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article imageOp-Ed: Was 'Tres' Caffall influenced by right wing hate speech?

By Bill Schmalfeldt     Aug 14, 2012 in Crime
College Station - Two beautiful cocktail napkins, embossed with the name of the bride and groom, laid artfully on a fancy serving tray and set on the grass. This seems to be the sum photographic total of the marriage of Tres Caffall and his wife, Judy Foshee.
Caffall was killed by police yesterday in College Station, Texas, after allegedly murdering Bryan, Texas constable Brian Bachmann, a civilian bystander, and wounding several other people in a shootout that culminated in Bachmann's attempt to serve Caffall with an eviction notice.
This would seem to be the only photo from Thomas Caffall s wedding to Judy Foshee  23-years his seni...
This would seem to be the only photo from Thomas Caffall's wedding to Judy Foshee, 23-years his senior. The marriage lasted less than 3 years.
Flickr Photo
We say culminated, because it seems like this tragedy was a long time coming. Less than 24 hours after the mass killing, the troubling signs are becoming apparent, and it is clear they were seen by others who either did not know what to do, or chose to do nothing.
The Huffington Post recounts the carnage:
Caffall opened fire from inside his single-family home, according to Rigo Cisneros, 40, who witnessed the shooting from across the street. Cisneros, an Army medic and Afghanistan veteran, saw police exchanging gunfire with Caffall, who remained within the house. Caffall was shot several times by officers who stormed the house after a shootout that lasted roughly 30 minutes, Cisneros said.
A badly wounded Caffall was dragged from the house by officers. Cisneros attempted to provide first aid. While he was being treated, Caffall, mumbling his words, "asked me to apologize to the police officer," Cisneros said.
Caffall, Bachmann and Chris Northcliff were pronounced dead at the hospital. Two other College Station police officers were injured in the gunfight. Another woman, approximately 55 years old, was rushed into surgery. Her name was not released by police. None of the injuries appeared life-threatening, police said.
Officers Justin Oehlke and Brad Smith were treated and released from the hospital. Officer Phil Dorsett was treated at the scene.
The injured woman was later identified by The New Yorker as Barbara Holdsworth, a 55-year-old mother of a Texas A&M student who was helping her daughter move underwent surgery for lung damage, according to Culture Map Houston.
"A report from Barbara's daughter, Sarah: She is in ICU and has lung damage," Holdsworth's friend posted on her Facebook page. "The surgeons said 'she is not out of the woods, yet.'"
This day of horror, death and bloodshed must have been the furthest thing from anyone's mind on May 19, 2007 when the 31 year old Thomas "Tres" Caffall tied the knot with his 54-year old bride, Judy Foshee. It was marriage that lasted less than three years with the divorce finalized on April 13, 2010.
Foshee has a Facebook page, but no pictures of herself. We have sent her a message in the hopes that she will shed some light on her relationship with her husband, 23 years her junior.
Did she see something? Did she suspect?
Here s where Caffall lived with his wife for just shy of three years.
Here's where Caffall lived with his wife for just shy of three years.
After the divorce, Caffall moved from the couple's home on North 2nd Street in Temple, Texas. Nothing grand or fancy. A nice little frame house with a large, open air front porch. With the marriage ended, Caffall moved to the home he was going to be evicted: 211 Fidelity Street, College Station, Texas.
Here s where Caffall lived until yesterday.
Here's where Caffall lived until yesterday.
Google Maps
According to published reports, his family members knew he was having mental issues. A check of his Facebook page showed a fascination with high powered guns, famous snipers, and right wing politics
Among his "inspirational people" list:
Glenn Beck. The man who on one of his last shows on Fox asked, "Why would you want to buy a gun?" And then points to a picture of President Obama.
Sarah Palin. "Don't retreat. Reload." And look at that nice big gun she's packing!
He "Likes" Michele Bachmann. Twice! In a December 2011 interview with WHO Radio in Des Moines, Bachmann talked about her favorite assault rifle.
“I went through gun safety when i was 12. My favorite is an AR-15,” Bachmann said. “I scored the best of my class of any of the men, too.”
What a coincidence! Caffall lists the AR-15 as one of his favorites as well!
Then there's Bill O'Reilly. The man who ginned up hatred against an abortion doctor until one of his viewers decided Bill was right, went into the man's church, and shot him in the head.
