The Cause of the Wagner Murders: Being dumb is just as dangerous as any weapon

Let’s get something straight, judging people is good. It’s really good. The current world may say judge not and ye not be judged and I say to that, bull shit. I make my living being very judgmental and I will never starve, nor will my family because of it. Judgement is what makes us as human beings different from say a………………………………rock. So before anybody says to me, “how dare you judge people so negatively” I will say to them, shut the hell up and go get a basic education, then lets talk. Passing judgment is the way humans navigate through their existence and if you don’t do it, you might as well cut off your arms and legs because judgment is just as important to anyone and everyone. And with that in mind I watched the arraignment of the various Wagner family members intensely as they were charged with the execution style murders of eight Rhoden family members. Each of them had their own court appearance, Billy Wagner being the last, all 6’ 6” of him at 274 pounds and covered in tattoos. His wife Angela and their sons Jake and George leading up to the climax as the public saw them really for the first time. It was quite an event to look at people who could even consider murdering people in such a violent way, and all over a child custody battle. But it wasn’t just them who were part of the exhibition, it was the family who had gathered in the audience which told more of the story, one that is worth noting for posterity.

What I saw in the various arraignments was a family who liked each other and were sad that they would likely never see each other again. Their lives were ruined and essentially over and particularly in Angela, the wife, that reality had hit her hard. They looking like a nice family that probably enjoyed being around other members of their family and had hopes and dreams that lasted until that crushing moment that they decided to go kill the family that had disputed them in a custody battle over a child that was shared between them. Literature is filled with the rage of passion that comes from such emotions—Romeo and Juliet come to mind. It’s not like history doesn’t have something to say on these matters and the purpose of education is so that we learn from history, even from the fiction that authors come up with to deal with raw emotions that sometimes do erupt under tenuous circumstances.

As I watched the body language of each of them, especially Billy I couldn’t help but think that it was stupidity that had brought them all to that moment and it was such a tragedy. Being stupid in modern America is a choice and in rural Ohio a long way to the east of Cincinnati there isn’t much of a daily need for books and such. Billy likely made his way through life using his size as leverage in negotiating with other people intimidating them into compliance, so he didn’t have to put much thought into things. As he got older, he tattooed himself up because it looked scary and gave him even more capital when he needed to frighten people into doing what he said. So he didn’t have much experience in problem solving—most things in life he could solve in eastern Ohio by looking scary. That was until one of his boys impregnated the daughter of the Rhoden family that was deep into illegal activity. Between their chop shop on the family compound, their illegal cock-fighting games, and their marijuana growing operation, the Rhodens were a ruling family in that part of the world and their capital assets were their access to power. The police obviously knew what was going on and was probably involved to some extent. So when the Wagners decided that they couldn’t rely on the courts to help them with their custody case they resorted to the only means of communication they understood, brute strength and intimidation. After all, a big guy like Billy didn’t want to hear his ol’ lady bitch about some chick that his son had screwed for the rest of his life and the granddaughter that they had limited access to because the Rhodens were politically much more powerful. So he rationalized that he just kill them all so he wouldn’t have to hear about it anymore.

I’m sure the situation I described isn’t far from reality based on what we have learned so far in the case. Many families could tell the same story, they just usually don’t end up killing a rival family. As we are considering this case here on these pages, many families are thinking of Christmas and there are a lot of women getting themselves worked up over some girl their boys are dating, or some affair that someone had with someone else that is tainting the Holiday experience, or some in-law that they don’t like. Unfortunately, the Holidays for most people are filled with people they don’t like, but are nice to out of the necessity for civility. But in the car ride home the bitching never stops and it goes on incessantly and if you are a big boy like Billy who had up to that point in his life solved most problems with brute force, there really isn’t a good way to shut up the voices of dissent that come from family interactions with people who don’t share your immediate values. A big, dumb man covered in tattoos, limited reading ability and a terrible education to reference anything against is pretty defenseless in a world that requires intellect and thoughtful consideration and the sad thing about the Wagner situation is that they were all just too dumb to solve their problems with the Rhodens any other way.

