Father, Son Busted for ‘Dexter’ Inspired Death Threat Against Stupak

June 8, 2010

(ChattahBox)—There are run of the mill angry, somewhat threatening letters from constituents and then there are the scary, creepy kind. The creepy letter written by Russell Hesch,73, threatening Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and his family with a gruesome murder, could have come straight from the pages of a compelling crime novel, or from an extreme pro-life activist enraged over Stupak’s yes vote for the healthcare reform bill. The letter, mailed from Colorado by Hesch’s son David Hesch, 50, threatened to “paint the Mackinaw [sic] Bridge with the blood of you and your family members,” unless Stupak either resigned from office or committed suicide. And Hersch apparently was inspired by the “primeval emotion” of Michael Hall’s character in the show, “Dexter.” F.B.I. officials arrested the father and son team and charged them with threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a U.S. official.

The letter was penned by Russell Hesch, a resident of Northern Michigan, in April, but it was not received by Stupak’s office until May. Russell Hesch was immediately suspected as the author of the death threat, as he is one of Stupak’s most vocal critics, having sent at least 55 e-mails to the Michigan congressman. Hesch claims he is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army.

According to Court documents F.B.I. Agent Travis Lloyd, said Russell Hesch admitted in a written statement that he wrote the letter and e-mailed it to his son with instructions to mail it from Denver so it couldn’t be traced back to either of them.

The letter addressed to the “Stupak family,” is quite explicit, mentioning Stupak’s family members by first name. And in a sickening passage, Hesch demands that Stupak “consider following in the footsteps of your son Bart Jr.” Stupak’s son took his own life in 2000. Hesch also makes mention of the popular Showtime series “Dexter,” which features the character of a serial killing law enforcement officer:

“Actions and decisions carry consequences. Are you and your family prepared for those consequences? Is your wife, Laurie Ann, prepared for those consequences? Is your son Ken and his family prepared for those consequences?” it reads in part.

“Without going into great detail and potentially spoiling the surprise of your fate I wonder if you have ever watched the Showtime Series Dexter?” the letter reads, a reference to a TV show about a serial killer. “I have been a faithful fan since its inception. I believe that this show stirs a primeval emotion that is within us all just waiting to be explored.”

The gruesome passages, further describe painting the blood of Stupak and his murdered family on a Michigan bridge. “Not to worry. I will paint the Mackinaw [sic] Bridge with the blood of you and your family members. I will not say when and with who but I will save your blood for the high towers toward the end of this project.” [...] “Maybe you will be the main character of a story that parents tell their children as they cross the bridge decades from know [sic]. The red paint of Bart Stupak!”

The letter, signed “The Devil within Us,” pledges to slaughter Stupak and his family, unless Hesch’s demands are met. Hersch demanded that Stupak resign immediately and admit that his health care vote “was wrong and under handed,” or that he join his late son and take his own life.

After Congressman Stupak, a staunch pro-life Democrat, voted yes on the healthcare bill, in return for an executive order from president Obama ensuring that no federal funds would be used to fund abortion services, he and other lawmakers received threats from conservative constituents, angry over the vote. Stupak announced in April, before receiving Hersch’s letter, that he would not be seeking another term.

Russell Hesch and his son face five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The complaint and the full letter can be found here.


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