Fresno Activist Stabbed to Death Shortly After Predicting his Demise on Social Media
[dropcap size=big]F[/dropcap]or the central valley, especially it’s largest city of Fresno, violent crime is a harsh reality. In a state with extremely strict gun laws, only a select few citizens are allowed to concealed carry, so many citizens are dependent on the police department for protection. But what if the police can’t protect you? Worse yet, what if the police have no interest in protecting you and are even indicating that they’re your worst enemy?
In the activist community, problems with law enforcement are commonplace, but an officer’s duty should be to protect and serve regardless of whether or not they like the person they’re protecting. Unfortunately for Fresno activist John Lang, his experiences with police were tumultuous enough that he (and many others) believed his trouble with police would end with bloodshed. In fact, Lang was so certain of this he predicted his demise on social media days before he was killed on January 20th.
There’s an important backstory to Lang’s conflict with Police. Lang had kept a detailed journal of his encounters with the police. The journal indicates the tension began when he criticized excessive ticketing by the police department in a comment on fresnobee.com. Lang wrote:
I was having trouble in my marriage. Then I was ticketed two blocks away from the Home Depot on West Shaw in Fresno, where I had just visited. I later learned that Fresno Law Enforcement had a “pattern of practice” of unethically scanning license plates on private retail parking lots. They then pull the unsuspecting drivers over a block or two away from said parking lots. This was meant to optimize ticket revenue at a very minimal expense. Millions of dollars of revenue has been generated in this questionable manner by Fresno area Law Enforcement agencies. A “pattern of practice” that is still in use today by Fresno area Law Enforcement agencies. The added financial stress related to this incident crippled what was left of my marriage. I was devastated, angry, and upset. I thought the parking lot license plate scanning was abusive and simply designed as a revenue generating scheme for the City of Fresno. So, as an expression of peaceful protest I voiced my opinion on the Fresno Bee, which I now realize was a mistake. I thought I was anonymous, but an employee at the Fresno Bee, “Jody Murray” was “feeding” a known Sheriff Sergeant who used the alias hikerdude67 or hikerdude1967 website log data containing identifiable ip address information that Fresno LE used to track down Fresno Citizens who were posting comments critical of Fresno LE and the City of Fresno. Preliminary identification identifies hikerdude1967 as Jared L McCormick, a Fresno County Sheriff Sergeant. Within weeks I was vehicle “tailed” by undercover Sheriff officers who were routinely waiting on the street near my home. One individual I recognized by his very unique hair and facial features was the same Sheriff personnel who a few years later followed me into a Save Mart grocery store located at Clinton and Blackstone. The details of this later incident are listed in the 12/01/14 “Time Line / Notes section”, which can be found below. Fresno PD was also occasionally following me as well, although their harassment participation was exponentially growing. In 2013 and 2014 I was being followed very frequently by Fresno PD and Fresno Sheriff personnel. The frequency was so high that both agencies had obviously gps’d my car or my phone, they seemed to be “popping up everywhere”. I also believe that Fresno LE (both PD and Sheriff) was also “tapping” my phone and my ex-wife’s phone, either illegally, or by obtaining a warrant under false premise and or claims. I later learned from other commenters on the Bee, that other posters who were known to be critical Fresno LE and the City of Fresno were also targeted by Fresno LE. I learned Fresno LE including Fresno PD and Fresno Sheriff personnel had a pattern of “harassment and intimidation” against citizens who criticized Fresno Law Enforcement, Fresno Government, or Fresno Public employees. There were many posters discussing this problem of Fresno LE retaliation for speaking out about Fresno Police abuses.
It only escalated from there. Lang believed that the harassment against him peaked in 2013 during the Measure G campaign. Below, he details his experience commenting on Fresno Bee‘s website and how it may have aggravated those who opposed him. One of these people was none other than a Fresno Bee editor by the name of Jody Murray.
