I don’t know how many people search the web for chess news. Most people think chess is boring. But I’m foolishly contemplating a plot for a chess mystery—knowing as I do that the audience will probably be miniscule.
Today I came across two chess news items that should interest everyone who reads this blog (assuming you read it because you’re interested in mysteries, crimes, and elusive justice).
One, a New York Times article, “Russian Knights Joust to Control Chess World” (which I will cover in detail later), reported that the Kremlin has invaded and taken over the Russian Chess Federation headquarters in Moscow.
The other chess news involves a former Bend, OR, Regional Manager of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and second-best chess player in the Central Oregon Chess Club, a man now known only as John Doe.
Sidebar: The two stories linked to above and below are from TV stations. They seem to be raw notes of reporters, and you need to read them carefully to figure out what really has happened. What follows is my interpretation of these stories. I have no independent knowledge of the facts.
Last week, apparently, the State Department’s passport investigative branch arrested a man, who had been going by the name Jason Robert Evers, for lying on a passport application. Further research led (through “Operation Death Match”) to the discovery that the identity actually belonged to a 3-year-old Ohio child murdered in 1982.
John Doe refuses to identify himself for his own “safety,” according to his attorney. As a consequence of his failure to cooperate with the court, Doe has also been charged with a cascade of crimes from identity theft to driving without a valid license. There is absolutely no link between him and the murdered child, since he has been observed to be between 32 and 40 years old (he won’t give his age), so he would have been between 4 and 12 when the murder occurred.
What most intrigues me about this case is provided in a comment to the KOHD article, dated yesterday (May 26, 2010). The anonymous commenter says: “I think he is Johnny Gosch.” (WARNING: This link leads to the Johnny Gosch Foundation. It displays some incredibly shocking and disturbing photos, so please do not visit the site unless you are prepared for what’s coming. I recommend instead that you look at America’s Most Wanted story on Johnny Gosch. But I’m linking to the Johnny Gosch Foundation, because it seems to be the work of his family.)
Johnny Gosch was a 12-year-old following his newspaper route one Sunday in 1982 (as in the Evers case), who was abducted by a pedophile ring. His family was sent graphic, terrifying photos of him bound, gagged, and abused. There can be no question that he was the victim of vicious pedophiles.
John Doe apparently adopted the name Jason Evers in 1996. In 1997 Noreen Gosch, Johnny’s mother, received a visit from a young man claiming to be her son and whom she believes was her son. At that time he said that he was engaged in criminal activity and could not safely reveal himself.
John Doe has been in the Northwest since about 2002, leading an exemplary life. In fact, he was such a harsh regulator of liquor licenses that retailers complained about him, and he had to be reassigned from Bend to Portland and then Ontario, OR, a few years ago. He is well-respected by the chess community, is engaged, and has many friends and supporters (according to KTVZ).
It’s a disturbing story, no matter who John Doe, chess player, turns out to be. Once again it reminds us of the harsh reality of child pornography and sex trafficking. In every story about these commercial gangs who exploit children, there are always references to politically well-placed players, for example, the Marc Dutroux Belgian pedophile scandal.
Let’s face it: this crime is obviously widespread but even a dedicated task force of the FBI has been unable to bring these rings to justice. They caught Al Capone eventually by getting him for tax fraud. There’s bound to be a ton of money involved in these crimes, too. As Deep Throat said, “Follow the money.”
Every time I read about another such horror story, I have to recall the conspiracy theorists who commented on this blog with allegations of a pedophile ring’s involvement in Columbine and the persistent rumors of pedophile involvement in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.
Can we really dismiss all of these theories as loony?