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Mendocino Co massive search for killer continues

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RadioGuy1951

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The massive search continues for 35 year old Aaron Basler in Mendocino County, wanted for 2 murders...

Basler is wanted in the murder of Jere Melo, and has also been connected to the murder of Matthew Coleman earlier in August...

Reports state the Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Alllman as saying there is now a warrant for Basler for the Coleman death in addition to being wanted for the Melo death...

This story has broke across the US to the east coast...and onto some soapbox blogs (Huffington Post for example)...

While it was reported in the initial reports that it was a marijuana grow that Melo was investigating for the timber company, but what was actually found was about 100 opium poppies, as verified by MCSO Lt Kurt Smallcomb on the KZYX 6 Pm News...but this aspect has not been updated in the far flung press...

Although SO Lt Smallcomb said he doesn't want the media to use the word "MANHUNT" because it IS hunting season and the goal of the MCSO is to take Basler into custody unharmed, and that the word "manhunt" might imply otherwise...


Residents are encouraged to view the photo's, lock their doors, and report any suspicious activity, and do not make contact with this wanted person.

One news paper says: (and they have 2 DIFFERNT photo's)

A disturbed Fort Bragg man being sought in the Saturday slaying of City Councilman Jere Melo is now also wanted in the Aug. 11 shooting death of land steward Matthew Coleman, based on evidence from the two crime scenes, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Another paper says:

MCSO spokesman Kurt Smallcomb said his office suspects Aaron Bassler, 35, of shooting Melo Au.g 27, and has now obtained an arrest warrant in connection with the shooting death of Matthew Coleman on Aug. 11 "based on evidence collected at both murder scenes."

The MCSO is being assisted by officers and agents from the Fort Bragg Police Department, Willits Police Department, Ukiah Police Department, CalFIRE, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, California Fish and Game, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshall's Office, United States National Guard and the local timber industry in their search.

And according to listener supported KMUD-FM news dept:


According to a news release from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, dated September 2, 2011- (this report updates two recent murders in Mendocino County):
On August 11, 2011, Matthew Coleman was shot and killed in a remote area located near the 44000 block of North Highway One (1) near Westport, CA. On August 27, 2011, Jere Melo was shot and killed in an area approximately six (6) miles east of Fort Bragg, CA. Both victims were shot and killed while conducting duties related to their forestry management profession. Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives are continuing to collect evidence, speaking with witnesses and conferring with both the California Department of Justice Forensic Laboratory analysts and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office...

2 photo's of the suspect are at the KMUD-FM web site...and you can also listen to the past 6 PM Newscasts in the Archive section...

Another listener supported radio station with a 6 PM News is KZYX, which IS streamed LIVE (but not Archived)

HERE is the full text of the press release issued by the MCSO Lt Kurt Smallcomb:

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office
Press Release
(Title of Crime/Incident) 187PC - Murders​
Report Number:​
11-1856 and 11-2000
Coroner Number:​
Crime/Incident:​
187PC - Murders
Location:​
North Coast Mendocino County - Fort Bragg/Westport, CA When:Date:8/11/11 and 8/27/11Time:1000 Victim Info : Name AgeStreet Address City, StateVictim #1: Matthew Coleman44Albion, CAVictim #2: Jere Melo69Fort Bragg, CASuspect Info: Name AgeStreet Address City, StateSuspect #1: Aaron Bassler35Fort Bragg, CA Written by: Captain Kurt Smallcomb Synopsis:On August 11, 2011, Matthew Coleman was shot and killed in a remote area located near the 44000 block of North Highway One (1) near Westport, CA.

On August 27, 2011, Jere Melo was shot and killed in an area approximately six (6) miles east of Fort Bragg, CA.

Both victims were shot and killed while conducting duties related to their forestry management profession.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives are continuing to collect evidence, speaking with witnesses and conferring with both the California Department of Justice Forensic Laboratory analysts and the Mendocino County District Attorney's Office.

Based on evidence collected at both murder scenes during this ongoing investigation, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Suspect Aaron Bassler in connection with the shooting deaths of victims Matthew Coleman and Jere Melo.

