate for the lbs and oz saved in weight, where you keep your stove in your pack vs where you keep your rain gear, what kind of boots/shoes you wear, how long a boot lace is when it's out of the boot, how much 550 cord you carry, how hard a rock is, or whether you sleep with a trekking pole inside the tent with you, or your trekking poles are part of your tent / hammock. These plans and rehearsals can and will potentially save your life to live on rather than perish. No one wants to stop living when you are living an adventure of a lifetime. It's the same as planning for a fall on the trail or a cliff, twisting an ankle or a knee or breaking an arm or shoulder out of socket.

    These plans can include knowing that a person can grab a nostril or an earlobe or a finger and just with a little twist, change the course of a day in a non lethal way. You don't have to use it, and you may never will, but just like that item you have to have with you and everyone else says, "I don't know why you carry that with you all these miles," You can carry these plans and rehearsals with you forever, and you still may never use them, but you planned for it. You rehearsed it.

    Be Prepared.

    It is a tragedy, I Honor the fallen in so many ways. I Honor Ronald Sanchez as a brother Veteran, Hiker and a friend that I never had the pleasure of meeting. I hope that the rest of the journeys in 2019 are in the peace and tranquility as well as the fellowship and groups that the AT provides. There is safety in numbers and many are better than one when facing a worthy opponent.

    I can't wait to hike my next section and I wish you all sunny skies and softer trails.
    This is such a thoughtful, carefully written with solid advice that I hope many on WB will take the time to read it and think about it actually asserts--that we are responsible for our own self-defense, that we should use our brains, that with those brains we should recognize the potential of all of the objects we carry to serve as a protection or deflection in case of attack. Many here may remember the incident in which a woman was in her tent when a man followed her inside. She beat him unmercifully until he was able to be saved.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  9. #289
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    Quote Originally Posted by SawnieRobertson View Post
    This is such a thoughtful, carefully written with solid advice that I hope many on WB will take the time to read it and think about it actually asserts--that we are responsible for our own self-defense, that we should use our brains, that with those brains we should recognize the potential of all of the objects we carry to serve as a protection or deflection in case of attack. Many here may remember the incident in which a woman was in her tent when a man followed her inside. She beat him unmercifully until he was able to be saved.
    Many of us also remember Meredith Emerson.

  10. #290

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    The Boston Globe has an article with a few more details about Jordan's past.
    https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/20...XjL/story.html

  11. #291

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    Hi, folks. I've been covering this attack for OUTSIDE. Over the past few days, I've been working with Stronghold's friends and family in a biographical tribute to him. The article went live today: https://www.outsideonline.com/239660...er-ron-sanchez

  12. #292

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineWriter View Post
    Hi, folks. I've been covering this attack for OUTSIDE. Over the past few days, I've been working with Stronghold's friends and family in a biographical tribute to him. The article went live today: https://www.outsideonline.com/239660...er-ron-sanchez
    Thanks for doing this - great article about Ron!

  13. #293
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineWriter View Post
    Hi, folks. I've been covering this attack for OUTSIDE. Over the past few days, I've been working with Stronghold's friends and family in a biographical tribute to him. The article went live today: https://www.outsideonline.com/239660...er-ron-sanchez
    As usual for you, another great article. You gave us a much better picture of Mr. Sanchez and the genuine person he was.

  14. #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineWriter View Post
    Hi, folks. I've been covering this attack for OUTSIDE. Over the past few days, I've been working with Stronghold's friends and family in a biographical tribute to him. The article went live today: https://www.outsideonline.com/239660...er-ron-sanchez
    Thanks for this caring and insightful article. The world is worse off for not having Ron in it.

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    The tragedy of Stronghold's death is overwhelmed by the victory of his life. Rest in peace, Ron.

  16. #296

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    For everyone who thinks their trekking poles will protect them you might want to find a helpful friend (preferably fit, maybe some fight training) and try this out in a controlled setting, eye protection and what not. Have your adversary come at you fast and hard, not holding back. See how well this idea works.
    Swinging a trekking pole will do little more than cause a bruise and trying to poke with it requires the skills of a highly trained fencer.
    I am not advocating anything, just want folk to be aware of the realities of this sort of thing.
    Sorry for the derail but this has been mentioned in this thread way too many times to ignore.
    ./~Hi ho, hi ho, it's up the trail I go ./~

  17. #297
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    For everyone who thinks their trekking poles will protect them you might want to find a helpful friend (preferably fit, maybe some fight training) and try this out in a controlled setting, eye protection and what not. Have your adversary come at you fast and hard, not holding back. See how well this idea works.
    Swinging a trekking pole will do little more than cause a bruise and trying to poke with it requires the skills of a highly trained fencer.
    I am not advocating anything, just want folk to be aware of the realities of this sort of thing.
    Sorry for the derail but this has been mentioned in this thread way too many times to ignore.

    I believe what you are trying to say is plan and rehearse. That is my interpretation and I agree with you.

    If you think negatively, that is certainly the outcome you can expect. a negative one. You must be positive, even in the face of adversity. Think about it like this. You are playing a game of office HORSE, shooting objects into a basket. Someone chooses to use a paper towel to shoot their next shot for the mark.

    Their critic says, "there's no way he can make the shot! He's holding it all wrong, it doesn't have enough weight, it will never make it! I'll put money on it!

    The shooter, then wets the paper towel, squeezes it into a tight ball and sinks the shot from 30 ft.

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    The first thing I think of when getting into my tent for the evening or getting into a shuttler's car on the trail. Do you collapse your trekking pole? If you collapse your trekking poles to 15" in length, they are three times as thick with each barrel of tubing inside the other. Then, you grab the pole from the bottom, using the puncture guard as a hilt, then you can club something pretty well with the handles. I'm sure a ninja or samurai could do it, but regular people never could.

    If you look at it from a positive point of view or with a can do attitude, something good can come from your adapt and overcome. If you fail to plan, or plan to fail, there is no doubt, you will fail.

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    Maine Writer,

    Thank you for your article chronicling Ron Sanchez. It was a moving and well informed tribute explaining who he was.

  20. #300

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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryM View Post
    For everyone who thinks their trekking poles will protect them you might want to find a helpful friend (preferably fit, maybe some fight training) and try this out in a controlled setting, eye protection and what not. Have your adversary come at you fast and hard, not holding back. See how well this idea works.
    Swinging a trekking pole will do little more than cause a bruise and trying to poke with it requires the skills of a highly trained fencer.
    I am not advocating anything, just want folk to be aware of the realities of this sort of thing.
    Sorry for the derail but this has been mentioned in this thread way too many times to ignore.
    Trekking pole > no trekking pole

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