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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Credit given to user 1911 at the Saiga forum, who I stole this thread from

As many of us carry concealed and most all of us are armed at home, I wonder how many have thought about how they would identify an attacker. Hopefully through a variety of "tells", indications, and sixth sense feelings you will be able to before it is too late. The following is presented to let you know that they may not look like what you think. Comment & discussion is encouraged. This may be of particular value to Guido2 or other members in the Houston area who will be dealing with Hurricane Ike in short order.


Mom, daughter jailed in Houston-area killing

12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, September 7, 2008
The Associated Press

PASADENA, Texas â€" Two teenage girls are accused of stabbing a 75-year-old man to death in a robbery that netted them $15, and police say the mother of one of the teens put them up to it.

Dannette R. Gillespie, 38, gave knives to her 15-year-old daughter and Vanessa Anne Ocampo, 19, then waited in the car during the killing and robbery, according to a probable cause warrant.

All three were charged with capital murder Friday.

Eugene Palma, a bar owner, was found at his suburban Houston home Wednesday. He did not know any of the three, Pasadena police said.

Ms. Ocampo told investigators that they went to Mr. Palma's bar, from which they followed him home.

Ms. Gillespie handed knives to her daughter and Ms. Ocampo and "encouraged them to commit the robbery," police said.

The daughter and Ms. Ocampo stabbed Mr. Palma several times, then searched his pockets. Ms. Ocampo took $15, according to the warrant.

Ms. Gillespie allegedly waited in the back seat of the car for them and got rid of the knives.

The Associated Press

Near miss: the Andrew Patti incident - The Ayoob Files
Massad Ayoob
Situation: A pair of thrill killers have measured you and your young son for coffins ... and they're armed with high-tech fighting knives.

Lesson: A weapon in the hand beats two that are sheathed--and it takes more than two mad dogs to kill a man whose Father Wolf instinct is aroused.


Generations before, there had been Leopold and Loeb. Now there was Tulloch and Parker. High-achieving high school kids from good families who had something missing in their hearts. They had decided to run off to exotic places and lead lives of criminal adventure. First, of course, they needed money. Their plan: raid a home, take everything of value (with emphasis on ATM cards) and repeat as necessary when they ran low on cash.

And, not incidentally, to murder all victims and witnesses. That way, no one could testify against them. Besides, they thought, it would be cool to see what it felt like to kill a human being.

They had picked a likely house in an area they thought sufficiently remote that no one would hear the screams of their victims. Nearby they had dug a shallow grave for the corpses they planned to create. If they took the victims' blue Beemer, maybe the summer house would just seem abandoned and no one would know anything had happened until the killers were long, long gone.

Robert Tulloch made sure his knife was in place, then strode to the door of the home they had targeted and began pounding on it insistently.

The Incident

It is the night of July 17, 2000. Andrew Patti, 47, is at the family's Vershire, Vermont vacation home. His wife Diane is away at work, and Andrew is alone reading to his 11-year-old son Andy. Andrew is on edge. Moments before, their dog has barked in a way its owner knows indicates the presence of a stranger, and he has felt a sudden sense of being watched, a sense that someone is outside the window. Andrew has done something uncharacteristic: he has drawn his Glock and gone to the window to look, but sees nothing. Now the Glock is back in his holster, but Patti has a nagging sense of foreboding.

In his native New York, most would look askance at a man who wore a pistol at home, but Patti is not your average New Yorker. A grown child of The City, he has long ago come to realize that bad things happen to good people, and it is the job of good people to keep themselves and other good people from suffering. He and his wife operate a business devoted to the care of special needs children. And he has come to understand that having a gun and knowing how to use it is like having a first aid kit or a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use them, too.

And now Robert Tulloch's fist hammers on the Pattis' door.

Andrew is on his feet instantly, giving a hand signal to Andy to stay where he is. Many people, including stranded motorists and such, have knocked on this door before. There is something demanding, something dangerous in the staccato pounding he hears. Andrew Patti does something that is unusual for him. He clears his Glock from its leather thumb-break scabbard under his untucked shirt, and holds the drawn pistol behind him as he goes to answer the door.

He knows enough not to open it without seeing what's outside. With his free hand, he pulls the blind aside and looks through the window. He sees a tall young man with a narrow, long-nosed, lupine face. It does not occur to him at the time, but the face bears a striking resemblance to that of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine High School mass murderers.

The face is not back away from the door where he would expect it. The stranger is poised at the very threshold, his breath steaming the glass, as if he is coiled to charge through the door the instant it is opened. Patti asks him sharply, "What's up?" The stranger tells him he has car trouble and needs help.

Everything is wrong: the posture, the body language, the sense of having been watched through the window moments before. Whatever alerted his dog earlier, Patti realizes, has frightened her enough that she hasn't come to answer the door with him. All his well-honed New York street senses are screaming alarms.

He tells the man on the other side of the door that he can't help him. The tall man remains insistent. "Do you have jumper cables?" No.

Then, as ominous as the Big Bad Wolf: "Let me in."


