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Feb 13th, 2016



U.S. Military Deaths in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel
(Afghanistan)

As of Thursday, December 31, 2015, at least 2,378 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan as a result of the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to iCasualties.org.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 17,674 U.S. service members have been wounded as of Sept. 30, 2012, the latest number reported by iCasualties.org.


Army Spc. John M. Dawson, 22, Whitinsville, Massachusetts, died April 8, 2015 in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was attacked by small-arms fire while he was on an escort mission in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He was assigned to 1st Squadron, 33 Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.


Army Sgt. 1st Class Pablo A. Ruiz, 37, Melbourne, Florida, died May 24, 2015 in Bagram, Afghanistan, in a non-combat related incident while while serving in Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. He was assigned to Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


DoD civilian Krissie K. Davis, 54, Talladega, Alabama, a member of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) at Anniston, Alabama, and deployed to DLA Disposition Services Bagram as part of the civilian expeditionary workforce supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, was killed June 8, 2015 during an indirect fire attack on Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan.


Army Green Beret Master Sgt. Peter A. McKenna Jr., 35, Bristol, Rhode Island, died Aug. 8, 2015 in Kabul, Afghanistan, of wounds when he was attacked by enemy small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.


Air Force Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, Lexington, Kentucky, died Aug. 26, 2015 near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the vehicle he was traveling in was attacked. He was assigned to the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Florida.


Air Force Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, Pensacola, Florida, died Aug. 26, 2015 near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when the vehicle he was traveling in was attacked. He was assigned to the the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Army Airfield, North Carolina.


Army Spc. Kyle E. Gilbert, 24, Buford, Ga., died Sept. 21, 2015 in Bagram, Afghanistan, in a noncombat-related incident. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.


Air Force Capt. Jonathan J. Golden, 33, Camarillo, California, died Oct. 2, 2015 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.


Air Force Staff Sgt. Ryan D. Hammond, 26, Moundsville, West Virginia, died Oct. 2, 2015 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.


Air Force Senior Airman Quinn L. Johnson-Harris, 21, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died Oct. 2, 2015 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.


Air Force Capt. Jordan B. Pierson, 28, Abilene, Texas, died Oct. 2, 2015 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 39th Airlift Squadron, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.


Air Force Airman 1st Class Kcey E. Ruiz, 21, of McDonough, Georgia, died Oct. 2, 2015 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. She was assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.


Air Force Senior Airman Nathan C. Sartain, 29, Pensacola, Florida, died Oct. 2, 2015 in the crash of a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft at Jalalabad Airfield, Afghanistan. He was assigned to the 66th Security Forces Squadron, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.


Air Force Master Sgt. Gregory T. Kuhse, 38, Kalamazoo, Michigan, died Oct. 11, 2015 at Camp Resolute Support, Kabul, Afghanistan, in the non-hostile crash of a British Puma Mk2 helicopter. He was assigned to the 3rd Manpower Requirements Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.


Air Force Maj. Phyllis J. Pelky, 45, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, died Oct. 11, 2015 in the crash of a British Puma Mk2 helicopter in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was assigned to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Air Force Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa, 31, Coram, New York, died Dec. 21, 2015 near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.


Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, 28, Mercedes, Texas, died Dec. 21, 2015 near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.


Air Force Technical Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, 45, Bronx, New York, died Dec. 21, 2015 near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.


Air Force Staff Sgt. Chester J. McBride, 30, Statesboro, Georgia, died Dec. 21, 2015 near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 405, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.


Air Force Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub, 30, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died Dec. 21, 2015 near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 816, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.


Air Force Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, 36, Plymouth, Minnesota, died Dec. 21, 2015 near Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when her patrol was attacked by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle. She was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 9th Field Investigations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

DOD

U.S. Military Deaths in Operation Inherent Resolve
(ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq)

As of Thursday, December 31, 2015, at least 4,495 members of the U.S. military had died in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, according to according to iCasualties.org.


Air Force Tech. Sgt. Anthony E. Salazar, 40, Hermosa Beach, California, died April 13, 2015 at an air base in Southwest Asia in a noncombat-related incident while serving in Operation Inherent Resolve. He was assigned to the 577th Expeditionary Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force Squadron, 1st Expeditionary Civil Engineer Group, U.S. Air Forces Central Command.


Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Devon J. Doyle, 21, Alamosa, Colorado, died May 16, 2015 in Manama, Bahrain, in a noncombat-related incident on liberty while serving in Operation Inherent Resolve. He was assigned to USS Farragut (DDG 99), homeported in Mayport, Florida.


Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan D. Burris, 24, of Lisle, Illinois, died May 21, 2015 in Zayed Military City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in a noncombat-related incident while serving in Operation Inherent Resolve. He was temporarily assigned to the Crisis Response Element of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula, Special Operations Command Central, U.S. Central Command.


Army Pfc. Monterrious T. Daniel, 19, Griffin, Georgia, died June 12, 2015 in Camp Buehring, Kuwait, in a noncombat-related incident while serving in Operation Inherent Resolve. He was assigned to 68th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.


Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jason P. May, 38, Chesterfield, Michigan, died June 29, 2015 on board USS Essex (LHD 2), of noncombat-related causes (experiencing chest pains and collapsing) while the ship was at sea.


Navy Seaman Philip Frazier Manes, 21, Fairfax, Va., died Sept. 27, 2015 in Manama, Bahrain, in a noncombat-related shooting incident. He was assigned to the mine countermeasures ship Gladiator, forward-deployed to Bahrain and assigned to 5th Fleet.


Army Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, 39, Roland, Oklahoma, died Oct. 22, 2015 in Kirkuk Province, Iraq, from wounds caused by enemy small-arms fire in a raid on an Islamic State detention center. He was assigned to Headquarters, U.S. Army Special Operations Command (1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.


Army Pvt. Christopher J. Castaneda, 19, Fripp Island, S.C., died Nov. 19, 2015 on Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, in a noncombat-related incident. He was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

DOD

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UPDATES: Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (Afghanistan)

As of Monday, January 18, 2016, at least 2,380 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan as a result of the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to iCasualties.org.


Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Matthew Q. McClintock, Albuquerque, New Mexico, died Jan. 5, 2016 in Marjah District, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when the enemy attacked his unit with small-arms fire. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Washington National Guard, Buckley, Washington.