The surveillance and harassment peaked about a year and a half ago or so when Measure G was on the ballot. I was a fairly well known commenter on the Fresno Bee and had over 2500 comments and over 3000 likes (up votes). I was a fierce opponent against Mayor Ashley Swearengin’s Measure G campaign. I was also critical of Fresno Law Enforcement and other City of Fresno departments. I now realize this was not a good idea. I had debated Fire Chief Brown regarding fire budgets a few days before his well publicized incident. I was an overt poster, and unwittingly and naively, I was also becoming a target. Based on my experience of being followed by Fresno LE personnel (PD and Sheriff) I had publicly stated on the Bee that “Fresno PD and the Fresno Sheriff’s department had a “File” and “Data” on anyone who was even remotely critical of Fresno LE. And, for what purpose the “File” had, I had no idea, but I knew it wasn’t anything good. But, after my experience with Fresno PD and the Fresno Sheriff’s personnel I clearly understood what the “File” meant. I had a target on my back and Fresno PD and the Sheriff’s Department we going to stop at nothing to get me, even if it meant breaking the law and violating my civil rights. Months later the Fresno Bee switched their comment system to a FaceBook only set up and 90 percent of the commenters left. After this transition I terminated my posting on the Bee and sent an email to the Bee Editor Jim Borden on 9/13/13 and 9/17/13 explaining that a Bee employee named “Jody Murray” was sharing the ip log data of Bee commenters with Fresno Sheriff personnel and Sheriff personnel were subsequently harassing these folks who were posting comments on the Bee website. I also sent an email to a Sacramento Bee reporter [email protected] on 3/24/14 regarding the same allegation, neither of the two replied back to me. After I sent those emails, simple vehicle “tailing” harassment escalated into something more serious. I believe that during the last year and a half or so, and post 9/13/13 and 9/17/13 a small group of Fresno Sheriff personnel and Fresno Police officers, as retaliation and punishment, has initiated a multitude of investigations on me, through a multitude of agencies, in an effort to discredit and destroy me. They also instituted an aggressive campaign of harassment and intimidation that consisted of, by not limited to: covert and overt vehicle “tailing” on numerous occasions, illegally wire tapping of my phone line and my ex-wife’s phone line, and my 10 year old daughters phone line. With the information gained through these illegal wire taps they have contacted my professional business customers insinuating that I am a bad guy who is currently under various investigations and that it might be best if they didn’t do business with me.
Lang also took close records of the encounters via a home surveillance system he installed. He details in his journal his perception of the video evidence, which he sees as damning against Murray and those who may have been out to get him.
Approximately in April or May of 2014 I received a call from a person to look at a Jet Ski that I placed for sale on Craig’s List. Three people showed up for this appointment. One had all the mannerisms and personality of a LE person. He was tall with an average build and short cropped blond hair and based on his mannerism I believe this person was Fresno Sheriff personnel. The other one, surprisingly, was Jody Murray. However at the time I did not realize he was Jody Murray. The third person was a younger male, slightly heavy set, riding a newer modern motorcycle. Following this appointment, which was also after my email to Jim Borden and the Sacramento bee reporter, the harassment significantly spiked. More recently, during the last three months I have been followed much more frequently. Since Fresno PD and Fresno Sheriff personnel seems to always appear as I was out at some location doing my daily routine, I assumed they had GPS’ed my phone or car. This, I believe was how they are tracking and following me. On 12/01/14 I was followed to the Save Mart at Blackstone and Clinton (see date notes for Dec 1, 2014). I was also followed into the store. The person following me was continuously talking on the phone with someone. I believe this person in the store was giving a second party my activities and precise time estimates of my shopping progress. I believe this second party was then using these time estimates to illegally enter my residence and property. And, I believe it’s happened more than once. I had been noticing odd events on certain occasions when I would return home from shopping or picking up my daughter from school. I have more detail on these events in the time line section of this letter. Based on what I’ve described above I believe these individuals have planted something in my residence and are planning to arrest me on some false charge or perhaps worse. I operate a