"C'mon, let me use your phone."

Patti doesn't think one more "no" is going to make any difference. His life experience and everything he is seeing tells him this is not a motorist in trouble, this is someone who is very serious, and very dangerous, and almost certainly not alone. It is time to answer with a little body language of his own.

Andrew Patti raises his Glock.

It's not gunpoint, not a threatening gesture. He just lets the man see it. And the response confirms everything Patti has been sensing.

"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa," snaps the tall man outside. "I just want to use your phone!"

Suspicions confirmed. An innocent person would have been shocked. This man's voice holds only anger and frustration. It's the voice of a combatant, an aggressor.

Andrew Patti thinks fast. If he rushes for the phone, this man might try to kick in the door. Andy could get hurt. At best he might have to kill a man in front of his son. He needs to buy time. He says, 'TII tell you what I'll do. I'll call Ward's Garage for you." The man on the other side agrees.

Andy is across the room, away from the window and the door, where his dad has gestured for him to go when the hammering began at the door. Now Andrew closes the blind and gestures to his son to follow him as he quickly goes to the phone, not to call the garage, but to call the police.

It doesn't work. The line is dead. Father and son sprint upstairs, but it's the same story with the phone in the master bedroom.

The youth asks, "What's wrong, Dad'?" The armed citizen replies, "'They've cut the wires."

Second Strike

Andrew Patti and his son stayed up a very long time that night, unable to call for assistance. Andrew was too smart to go outside and risk ambush or leave his son alone. When he finally slept, it was with his Glock resting on his chest.

He would not know until several months later just how right his assessment of the situation was. The moment he opened the door, Robert Tulloch, 17, was planning to sink a razor-sharp hunting knife into him. A few feet away, hidden in the bushes and wearing a ski mask, was his 16 year old partner, six-foot James Parker, armed with a folding knife. Patti's unexpected display of the pistol frightened them off.

The deadly teens surfaced again six months later, a few miles across the slate line in the village of Etna near Hanover, New Hampshire. It had taken them a while to gel over nearly being shot by their last intended victim. As they hardened their courage, they ramped up their equipment. They were now armed with high-quality SOG SEAL 2000 combat knives they had purchased over the Internet. This time their victims were a middle-aged couple who were both college professors at Hanover's Ivy League Dartmouth.

Half (rhymes with Ralph) and Suzanne Zantop were only a few years older than Andrew and Diane Patti, and were like them in many ways. Both couples were caring and compassionate and went out of their way for others in need. Both couples were educated, cultured, and well liked by those who knew them. But there was one critical difference. Andrew Patti was a street-wise armed citizen, and the Zantops were not.

Tulloch and Parker gained entry into the Zantops' $470,000 home on the pre text of being students who needed to talk to them about a research survey. The Zantops were people who lived to help students, and welcomed them inside.

The carnage that followed was appalling. Both teens wielded their knives with merciless savagery. When it was over, the gentle professors lay dead in a lake of blood with wounds akin to those suffered by Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in another highly-publicized double knife homicide.

It became national news. This writer works for a police department a short drive from Hanover, and watched from the sidelines as a task force led by New Hampshire State Police and Hanover PD expertly investigated what the media dubbed "the Dartmouth Murders." Realizing that law enforcement was closing in on them, Tulloch and Parker fled, hitchhiking toward the heartland. Before long, they were recognized at a truck stop by an alert police sergeant in Indiana. Arrest, trial, verdicts and sentencing came swiftly.

So did confession. It is from those documents that we know how the two young men planned a murder and robbery spree, and how shaken they were by their first intended victim pulling a pistol and putting them to flight. At this writing, Tulloch and Parker are spending their lives in the New Hampshire State Penitentiary. The friends and relatives of the Zantops are coping with their grief, and so are the families of the two young murderers.

All that is left is to learn the lessons. And the lessons we learn from these two encounters, the attempted home invasion murder of the Pattis and the successful home invasion murder of the Zantops, are stark and compelling.


I believe the story of the Pattis' survival first broke in New Hampshire's statewide newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader, published until his death by NRA director William Loeb. That paper has always been strongly pro-gun. Most media outlets made only a passing reference to what had happened July 17, 2000, in Vermont, or ignored it entirely.

Two writers who picked up on it were reporters for an anti-gun newspaper, the Boston Globe. Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff spoke at length with Andrew Patti. They thought what happened to him and Andy--and what almost happened to them at the hands of the two killer teens--was so important to the overall story that the Patti incident is the opening chapter of their excellent and best-selling book, Judgment Ridge: the True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders. It is from their research that we have the word-for-word by play of Andrew Patti's encounter with the two young men who intended to murder him until they saw his pistol.

Lehr and Zuckoff describe Andrew Patti thus in their book. "... he was a serious gun enthusiast who liked firearms the way he liked sharp cars. He respected their coiled power and enjoyed his ability to control and command them. The feel of a well-oiled gun at his side satisfied his own father's most frequent warning--'Be careful. Strange things happen.' Andrew had passed his love of guns to Andy. One of the boy's prized possessions was a dime with a small bullet hole he had placed dead center." Ironically, what this father was reading to this son at the time the encounter with Parker and Tulloch took place was "an adventure story about a hunter pursuing a wise and elusive buck."

