Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Architect of Armageddon

While the rest of the nation focuses on the Scott Peterson trial, another local trial sits in the shadows. A jury in the town of Martinez, county seat of Contra Costa, will retire to consider the bizarre case of Glenn Taylor Helzer, an excommunicated Mormon who has admitted to killing and dismembering five people in a plot to bring about Judgment Day. Wait, it gets wierder. Helzer, who was kicked out of the Mormons when he deemed himself the one true prophet of God and created the "12 Principles of Magic", brought together a small following, called the "Children Of Thunder", which included his younger brother, a self-described "good Witch", and September 2000 Playboy Playmate Kerrisa Fare. Also in this motley crew was Selina Bishop, 22-year-old daughter of the blues guitarist Elvin Bishop, who unfortunately became one of Helzer's victims when she was killed to silence her. Let's start from the beginning.

Helzer, a former stock broker, had decided that he was the one true prophet of God. I already said that, but this is what writing is all about. I guess the Mormons where a little pissed about this and gave him the boot. This obviously sent Helzer over the edge. He had devised a plan called "Brazil", in which he would bring in South American orphans and train them to be assassins. Their targets? The 15 elders who run the Mormon church. The blame would be placed on the shoulders of "the government behind the government". He could then wrest control of the church and make himself the one ruler for all the Later Day Saints, and this would somehow bring about the Second Coming. Something tells me he might be a little crazy, if only because his plot requires large leaps in logic.

But plans like this need some serious funding. The unnamed witch of the group had suggested that she could act in porn films to make some money, but Helzer had a better idea. He went through his old Rolodex and decided to extort the money from an elderly couple who were former clients. He tortured them, gave them Rohypnol, and forced them to write checks amounting to $100,000. Then they were bludgeoned to death and dismembered. Next in line was Selena Bishop, who apparently had had enough of this whole "ending the world" shit and wanted out of the cult. Helzer then killed Bishop's mother and her mother's boyfriend.

He had an issue with disposing of the body parts, and had entertained the thought of feeding the pieces to his Rottweiler, but had decided that this was impractical. As if any of the rest of the plan was practical in the least. He then decided to put the bodies in duffel bags and drop them in the delta, taking pains to knock out the teeth of the victims with a hammer and chisel. Dawn Godman, Helzer's former housemate, described as much to the revolted jury. She was always on the whole body cleanup crew, as Helzer was too busy communing with "the Spirit" and decided his next action.

Now, this story is pretty fucking weird as it is, but why has it been eclipsed by the Peterson trial, and only now has become newsworthy? Behold our next member, Kerissa Fare. This girl was a former girlfriend of Helzer's, and described how it was him that convinced her to send in nude photos of herself to Playboy. This led to her being Miss September of 2000. When a Playmate enters a murder trial, you know that the press will be a little more interested. She explained that Helzer was a very charismatic guy, which is a requirement for starting up your own cult. It's in a book somewhere, I think.

She also said that Helzer's younger brother, Justin, was one of those willowy treehugger types that wouldn't eat meat and wouldn't even harass insects if he found them in the house. Yet he still participated in the murders and helped in the cleanup afterwards. Talk about a double standard.

I first heard about this story yesterday, and already it seems like all the major media outlets are covering it now. It just goes to show, tits get you noticed.


Blogger smell the glove said...

interesting and crazy

August 27, 2007 at 8:34 PM  

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