As brutal as the Wagner massacre of the Rhoden family was, there is a very Christian like morality layered under it all that naturally comes from life in the Bible belt, a morality on the benefits of young children who were spared in the killings. But to any intelligent observation from the outside world, it’s not the custody of the child that was the problem. It was their level of intellectual ability that would surely destroy any child spawned from such dumb people. Being dumb is a choice, it’s not the same as being intellectually handicapped because of some birth defect. It’s a choice not to learn to read and write properly and not to use history as a guide on how to maneuver through the future. To just solve a problem the way that Shakespeare wrote about over 400 years ago is dumb because it is ignoring 500 years of human evolution in rational discourse. And if the truth were told, that is the cause of these terrible murders—sheer dumbness, purposeful lack of intellect displayed upon the upbringing of a defenseless child. Because even if the murders didn’t occur the poor kid would grow up to be just as dumb as its parents, bitching about the same dumb problems every Holiday about the same dumb people they ran into in town. And the kid would over eat and become fat like the rest of them because they were too dumb to correct the behavioral characteristics of destructive living because their brains were all underdeveloped and trying to look at the world through a pinhole that their tiny little brains had barely managed to poke through a cardboard box. And when a conflict came to pass, they solved it with the same brand of rationality. And lots of people died for no reason at all and a family that could have lived a fairly decent life given their circumstances of intellect are now going to die in prison and never see each other again—which is pretty damn stupid.

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here: http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707 Use my name to get added benefits.

Those Murdering Wagners from Pike County, Ohio: The reason guns make society safer

As it turned out, I know people who know people who know people who knew the Wagner’s, the four family members who slaughtered the marijuana producing Rhoden family in Pike County, Ohio a few years ago. It didn’t surprise me to learn that the heavily tattooed George Wagner III and his wife Angela along with their two sons George the Vth and Edward were responsible for the execution style killings of eight people. Pike County is rural, everyone knows everyone, and almost every house has someone’s ex-wife in it and when it comes to child custody which is always a problem of high turnover divorce situations, or loose sexual ethics, tempers flare. It doesn’t matter what courts decide, particularly among people who have the IQ of a potato, when raw, primitive instincts are unleashed, things like this grisly murder happen.

When people were slow to back Mike DeWine for governor, now they get to see why many of us supported him. DeWine may not be flashy, but he certainly didn’t back down from this horrible case as Ohio’s Attorney General and thank goodness he didn’t. There was plenty of wrong to go around when the bodies of Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40; his ex-wife Dana Manley Rhoden, 37; their three children, Hanna May Rhoden, 19; Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16; and Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20. Frankie Rhoden’s fiancée, Hannah “Hazel Gilley,” 20, were found badly beaten, butchered, and killed execution style, along with the brother and cousin of Christopher Rhoden Sr., Kenneth Rhoden, 44, and Gary Rhoden, 38. The nation has been shocked not just once due to the nature of the murders, but in seeing the pictures of the Wagner family. The shock that such normal people, “so to speak” could do such a thing has captured the terror that resides in most everyone, in wondering who among the people they know might be capable of something similar.

What always shocks me about cases like this is how the family could have lived since then. The Wagners obviously were a close family who talked to each other and had at least great passion for the kid that was at the center of the killings, but what did they think would happen after they killed the Rhoden family? Imagine the dinner conversations after they killed eight people in a Ohio county where if someone sneezes, every house knows about it. Feeling the pressure the Wagners moved to Alaska where they actually had conversations with their landlord about coming back to Ohio and clearing their name, so they were professing innocence. Imagine living with the knowledge that you had been involved in such a terrible crime then trying to tell people you knew about it and declaring innocence. You would either have to be terribly stupid or just manically evil. Regardless, it was great work by Mike DeWine’s office and law enforcement to put all the pieces together and make the arrests of the Wagner family this past week. And watching them appear in court I just have to shake my head in wonder what they were thinking and what life for them must have been like over the past two years. I mean did they sit down as a family and stream movies off Netflix and live like normal people? How didn’t the crushing weight of what they had done destroy their happiness in their every day life? Then looking at them and watching their courtroom conduct, I think they were just too stupid to know that what they did was wrong and they were likely too thoughtless to quell their emotions in the first place which is how these killings happened originally.

