From early reports, the perpetrator of the horror at a Colorado Spring Planned Parenthood clinic yesterday was a creep, perhaps with serious mental issues. From the Washington Post:
To neighbors, it looked like a “moonshine shack,” a little yellow wooden hut, with overgrown weeds and no indoor plumbing, banged together by its owner, Robert Lewis Dear Jr.
And whenever Dear came to stay in his shack in the woods, the neighbors in Anderson Acres, a community of about seven houses along a steep, gravel road here, kept their kids inside.
“He was the kind of person you had to watch out for,” said one neighbor. “He was a very weird individual. It’s hard to explain, but he had a weird look in his eye most of the time.”
Dear, 57, the man in custody for Friday’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, appears to have been a malcontent who drifted from place to place. In the past couple of years, in addition to the shack, he also lived in a mobile home in another town in North Carolina and a camper in Colorado, which he shared with a woman who moved with him from the East Coast.
Some who knew him found him to be unremarkable, while others said that he seemed to be delusional and aggressive. He had a history of run-ins with neighbors and police, including arrests for cruelty to animals and being a “peeping Tom.” He was not convicted in either case.
“He complained about everything,” said another neighbor who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying that he feared for his security. “He said he worked with the government, and everybody was out to get him, and he knew the secrets of the U.S.A. He said, ‘Nobody touch me, because I’ve got enough information to put the whole U.S. of A in danger.’ It was very crazy.”
And there’s this:
The neighbors said they never saw Dear with a gun, and they never heard him speak about politics or abortion rights.
The South Carolina neighbors of the man suspected in the attack on a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic say he hid food in the woods and liked to skinny dip.
John Hood said Saturday that when he moved to the small town of Walterboro about 50 miles west of Charleston, Robert Lewis Dear was living in a doublewide mobile home next door.
Hood said Dear made money by selling prints of his uncle Bill Stroud’s paintings of Southern plantations and the Masters golf tournament.
Hood said that Dear rarely talked to them, and when he did, he offered unsolicited advice, including recommending that Hood put a metal roof on his home so the U.S. government couldn’t spy on him.
Finally, from CBS:
Those who knew Dear said he seemed to have few religious or political leanings.
“If you talked to him, nothing with him was very cognitive – topics all over place,” said James Russell, who lives a few hundred feet from Dear in the North Carolina town of Black Mountain. A cross made of twigs hung Saturday on the wall of Dear’s pale yellow shack.
Although Buzzfeed has this from another neighbor, named Zigmond Post:
Post said he once went to Dear’s home to retrieve two dogs that had gotten loose. “We were there for a minute and the guy was already handing us anti-Obama pamphlets,” he said. According to Post, Dear said “Obama was ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”