Air Force Maj. John D. Gerrie, 42, Nickerson, Kansas, died Jan. 16,  2016 in Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, from a noncombat-related incident. He was assigned to 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

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UPDATES: Operation Inherent Resolve (ISIS/ISIL in Syria and Iraq)

As of Friday, January 1, 2016, at least 4,495 members of the U.S. military had died in the Middle East since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, according to according to iCasualties.org.


Navy civilian Blane D. Bussell, 60, Virginia, died Jan. 26, 2016 in Manama, Bahrain, of non-combat related causes. He was assigned to Forward Deployed Regional Maintenance Center Detachment Bahrain at Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

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Casualties At a Glance: Deaths by Conflict

Operation Inherent Resolve: 7

Operation Enduring Freedom: 2347

Operation New Dawn: 67

Operation Iraqi Freedom: 4408

Source: Military Times database

Remember Their Sacrifice

Remember Their Sacrifice

Related links

Iraq Casualties

Afghanistan Casualties

Honor the Fallen

Click to visit the Military Times Hall of Valor

Visit Military Times — The top source for military news

Faces of the Dead
An interactive look at each U.S. service member who died in Afghanistan or Iraq





PI’s 1990 Notes Mention Heinrich


Video: History of the Wetterling abduction investigation

By David Unze
St. Cloud Times
November 22, 2015

Excerpted

Private investigator Larry Peart had a three-word response to the news that Danny Heinrich had been named a person of interest in the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.

“Well, that’s interesting,” Peart said last week, a slight chuckle in his voice.

Peart’s reaction is filtered through the hundreds of hours he spent interviewing suspects and chasing leads related to the case, much of it done with help from retired case investigators who worked for him periodically.

He was careful to not offer an opinion about who he thinks abducted Wetterling in October 1989. And he was even more careful to not discuss the notes he took during a 1990 jailhouse interview of a convicted sex offender who named Danny Heinrich as a person of interest in the abduction of the 11-year-old St. Joseph boy. …

Peart was the lead investigator for the Eighth Judicial District’s public defender’s office from 1987-1995. That caused him to end up in the jail cell of Duane Allen Hart.

Hart pleaded guilty in 1990 to six counts of criminal sexual conduct in Stearns and Kandiyohi counties. He was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing four boys. Hart was committed indefinitely to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, where he remains today.

Peart estimates he spent 60 hours interviewing Hart. The 25 pages of notes from those conversations show Heinrich’s name was mentioned multiple times. Although the notes contain names of Hart’s victims and other possible child abuse victims and suspects, Heinrich’s name stands out. His name is on the first page of the document and is circled with a star next to it, the only name in the notes to be circled. And other portions of the notes show Peart was talking to Hart about the Wetterling case.

Peart said he shared his information with law enforcement but wasn’t sure what was done with it. Part of that information included what Peart termed a confession linking two sex offenders to the abduction. Peart said investigators discounted the information about the sex offenders, who he said weren’t thoroughly investigated at the time and only recently were talked to by Wetterling case investigators. …

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner declined to comment about Peart’s notes or other suspects other than to say that investigators had Peart’s notes long ago and they “don’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.”

Peart’s notes indicate that Hart described Heinrich as having a “deep, raspy voice when excited or angry.”

The “Paynesville Assault Cluster,” as the incidents have been called in court documents, involved eight assaults and seven child victims, all within a mile of where Heinrich lived at the time: the Plaza Hotel at 121 Washburne Ave.

Those assaults typically involved the assailant attacking kids in public places while they walked or biked outside. The attacker would typically knock the child off his bike and grope him over or under his clothing. In some of the cases, the suspect would ask the child his age and threaten to shoot him.

Those assaults happened between August 1986 and late fall of 1988. …

Paynesville Assault Cluster

The following information is gleaned from the federal criminal complaint charging Danny Heinrich and the search warrant used to search his Annandale house this summer.

Incidents 1 and 2: The first two Paynesville incidents happened near Papa’s Pizza, 108 Hoffman St. In the first incident, a boy was pushed off of his bicycle and hit in the face. The suspect ran without saying anything. In the second incident, a boy was pushed to the ground while walking and groped. The suspect ran when a second boy approached.

Incident 3: On Nov. 30, 1986, the attacker came out of the bushes in the alley near 603 Augusta Ave., put his hand over a boy’s mouth and dragged him into some trees. The attacker had a “low, static-filled” voice and smelled of cigarette smoke. He groped the boy over and under his clothes, removed the boy’s stocking cap and used a jagged-edged knife to cut off some of the boy’s hair. The suspect asked the boy his name and age. He told the boy to keep laying down after the attack for five minutes or “I’ll blow your head off.” The attacker kept the boy’s stocking cap and hair.

Incidents 4 and 5: One victim was attacked twice, first on Valentine’s Day 1987 in the stairwell of an apartment building at 122 James St. W. The attacker groped the boy over and under his clothing and spoke in a “deep low whisper.” The suspect asked the boy what grade he was in, told him not to move or he would be killed and took the boy’s wallet before leaving.

The second time that boy was attacked was May 17, 1987, near Main and Maple streets. The boy was grabbed off of his bicycle and groped. The attacker left behind a baseball cap. Testing of that cap showed that it contained a DNA mixture from three or more people and that 80.5 percent of the general population could be excluded as being a contributor. Heinrich could not be excluded.

Incident 6: On Sept. 20, 1987, two boys were approached near 111 Lyndall Ave. by a man described as chubby and being 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, similar to the description of the attacker in the previous incidents. The man had either painted his face or was wearing a mask. The boys screamed and ran, and the man didn’t speak to or assault the boys. The boys had been at Papa’s Pizza earlier in the evening, as had many of the other victims.

Incident 7: The seventh incident was in late summer 1988 and happened in the woods near 200 Railroad Ave. W. A group of kids was camping in the woods, and two left the camp to get something to drink. A man with a raspy voice and wearing pantyhose over his head, camouflage pants and an army-type jacket with black boots and black gloves attacked one of the boys. He held a knife to the boy’s throat and told him to shut up or he would be killed. The boy fought back and escaped without being groped or harmed.

Incident 8: In late fall 1988 in the area of 512 Minnesota St. W, a boy riding a bicycle and delivering newspapers was attacked by a short, husky man possibly wearing a ski mask, dark hat and black shirt, pants and gloves. The attacker ran out from a line of trees in the yard, knocked the boy off of his bicycle and fled without doing anything else.