There will always be George Wagners in the world, dumb people acting on animal instincts who tattoo themselves up to look like a menace to society to earn respect that they can never get due to their limited intellectual abilities. And when their ruse doesn’t work, they will seek to enforce their emotions through physical dominance, these problems are as old as the human race itself. We can create laws to stop it, but marijuana is against the law yet the Rhoden family had a major growth operation, they weren’t completely innocent in all this. This is precisely what happens when we have a lawless society filled with people who have not pushed themselves intellectually interacting with each other. What you end up with is a society obsessed with sex and death and in that context, the Wagners were functioning at the level of the average animal, and nothing more.

We like to think that we have a civilization where public education and a structured society might avoid making people like the Wagners and the Rhodens. But I can tell you that through massive parts of rural America and well within the inner cities, a lot of people aren’t very far off from these primitive emotions. They are all one power outage away from becoming mass murderers themselves. All it would take is a lack of access to bread and water for a few days and they could easily become serial killers. There is only one thing that keeps these people in check, just like why animals don’t go near campfires or the sound of a gun shot can scare off predators, and that is their own fear of death. For the very stupid and unsophisticated, most people, even the Wagners as dumb as they appeared to be, have a basic instinct for self-preservation. That’s why after they committed the crimes, they fled to Alaska to hopefully outlast Mike DeWine’s investigation. Some states with less tenacious attorney generals might have given up after a few years of investigation, so the Wagners came back to Ohio expecting that to be the case, but obviously that wasn’t what happened.

This is why I say often, more and more these days, that gun ownership is an intellectual pursuit, because it provides protection from the lawless and stupid that structured society fails to provide. A structured, respectful society only exists when people like these Wagners are diffused from action out of their own preservation. But if they think the target of their anger or anxiety is unarmed, they will all too often function from raw emotion. They have no respect for the law as life in Pike County tends to be. There are a lot of marijuana growers there who live too far away from the city to have a steady job. Once the premise for law breaking is established then more advanced law breaking becomes more and more of an option. Murder is against the law but so is running through a stop sign, or speeding, or selling drugs. Once you rationalize one thing, the door to everything else is opened and chaos erupts. In such a world, which no law can prevent, the gun is the only thing that normal people can use to keep the villains of the world safely away.

This is why I propose that more guns not less are the essential element to a more civilized society. Gun possession and the will to use them against assailants triggers in people like the Wagners at least a measure of self-preservation that may well prevent senseless murders over raw passions such as in the Rhoden case. I’m sure the Rhoden’s had guns, but they likely weren’t readily available. I think guns should be worn or be near their owners most times of the day. At any point in my 24-hour day I am never very far from mine ever. It’s not that I plan to shoot anybody, but when your enemies know you have them, it causes them to take an extra measure of planning before they try to kill you. Often that is a variable that they are too lazy to sift through, and when those enemies are as dumb and unsophisticated as the Wagners, they are likely to turn on the television and forget about their flared tempers when given the option of a possible death among themselves. And that is the only real way to have a peaceful society.

When you carry a gun, even around your house you aren’t conducting your life-like some gun crazed lunatic, the way gun control advocates would like to portray such people. You are saving lives by detouring many attempts that would otherwise occur. That is exactly why gun free zones are so dangerous and why many of our gun free cities have the highest crime rates. Guns are the fabric of a structured society and they keep losers like the Wagner family from showing up on your doorstep wanting to kill you because you looked at their “ol’ lady,” or that you took their parking space at a Dollar Store. By having the gun with you at all times in your life, you keep those types of losers from becoming murderers and you keep crime from happening and that is the only method of real law enforcement that works.

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here: http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707 Use my name to get added benefits.