Man With Bloody Chain Saw Let in to U.S.

A killer openly carried a bloody chain saw and various other weapons into the U.S. across the Canadian border.

Man With Bloody Chain Saw Let in to U.S. (AP)

Gregory Despres is shown in this image from television. On April 25, 2005, Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border crossing at Calais, Maine, carrying chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood, a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, and brass knuckles. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons, fingerprinted Despres, and then let him into the United States. Despres, the suspect in a grisly double murder in New Brunswick, Canada, was arrested in Mattapoisett, Mass., on April 27, 2005 and is being held in a jail there, charged with two counts of first-degree murder. (CP PHOTO/HO/WHDH-TV) 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.

Despres, 22, immediately became a suspect because of a history of violence between him and his neighbors, and he was arrested April 27 after police in Massachusetts saw him wandering down a highway in a sweat shirt with red and brown stains. He is now in jail in Massachusetts on murder charges, awaiting an extradition hearing next month.

At a time when the United States is tightening its borders, how could a man toting what appeared to be a bloody chain saw be allowed into the country? 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.”

One doesn’t have to be Quincy, M.E. to spot blood on a chain saw, especially when the guy is also carrying a sword, a hatchet, a knife, and brass knuckles. And looks like the guy in the photo.

crossposted to small dead animals

Update (2219): Making a horrific tale even worse, Michael Demmons passes on word that Mr. Fulton was his aunt’s brother.

FILED UNDER: General,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. LJD says:

    This picture calls in to question whether there is any blood relation to the runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks. Just look at those eyes!

  2. ICallMasICM says:

    I’m so proud to be a Mainiac right now, WTF were these agents thinking?

  3. Just Me says:

    You would think blood on a chainsaw would be enough probably cause to hold him-at least long enough to confirm if the blood on the saw was human and how it got there.

  4. Bithead says:

    Minto?

    Nice little town; and you’d hardly expect something of the sort, there. (You run through Minto on the way to the Bay of Fundy, if you’re coming in from I-95 and so on)

    What interests me is if Fulton was well known, it was limited to the local area… I’m unable to find any reference to him outside of various reports of this story.

  5. bithead says:

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  6. bithead says:

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  7. Jami says:

    Hint to law enforcement: when you can see the whites of their eyes on all four sides, there’s usually trouble.

    But without an arrest warrant, the police really couldn’t have done anything (they did try), and the Massachussetts cops who found him later are awesome.

  8. Improbulus Maximus says:

    This is just more proof that the anti-government paranoid types have been right all along. Immigration and Customs seems to have been completely taken over by those who want to see America fall. We are beset by enemies, which is bad enough, but we are also plagued with incompetence and undermined by traitors.

  9. ICallMasICM says:

    ‘But without an arrest warrant, the police really couldn’t have done anything (they did try)’

    I’ll plead ignorance but couldn’t the border guards just deny him entry – since he had a sword and brass knuckles? Every time I’ve crossed the border they ask you all sorts of questions and one is always about weapons.

  10. Bithead says:

    Yeah, but that’s going IN to Canada, not coming OUT, ICallMasICM.

    Which leads to another question; Would such a person carrying those items have been able tomake it into Canada from Houlton?

  11. LBJ says:

    Reference the comment by Bithead; when entering the US on a couple of occasions I have been asked if I’m carrying any weapons, especially firearms. Sounds strange but on occasion they do ask.