Mendocino County Sheriff's Office personnel,with the assistance of officers and agents from the Fort Bragg Police Department, Willits Police Department, Ukiah Police Department, CalFIRE, California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, California Fish and Game, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshall's Office, United States National Guard and the local timber industry are continuing their search efforts in an attempt to apprehend Suspect Aaron Bassler.

sources: Press Democrat Ukiah Dialy Journal KMUD-FM KZYX-FM MCSO
 
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RadioGuy1951

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#2
Basler is still at large, and is now being investigated for yet another murder...6 years ago a couple were shot while sleeping on the beach north of Jenner, and police are looking into IF any connection exists...

Baslers father was interviewed on the KMUD News (Redwood Community Radio, Humboldt County, California) and he says his son has beed showing increasing signs of mental illness...
 

RadioGuy1951

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#3
Manhunt is the top news story

The search for killing suspect Aaron Basler continues...

It was the LEAD story on the KPIX-TV5 11:eek:o PM news last night (Wednesday Sept 28th) LINK (www.cbs5.com)

He was caught on a hidden security camera placed by police, breaking into vacation homes in the Northspur area, which is between Ft Bragg & Willits near the route of the California Western Railroad (The "Skunk Train")

The photos clearly show the suspect with an assault rifle, and the outline of a side arm...

In addition to food being stolen, also stolen by the murder suspect is a .22 rifle and a shotgun...

The photo released by LE shows the suspect with very short dark hair (he was previously shaved bald)...

His father is quoted as saying be believes his son has mental problems...

This recent developement demonstrates the area the suspect is capable of traveling, willingness to burglarize residences, and to further arm himself, with th eimplication that he will engage a firefight in order to not be captured safely to stand trial...

Sheriff Tom Allman again stresses they want to capture him safely to stand trial, an dthat citizens are not to arm themselves and carry out posse commitas searches for this dangerous suspect...

Calif DOJ labs have confirmed DNA evidence that Basler was present at the murder scene of Matthew Coleman...
 

RadioGuy1951

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Suspect killed

Even the Noo Yawk Tymes carried this story...just in case anybody back east has been living under a rock...

At the end of last week I started to lock down the outbuildings and cars on my property, because he was moving towards the east, very slowly heading my direction...and he could've accellerated his movements at any time due to unknown factors, so I figured I had better secure my place to deny any opportunity to the suspect just in case he came in my area, which was unlikely...but you never know...

FORT BRAGG, Calif. - A suspect in the fatal shootings of a Fort Bragg city councilman and a county land trust official was shot and killed Saturday after a massive month-long manhunt in the redwood forests of Northern California.


Aaron Bassler, 35, was shot seven times, in an area of redwood forest about 6 miles east of Fort Bragg, after being sniffed out by a bloodhound tracking a nearby burglary, said Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas Allman.

Three members of the Sacramento County's SWAT team were in the trees about 40 yards from Bassler when he came toward them on a timber trail.

Bassler was suspected of killing a city councilman in late August and a county land trust official several weeks before. Bassler was thought to be hiding out in the redwoods outside of Fort Bragg, breaking into several cabins and businesses to steal food and weapons.

Allman initially said Bassler raised his gun before the deputies fired; he later said the fugitive raised his rifle as he was falling from the gunfire.

There had been no verbal exchange, but the sheriff said the deputies saw Bassler walking with his finger poised near the trigger before they fired.


"I wish that this incident could have ended without another shot being fired," Allman said. But, he added, "I fully support the manner in which this ended. There will be no more lives which will be endangered by Aaron Bassler."

Bassler, 35, had been sought since Aug. 27 when Councilman Jere Melo, who was also a security consultant for a lumber company, and a co-worker confronted him while investigating reports of an illegal marijuana farm outside of town.


Police said Bassler was cultivating some 400 poppy plants and was holed up in a makeshift bunker when he fired on the 69-year-old Melo and a co-worker who escaped and called for help.


The sheriff said they had DNA linking Bassler in the fatal shooting of Matthew Coleman of the Mendocino County Land Trust. The former Fish and Game Department employee was found dead next to his car on Aug. 11 up the coast from Fort Bragg.


Dozens of local, state and federal authorities scoured the forests near Fort Bragg in one of the area's largest manhunts in decades, but Bassler eluded them for more than a month.

A break in the search came Friday when the owner of a shop told authorities he found the door kicked in and that ammunition, beer, food, two compasses and some boots had been stolen. Willow, a bloodhound from the Pomona Police Department, and his handler, Pomona Police Officer Joe Hernandez, began tracking the burglar's scent.

This led the command team to change course and get in place for Bassler.
 
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