Never know when you re gonna need a nice cammy t-shirt!
Never know when you're gonna need a nice cammy t-shirt!
Tea Party Patriots Store
He belonged to a Facebook Group, "I am NOT Going to Vote for Obama in 2012." Nothing crazy about that. A lot of decent people feel the same way.
He listed his support of the Tea Party Patriots Facebook page. Nothing crazy about that either. A lot of well-meaning, deluded people are lining up to vote away their rights because millionaires are telling them it's the right thing to do. On their website, you can purchase this neat camouflage t-shirt, to blend into your surroundings!
He proudly associates with the National Rifle Association, MSNBC's right wing token commentator and Glenn Beck shill S.E. Cupp who, according to Glenn Beck's little hate site, "The Blaze" had quite the heated confrontation with a gun control supporter, Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
She went on to say that after instances of gun violence, such as the killings of Trayvon Martin or the shooting of Rep. Gabriel Giffords, there is “huge hysteria and paranoia” about guns by the anti-gun lobby and a push to ban guns comes always follows.
Gross took exception to Cupp’s assertion saying, “I don’t accept that… . Show me one word that’s ever come out of my mouth… .”
“I don’t follow everything you say,” Cupp interrupted.
Doubling down, Gross told Cupp that there is “nobody that’s anti-gun…we are anti-killing people.”
“People kill people, guns don’t kill people,” Cupp said.
“And usually people with guns,” Gross replied, getting in the last word.
Caffall also shows some love for "Americans for Prosperity." That's a PAC funded by the Koch Brothers. This is the group that pumped $27 million into the misleading ad that ad features a national debt clock running ever higher alongside a Feb. 2009 interview with President Obama in which he says, “I will be held accountable. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”
(Obama was talking about fixing the economy overall, not just reducing the deficit).
Caffall lists famous snipers as inspirational people. Gun manufacturers.
He posts loving, posed photographs of his stockpile of high-powered weapons.
And his family, who says they were aware of his mental problems, did nothing.
According to the Huffington Post:
Linda Weaver, his mother, said she had been estranged from her son over the past several months. She said he had not visited her after she became seriously ill.
"We are just devastated,” Weaver said. “He's been very deeply troubled."
She added that she was horrified at the loss of life. "If you're going to commit suicide, why take all these other people with you?" she said.
In an interview with KPRC, a local television station, Caffall’s stepfather, Richard Weaver, said Caffall was a “ticking time bomb” who quit his job nine months ago and vowed never to work again.
"He was crazy as hell," Weaver said. "At one point, we were afraid that he was going to come up here and do something to his mother and me."
If you were at all close to Thomas Caffall, if you were his Facebook friend, if you were in his family, if you were scared he was going to "come up here and do something" -- then why in God's name did nobody say anything? If you knew "Tres" Caffall was stockpiling weapons, doting over them, loving them like children, considering them his "toys," and you knew he was having his head filled with the most vile, hate-filled right wing propaganda spread by people who want to defeat President Obama by making stupid people believe the president is "coming for their guns", why did nobody alert authorities?
And how many more Thomas Caffalls are there? Sitting at home with a room full of high-powered weapons. Waiting for some poor cop to come walking up the sidewalk to serve some paperwork.
How many more Wade Michael Pages are there in America, brooding in their darkness, hating, hating people for no other reason than they don't look like him?
How many more James Holmes, Jared Loughners, Nidal Hassans or Seung-Hui Chos are sitting on a stockpile of legally obtained weapons while the demons tell them, "Go ahead. Do it. You'll be famous," as the radio and TV blare in the background, tuned to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, or S.E. Cupp, or Michele Bachmann or Bill O'Reilly telling them it's OK to hate, it's OK to feel what you feel, your bigotry and prejudices are perfectly understandable and reasonable?
Now watch as these hate talkers -- as is their usual practice -- scurry away from any responsibility for these actions. "It's not OUR fault that someone listened to us. People take their OWN actions. We have a First Amendment Right to say what we want to say and YOU CAN NEVER STOP THE HATE!"
Are they right? Is that the sad fact of 21st Century America? We CAN'T stop the hate because it's too powerful, too well-funded, too prevalent? Too "acceptable"? Are we getting used to this?
God help us.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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