I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK

Man With Chain Saw Allowed to Enter U.S.

On April 25, Gregory Despres arrived at the U.S. - Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres. Then they let him into the United States.

The following day, a gruesome scene was discovered in Despres' hometown of Minto, New Brunswick: The decapitated body of a 74-year-old country musician named Frederick Fulton was found on Fulton's kitchen floor. His head was in a pillowcase under a kitchen table. His common-law wife was discovered stabbed to death in a bedroom. [...]

Bill Anthony, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the Canada-born Despres could not be detained because he is a naturalized U.S. citizen and was not wanted on any criminal charges on the day in question.

Anthony said Despres was questioned for two hours before he was released. During that time, he said, customs agents employed "every conceivable method" to check for warrants or see if Despres had broken any laws in trying to re-enter the country.

"Nobody asked us to detain him," Anthony said. "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up. ... We are governed by laws and regulations, and he did not violate any regulations."

Anthony conceded it "sounds stupid" that a man wielding what appeared to be a bloody chain saw could not be detained. But he added: "Our people don't have a crime lab up there. They can't look at a chain saw and decide if it's blood or rust or red paint."

Sgt. Gary Cameron of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police would not comment on whether it was, in fact, blood on the chain saw.

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49 Responses:

  1. scosol says:

    groom of runaway bride!

  2. superfriend says:

    Dear Jay Zee DoubleU

    I understand this kind of thing is hard to deal with But the important thing is to concentrate on the good stuff and try to look past the rest.

    Chin up.
    That's right, both chins!

    Your SuperFriend

  3. azul_ros says:

    I posted this story earlier. He looks like a total flipped out dude!!! He's got the "Runaway Bride Eyes"!!! O.0

  4. fastfwd says:

    If the Despres story really isn't a hoax--and it's so over the top that it made me wonder--it wouldn't be out of place in the Mock The Stupid community.

  5. jabberwokky says:

    If the Mounties can't save us, who can?

  6. luserspaz says:

    I think it should be well within the rights of customs agents to detain anyone with a Misfits inspired haircut indefinitely.

  7. chaobell says:

    No, he doesn't look like a psycho killer. Not at all.

    And yes, folks, this is for reals unless the Houston Chronicle got fooled; they ran it yesterday.

  8. flipzagging says:

    Strange. I have been turned away at the US border and told to go home for totally idiosyncratic reasons. Guess I should have brought a bloody chainsaw.

    • jkonrath says:

      "In state court the next day, Despres told a judge that he is affiliated with NASA and was on his way to a Marine Corps base in Kansas at the time of his arrest."

      Also, I think if you're drenched in blood, carrying a bloody chainsaw and a sword, and you have a Misfits haircut and a mug like that, and you are able to HITCHHIKE to the border, well sir, that is what I call balls of steel.

  9. ivo says:

    I assume most of the people here think he should have been detained.

    But what if the blood was from an animal, and he _was_ detained and not let back into his own country? Wouldn't we all be up in arms about Civil Liberties and Bill of Rights and all that stuff? Guess you can't win, there's always people complaining.

    I for one am glad that an American citizen without a warrant against him was let into his own country.

    • phoenixredux says:

      Considering that they recently detained a totally harmless friend of mine who applied for residency, then had to go back to Winnipeg for a funeral, sure, I completely agree with you. Let's be sure to keep out the sane Cannucks who want to become Americans (which boggles my mind, frankly, but whatever), but let the blood-soaked natural-born crazies back in with a hearty "Come again, eh!"

      Angry vengeful God bless America.

      • phoenixredux says:

        Excuse me. Naturalised, not natural-born. Perhaps I was thinking of "natural-born killer".

      • bdu says:

        sane Cannucks who want to become Americans

        I am highly incredulous that such a thing is possible. Oxymoronic, even.

        • phoenixredux says:

          Yes, I thought it was a bit crazy, too, but love will do that to you. She fell in love with an American, but wanted to keep her dual Canada/Ireland citizenship, which she would have had to renounce if she became a full citizen. So she applied for permanent US Residency, then went back to Canada for Christmas (not a funeral - I was mistaken). They stopped her at the border when she tried to return and would not let her pass.

          Clearly, she should have been carrying lots of bloody weaponry.

    • I'm just glad they took a photo.

    • omnifarious says:

      I agree with you wholeheartedly.

