The Smiley Face Killers

detrius

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
335
Location
Land of bread, beer and BMW.
Joined SLU
09-30-2007
SLU Posts
10065
Calling Simon Baker...
 

Dakota Tebaldi

Well-known member
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
2,105
Location
Gulf Coast, USA
Joined SLU
02-22-2008
SLU Posts
16791
And there were 11 smiley-face symbols spray-painted on the Roberto Clemente Bridge, the closest bridge to where James was found and where police believe he fell into the water. It was a good distance away, about 10 miles, but the investigators have discovered that the smiley-face graffiti usually appears on the first man-made structure visible from where a body is found.
...implying that despite dumping the bodies into rivers - which will move them - the "serial killer gang" has some kind of psychic foresight into exactly where along the river the body will be when it is eventually found, which allows them to stick a smiley face on something nearby that spot ahead of time.

Not buying it, sorry. I think it's vastly more likely that people just paint smiley faces all over the damn place and if you ever die, no matter what the reason, you're probably more likely than not to die somewhere close to something that has a smiley face painted on it. And I think the same would likely hold true if we could scrutinize the list of "12 other symbols" besides smiley faces that they say are connected but they won't tell us what they are. Betcha it'll turn out to be stuff like anarchy-A symbols, peace signs, and the pentagrams and upside-down crosses that edgy high-schoolers who think they're satanists like to tag underneath bridges.
 

Free

Kamilah is stalking me
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
4,773
Location
Underground in America
SL Rez
2008
Joined SLU
May 2009
SLU Posts
55565
I say we send Dakota out into the field to investigate...
 
  • 1Useful
Reactions: Govi

Innula Zenovka

Nasty Brit
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,705
SLU Posts
18459
...implying that despite dumping the bodies into rivers - which will move them - the "serial killer gang" has some kind of psychic foresight into exactly where along the river the body will be when it is eventually found, which allows them to stick a smiley face on something nearby that spot ahead of time.

Not buying it, sorry. I think it's vastly more likely that people just paint smiley faces all over the damn place and if you ever die, no matter what the reason, you're probably more likely than not to die somewhere close to something that has a smiley face painted on it. And I think the same would likely hold true if we could scrutinize the list of "12 other symbols" besides smiley faces that they say are connected but they won't tell us what they are. Betcha it'll turn out to be stuff like anarchy-A symbols, peace signs, and the pentagrams and upside-down crosses that edgy high-schoolers who think they're satanists like to tag underneath bridges.
According to the article,
“Our critics say there is lots of smiley-face graffiti around,” Gannon said. “I’ve been on hundreds of bridges. There aren’t as many as you think. But we only include it if the other symbols specific to this group are present, too.”


And, Gilbertson added, sometimes just the other symbols are there and no smiley face.
But certainly neither local police nor the FBI agree with them or, indeed, agree that all but one of the deaths they attribute to this gang are, in fact, murder.
 

Dakota Tebaldi

Well-known member
VVO Supporter 🍦🎈👾❤
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
2,105
Location
Gulf Coast, USA
Joined SLU
02-22-2008
SLU Posts
16791
I've found this report (MS Word doc) which may be of interest, from 2010 by the Center for Homicide Research, which concludes this theory is largely unfounded. Evidently it's a fairly old theory and the same guys have been pushing it for quite a while.

The report brings up some pretty good points, I think. For instance, it points out, there's a big problem with the fact that none of the smiley face graffiti at any one location actually, visually matches the smiley faces found at other sites. Some of the faces are quite stylistically different, but even the ones of the same general form were obviously made by different people or using different methods. And on top of that, the report says, some of the graffiti identified by the serial-killings theorists is visibly faded, and obviously years old and predating the drowning in question. None of the investigators seems to have ever bothered to try and link the graffiti to the body chronologically, accepting its presence alone as a prima facie connection. It might be worth considering, that it seems a big part of the reason why this is a gang of serial killers theory and not a single serial killer theory is NOT because of the number of victims or the spread of locations (because we know serial killers can be busy bees, and can travel the country if they feel like it), but rather because the investigators were forced to admit that the graffiti was obviously made by different people each time, and had to resort to "they're all in some connected, organized gang" in order to avoid having to concede there was no real link there.

The report also has another very very good point, when it brings up what police and community watch efforts in La Crosse, Wisconsin, have discovered in the time following a spate of drownings there which have been attributed by theorists to the Smiley Face gang. They did not find any killers, of course, but what they HAVE found, is inebriated college students managing on their own to either fall into the river, or come pretty darn close, while plenty of witnesses have been on-hand to watch. Last year alone, this group's volunteers managed to prevent nearly 200 drunk fools from stumbling their way into the river.

It looks like the Daily Beast article is also being a little dishonest when it comes to one of the cases, Chris Jenkins, whose death was originally classified as a drowning but was changed by the police into a homicide. The article portrays the events this way:

Despite all of their efforts, so far just one of the cases has been changed to a homicide. And that was only after four years of exhaustive efforts by his parents. Chris Jenkins, a 21-year old University of Minnesota student, vanished after leaving a Minneapolis bar on Nov. 1, 2002. Four months later, he was found floating in the Mississippi River on his back, with his arms crossed across his chest. His death was initially classified as an accidental drowning but in 2006, the police finally agreed to change it to homicide.

Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan even made a very public apology to the Jenkins family in November 2006, telling reporters, “When we are investigating a case, we will obviously do the best we can, but we’re going to occasionally make mistakes. In Chris Jenkins’ case, we did make a mistake…And for that, for the Minneapolis Police Department, I want to apologize to the Jenkins family.”
The article heavily implies that the "four years of exhaustive efforts" by Jenkins' parents (and the Smiley Face investigators' work, natch) is what pushed the police to "finally agree" it was a homicide. But it wasn't. It had nothing to do with the parents' efforts at all; the reclassification happened because a prison inmate claimed to belong to a gang called "The Dealers of Death", whose leader had killed "40 men", including Jenkins, and a friend who overheard this gave this information to police. You can read the dodgy story about this alleged gang here, it is very interesting actually; but curiously, the Smiley Face guys say the so-called Dealers of Death is NOT the serial river-killer gang they're proposing:

In separate interviews with Milwaukee Magazine, Gannon and Gilbertson tried to downplay any connection between Alford [the self-proclaimed leader/founder of the "Dealers of Death"] and their theory that a gang of “smiley face” killers is murdering young men. Gannon confirmed he spoke with Alford but then said, “I have no relationship with him.”

Gilbertson also discouraged the magazine from publishing a list it obtained of suspected Dealers of Death gang members. This would be “theft of intellectual property,” Gilbertson warned. (Milwaukee Magazine declined to publish the list because its methodology is murky: In checking, we found some people on it had no criminal record, while others did. Some also had connections to Alford.)

Does the threesome intend to publish the information themselves? New Brighton, Minn., Detective Gary Sykes, who investigated the murder committed by Alford, says the trio contacted him and asked about the Dealers of Death. “In my opinion, they are trying to write a book,” Sykes says.
So there is narrative dickery going on with this situation. It seems like our intrepid investigators definitely want some control over how the story is reported overall, to the point of vaguely threatening a magazine with legal action for publishing certain information they don't want published. This is highly curious behavior from a couple of people who seem to prefer to cast themselves in the light of truth-seekers just wanting to inform the public about something they think police departments nationwide are either covering up or neglecting to take notice of.