Cold Spring attack: On Jan. 13, 1989, a 12-year-old boy was walking home from the Side Cafe in Cold Spring, about three blocks from his home, when a man driving a car stopped and asked “whether he knew where Kraemer lived.” The driver grabbed the boy and forced him into the backseat of a car that was described as a dark, four-door, automatic transmission vehicle with child safety locks on the back doors and a luggage rack on the trunk. The attacker spoke in a deep, raspy voice. The boy noticed that there was a walkie-talkie inside the vehicle that had gray duct tape on it. The attacker drove the boy for 10-15 minutes before stopping and sexually assaulting him. The attacker told the boy that if police got a lead on who he was, the man would find the boy after school and shoot him. He drove the boy back toward Cold Spring and let him go, telling him to run and not look back or he would shoot him. Four days later, the boy was shown a photo lineup of six men with similar builds and characteristics as the attacker. The victim picked Heinrich and another man as his possible attacker. No charges were filed in that attack.

Wetterling abduction: 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling was abducted Oct. 22, 1989, near St. Joseph.

Jacob, his brother Trevor and friend Aaron Larson were biking home from the convenience store when a man approached them with a gun and ordered them into the ditch. The man asked the boys their ages, groped Larson over his clothing and told Trevor Wetterling and Larson to run and not look back or he would shoot them.

The boys described the attacker as 5 foot 9 to 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds and having a low, raspy voice as if he had a cold. He was wearing a dark mask and clothing and was carrying a silver handgun.

FBI agents interviewed Heinrich on Dec. 16, 1989, about Wetterling, and he told them he couldn’t recall where he was on Jan. 13, 1989, or on Oct. 22, 1989. Investigators learned Heinrich had been in the National Guard, but Heinrich denied wearing camouflage when he was off duty. He denied any involvement in the abduction of the Cold Spring boy or Wetterling.

On Jan. 8, 1990, the Paynesville police chief told Wetterling investigators that he believed Heinrich could be a suspect in the Paynesville attacks.

Four days later, Heinrich was interviewed again and gave investigators his shoes and the rear tires from the blue Ford EXP he had purchased in 1989. He also gave investigators body hair samples.

Investigators on Jan. 24, 1990, searched the residence of Heinrich’s father. Heinrich had moved in November 1989 from his Paynesville residence to live with his father at 16021 Stearns County Road 124 [link added]. …

Read the full report and comments at the St. Cloud Times

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11/26/2015 Update

An In-Depth Look into Heinrich’s Life Before, After Wetterling Abduction

By Liz Collin
CBS Minnesota — WCCO
November 25, 2015

Excerpts

Unemployment, a move and an unsolved arson. WCCO is taking a closer look at what was happening in the life of Danny Heinrich in the days before, and after, Jacob Wetterling went missing. …

Every year of Heinrich’s life is being scrutinized.

Documents suggest one year in particular was filled with turmoil. That year was 1989. A then 26-year-old Heinrich was having financial trouble.

In March of 1989 his Mercury Topez was repossessed. Investigators believe he used that car to sexually assault Jared Scheirl in Cold Spring.

Heinrich admitted to his attorney in a burglary case years prior he’d been having problems dealing with his parent’s divorce. His mother remarried in July of 1989.

Heinrich also stopped working at Fingerhut in St. Cloud on October 8 of that year. …

Robert Dudley knows the time period well. He published a book about Wetterling’s abduction [link added] sorting through 25 years of promising leads and dead ends. …

In his research Dudley discovered in July of ‘89, three months before Wetterling was kidnapped, a 9-year-old St. Joseph boy told police he ran from a man driving a light tan van who asked him to get inside.

Authorities released a sketch of that man a week after Wetterling went missing.

If it is Heinrich, it’s the only sketch of him with glasses which he is usually pictured wearing.

Some parents called to say their kids saw that same man driving around St. Joseph that summer snapping pictures.

While it’s unknown if Heinrich had access to a van, WCCO found more recent records show Heinrich registered eight cars in the past 11 years.

Perhaps one of the most telling pieces of all is the suspect profile the FBI released just three days after Wetterling’s kidnapping: a white man, 25 to 35 years old, employed in a low-skilled job.

Investigators also believed he recently had a high-stress event in his life that triggered the high-risk way he kidnapped Wetterling. They also thought the threat of a gun indicated he may have tried a similar event before and failed.

Around the same time, the FBI described the suspect as commanding like a military man.

Heinrich served as a specialist in the National Guard. A spokesperson said he did not take part in any search for Wetterling in St. Joseph. …

Sources told WCCO just this year investigators revisited Heinrich’s connection to an early morning arson on November 12, 1989 at a home he was known to visit. It’s the same date documents said Heinrich started a new job.

Two weeks later, Heinrich moved from his downtown Paynesville apartment, where he’d lived for years, into his father’s basement two miles away.

Potential victims of Heinrich have been told by investigators that Heinrich lost 60 pounds before Wetterling’s kidnapping and then put 60 pounds back on in the few months that followed.  Another indication, experts said, that he may have been trying to avoid detection.

Patty and Jerry Wetterling will host a community meeting on Monday night in Paynesville.  They’re calling it a night of healing and sharing.

Investigators are expected to talk about what kind of tips they’re still looking for in this case to help narrow the focus. It begins at 7 p.m. at Paynesville High School.

Read full report and watch video at WCCO

Related: Timeline in the Jacob Wetterling abduction case

Related: A look at Danny Heinrich’s criminal past

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1/2/2016 Update

Behind the Person of Interest in the Jacob Wetterling Investigation

By Pam Louwagie and Jenna Ross

January 2, 2016

Excerpts

Now indicted on 25 child pornography charges in U.S. District Court, Heinrich has not been charged in Wetterling’s abduction, for which he has long denied involvement. …

A trial on the federal charges is set for March in Fergus Falls, according to a schedule filed in court this week. As Heinrich waits in Sherburne County jail, interviews with neighbors and classmates, plus hundreds of pages of public documents obtained through data requests, reveal a history of lesser offenses committed by a wayward young man. …

Read full report at the Star Tribune

Related: Jacob Wetterling case: 1989-2016

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Related reports on this site

Daniel Heinrich Search Warrant in Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping (Oct. 30, 2015)

Wetterling-suspect_Danny-Heinrich

New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015)