      I just hope they were able to easily catch up with him again. :-)

    • wfaulk says:

      carrying a homemade sword, ... brass knuckles

      Yup. You never can tell when a SCAdian might want to put the beatdown on a deer.

    • That's the exact reason why these things happen. Cops and border control agents go against their own instincts and common sense and let people go, out of fear of not being politically correct, etc. What's a worse scenario:
      This guy being innocent and then suing someone
      This guy being a serial killer and going on a rampage

      I think I'd err on the side of being sued rather than indirectly being responsible for a killer getting through my border checkpoint. If this guy had a sword and a bloody chainsaw, he wouldn't have a leg to stand on in court anyway. It looks suspicious to anyone with half a brain.

      • belgand says:

        I see your point, but this has to be contrasted with the concept of innocent until proven guilty. It's easy to second-guess this sort of thing now, but I can see how at the time it's a tough decision. Suppose they did decided to detain him. Someone who was suspicious, admittedly, but had no other reason to be detained. How far do we let the slippery slope go? Aren't people already being detained or refused entry for far, far less? It's an interesting scenario for a debate, certainly, but in the real world this is a serious and complicated issue of individual rights vs. public good.

        • For example.. Florida has this new set of gun laws, "10, 20, life". If you pull the gun, you get 10, shoot it, 20, hit someone.. life. They go completely textbook, and it rarely matters why you pulled the gun, etc. Laws like this involve NO thinking on the part of the courts, the prosecutors, or the police. I'm horrified that this trend will continue and any kind of justification for anything doesn't matter. Its sad that we can't trust even law enforcement officers enough to let them use their own judgement. Its sad because the officers are inept, and its sad that the lawmakers have to make up for it.

          I think "posession of weapons, one of which may be covered in blood" should be written specifically as something to be suspicious of, then. I really don't think that could be slippery sloped.

      • jsl32 says:

        most of the people who aren't allowed through are not white. plenty of college kids who aren't white have all sorts of stories about white friends allowed through with all kinds of things (drugs, etc), so that whole 'they let this particular white guy through out of a fear of not being politically correct' is bunk.

        they usually let the vast majority of whites through, no matter how suspicious. the only weird thing here is the sheer ridiculous level of this particular white guy's suspiciousness. meh!

  10. ilovezombies says:

    It kind of looks like his brains are slowly pushing out of his skull through his eyes. I might decapitate someone too if that was happening.

    But jesus christ, he reminds me of that movie "The Hills have Eyes."

  11. "Being bizarre is not a reason to keep somebody out of this country or lock them up."

    If this isn't policy yet, someone in the Cheney administration has been slacking.

  12. cyeh says:

    I so not was going to comment on this, but there isn't a single comment on that _completely fucked up hair-style_.

    I mean, WTF? It looks like a black dead squid is hanging from the top of his head.

    • irma_vep says:

      I think it's sorrier he got into the US.

    • It was a cool spring night six years ago; I was an idealistic young second-year student. After a long day in the labs (that was the semester we learned C and C++), I trudged home in the gloom (a 25-minute walk if you pushed yourself) and up the stairs to the small unit I called home. Sweating slightly after the brisk walk (I was warm under my ever-present black coat), I opened the screen door and stepped around it. Leaning against the front door with one hand, I reached towards the lock with the key in the other. Suddenly, the door was thrown open — causing me to stumble forward, off-balance — and there was a blinding flash. When my vision returned, I discovered...

      ... my flatmate had bought himself a digital camera.

      The haircut was inspired by this guy's (I was a pretty big TOOL fan at the time), but I was too lazy to keep it shaven on the sides. When my hair was wet, it did indeed look like lumberguy's "dead squid".

      True story.


  13. irma_vep says:

    This story amazes me. The guy was bloody, and had weapons. I think the US is the laughing stock of the world.

  14. I saw this shit in a newspaper at the pub (in Canada) a few hours ago. So fucked up. This story is totally backward.

  15. dzm6 says:

    So this guy is permitted entry (mostly due to his naturalized state) and Cat "Peace Train" Stevens is rejected entry?

    Tax dollars well spent.

  16. robingal1 says:

    If this guy looks that freaky and was still admitted into the U.S., ya gotta wonder, what does the rest of his family look like?
    I'm curious to know what they think of all of this. Has there been any investigation into his background? As a kid, did he get into fights on the playground? Was the kid he first fought with ever seen again?
    Maybe he was homeschooled in some weird Canadian cult. The Cult of Bad Hair Choices. (CBHC for short.)