Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Officers Wound Longtime Gadfly; He Reportedly Reached for a Gun When Meeting with State Troopers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Officers Wound Longtime Gadfly; He Reportedly Reached for a Gun When Meeting with State Troopers

Article excerpt

FRANKLIN COUNTY - For years, Jeffrey Weinhaus preached across two states that a cabal of communists, Freemasons and devil-worshippers had long ago taken over his United States of America.

On his YouTube channel last month, Weinhaus called for the forceful overthrow of local officials if they did not step down by Sept. 17.

But Weinhaus was the lone casualty in his revolution after a series of events that ended Tuesday with his critical wounding by the police he despised.

In a newsletter called the Bulletin distributed in Jefferson County in the 1990s, then on a website and finally in stream-of- conscious video diatribes on YouTube, Weinhaus, know as Bulletinman, railed against police, lawyers and judges as evil agents of a false government.

Some dismissed Weinhaus, 46, as a harmless showman, or derided him as a lunatic, but he had advertisers and thousands of readers. More than 3,000 people viewed the video ultimatum to local authorities he posted Aug. 16.

"What I've been trying to lay down over the last 16 years is my right to go in there and blast you (expletive) out of there if we have to," he said. "You're going down one way or another."

Soon after he posted the threatening video, Missouri Highway patrolmen seized Weinhaus' computers from his home in Franklin County, sending him into a frenzy. Police would not say why they took the computers.

In his most recent video, posted Sunday, Weinhaus said his third wife had kicked him out and that he was "totally out of my mind, totally clinically insane."

He reiterated his threat to authorities. "You know, I showed remarkable restraint the other evening. And I actually believe the Highway Patrol tried to set me up into firing at them. I mean, they left my gun chambered and safety off."

On Tuesday, two troopers with the Missouri Highway Patrol's drug and crime division officers arranged to meet Weinhaus at a gas station on Highway K near St. Clair. They had a warrant for his arrest from Franklin County for two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of tampering with a judicial officer. Bail was set at $50,000.

Sgt. Al Nothum said Weinhaus reached for his handgun, and the officers, in fear for their lives, fired at him, striking him at least twice. It was not known if Weinhaus fired a shot.

Weinhaus was flown to Mercy Hospital St. Louis in Creve Coeur in critical condition.

Spewing vitriol at the government is how Weinhaus has made a living.

He started the Bulletin in August 1996 in Jefferson County to rail against a used-car salesman who, Weinhaus claimed, had given him a raw deal.

"We are no longer free," he wrote in a November 1998 edition of the Bulletin. "The average American pays 30 percent tax, and most countries revolt at 20 percent. The EPA, IRS and just about any other gov't entity can take your property on a whim. …

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