Wetterling_book-cover

Refer Joshua Guimond Case to FBI (Nov. 10, 2010)


Click on image for larger view


Nov 14th, 2015


Aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous les Parisiens! #JeSuisParis

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter spoke by phone this morning with French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian to convey his condolences for those killed during last night’s terrorist attacks in Paris. Secretary Carter told Minister Le Drian that the men and women of the Department of Defense stand with France entirely and are committed to helping France in any way that we can. The U.S. and France maintain a close relationship in countering terrorism around the world including direct action in North Africa, Syria, and Iraq. Secretary Carter reiterated the United States’ commitment to stand by our oldest ally in taking additional steps to respond to these barbaric attacks. (News Release No. NR-435-15, November 14, 2015)

Embedded image permalink
Peace for Paris ()

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11/15/2015 Update

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour reported that Europe’s worst nightmare is now taking place — that Islamic extremist group ISIS is making good on its pledge to hide operatives among the wave of refugees now entering Europe. The first bomber to blow himself up at the Stade de France on Friday was Syrian, and he landed with migrants on the Greek island of Leros on October 2, where he was issued an emergency passport under the name Ahmad al-Mohammad. … European officials believe, Amanpour said, that there is “a very professional new squad of terrorists inserting themselves into some of these migrant voyages.”

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Related reports on this site

Crossroads-Center_St-Cloud

New Post-9/11 Terrorist Strategy (Sept. 22, 2010)

As terror groups move away from planning complex 9/11-style attacks, involving months of planning and a large group of participants, it’s more difficult to detect and disrupt plots against the United States, according to three of the nation’s top counterterrorism officials.

Al-Qaida Plans Mumbai-Style Swarm Attacks (Oct. 2, 2010)

Responding to credible al-Qaida threats, the U.S. State Department is issuing a travel alert urging American citizens to be vigilant if they travel in Europe. Officials have not identified specific targets, but it’s likely terrorists might be considering Mumbai-style swarm attacks.

Airport Massacre Can Happen Here (Jan. 26, 2011)

While most Americans are focused on legitimate economic concerns, looming threats to our national security are building on the horizon, for example, the regrouping of al-Qaida to mount coordinated attacks on the United States – including Mumbai-style swarm attacks, Beslan-style school massacres, and other low-intensity, low-casualty (but panic-inducing) acts of terror with the potential to inflict serious damage on the U.S. economy.


Nov 11th, 2015

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was signed in “the war to end all wars.”

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Related reports on this site

A large sign showing the number of U.S. troops killed in the war in Iraq is shown on Veteran
A large sign showing the number of U.S. troops killed in the war in Iraq is shown on Veterans Day in a field of 4,824 wooden crosses in Lafayette, California, November 11, 2008. (Photo credit: Robert Galbraith / Reuters)

Veterans Day Parade (Nov. 11, 2009)

Veterans Day (Nov. 11, 2008)



On Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015 Jerry and Patty Wetterling spoke to the media for the first time since 52-year-old Daniel James (Danny) Heinrich of Annandale, Minn., was arrested on child pornography charges and named a “person of interest” in the Oct. 22, 1989 abduction of their son Jacob.

Watch St. Cloud Times video

Read report in the St. Cloud Times

Read report in the Newsleader

Wetterling-presser_11-3-2015
Dennis Dalman / The Newsleader

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12/7/2015 Update

Wetterling Family Holds Paynesville Meeting for Tips, Healing

By Nina Moini
CBS Minnesota — WCCO-TV
December 6, 2015

Excerpts

Tonight, Jacob Wetterling’s parents asked for leads in their son’s case and tried to bring healing over some other cases. …

Now, authorities are exploring whether a string of sexual assaults against boys around Paynesville in the 1980s are connected.

Danny Heinrich, 52, lived in Paynesville when Jacob disappeared. He is charged with possessing child pornography, and police say he’s a person of interest in the Wetterling case. …

[One Paynesville victim, Troy Cole, said] if police had more seriously investigated those earlier cases, the story may have ended differently. …

Court documents have revealed a former Paynesville police chief told investigators to look into Heinrich in 1990, calling Heinrich the chief suspect in the Paynesville attacks on young boys around Jacob’s age.

“I gave a statement the night it happened to a cop here, then 27 years later I finally get a call from a detective asking about it,” Cole said.

Cole said he feels the survivors of Paynesville attacks were ignored by authorities for years. …

Read full report and view video at WCCO

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12/13/2015 Update

Inside One Woman’s Search for Jacob Wetterling

itemprop
Joy Baker in her home office in New London, Minn. (Photo credit: Renee Jones Schneider / Star Tribune)

By Jenna Ross

December 6, 2015

Excerpts

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. — The remoteness of the road overwhelmed her. Standing beside it, Joy Baker couldn’t make sense of what had happened there two decades before: Jacob Wetterling, 11 years old, taken by a masked man, never to be seen since. …

Baker, now 48, began writing about the Wetterling investigation on her blog, “Joy the Curious[link added], launching a process of tireless questioning that Patty Wetterling, Jacob’s mother, credits with uncovering new possibilities in the case “way before anyone was really paying attention.’’ …

Investigators have now made official the questions Baker raised in 2013: Might the Paynesville attacks be connected to the kidnapping and assault of a Cold Spring boy just months before Jacob Wetterling’s abduction? …

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner declined to comment last week, citing the active investigation. But in the past, Sanner has said that his office knew about at least some of the Paynesville attacks long before Baker wrote about them.

Investigative teams routinely speculate about whether different crimes might be related, he said last year. “The difference is, she’s speculating and playing it out on a public stage, where anybody can read it. …

But Patty Wetterling believes Baker’s research into what authorities have since dubbed the “Paynesville assault cluster” pushed a possible link to Jacob’s abduction to “the top of the pile.” …

Read full report and view video at the Star Tribune

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Related reports on this site

Daniel Heinrich Search Warrant in Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping (Oct. 30, 2015)

Wetterling-suspect_Danny-Heinrich

Minnesota Missing Persons Linkage Analysis (June 22, 2011)


Missing Person Joshua Guimond (Nov. 7, 2009)



On Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 law enforcement authorities named 52-year-old Daniel James Heinrich of Annandale, Minn., as a “person of interest” in the October 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling. Heinrich was arrested Oct. 28 at his home on child pornography charges.

