Skip to comments.IS VEGAS RICIN CAPER CONNECTED TO ANIMAL RIGHTS TERRORISM?
Posted on 03/03/2008 9:36:56 AM PST by jdm
The feds are saying flatly that the Vegas ricin case is not related to terrorism but Im not so sure.
The man who was staying at the Vegas hotel and is in the hospital in critical condition, who almost certainly manufactured the ricin from raw castor beans by following instructions in what authorities described as an a book on anarchy, is apparently obsessed with domestic animals:
Neighbors in Utah described Mr. Von Bergendorff as a peculiar loner commonly seen in brown slacks and a brown shirt. Pauline and Grant Dansie, who live three doors down from Mr. Tholen, said Mr. Von Bergendorff spent six weeks last summer searching their backyard daily for a missing cat that he eventually said he found.
Hes just a little bit different, Mrs. Dansie said. He was so obsessed with this cat; it was really strange. He didnt really act like he wanted to be a friend. I remember one time he put a cat trap out in our field, and he caught our neighbors cat. We told him he had to give it back.
Mr. Von Bergendorff, who is believed to be a computer graphic artist whose work has appeared on several science fiction novels, appears to have a lengthy history involving pets and animals. The police also found three cats and an emaciated dog in his hotel room; the local shelter took custody of the animals, but the dog was so starved and parched it had to be euthanized.
Public records show that Mr. Von Bergendorff lived for several years in the 1980s and 1990s with a relative, Fred Bergendorff, in La Mesa, Calif. Mr. Bergendorff, who died on Jan. 27, was the founder of the Pet Place, a charity focused on assisting homeless pets, and the host of the organizations long-running TV and radio programs in Southern California.
The Pet Place appears to be on the up and up an earnest and effective organization that saves thousands of discarded animals a year. The board members and officers are all upstanding citizens from what information I can gather on the web. There isnt a hint of radicalism associated with this excellent and caring organization.
But Von Bergendorff may have taken it upon himself to avenge the helpless creatures he cares so deeply about. How is anyones guess. The amount of Ricin he made would seem to indicate several potential targets. And since a deadly dose of the toxin could fit on the head of the pin, I leave it to your imagination how many people he might have killed with a couple of vials of the stuff that were removed from his room.
The death of his pet-loving relative relative on January 27 may have tipped him over the edge of sanity. A little more than 2 weeks later, he checks into a Vegas hospital (February 15) with respiratory distress one of the major symptoms of ricin poisoning:
Inhalation: Within a few hours of inhaling significant amounts of ricin, the likely symptoms would be respiratory distress (difficulty breathing), fever, cough, nausea, and tightness in the chest. Heavy sweating may follow as well as fluid building up in the lungs (pulmonary edema). This would make breathing even more difficult, and the skin might turn blue. Excess fluid in the lungs would be diagnosed by x-ray or by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. Finally, low blood pressure and respiratory failure may occur, leading to death.
CDC investigators are on the scene at the hospital trying to determine if, in fact Von Bergendorff inhaled the ricin.
Other neighbors had an even bleaker description of the life led by Von Bergendorff:
A down-on-his-luck Roger Von Bergendorff lived at his cousins home for more than a year before moving to Las Vegas about a year ago, said Tammy Ewell, who lives across the street from Thomas Tholen in Riverton, Utah, and described him and his wife, Ellen, as close friends.
He was very much a loner. I would say more or less socially regressive. He just barely got by in life. Hed just barely make it, Ewell said. Tom was the last resort.
No word on how Bergendorff made his living in Vegas. The rate at the Extended Stay Motel would run him at least $1200 a month.
The major media wont speculate on this angle of the story for good reason no proof. But we have some dots and they can easily be connected with a little intelligent speculation. A man who has exhibited unbalanced behavior in his devotion to animals to his neighbors loses a close relative, goes off the deep end, and envisions himself as perhaps some kind of avenging angel. He acquires a book on how to make ricin in order to exact revenge on those he sees as harming pets or animals. His ignorance in how to handle the deadly poison results in his exposure and subsequent hospitalization.
It is not impossible for such a scenario to have occurred. And it would be interesting to see if Von Bergendorff had made any connections to radical animal rights groups although that idea would be a huge stretch. More likely, hes a sad, lonely, disturbed man who, if left to his own devices, might have brought tragedy to many people.
“Army of the Twelve Monkeys” less eleven monkeys?
“..obsessed with domestic animals..”
So, this is the guy that went to the hospital leaving his dog alone to die in the hotel room?
Antisocial people frequently turn to animals for companionship. That’s because (1) animals are tractable; and (2) they don’t talk.
Why did the dog get so emaciated and not the cats??
Maybe he was looking for test subjects for his experiments.
Isn't there some big, 100 acre animal rescue shelter/farm near Riverton, UT ? I've seen it on the ANimal Channel. Then there's the animal rights guy in LA who advocates killing researchers. I wonder if there are any of them in LV ? THere are a lot of medical researchers there.
“Maybe he was looking for test subjects for his experiments.”
Memo to Siegfried and Roy: be careful opening your mail.
It’s called Best Friends. I used to donate to them until their monthly newsletter took a hard left. Way to go to PO 1/2 the population.
Rick Moran is a no-nothing.
Its never been reported when he checked into Extended Stay America...but I am guessing it was a ways previos to 2/14...it has been reported that ESA was in the process of evicting Roger (aka ‘coma man’). Still, I wonder why he would expose his beloved pets to poison?
Thanks for the ping. It does not compute in my mind...but stranger things have happened...LOL.
It would be quite a paradox if true.......’coma dude’s’ ‘beloved’ german shepherd likely dies from poison or starvation due to ‘avenger of animals’ cruelty to animals!?
I find this angle a bit of a stretch.
Will follow the comments though..:)
Bump for reference
He was just a wayward anarchist with enough ricin to kill just about everybody in Las Vegas, including himself. You don’t have to be a Muslim to be a terrorist.
I made this connection in my mind (and on another post).
There have been several posts on FR in recent days about animal rights activists burning down buildings, harrassing and threatening researchers, etc.
Years ago, when the Mad Cow Disease was in Britian, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk made the statement (paraphrase) she couldn’t wait till MCD came to America.
A lot of these AR and anarchist wackos hate humans, believe humans are a blight on the earth.
Even if this isn’t the case in this particular story, I believe it’s just a matter of time before the ELF and ALF types try something like this. I believe they’ll try to poison our food supply, to try to scare people from consuming animals.
Looks to me like Moran made a pretty reasonable case that this guy is an animal nut case whether connected to a group or not.
Thanks for the ping.
27 Jan 2008 Fred Bergendorff, founder of Pet Place dies died Sunday night in Brea after a long illness, Bergendorff was hospitalized in October for multiple muscular and nerve problems. He was receiving long-term therapy at Kindred Hospital Brea at the time of his death.
Monday, January 28, 2008 'Pet Place' host dies http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/life/pets/newsfeatures/article_1968573.php