It was as if two sadists had broken into a pet shop to find puppies to torture to death, and discovered that they had opened the full-grown Doberman's cage by mistake. The two would-be killers literally fled for their lives. The lesson: they were cowards.

Carry Comfortably

The authors of Judgment Ridge report that the slayers had talked about what to do if they were visited by police investigating the Zantop murders. Their plan would be to attack the officers, "knocking one of them out ... and maybe even killing them," with their own duty pistols, one of the killers confessed later. But, when officers confronted Parker, he proved to be a craven coward who literally pulsed with guilt. According to Judgment Ridge, at that point Parker's "Adam's apple bobbed like a cork in rough seas. The side of his neck pulsed so violently it reminded (Sergeant Robert) Bruno of the movie Alien--a creature seemed ready to burst through Jim parker's neck," Once again, instead of attacking armed men, they fled from them.

When they were arrested in Indiana, the murderers surrendered meekly after taking one look at the arresting officer. Sergeant Bill Ward, and the service automatic he carried at his hip. Photos alter their extradition show Parker with his head lowered as demurely as a debutante as he is escorted by Hanover cops armed with their issue Glock 22s. Clearly, these two young butchers had no stomach for assaulting armed men.

The accessibility of Patti's weapon was critical. When he discussed and re-enacted the incident on television, Andrew Patti appeared to be demonstrating an intermediate size, standard frame Glock. Lehr and Zuekoff describe the weapon that saved him and his son as a 9mm Glock. That would indicate a Glock 19, a light and compact pistol a generation of police officers and armed citizens alike have found comfortable for 24/7 carry. A gun you can carry all the time is, by definition, a gun that is likely to be with you when you need it in a fast breaking emergency like the one Patti faced.

I know cops who have investigated home invasions who, as a result, carry their off duty weapons on their persons at all times, even when at home. The reason is, as one investigator put it, "These things happen so fast that there often isn't time to get to another room or open a locked container to get to your gun." That might well have been the case with Andrew Patti if his pistol bad not been strapped to his belt, discreetly concealed under an untucked shirt where it would frighten no one until the need to intimidate two young men planning horrific multiple murder became apparent.

Being Aware

Trust your senses and your street smarts. Andrew Patti didn't pull a gun on Robert Tulloch until the aggregate of all he had observed confirmed that he and his young son were in real danger. But he was ready to react as soon as his danger alert was triggered, and he was able to process input. The body language, vocalization, and facial expression of Tulloch, we know now, were all valid indicators of hostile intent. Knowing his dog's reaction to different situations and being able to correctly read it this time, and that "sixth sense" awareness of being watched, were things Patti wisely processed, allowing him to react but not over-react. Our subconscious will process danger cues without taking time to explain to us the details, telling us only, "be wary!" It may be only later that we figure out bow our subconscious processed that input, but when the subconscious tells us to beware, we should listen. This mental process is well documented to a best selling book from a few years ago, The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. The phenomenon is called precognition.

Remember that the overwhelming majority of armed encounters between law-abiding citizens with guns and dangerous criminals end with no shots fired, as Patti's did. Dr Edgar Suter, founder of Doctors for Integrity of Policy Research, said recently on the Net: "'There have been 15 studies on the defensive use of firearms in America. Without exception, the studies find approximately I million to 4 million defensive uses of firearms annually." Dr. Suter told of Dr Philip Cook, who set out to do his own study of the subject because he didn't believe the figure could be so high ... and who discovered through his own research that the figure was indeed "as many as 4 million.'"

Let us close with a well-deserved commendation to the savvy and professional police officers who solved the Zantop murder case and brought Tulloch and Parker to justice. Commendation is also due to Dick Lehr and Mitchell Zuckoff for their excellent book Judgment Ridge: the True Story Behind the Dartmouth Murders, published by HarperCollins in 2003. Without that book, this article would not have been possible

2,018 Posts
Good read!!

Premium Member
583 Posts
I think I am going to carry in my house now.. I usaully have one close by but this has changed my stance..

Premium Member
2,421 Posts
I think I am going to carry in my house now.. I usaully have one close by but this has changed my stance..
That's a prudent change in behavior considering the recent rise in home invasion crime. :wink:

Premium Member
5,212 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its sad when you have to have a shotty in the shower with you.

The thread I got this from had a LEO tell a story that a fellow officer he knew observed a 6 or 7 year old kid steal a candy bar in a store. When the LEO followed the child outside and bent over to talk to him, he got a knife in the stomach.

Its a scary world we are leaving for our children. Or maybe we should be scared of them?

29,183 Posts
Anyone else, after reading this, suddenly think of those evil "No More Hesitation Targets" and the related thread???

Food for thought.

Peace favor your sword,
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