Project 7 Podcast Available Now

by William Skink

Nine years ago I had a run-in at the homeless shelter with a very angry man. I didn’t understand his anger at the time because he had not yet shot at Sheriff Deputies and disappeared into the woods, earning him a spot on the FBI’s most wanted list. That would happen about a month after my encounter.

The last time I gave David Burgert any thought was in 2014, when Jamie Rogers wrote a feature piece for the Missoula Independent. That article gave some interesting insight into the key events that turned David Burgert into an angry, violent menace.

I wrote a post about this at 4&20 Blackbirds at the time, and mentioned my run-in, but I was still working at the shelter, so decided not to provide any details.

The reason I’m bringing this up now is because Flathead Beacon reporters Justin Franz and Andy Viano are releasing episodes of their Project 7 podcast, which takes an in-depth look into David Burgert’s life and the different theories about what may have happened in the woods in Lolo after Burgert shot at Sheriff deputies and disappeared. You can find episode 2 here.

I’m not going to get into the details of my encounter just yet. I recorded an interview with Justin Franz last week, and it will probably be included in either episode 4 or 5.

One of the interesting points of tension in this story is between some deputies within the Sheriff’s department and Sheriff Ibsen, who was the Sheriff at the time this happened in June of 2011. The criticism against Ibsen is that he did not do enough to investigate the case and bring Burgert to justice.

I will say that my experience seems to back that up. When the news broke and I saw the face of David Burgert, I obviously realized who I had been dealing with the month prior. I contacted authorities, but no one ever followed up with me.

I’ll leave it there for now.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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