A Stolen Boy, an Angry Loner, an Underground Bunker
October 13, 2015 3:08 AM   Subscribe

INSIDE AN FBI HOSTAGE CRISIS from the Wall Street Journal. [Warning: graphic violence, disturbing images and video]
posted by chavenet (17 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
" ... growing vegetables and collecting grievances."
posted by oheso at 5:24 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I had a difficult time reading the article because the text was randomly over the background image, but I turned off ad blocking and it's much better, as an FYI to anyone else having issues.
posted by bigstace at 6:54 AM on October 13, 2015


On Chrome and with adblock it worked well. I found the format to be a good fit for the article.
posted by Harald74 at 6:55 AM on October 13, 2015


I enjoyed the presentation and I'm amazed they thought they'd somehow be able to get both people out of that hole alive, knowing what they knew about the kidnapper.

Also, how the hell did they get a camera into there without him noticing?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:56 AM on October 13, 2015


Most likely a fiber down one of the many pvc tubes.
posted by Faux Real at 6:59 AM on October 13, 2015




Most likely a fiber down one of the many pvc tubes.

But there was just one, and it had a bomb in it, and the detonator string came out of the bottom of it. Hard to believe even a tiny camera wouldn't be noticed.

All the other PVC protruding around the property was found to be benign, used to support plants or something.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:17 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


So glad the boy emerged safely from that ordeal (although it seems he has other issues in his life). From the information presented, it seemed that the rescue squad sort of fucked it all up and everyone is very lucky it didn't result in the boy being killed. I definitely don't have the capabilities or training to plan a rescue like that, so I don't mean to second guess, but does anyone with any relevant experience have a sense of whether the raid was botched or whether that is just the way these tense, uncertain things go?
posted by Falconetti at 8:56 AM on October 13, 2015


Also, how the hell did they get a camera into there without him noticing?

Wasn't the camera hidden in the phone they sent down?
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:01 AM on October 13, 2015


Also, how the hell did they get a camera into there without him noticing?

This conspicuous oversight makes me think the FBI may have specifically refused to tell the reporters how they got the camera in there, or they asked the reporter to omit it. Perhaps they do not want to tip off future perpetrators of some novel methods.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 10:12 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think the authors are intentionally vague about how the camera went down. (as Hot Pastrami just said.)

Poland, the bus driver, was incredible; I wonder whether and how drivers are generally trained to deal with such situations.

I feel so terrible for his daughter, who was willing to give herself up in exchange for the child, and instead was the unknowing trigger for the raid.
posted by allthinky at 10:14 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Interesting article, and Extremely well done webpage!
posted by malrimple at 1:24 PM on October 13, 2015


does anyone with any relevant experience have a sense of whether the raid was botched or whether that is just the way these tense, uncertain things go?

From the description in the article Dykes had strung up wire netting across the ceiling of the bunker, blocking the passageway to prevent exactly the kind of move the FBI planned. I am going to guess that the bunker lighting and camera angle prevented them from seeing it. I don't know if this is something they should have anticipated or not.
posted by schroedinger at 4:27 PM on October 13, 2015


The formatting worked fine for me, and really complemented the story, which was very well-written. That poor child...
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:33 PM on October 13, 2015


If Dykes had been just a tiny bit more nutty, When would be dead. It was sheer dumb luck that Dykes didn't shoot him as soon as he was done shooting at the FBI agents.

The FBI clearly fucked up big time. I don't know that the right thing to do was to give this guy the platform he wanted, but they damn sure could have faked doing so instead of fucking around for a week and then nearly getting the kid killed.
posted by wierdo at 10:20 PM on October 13, 2015


but they damn sure could have faked doing so instead of fucking around for a week and then nearly getting the kid killed.
At 3:30 p.m., the FBI negotiator put a female agent on the phone with Mr. Dykes, introducing her as a reporter from an Internet-based TV news program.

“How are you doing?” she asked.

Mr. Dykes sounded near tears. “I’ve seen better days,” he said. “This hasn’t been very easy on me, either.”

He warned it would take several days to explain his views on the air. They hung up without making any plans for a broadcast.

Just after 6 p.m., Mr. Dykes was back on the phone, furious. He had somehow figured out the reporter was a fake. The agents weren’t sure what tipped him off. His pistol was visible on the bunk. Agents could see a growth of white beard on his face. “It was all lies, wasn’t it?” he demanded.
posted by zamboni at 10:30 PM on October 13, 2015


The "fucking around for a week" happened after it became clear they might have to storm a 6'x8' bunker with only one 6' vertical passageway leading into it without endangering the kid inside. Hence the Seabees and practice runs and all that. Arguably they could've contacted the daughter sooner and seen if she could coax him out without storming it. I'm guessing they thought they only had one shot at pacifying him long enough to storm in and took it.

It was all awful and I hope that kid is with a good family and able to have a life after this.
posted by schroedinger at 10:39 PM on October 13, 2015


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