Daniel James Heinrich
Daniel James Heinrich

During a news conference in Minneapolis detailing the charges against Heinrich, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger and other officials stressed that Heinrich has not been charged in relation to the Wetterling abduction or the kidnapping and sexual assault of a Cold Spring boy named Jared (a case in which the statute of limitations has expired) nine months earlier in 1989.

However, forensic analysis established a DNA match between Heinrich and trace evidence on the clothing worn by Jared, the Cold Spring boy, on the night of his kidnapping and sexual assault in January 1989.

Furthermore, investigators have long suspected a link between the cases of Jared and Jacob and it is probable circumstantial evidence in the Wetterling case points to Danny Heinrich as the likely offender in Jacob’s kidnapping.

News and updates at the St. Cloud Times

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Search Warrant

View the search warrant for Daniel Heinrich’s residence in Annandale, Minn., executed on July 28, 2015.
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Danny Heinrich on Wetterling Investigators’ Radar Since 1989

By Courtney Godfrey
FOX
October 30, 2015

Danny Heinrich, the person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling abduction case, has been on investigators’ radars since the days right after he went missing. One private investigator said he’s always had his sights set on Heinrich.

Robert Dudley wrote a book on the investigation [link added] and said this break in the case doesn’t come as a surprise to him. The author is only the most recent to hand over evidence pointing to Heinrich.

A private investigator, whose notes are used in Dudley’s book, interviewed a man once considered the main suspect in the case.”

That suspect actually suggested that Heinrich had committed the crime,” Dudley said. “He described Heinrich’s car and police scanner radio as being very similar to that in Jared’s case.”

Dudley says Danny Heinrich is a name that’s been floating around for nearly all 26 years that Jacob has been missing. Investigation notes used in Dudley’s book describe Heinrich as a member of the National Guard, emotional, and a loner.

Dudley handed the investigation notes over to Stearns County investigators yet again a year ago.

“I sent the notes to Stearns County and the FBI [link added] and I don’t know if it was helpful or not,” he said.

All the private investigators Fox 9 talked to want to know, why now? The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says it’s because of better DNA technology, but some hinted they may have been under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Get updates at KMSP Fox 9

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Commentary

Here’s an excerpt from pages 248-249 of Robert M. Dudley’s book It Can’t Happen Here: The Search for Jacob Wetterling (2015) regarding Danny Heinrich:

In an interview with the private investigator [Duane Hart said] he had alibi for the night that Jacob was kidnapped, that he had been forty-five miles away from St. Joseph, at Mud Lake, west of New London. He said he was with one of his juvenile victims at the lake that night.

The investigative notes seem to indicate that Hart was attempting to help investigators narrow the search for the man responsible for Jared’s assault and Jacob’s abduction. …

When Hart was shown several sketches of possible suspects in both cases, he identified a handful of men as possible, but suggested one man in particular that he thought matched the description in Jared’s case in Cold Spring.

Hart identified that particular individual because the man often wore military type clothing, drove a dark blue car, and had a hand held police scanner.

Each of those items was consistent with descriptions from Jared’s account of his abduction and assault. …

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11/1/2015 Update

25th Anniversary Sparks Fresh Look At Jacob Wetterling Mystery

Photo credit: Aaron Lavinsky / Star Tribune
From left, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Drew Evans, Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, and FBI Special Agent in Charge for the Minneapolis Division Richard Thornton addressed the media Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 about a “person of interest” possibly involved in the 1989 disappearance of Jacob Wetterling. (Photo: Aaron Lavinsky / Star Tribune)

By Randy Furst and David Chanen

November 1, 2015

Excerpts

In January 1990, Paynesville’s police chief told detectives working Jacob’s case to consider Heinrich a suspect in the attacks, court documents said.

Sanner declined Friday to say when Heinrich became a focus of the investigation. But he said at Thursday’s news conference that authorities had looked at Heinrich years before.

In fact, Heinrich had been questioned about Jacob’s disappearance at least three times in 1989 and 1990 and was a suspect in a January 1989 kidnapping and sexual assault of a boy in Cold Spring, Minn., identified only as “JNS,” according to court documents released Thursday. …

In January 1990, Heinrich voluntarily provided body hair samples to authorities. The samples were retained, and on July 10 of this year, the BCA laboratory said the follicles matched hair samples found on the right wrist of the sweatshirt of the 1989 Cold Spring victim. …

Authorities, according to the warrant, also were looking for anything related to Jacob’s case, but there have been no reports that such evidence was found. …

Other items found included handcuffs, duct tape, knives and four tote bins filled with boys’ athletic wear. …

Read the full story at the Star Tribune

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11/8/2015 Update

Criminal Charges Are Still a Stretch in Wetterling Case

By Kelly Smith

November 8, 2015

Excerpts

Investigators are again on the hunt for Jacob Wetterling’s red hockey jacket, size 5 white Nike high-tops and other evidence that could lead them to the person who abducted him more than 26 years ago.

Without that evidence, or a suspect’s confession, there will likely be no criminal charges in a case that has gripped Minnesota for a generation. …

The only charge still available to prosecutors would be homicide, and that could be a difficult case to prove without evidence of a body. …

However, if evidence such as Jacob’s clothing is found and can be linked to a suspect, it’s likely prosecutors would seek homicide charges.

“When some kid is missing this long … there’s a strong assumption the kid is dead,” defense attorney Earl Gray said. “You don’t need the body.”

There is no statute of limitation for homicide. And other cases in Minnesota have ended in murder convictions without a body if there’s strong circumstantial evidence.

Last month, authorities named [Daniel] Heinrich a “person of interest” in Wetterling’s disappearance, and the warrant to search his home included items such as Wetterling’s shoes and hockey jacket. …

Victims who come forward can help a case like Wetterling’s if investigators can establish a suspect’s pattern, [said Jeanne Schleh, a retired Ramsey County assistant attorney who wrote the manual on the prosecution of child abuse]. …

All the renewed interest in Wetterling’s case brings more hope it will be solved, but it’s still a ways off.

“The case still needs a break,” Schleh said. “It’s a very difficult case without a new form of evidence.”

Read the full story at the Star Tribune

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11/9/2015 Update

The “Other Person of Interest” in the Jacob Wetterling Case

By Tom Lyden
FOX
November 8, 2015

Excerpts

Robert Dudley knew of Heinrich, but left him out of  “It Can’t Happen Here,” his book published earlier this year on the Wetterling case.

