OT: Does this guy have the worst luck in the world?

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First, there was this:

Fugitive activist Koernke blows cover and is arrested

July 22, 1998 BY MARYANNE GEORGE Detroit Free Press

Mark Koernke's brief life on the lam ended Monday when he was accidentally spotted by police searching for marijuana in Barry County. Koernke, 40, an anti-government activist wanted on felony fugitive warrants in Washtenaw County, surrendered after jumping in a lake to avoid arrest.

Koernke, who has been on the run since he failed to show up for a trial in May, had dyed his black hair orange, shaved off his mustache, affected an Irish brogue and assumed an alias of Michael Kern to avoid arrest, according to investigators.

But Koernke, also known as Mark from Michigan, blew his cover when he bolted across a field after spotting a State Police car conducting routine Operation Hemp searches in Hope Township in Barry County.

It was just sheer luck that we spotted him. If he had not bolted we wouldn't have looked twice at him," State Police Lt. Tracey McAndrew, commander of the Southwest Enforcement Team (SWET), an interagency drug task force, said Tuesday.

Koernke, who was being held without bond Tuesday in the Barry County Jail, could be arraigned today on a new felony charge of absconding to avoid trial in Washtenaw County.

Koernke was acting as his own attorney when he failed to show up for a May 26 trial before Washtenaw County Judge Kurtis Wilder on felony charges of assaulting two process servers with a rifle in October outside his Webster Township home. Wilder issued a bench warrant for Koernke and a federal fugitive warrant was also issued when he was spotted in Ohio.

He faces up to five years in prison if convicted on the absconding charge.

According to McAndrew, SWET officers were conducting routine ground and air searches for marijuana in a Hope Township field about 6 p.m. Monday when they spotted a man and a woman standing outside a pickup truck near an unoccupied trailer. When Koernke saw a State Police car he ran into a woods, attracting the attention of police in a helicopter and on foot.

As he fled, Koernke ran in front of a trooper and jumped into Shallow Lake, where he was surrounded by a dozen officers, McAndrew said.

He swam about 40 feet into the lake and made an obscene gesture at the green helicopter, according to McAndrew. In his short-wave radio broadcasts, Koernke has advocated armed resistance against what he calls black spy helicopters from the New World Order.

After about 20 minutes, police persuaded him to surrender. Although he insisted he was Michael Kern, police found documents with Koernke's name in the pickup. Also found in the vehicle were an AK47 rifle and AR15 rifle, a loaded .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol, ammunition, camouflage clothing, so-called militia documents, survival gear and an inert hand grenade.

Koernke's companion, Anne Dawson, 32, of Pleasant Lake, is also being held in the Barry County Jail on a concealed weapons charge.

[That was in 1998. Now, this week's "Koernke is in the wrong place at the wrong time again" story)


Detroit News March 9, 2000

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Militia activist Mark Koernke was in the wrong place at the wrong time when police tried to stop him for questioning in a Dexter bank robbery.

Instead of stopping when police approached him, Koernke led police on a 50-mile, high-speed chase.

Authorities said Koernke had nothing to do with the holdup and the robber escaped.

The incident began about 4 p.m. Tuesday when a man robbed the Great Lakes Bank on Main Street in Dexter of about $1,500.

Koernke "had the misfortune of sitting outside the bank Tuesday," FBI Agent Greg Stejskal said. "When police wanted to stop him, he took off. That made them think he was involved in the robbery."

Koernke, 42, of Webster Township was arraigned Wednesday on charges of fleeing and eluding police, assault with a car and resisting and obstructing police. If convicted, he faces up to 11 years in prison. He is being held in the Washtenaw County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

The chase started when State Trooper Brian Keely tried to stop Koernke's car on eastbound Interstate 94. Keely and several other police departments then chased Koernke more than 50 miles along back roads through Washtenaw and Livingston counties.

The chase ended when Koernke crashed his car into a tree near Strawberry Lake in Hamburg Township.

He ran away, but was caught by Keely, who charged Koernke assaulted him before the arrest.

Koernke's attorney, Mike Vincent, denied the charges. "My client is being charged for driving his car through downtown Dexter, and having the name Mark Koernke."

David Cynar, 46, of Dexter also was arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding and driving without a license. Cynar was following Koernke in a rented truck. Koernke's wife, Nancy, said Cynar was helping Koernke return the truck to its rental agency.

Koernke's preliminary examination is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 23 in Washtenaw County Court.

Koernke, the controversial leader of a militia group and host of a "Mark from Michigan" radio show, maintains that the New World Order is a conspiracy made up of international bankers, the United Nations and people in the U.S. government.

[Maybe it's something in the lake water]

-- bizarro (this@is.bizarre), March 09, 2000


Mark "Wrong Place, Wrong Time" Koernke

-- bizarro (this@is.bizarre), March 09, 2000.

"Does this guy have the worst luck in the world?"

Why? Because he happend to get caught while attempting to flee police, first, while being heavily armed in an area where police routinely search for drugs, then again after leading police on 50 mile high speed chase?

No. This guy is only getting exactly what he is asking for. Luck has nothing to do with it.

-- Michael (123@456.789), March 09, 2000.

Lucky or stupid.

You make the call.


-- Deano (deano@luvthebeach.com), March 09, 2000.

The guy has NO idea how to lay low. Doesn't Michigan Militia teach anything? He asked for it.

-- Hamilton Felix (skagity2k@hotmail.com), March 09, 2000.

He is being harassed because of his "lifestyle choice", the paranoid are never treated with dignity. (The early '90s videos he made were quite interesting.)

-- Possible Impact (posim@hotmail.com), March 09, 2000.

Notice the low brow.

-- Neanderthal (Apeman@lookalike.banana), March 09, 2000.

And they say he's the leader???

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), March 09, 2000.

You forum regulars remember the saga of the Stitt family last fall? A splinter group of the Michigan Militia was attempting to take on the role of protectors for the poor Stitts, who were being evicted from Bois Blanc Island in the Straits of Makinaw. The leader of this group was a dude name of Norm. Norm and our master criminal Koernke were compatriots until they had falling-out. These guys are not good.

-- Sifting (through@the.rubble), March 09, 2000.


I don't know enough to agree with you that "these guys are not good", but yes, I do remember the Stitt saga, and I remember Norm. I also remember that the original TB2000 forum changed substantially after that.

To be fair, Michigan militia groups apparently did a "weeding out" process after the Oklahoma City tragedy, when they realized the media was reporting, rightly or wrongly, alleged ties to groups in Michigan.

Now, do I believe in the "right to bear arms?" Yes, because it's in the Constitution.

Do I also believe in the possibility that this guy may have the worse timing possible on the planet? Oh, yes. Not only that, but providing the reporters were responsible in their efforts, he should also be the subject of an award:

Category: How to make certain you are arrested:

1) Run, whenever you see a police vehicle. Dive into local body of water. Make obscene gestures at hovering helicopters, as you are apprehended.

2) Never stop when you see flashing lights behind you.

And so-called "Patriot" groups wonder why they have a "bad rep?" This guy is a classic example of zealot thinking in action.

(If only all fanatics were so dumb...)


-- bizarro (this@is.bizarre), March 09, 2000.

Speakin of the senate


watch out for redlof

-- imme (¿¿¿??@greenspun.com), January 21, 2003.

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