small marine repair shop and recently I have received numerous calls regarding fake emission stickers which allow boaters bypass gross polluter laws on Personal Water Craft vessels. I had never heard of these fake stickers before and I’ve never before had phone calls from new customers discussing illegal activities with me. I had nearly five of these calls in a 3 day period. One of these calls was a referral from a newer customer of mine, Tim Tompsett, who works for the City of Fresno’s Wastewater division. See the notes dated: 3/09/2015 7:18 PM. As mentioned earlier I also believe Fresno LE has also contacted my customers from my part time businesses (property management and webhosting), this information, they would only have access to by accessing my home computer or illegally wiretapping my phone. One such incident was in March of 2015. I had just had a conservation on the phone with Bryan Andre of Aquatic Pets (http://www.aquaticpets.net) in Clovis California, 559-298-4549. For over 10 years he has been a web customer of mine and always has good follow up with invoices and questions. He had asked me to rebuild his website and called to check on the progress of the website. I told him it would be done in a couple of days. He said “great” and asked me to follow up with him in a couple of days. Following up a couple of days later I called him back but suddenly he stopped returning my calls and emails. In one email to which I sent over 15 he said he really liked the new site design and told me to send him an invoice. I have sent multiple invoices and emails to which he never responds. This is extremely uncharacteristic of Bryan, and as stated, I have known him for over 10 years. I believe Fresno Sheriff’s personnel listening in on my phone conversations made contact with Bryan and told him I was a “bad” guy who was under various investigations. Bryan eventually did email me and claimed he canceled his services with me because he thought I charged too much. After 10 years and an agreement on this particular price for a new website he thought I charged too much? Fresno Law Enforcement were using their illegal wiretaps or “StingRay Devices” to determine who my customers were so they could meddle and create conflict with my customers. This is part of the Fresno LE conspiracy with the Fresno Sheriff Department in the lead to financially and legally ruin me for my past comments on the Fresno Bee, and emailing Jim Borden the Fresno Bee Editor details of the scheme between Jody Murray and Fresno Sheriff personnel.
Most ominous was that Lang knew that he was not long for the world days before he perished, and pleaded for help across Facebook prior to his death.
Surely enough, John Lang was found dead in his home, which ABC30 said was intentionally set on fire. Lang had multiple stab wounds, but it was unclear whether or not he had been killed from the wounds or the smoke inhalation.
The Libertarian Republic managed to get a statement regarding the matter with a friend of John’s, Brian Sumner. Sumner detailed his perception on the events and his take on what may have lead to John Lang’s murder.
TLR: Tell us where it all started.Brian: John told me it all started with him commenting on the Fresno Bee website about politicians and police officers and others.I met him last year and spent a day talking with him at his house.TLR: Do you have the comment he made screencapped?Brian: No it was long before I was an activist. The Fresno Bee has changed their website since then and all the comments and correspondence are lost to the cybersphere.TLR: When did FPD start taking action against him?Brian: John believed Jody Murray an editor released his information to the police prompting the harassment.TLR: What made John think the FPD was going to kill him?Brian: According to John they had been following him for a while. John was very perceptive and extremely rational at times. I honestly can’t say how he knew. I personally believe he knew something and it was detrimental to the establishment.I’m not entirely sure exactly when the police started harassing him but it has been a couple years for sure.TLR: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Brian: I checked on John after reading about his death in the paper. 2 cops arrived just minutes after I did. They said the were with FPD but I received evidence a few minutes ago that they are actually Sheriffs.They were in an unmarked camry and wearing civilian clothes.I’ll get you the video links as well.*He links to the video of him confronting the men in the car outside of Lang’s house*
Brian: Video proving they are sheriffs:
Complete playlist of John Lang’s video footage
TLR: Anything else you want to say for this article?
Brian: John Lang is a perfect example of what happens when you ignore peoples cries for help. His story was far fetched but as far as I can tell it is true. Unfortunately he it took his murder to open everyone up to the truth.