2019 Murder on the Appalacian Trail


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 14 May 2019

 

MOUNTAIN SAFETY

Crazy on the AT in Virginia, One AT hiker Killed, One Injured,

Knife attack prompts precautions on Appalachian Trail,
WHSV TV, May 14, 2019.

Judge orders psych evaluation for Appalachian Trail suspect,
WHSV TV, May 13, 2019.

Updated Below

MAIN POINTS

Weird Dude
"...the past couple of weeks, hikers along the Appalachian Trial had been warning each other about a hiker who was threatening other hikers with a large knife."

"The man, who had the trail nickname of "Sovereign," was arrested in North Carolina last month after some hikers reported him to authorities."

Arrested
"James Jordan, 30, of West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, is charged with murder and assault with intent to commit murder. During his initial appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, Virginia, a judge ordered him to be held in custody and to undergo a psychiatric evaluation."

"Jordan repeatedly threatened four hikers late Friday and early Saturday before attacking them, according to federal authorities."

Nightmare
"Jordan spoke to the hikers through their tents, and threatened to pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death," FBI Special Agent Micah Childers wrote in the affidavit."

"Fearing Jordan, all four hikers decided to pack up and leave their campsite. Two of them were chased by Jordan as they tried to leave, but managed to escape by turning off the lights they had strapped to their heads and veering off the trail into the woods..."

Killed and Injured AT Hikers
"...he caught the man first and stabbed him until he collapsed onto the ground, Childers wrote. Jordan then stabbed the woman repeatedly. She fell to the ground and played dead, and Jordan then left to find his dog."

Earlier Problems
"Sheriff Mike Hensley of Unicoi County, Tennessee, said he and his deputies did everything they could to keep Jordan locked up after he threatened hikers there and in other communities along the trail last month."

AT Hiker Failure
"The fact is nobody wanted to step up to the plate and press charges," Hensley said. "They were on the trail walking and they didn't want to come back — they told my investigators that."

 

Updates

Ronald S. Sanchez, Jr., Slain on the Appalachian Trail,
Lake Lanier, May 15, 2019.

Memorial to be held at Trail Days 2019,
Whiteblaze, May 15, 2019.

"ATC has been working with The Town of Damascus and community members to organize a candlelight vigil to honor Ronald Sanchez in Damascus tomorrow (Thurs.) at 8:00 pm, in Backer Park (the ballfield)."

 

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Bottom Line

I carry a hiking stick that comes in very handy for just such situations, but honestly, I've only seen one seriously crazy person on the trail over the last twenty years of continuous backpacking, and he was running up towards Forester Pass, with no gear at all, and I expect his body is up there somewhere, to this day.

I tried to stop him, for his own welfare, but he would not respond to my entreaties, and I had not the will, energy, nor supplies to chase a crazy across the mountains of the South Sierra.

The situation is different in Yosemite Valley, who's size and population now holds all the corruptions, gang-bangers, and crazies found in the West's coastal delightful megacites of filth and poverty. Those, "spirits," grown in our megacities, are spreading out into our wilderness and onto our trails.

Still a People Filter
Amazingly, I do not meet a lower caliber of person, nor many (or any, typically) crazies on the High Sierra Trails, but a much higher quality of person than typically encountered in our nasty megacities...
Nature, despite its ever decreasing distance from mass populations, still functions as a, "filter," still preventing those crazies without direct access to a trailhead from getting, or staying in the backcountry, for any extended length of time. Being crazy requires nearby infrastructure, as crazies have zero, or little, of the logistical capabilities necessary for supporting extended engagements. Thus the proximity of the urban to the wild determines the level of accessability that the vast majority of city-crazies have to hikers.

The closer the city is to wilderness, the more scumbags we see at the trailheads and on the trail. Thus, the vast majority of the AT is in close proximity to, "civilization," and all its mundane, "urban," dangers, which never allows us to truly enjoy wilderness experience.

Rise of Crazy
This situation, of urban crazies having access to the High Sierra trails on the West Coast, as they do access the AT on the East Coast, has already begun in earnest, as the relentless growth of massive populations of very low, "quality," urban dwellers, in the rapicly growing megacities of the West Coast, drives greater and greater numbers of city dwellers into proximity of, and even onto the High Sierra trails, with the PCT continuing to become more like the urbanized AT experience on the East Coast, as our massive megacity populations of very low, "quality," urban dwellers impinge on, and destroy our last wild places, as they did over a century ago on the East Coast.

Kill the Crazy Machine
My solution is simple: stop growing the megacities, and drain them of all the folks who are not there lawfully. These two simple acts will provide an effective foundation for fair treatment of our environment and our citizens, the lack of which are driving a large percentage of our megacity populations to various forms of madness.

We've got to stop this madness at its source, or accept living in fear everywhere, including the trails through our last remaining wild places.

 

 

 

Fantastic
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May, 2019, murder, Appalachian Trail, AT, Wythe County, Virginia

 

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