BREAKING: Eric Frein in Custody

We went to the FBI Most Wanted website for another purpose, and the first man on the list — Frein — had a CAPTURED label on his photo.

Frein was caught by US Marshals, outside of his hiding-place in a hangar at the abandoned Birchwood-Pocono Airpark airstrip. The FAA forced closure of the runway in 1996 and the resort, which had been a honeymoon retreat with heart-shaped tubs, closed around the same time; it’s been for sale but the structures are not only dated but in poor, unmaintained condition. This aerial view, from Freeman’s Abandoned Airfields site, shows the hangar where Frein had nested.

Birchwood_PA_12Sep9_nw

He was on foot, outside the hangar, when the Marshals set upon him. He resisted briefly. His rifle and pistol were not on his person; they were found inside the hangar.

We have been in touch with some jubilant Pennsylvania law enforcement types, and they are as proud of the professionalism that brought this cop-killer in alive (albeit with a bloody, possibly broken, nose) as they are of anything else.

A Federal agent had one detail to share: Frein was hauled off to face the music, secured with Corporal Bryon Dickson’s handcuffs. Dickson was the state trooper shot dead by Frein on 12 September; Trooper Alex Douglass was wounded in the attack on the State Police barracks at Blooming Grove.

Frein evaded capture for 48 days, after gunning down the two Pennsylvania State Police troopers at their barracks at shift-change time.

The authorities have said little about Frein’s motivations and intent while the manhunt was pending, but now that he is in custody they may release more of the information found on his computer. The only thing they have said about their discoveries there, is that it provides evidence that Frein planned the attack for a very long time.

20 thoughts on “BREAKING: Eric Frein in Custody

    1. Hognose Post author

      It turns out I was flagged by text message soon after they put the habeas grabbus on him, but the dog was sleeping on my phone so I didn’t hear the message!
      There are several past stories about Frein. I keep meaning to do one on his improvised “grenades,” that were captured some time ago.

  1. Alien

    I’m wondering, had he not remained in the general area, would he have been located? I don’t claim to have any degree of understanding about what goes on in the minds of people like Frein – I deal with more concrete stuff, such as their actions – but he seemingly did have some degree of skill regarding living at large in very rural areas. I’m confident that his actions are what led to his capture. Avoiding serious manhunts is very, very serious business with zero tolerance for error. It has been accomplished, however rarely.

    Had he headed for the deep woods of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky or even eastern Tennessee, might he have become the next DB Cooper? Travel would have become an issue, as would have the leaving of “travel trails,” but someone who avoided those complications for 7 weeks may also have had the skill to avoid them whle traveling. Improbable, but possible.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I think we’ll see how skill and luck balanced out in his case, as more of the story is revealed in the days to come. The terrain in that part of PA is quite difficult, a lot like places in WV used for some SOF selection.

      As I’m sure you know, Allen, there are fugitives who have been caught after decades. Some examples are among the weather underground types, who hid in plain sight among urban liberal supporters. I don’t think Frein had the contacts and social support of the Weathermen, either; he was a loner like Eric Rudolph.

      Any investigator will tell you the biggest single thing that breaks cold cases and that brings in fugitives is that people talk. That makes a loner hard to predict, to track, and to hunt, whether he’s Frein or Rudolph, or one of these Sudden Jihad Syndrome guys.

  2. Wyoming Bound

    Looks like he “fell” on his nose. I like the cuffed by his victims cuffs touch. Nice.

  3. Jim Scrummy

    Good. I thought the POS would’ve beat feet to the north, Wayne County, PA, which is a bit more remote than Monroe County, PA.

    1. Hognose Post author

      That’s a classic tu quoque logical fallacy. So some cops are alleged to have misbehaved (remember, all that page is is one side of the story, from someone with an axe to grind. It’s very convincing, but that’s the nature of one-sided presentations). Are you suggesting that the police beating the snot out of poor Leone (and then ramrodding him into prison for the crime of being beaten) justifies Frein’s murder of two random policemen?

      Look, if we accept that what the cops and DA did to Leone is way wrong, then we have to use the tools of legal resistance to fight them. Not take to the hills with guns and start sniping them at random, but take them to court, name them and shame them. If you have bad cops the first thing you attack is their reputations; get them to the point where they can’t testify any more and their jurisdictions will lose their enthusiasm for supporting them.

      1. Expat

        “Are you suggesting that the police beating the snot out of poor Leone (and then ramrodding him into prison for the crime of being beaten) justifies Frein’s murder of two random policemen?”