“When you look at the information you wonder why is he still free 26 years later,” Dudley said of Heinrich.

Dudley believes the break in the case may have been handwritten notes he turned over to the FBI a few months ago.  They came from a prison interview conducted 25 years ago with Duane Allen Hart who is a convicted pedophile. The notes were taken by a private detective working for Hart’s defense attorney.

Wetterling detectives considered Hart a “person of interest,” or POI, from the very start. …

Read the full story at Fox 9

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11/10/2015 Update

The Sound of Danny Heinrich’s Voice

A WCCO-TV review of their archives has turned up a 1996 undercover interview with person of interest Danny Heinrich conducted with a hidden camera. In it, Heinrich describes how authorities arrested him in February 1990 and accused him of abducting Jacob Wetterling.

Read the full story at WCCO

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Related reports on this site

New Book on Jacob Wetterling Abduction, Search, and Suspects (April 17, 2015)

Wetterling_book-cover

25-Year Anniversary of Jacob Wetterling Abduction (Oct. 22, 2014)

Paddy_JacobGarden-1_10-09-2008
Inscribed stone slab in Jacob’s Garden at North Junior High School, St. Cloud, taken Oct. 9, 2008. (Photo: Aubrey Immelman)

Minnesota Missing Persons Linkage Analysis (June 22, 2011)


Jacob Wetterling Kidnapping Tips (March 2, 2011)

Jacob’s Kidnapping ‘Comes of Age’ (Oct. 22, 2010)

Jerry Wetterling wears a button showing a digitally aged photo of Jacob as he might have looked at age 21.
Jerry Wetterling wears a button showing a digitally aged photo of Jacob as he might have looked at age 21. (Photo: Kimm Anderson / St. Cloud Times)

Jacob Wetterling — Latest News (Oct. 5, 2010)

Google Earth Map
Satellite image of the Wetterling abduction site and surrounding area shows how few residences there are in the vicinity. The development northwest of the abduction site did not exist and consisted of woodland at the time of Jacob’s kidnapping in 1989 (Google Earth / Joy Baker; click on image for larger display; view map of abduction site)

Jacob Wetterling Freedom Walk (Dec. 21, 2009)


On Sunday, Dec. 19, 2009, the third and final day of Jacob’s Freedom Walk for Missing and Abducted Children, Vietnam vets, led by Mike Clark and Jerry Wetterling, are met by Jacob’s mother Patty Wetterling upon arriving at the site where 11-year-old Jacob was abducted on Sunday, October 22, 1989, about half a mile from the Wetterling home in rural St. Joseph, Minn. After a prayer, three rifle rounds are fired as the universal symbol of letting the lost or missing know they’re being searched for.

Missing Person Joshua Guimond (Nov. 7, 2009)

Jacob Wetterling 20 Years On (Oct. 22, 2009)


A photo of Jacob Wetterling from 1989, the year he was taken (left), and an age-adjusted image of what he may have looked like at age 29 (right).

Jacob Wetterling Celebration (Oct. 16, 2009)


Patty Wetterling sings with Red Grammer during the “Celebration of Children” concert at the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, Oct. 17, 2009. (Photo credit: Adam Hammer / St. Cloud Times)

Wetterling Friend Shares Story (Apr. 28, 2009)

U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Aaron Larson poses with his fiancée Jackie Tentinger and 2-year-old son, Anikan, as he arrives home April 17, 2009 in Slayton, Minn. (Photo credit: Associated Press / St. Cloud Times)
U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Aaron Larson poses with his fiancée Jackie Tentinger and 2-year-old son, Anikan, as he arrives home April 17, 2009 in Slayton, Minn., after a year-long deployment in Iraq. As an 11-year-old boy in St. Joseph, Aaron was with his best friend Jacob Wetterling when Jacob was kidnapped by a masked gunman on Sunday, Oct. 22, 1989. (Photo credit: Justine Wettschreck — Daily Globe /Associated Press)

Jacob Wetterling Lead Unravels (Jan. 7, 2009)


Vern’s Barber Shop in St. Francis, Wis.
(Photo: John Klein / Journal Sentinal)



A psychological analysis of Texas senator Ted Cruz — a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election — by Atarah Pinder and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Cruz’s primary personality pattern is Dominant / forceful, with secondary Ambitious / confident and Dauntless / Adventurous features and less prominent Outgoing / congenial and Contentious / resolute tendencies. In summary, Cruz’s personality composite can be characterized as a risk-taking, confident controller.

Ted Cruz poster 2015-09
Click on image for larger view

Following is a summary of the major findings of the study, as published in an opinion column in the St. Cloud Times.

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Ted Cruz: Will the “Wacko Bird” Soar Like an Eagle?

Cruz_2015-08-06_AFP-Getty-SCT
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz participates in the Republican presidential primary debate Aug. 6, 2015 in Cleveland. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images via St. Cloud Times)

By Atarah Pinder
St. Cloud Times
September 6, 2015

Many people dislike Texas Sen. Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz — including some of his Republican colleagues.

In fact, 2008 Republican nominee Sen. John McCain has gone so far as to call Cruz a “wacko bird.”

Presidential hopeful Cruz embraces the label and wears it as a badge of honor. But the question remains: How high can this “wacko bird” fly in the 2016 Republican primary?

Currently, Cruz ranks among the top five contenders in the polls, beating out more than 10 of his rivals in the crowded Republican field. Perhaps the skills he honed as a college debater at Princeton — he was named U.S. National Speaker of the Year in 1992 — are setting him apart from his competitors. Cruz’s eloquent and emotive language has been known to woo a crowd.

Confident or cocksure?

Cruz is not afraid to speak his mind. He has strong beliefs and asserts them, which sometimes frustrates or angers the unseasoned freshman senator’s more senior Republican Senate colleagues.

For example, while campaigning in New Hampshire last week, Cruz point-blank blamed President Obama for inciting the murder of a police officer shot 15 times while pumping gas in Houston.

Not much can shake Cruz’s supreme confidence in himself and his abilities — to the point where he risks being seen as cocksure and arrogant.

Case in point: While a student at Harvard Law, the young Cruz refused to study with anyone who hailed from what he called “the minor Ivies” — Penn and Brown. Cruz appears to see himself as smarter and more principled than most, smugly looking down on others.

