Super Bowl massacre averted at last minute
Gary Grado, Tribune
A distraught Tempe man was within sight of the Super Bowl on Sunday with an assault rifle, but a change of heart kept him from unloading 200 rounds of ammunition on the crowd, court records show.
Drunkenstein's bar name scares off Tempe
Kurt William Havelock, 35, turned himself in Sunday to Tempe police and the FBI at the urging of family and confessed his plan, which he hatched in retaliation for the Tempe City Council rejecting a liquor license application for a restaurant and bar he owns.
According to court records, Havelock is charged with mailing threatening communications in the mailing of eight copies of a “manifesto” explaining the planned massacre.
“I will test the theory that bullets speak louder than words ... I will slay your children. I will shed the blood of the innocent,” Havelock wrote. “No one destroys my dream. No one.”
Magistrate Judge Edward V. Ross said in a hearing in U.S. District Court on Tuesday: “I haven’t read more chilling words, and I’ve been doing this a long time.” Ross found Havelock was a danger to the public and ordered him held without bail.
Havelock on Sunday mailed copies of the manifesto intended for friends and media from a post office at 59th and Peoria avenues in Glendale, but authorities were able to intercept them.
In the letters he says his family has been attacked and the futures of his children have been destroyed.
In October, Havelock was before the Tempe City Council to get approval for a liquor license application for a restaurant called The Haunted Castle, a Halloween-theme bar where horror-theme bands and actors could gather to promote themselves, according to city records.
Liquor licenses are typically rubber-stamped by city councils, whose votes are only advisory.
The State Liquor Board makes the final decision.
Council members, however, got word from a blog written by Havelock that the business would be called Drunkenstein’s and questioned him about it.
Havelock said there would be a sign with that name but would be only one corner of the business at 6463 S. Rural Road.
The council voted 6-1 to deny the application, which is still pending before the liquor board.
“Alas, this all boils down to an econopolitical confrontation. I cannot outvote, outspend, outtax, or outincarcerate my enemies,” Havelock wrote in the manifesto. “But for a brief moment I can outgun them.”
According to court testimony by FBI Special Agent Philip Thorlin and Havelock’s father, Frank Havelock, he bought an AR-15 assault rifle on Jan. 29 from Scottsdale Gun Club.
Thorlin described the rifle as the U.S. military’s weapon of choice.
Havelock began Sunday by going back to the gun club for target practice, but there was a private function and he couldn’t get in. Besides the rifle, Havelock was carrying at the time six 30-round magazines and 20 loose rounds.
Thorlin said Havelock’s original destination was Desert Ridge Marketplace in northeast Phoenix. It’s unclear according to court documents why Havelock changed his mind about Desert Ridge and headed for Glendale instead.
He drove to different post offices in the West Valley to obtain the envelopes and postage for his copies of the manifesto and mailed them before he went to the parking lot of Jobing.com Arena, which can be seen from University of Phoenix Stadium, where a host of activities were happening before the 4:30 p.m. kickoff.
“He waited about a minute and decided he couldn’t do this,” Thorlin said.
Havelock then called his fiancee and met his parents at his Tempe condominium.
“He was very upset, he was sobbing hysterically,” Frank Havelock said. “He said, ‘I’ve done something terribly, terribly wrong.’ ”
Frank Havelock believed his son was talking about financial problems he was having with his restaurant, which the elder Havelock learned about for only the first time on Sunday, but then he confessed about the letters and the rifle.
Frank Havelock said he went to his son’s car and moved the weapon and ammo to his car and persuaded him to turn himself into Tempe police.
When authorities searched Havelock’s car, they found another typed letter to police with a handwritten note at the bottom that read: “do not resuscitate.”
Havelock has no criminal history, and a mental health evaluation conducted at his arrest found “no mental defects” that would warrant a commitment to a mental hospital, Thorlin said.
Frank Havelock said he’s never had any problems with his son.
Neighbors who live next door said Havelock lived with his fiancee and two small children and two large dogs. Martin Trump and Danny Q. Rivera said Havelock kept to himself and had a variety of cars, including a white hearse with a vanity plate that read “drtnap.”
They were shocked to learn of Havelock’s plan to use an assault rifle on crowds at the Super Bowl.
“The Patriots versus the Giants — do you see the ironic parallel? How many dollars will you lose? And all because you took my right to work, to own a business, from me,” Havelock wrote in his manifesto.
"Perhaps ( Web sites) will print up some cool t-shirts like I SURVIVED SUPER BOWL XLII."