        Nope, just what my response would be if it was against me and mine.

        “we have to use the tools of legal resistance to fight them.”
        Ha, ha , ha , ha. a classic case of shut-up and us law guys take care of your rights. I’ll take care of my own rights thank you. Integrity of the Blue line, DA’s, Judges?
        Really?

        “Not take to the hills with guns and start sniping them at random”
        Nope, random is just stupid.

        1. Hognose Post author

          I’m not suggesting “us law guys,” meaning cops, prosecutors, etc., can safeguard Leone’s (or anyone’s) rights. Here he has to do it himself, and the civil courts give him pushback against the stacked deck of the criminal system.

      2. DAN III

        My guess is that you’re not familiar with Frank Serpico and the NYPD. The entire NYPD was dirty all the way up the chai in Serpico’s experiences more than 40 years ago. It hasn’t changed. That “thin blue line” whether a part-time police force from Podunk, Pennsylvania or the New York Police Department, pretty much turns it’s head at wrongdoing within their ranks. Your suggestion to “take them to court” and use “tools of legal resistance” (meaning paying some lawyer $500/hour) indicates you still believe there is justice for the common
        man. When was the last time you were the plaintiff against a
        .gov entity ? Only the rich can hope to “fight” for justice against
        a government entity. One cannot financially afford to legally
        challenge the bastards most folks refer to as “government”. In the meantime those we call government runs roughshod over the citizenry. Badged thugs, black-robed bandits and sheister lawyers are all part of the same system. And it is not to “protect” the citizenry.

        I find your naivete regarding American police and our justice system almost laughable if it wasn’t so sad. I’m certain Jose Guerena and Frank Serpico would take umbrage with you.

      3. DAN III

        Expat….I agree with you.

        Regarding PSP, I’ve used PSP’s system of filing complaints against troopers. Filed my complaint all the way to Hersheyand Harrisburg. PSP then sends one of their own uniformed troopers to “investigate” my allegations of PSP wrongdoing. The result ? After I, the citizen, had to file a formal, written complaint to PSP, the “investigating” brother trooper calls me, nothing in writing, calls me to so much as say “go fuck yourself”, when he tells me his “investigation” found no wrongdoing by the troopers in question.

        So much for the system policing it’s own. Just shut up and pay your taxes.

      4. revjen45

        Complaining about the police to the system they serve is like complaining to Himmler about the Einsatzgruppen and suing them in the Volksgerichtshof with Roland Freisler presiding. Good luck.

  4. Tom Schultz

    “Cuffed by his victim’s cuffs”
    Nice touch? Could be, but how long was his take down delayed so that they could get the cuffs there?

    I detect a slight whiff of Dog and Pony excrement.
    But then, I’ve occasionally been accused of being cynical.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I’d bet that they had him in something as soon as they got the chance tp grab him. Remember, they grabbed him outside the abandoned hangar and his rifle and pistol were inside. He also had several knives, not sure if one was on his person.

      Just one more jerk who boasted they’d never take him alive, who’s going to have a long time to cook up a story about how they got him despite that. The pen’s full of ’em.

    2. Hognose Post author

      By the way, on the handcuffs? I didn’t see this in any of the news stories, but it might be there by now. I got it directly. My assumption is that they changed him into Dickson’s cuffs at the earliest opportunity, but they didn’t let him wander around free until they could have the “right” irons to slap him into.

  5. Aesop

    And another poseur gets hauled in crying like a little girl, and taken without a shot or a whimper.
    Sic semper podices

    Hope he likes his new boyfriend, and that PA doesn’t take 20 years to strap him to the table.

    But it’s a pity they don’t pursue the killers of mere mortals with the same diligence or resources.

  6. Bear does kata

    I wouldn’t be surprised to hear in due time that teams of recon units just happened to be “training” in the area and “stumbled” across him. US Marshals are a nice cover for that. Never mind the air and satellite military assets used to hunt him. No doubt that if the PSP found him first he would be dead.

    I am glad he is caught and will be tried but I only believe about a 1/4 of what has been reported about his eccentricities. Become an enemy of the state and your hobbies and lifestyle get amplified negatively to isolate you from society justifying the any means necessary methods for capture or the shoot on sight that surprisingly didn’t happen.

    Dude has some real skills but he always planned to get caught. Otherwise he would have staged or stolen a getaway vehicle and would have been long gone.

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