So, it came as no surprise when the 44-year-old Canadian-born Texan, after serving barely two years in the U.S. Senate, became the first contender officially to announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

Forceful, fearless, ambitious

Empirical analysis of Cruz’s personality at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University’s Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics this summer employed the 170-item Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria, which assesses the attribute domains of expressive behavior, interpersonal conduct, cognitive style, mood/temperament and self-image.

Not unexpectedly, given the characteristic behaviors Cruz displayed in law school and in Congress, Cruz’s primary personality pattern was found to be Dominant/forceful, with secondary features of the Ambitious/confident and Dauntless/adventurous patterns.

Cruz’s combination of dominant, ambitious and dauntless patterns points to a personality complex best characterized as a “risk-taking, confident controller.”

Cruz’s dominance, in its most distilled form, is expressed in his personal morality and deeply held convictions. His views are fully formed and he defends them relentlessly and with uncompromising fervor. Like-minded voters likely view these traits as indicative of a strong, commanding leader who gets the job done.

Cruz’s ambitious and dauntless characteristics plausibly provide the psychological underpinnings of the alacrity with which he was the first candidate out of gate in the presidential race. Clearly, Cruz ardently believes in his self-efficacy and is unafraid to take calculated risks.

Against the grain

Dauntless personalities like Cruz — and, incidentally, both the aforementioned McCain and former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura — are nonconformists who live by their own internal code of values and beliefs. They are not easily influenced by the norms of society, and often go against the grain.

Ventura famously, in his own words, “shocked the world.” As for Cruz, the question remains. Will this dauntless, ambitious, forceful “wacko bird” get wacked out of contention in the primaries, or will Cruz soar to the GOP nomination to proclaim from a perch at the Republican National Convention next summer that the eagle has landed?

This is the opinion of Atarah Pinder, Nassau, Bahamas, a senior psychology major at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, where she was a summer research fellow in the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, directed by Aubrey Immelman.

Pinder-Atarah_2015-08
Atarah Pinder, Nassau, Bahamas (Submitted photo)

About this series

This is the seventh in an occasional series of personality profiles of most of the Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential election. Atarah Pinder is a research associate at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, a collaborative faculty–student research program in the psychology of politics at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, led by associate professor Aubrey Immelman, who specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates and world leaders.

The unit’s summer research program focused on GOP contenders because of the unprecedented number of presidential hopefuls and the unit’s mission to help the public make better informed voting choices. Major Democratic candidates will be profiled next spring.

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Note: Personal Electability Index (favorability) score

Ted Cruz scores moderately high on the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria-based Personal Electability Index, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996.

Following are the PEI calculations for Ted Cruz:

Ted Cruz: PEI = 25

Scale:  1A   1B   2   3   4   5A   5B   6   7   8
Score: 13     6    8   4   0    0      4    2   0   0

Scale: 1A = 13; 2 = 8; 3 = 4; 6 = 2; 8 = 0

[Extraversion (scale 3) = 4] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 8] + [Dominance (scale 1) = 13] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 0] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (2 - 2) = 0] = 25 – 0 = 25

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Related reports on this site

Why Donald Trump Beats Jeb Bush: The Personal Electability Index (Aug. 23, 2015)

Trump-Bush_2015-08-06_Getty-SCT
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Comparative Psychological Profiles of the GOP Field (Aug. 6, 2015)

Fox News candidates on stage

Republican Presidential Candidate Profiles, Polling, and Debates (May 31, 2015)



Republican presidential contenders (from left to right and top to bottom) Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum (Photo credits: Gage Skidmore, officeholder official portraits / Wikipedia)



A psychological analysis of retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson — a contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential election — by Hannah Hoppe and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Carson’s most prominent personality patterns are Dominant / assertive, Ambitious / confident, and Conscientious / respectful. In summary, Carson’s personality composite can be characterized as a confident, deliberative organizer.

Carson poster (2015-08)
Click on image for larger view

Following is a summary of the major findings of the study, as published in an opinion column in the St. Cloud Times.

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Carson’s Restraint May Keep Him from the Top Spot

Carson_2015-08-27_AP-SCT
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks Aug. 27 at a rally in Little Rock, Arkansas. (Photo: AP)

By Hannah Hoppe
St. Cloud Times
August 30, 2015

“The first person ever to go under Dr. Ben Carson’s knife … was stabbed by him in school.”

With such an eventful chapter in his childhood history, psychological analysis of pediatric neurosurgeon and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson seems almost disappointing, revealed nothing quite so dramatic. In fact, Carson’s personality profile turns out to be rather unremarkable — for a presidential candidate, that is.

Matt K. Lewis relates the story of Carson’s boyhood stabbing in the Daily Caller (“The time Dr. Ben Carson knifed someone,” June 12, 2014). While psychoanalytically oriented analysts might be tempted to speculate that Carson sublimated — channeled — his deep-seated aggressive impulses into his chosen profession, we won’t go there.

Instead, we conducted a comprehensive empirical analysis of Carson’s character this summer at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University’s Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics for insight into Carson’s typical patterns of thinking, acting, feeling and relating to others — that is, his personality.

Assertive, confident, respectful

The most prominent feature of Carson’s personality profile, as measured by the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria, is that he has no extreme elevations, in stark contrast to some of his competitors — such as Donald Trump with his spikes on aggressiveness, narcissism and extroversion, or Jeb Bush with his conspicuous scale elevations on conscientiousness and introversion.

In short, Carson’s profile is relatively flat, suggesting a well-balanced, even-keeled personality relatively flexible in the ability to respond adaptively to a broad range of situational demands.

The key drivers for Carson are the dominant/assertive, ambitious/ confident and conscientious/respectful patterns. People with a combination of dominant and ambitious traits are typically characterized as strong-willed, competitive and driven to succeed.

Furthermore, moderately conscientious people like Carson are classically earnest, polite, respectful, principled personalities with a strong work ethic.

Political implications

Despite possessing personality traits that signify fitness to govern, the sedate, composed persona projected by those traits, ironically, entails that Carson likely will encounter difficulty — unlike, say, Trump — to draw attention to himself and capture the earned media instrumental in elevating a candidate to a position of prominence in the large Republican field.

Given his understated, soft-spoken, unpretentious personality, it’s noteworthy that Carson is one of just three candidates to raise his stock significantly in the Aug. 6 Fox News debate — from 7 percent in the last Fox News GOP preference poll prior to the debate to 12 percent post-debate. (The other stock-raisers were Ted Cruz, from 6 percent to 10 percent, and Carly Fiorina, from 2 percent to 5 percent.)

