Thursday, May 01, 2008

Evil Happy Smiley Face Man

Photo enhancement by The Sope-Bocks
Truthfully, it sounds (to me) like a bad translation from an Asian language to English. "Evil Happy Smiley Face Man" appears to have been spray painted on a concrete barrier near where one of the "Smiley Face murders" took place.

"It's not just a smiley face. He’s evil, happy and he drew horns which are synonymous with the devil. He’s telling you he knows murder is evil," Nationwide Investigations' Kevin Gannon says, "I believe we're looking at an organized group that has a hierarchy and is involved in murder and other criminal activity ... If this was a random thing, we’d have a wider range of victims,” he said.

As the team of investigators offers additional information to the media, we learn more and more about what could be called the Smiley Face Murder Club. For instance, the original image of the red smiley face on a non-descript blue background was not the complete image. Above, you can see the (mostly) complete image -- one of TWELVE found at crime scenes in five states.

The scrawl on the right hand side says, "Evil Happy Smiley Face Man". There is also a lower case letter "r" and something below the letter (cut off in the photos I've been able to dig up). It's interesting to note that the writing looks like that of a female -- and the lowercase letters "e" (in Smiley and Face) are both written backwards. The smiley face has a cross or X on the forehead and horns on top of the head. Creepy!

Gannon and Duarte have been investigating river drownings for more than a decade. They say while not every scene had the evil smiley face, all the deaths are the work of serial killers. That includes seven deaths in La Crosse and three in Eau Claire. It’s an "organized killer which hunts his victims and takes real pride in what he does," Gannon says.

The detectives say the men are all young, athletic and smart. Two victims' names offered by the Gannon/Duarte team are:
  • Lucas Homan - 21 years old when he died after drowning in the Mississippi River in La Crosse.
  • Josh Snell -22-year-old from Hastings, Minnesota, disappeared in Eau Claire in June of 2005. His brother says he was in town for a wedding and later went to the bars. Snell was found four days later, pulled from the Chippewa River. Jon Snell says he doesn't believe his brother wandered into the water. He says he's glad someone else looked into his brother's death. “I can't thank Kevin and Tony enough,” Jon Snell says. “They’ve been amazing." But, he says he knows his search for answers isn't over. He wants an outcome.
And that’s exactly what Gannon and Duarte hope to give Snell and dozens of other devastated families. "Arrests would be ideal conclusion to this investigation, yes,” NI's Anthony Duarte says. La Crosse Police Chief Ed Kondracki issued a statement Monday saying in part:
"I would like to take this opportunity to once again remind and assure our community that the eight river drownings which occurred between 1997 and 2006 have been thoroughly investigated... The La Crosse area river drownings are tragic and unfortunate accidents."
In the statement, Chief Kondracki also says there is no evidence at this time to connect La Crosse area drownings with any other deaths around the country.

Across the border in Minnesota, Minneapolis police spokesman Jesse Garcia said the case of at least one suspicious drowning death is currently active, and police are open to new hard evidence. "They [Gannon/Duarte/Gilbertson/Carlson] didn't come up with any new evidence that wasn't already there," Garcia said. "They basically came up with a new theory. We can't go forward with theories as evidence."

Steve Jenkins (father of homocide victim, Christopher Jenkins) said the graffiti represents concrete physical evidence and that the investigators also corroborated the accounts of alleged witnesses from other disappearances. Additionally, Jenkins said the investigators have identified suspects, although they've declined to release names. "There's a lot more evidence that they did not share (with police)," Steve Jenkins said. "They showed just enough to get the (authorities') interest in collaboration." [I told you yesterday there was a major holdback!]

Sources: WEAU,, NY Daily News


Jens Hegg said...

I'm suprised that it seems you have taken this all in hook line and sinker. These detectives are estimating the point at which the bodies/victims went into the water based on river currents. River currents are unstable and change with teh river flow so determining the point of origin is difficult and they are far from assured of having found the location in all these cases.

Smiley faces are incredibly common graffiti. If you are searching for a "crime scene" on an urban riverfront I'm sure it would be easy to find a few smiley faces on bridge abutments, etc... nearby. Furthermore the pictures I've seen show widely varying artistic sytles for the faces and the detectives have not released how close to the "scene" these have been found.

I think it is a clear case of observational bias. Afer all, the typical victim (male, white, drunk, athletic) also fits teh description of the most likely group to eb out wandering alone after drinking. Women and less self assured males would stick in groups and thus be seen if they fell in the water. I think accident is the most likely explaination. Remember, they have presented no evidence to suggest how they think this alleged "gang" has communicated or even if they have any proof that it exists. It's all hearsay.

I put up a post on this subject if you want to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to this guy. He uses "TEH" instead of "THE". In any event I'll be on the look out for suspecious graffiti around my town and report it to the police and FBI.

Anonymous said...

where'd you find that picture? and is the one without horns just an edited version, or a second smiley?

Anonymous said...

I bet it is just a bunch of people who have been copycatting off the same murders. If a person wants to commit a murder, what better way to to get away it then copy off someone else. This way it throws off detectives because it is not a group of organized killer(s) but rather just a bunch of copycat murderers

Anonymous said...

I looked at the smiley face pic with the horns. I noticed the letter "a" and how it was written. Perhaps if the police would look around at other local graffiti to see if any other graffiti is done with the letter "a" the same as in this pic, they can at least find the person who did this particular smiley face. I'm sure the police know the kids who do graffiti in the area, as they are often arrested many times for doing graffiti. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

Keith they were never suspected of murders until recently yet this has been going on for over 6 years. Extremely small chance of that.

Jens hegg with proper GPS equipment it is easier to get a range on the current and flow of the rivers especially with records on file for major rivers. I am an atheletic male who was a good student who enjoys bar hopping and I have many friends who are like that as well. There would be no reason whatsoever to wander off from a group of friends to walk by the river alone and drunk. Unless there were other factors involved. Also there have been African American victims as welll not just white.

The reason for the varying artistic syles is the simple fact that they happened in different states and some on the same day it is obviously not the same person.

This is an on going investigation of course they are going to leak very little information or leads that they have. However I did listen to an interview with one of the detectives and a news reporter about this subject and they do believe the men were lead away by a woman possibly a paid prostitute by the group after they exited the bar and then rushed by the group.

I respect Jens opinion but I think your analysis is flawed and I am glad you are not an investigator of any kind with such narrow minded views.

Anonymous said...

i don't think something you called on the damn face is "horn" is:
someone can realize easily.Yes,it is "satanism"'s symbol.i think this crime contact with "satanism".
-Fire Anonymous-