Carson’s rise is all the more remarkable in view of the fact that he was one of the most overlooked candidates in the debate. According to the New York Times, Carson spoke for just 6 minutes and 48 seconds, compared with 11 minutes, 14 seconds for Trump and only marginally more than Rand Paul, who brought up the rear with 5 minutes and 28 seconds at the mic.

To reiterate, there’s really nothing in Carson’s profile to suggest he should have raised his poll numbers to the extent he did in the debate. For example, like Bush and Scott Walker, he’s quite conscientious, a quality that does not play well with voters (because it makes a candidate seem boring) and not particularly extroverted (which makes a candidate appear animated and engaging).

What lifts Carson?

It’s possible Carson improved his standing in the polls merely by dint of his memorable closing statement, which played well with the audience and received broad coverage in the media, in particular his pithy remark, “I’m the only one (among the presidential hopefuls) to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.”

Notably, Carson’s witty rejoinder reflects the self-deprecating, dry humor sometimes found in conscientious personalities; however, along with introversion, that particular personality trait does not play well in retail politics. What does pay dividends in popularity points is a candidate who is publicly perceived as highly dominant, supremely self-confident and energetically outgoing — which sounds like Trump, not Carson.

Ultimately, our best take on Carson’s rise in the polls is that good numbers of voters do, in fact, respond favorably to someone as restrained and unpretentious as Carson. Perhaps not enough to make him king of the hill, but sufficient to lift him to his present perch comfortably at second place in the polls.

This is the opinion of Hannah Hoppe, St. Cloud, a senior psychology major at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, where she is a summer research fellow in the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, directed by Aubrey Immelman.

Hoppe-Hannah_2015 (cropped)
Hannah Hoppe, St. Cloud (Submitted photo)

About this series

This is the sixth in an occasional series of personality profiles of most of the Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential election. Hannah Hoppe is a research assistant at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, a collaborative faculty–student research program in the psychology of politics at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, led by associate professor Aubrey Immelman, who specializes in the psychological assessment of presidential candidates and world leaders.

The unit’s summer research program focused on GOP contenders because of the unprecedented number of presidential hopefuls and the unit’s mission to help the public make better informed voting choices. Major Democratic candidates will be profiled next spring.

———————————————————————————————————

Note: Personal Electability Index (favorability) score

Ben Carson scores moderately on the Millon Inventory of Diagnostic Criteria-based Personal Electability Index, which has accurately predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996.

Following are the PEI calculations for Ben Carson:

Ben Carson: PEI = 13

Scale:  1A    1B     2    3    4    5A    5B    6    7    8
Score:   8      4       7    2    2     0       2     7    2    1

Scale: 1A = 8; 2 = 7; 3 = 2; 6 = 7; 8 = 1

[Extraversion (scale 3) = 2] + [Narcissism (scale 2) = 7] + [Dominance (scale 1) = 8] – [Introversion (scale 8) = 1] – [Conscientiousness (scale 6) = (7 - 4) = 3] = 17 – 4 = 13

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Related report

Trump, Carson in Close Fight in Iowa Poll

Embedded image permalink

By Mark Hensch
http://cstl-cla.semo.edu/cidistefano/ps103/smallogo.jpg

August 27, 2015

Excerpts

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and businessman Donald Trump are neck-and-neck for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination in Iowa, a new poll says.

The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register survey released on Saturday finds that the two are tied in Iowa caucus-goer support when voters’ first and second choices for the Republican coronation are combined.

Each is the first or second choice of 32 percent of respondents.

Trump won the poll overall, getting 23 percent support. Carson comes in second at 18 percent. …

“Trump and Carson, one bombastic and the other sometimes soft-spoken, could hardly be more different in their outward presentations,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., who conducted the poll, according to Bloomberg.

“Yet they’re both finding traction because they don’t seem like politicians and there’s a strong demand for that right now,” she added.

Saturday’s poll found that Trump is vastly improving his position in Iowa since launching his presidential campaign in June.

He is now rated favorably by 61 percent of Republican voters there, with 35 percent ranking him unfavorably. …

The survey found that Carson is buoyed in Iowa by his likable public persona and his vocal Christian faith.

It said that 79 percent likely GOP caucus-goers view the retired neurosurgeon favorably, the highest score in the GOP’s entire 2016 field. …

Read the full report

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Related report

Ben Carson’s Secret Weapon: He’s Getting Better With Age

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks during the Freedom Summit in Greenville, South Carolina May 9, 2015. (REUTERS/Chris Keane)
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks during the Freedom Summit in Greenville, South Carolina May 9, 2015. (Photo: Chris Keane / Reuters)

By Matt K. Lewis
The Daily Caller
September 2, 2015

Excerpts

Ben Carson is the rarest of political candidates: He actually learns from his mistakes. …

If politicians are known to have egos, then you might expect a world-class surgeon (a profession that lends itself to developing a god complex!) to have a huge one. But a willingness to learn is a sign of humility, and Dr. Carson is showing signs that he is introspective and self-critical. …

The good news for Carson is that he has continued to perform well in the polls, even as he has tempered his rhetoric to match his personality. …

Like Trump (and Fiorina), Carson ironically benefits from having zero elected experience. And like Trump, he holds to some unorthodox ideas for a conservative. But Carson is also a highly respected neurosurgeon, an African-American Republican with a tremendous personal story, and a man who is utterly compelling and impossible to dislike. …

If and when Donald Trump stumbles or recedes, don’t be surprised if Dr. Ben Carson gets his moment (or maybe more?) in the spotlight. And when that moment comes, we will see if he really has learned his lesson, and is prepared to seize the day.

Could he become president? Everything I know about history and politics suggests he won’t. But then again, the rules are in flux. If a poor boy from Detroit can grow up to become so famous that the make a TV movie about him, it’s hard to count that man out.

Read the full report

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10/27/2015 Update

Poll_2015-10_NYT-CBS

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Related reports on this site

Why Donald Trump Beats Jeb Bush: The Personal Electability Index (Aug. 23, 2015)

Trump-Bush_2015-08-06_Getty-SCT
Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Comparative Psychological Profiles of the GOP Field (Aug. 6, 2015)

Fox News candidates on stage