by Travis Mateer
I am FULLY aware that my choices of topics to write about and engage with has the potential to be used to discredit me if I’m getting too close to something. I’ve even brought this up, unprompted, with Rebekah Barsotti’s mother so that she is aware of the risks involved when dealing with new media content creators like myself, who are filling the void being created by the crisis in corporate media credibility from the industry’s short-sighted, bottom-line slashes to newsrooms.
The problems with conventional reporting are happening at the same time that technology has deputized the entire world to armchair-solve all kinds of things that were once considered the sole domain of public law enforcement officials and private investigators.
Armchair sleuthing got a big boost with the Netflix series Don’t F**k with Cats, but it’s been a phenomenon for as long as the public’s obsession over the genre “True Crime”. To better understand how technology is changing the investigative landscape, this article takes a look at the phenomenon, and mentions the website where someone is now looking into me (emphasis mine):
Then there’s Websleuths.com, an internet community website that was launched in 1999. It was purchased by Tricia Griffith in 2004. Griffith gave up a 25-year career in radio to work full-time on the website in 2008. Her web forum famously ended up helping solve the case of a casual laborer who was murdered after winning a lottery in Florida in 2006. The lottery winner, Abraham Shakespeare, went missing in 2009 and people on the web forum suspected his business partner Dorice “Dee Dee” Moore, who ended up with Shakespeare’s assets, as being responsible. Moore herself signed up to websleuths.com in a bid to clear her name. Griffith passed the information onto police, who then managed to solve the case and arrest Moore.
With the emphasis above in mind, here are some interesting screen shots I was made aware of from web sleuths dot com.
There are some things in this initial screen shot that I find VERY curious. For example, the bearded guy (who I later found out was Joe Danzer) never once specified going out to search as a “private citizen”. That language sounds like someone preparing a legal defense.
Another glaring question I have–besides whether or not “NoSpoonFeeding” actually read my post on the LifeGuard Group–is this: if they don’t have resources to look for missing persons, then why is Joe Danzer’s job title SEARCH COORDINATOR?
Yesterday I made an attempt to contact Lowell Hochhalter, the President/CEO of the LifeGuard Group AND the chaplain at the Missoula County Sheriff’s Department. Who better to clarify this confusion about what this group is capable of doing, especially now that they’ve received $30,000 from Town Pump?
Here’s Hochalter expressing his gratitude to the Governor and Town Pump for the funds that I can only hope will equip Joe Danzer with the business cards he needs to accurately describe his job duties so there’s no confusion about what he might be doing as a “private citizen” vs. his job as SEARCH COORDINATOR.
“The generosity of Town Pump is overwhelming. We are filled with gratitude for their donation and Governor Gianforte’s new partnership, but also have the affirmation of the importance of this task of protecting those who may be sold or exchanged. This is an act of protection and prevention for all those in our communities,” Lowell Hochhalter, founder of the LifeGuard Group, said in the release.
I’ve read this quote over and over again and it still doesn’t sit right with me, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. And it’s not like it’s some weird direct quote from the reporter, since it came from a press release.
Maybe it’s the those who may be sold or exchanged part, like that’s all human trafficking is. What about control? Human trafficking victims aren’t just moved about the country like inanimate objects through the mail. Also, dealing with the myriad strategies of predatory abusers to coerce, manipulate, blackmail and CONTROL their victims seems like more than just an important “task”.
Whoops, did I just accidentally put on my English major hat in order to impose a subjective analysis onto this press release? Maybe NoSpoonFeeding can sleuth out whether or not I’m on the slippery slope to conspiratorial theorizing before it’s too late.
But before NSF does that, I recommend this commenter reread (or first-read) my post, because this “websleuth” commenter has some facts VERY wrong, like who I actually spoke with (bearded guy is NOT Lowell Hochhalter).
Again, from the sleuths site:
So much confusion, I can only hope the 10 minutes I waited on hold with the Sheriff’s Department yesterday–and the email the woman assured me would be sent to Lowell Hochhalter–results in some clarification from the person best positioned to provide that needed clarity.
If I don’t get the chance to have a clarifying conversation with Lowell Hochhalter, here’s the series of questions I’ve gleaned need answering from the many calls I’ve been making to find clarity: WHERE does the HOTLINE go, WHEN will the safe house be open, and HOW will victims of trafficking be safely connected to services?
I don’t care what kind of media finds the answers to these questions, as long as they’re satisfactorily answered, I’ll be happy.
As for the conspiracy smear NoSpoonFeeding led with in the first comment, the reason for doing so became clear after I perused the etiquette and information page of websleuths:
Ok, so let me restate some facts to conclude this post.
On February 1st, 2022, I located the office of the LifeGuard Group on the 4th floor of the Florence building in Missoula, Montana. I knocked on the door and Joe Danzer answered. I gave Joe my card and mentioned the Rebekah Barsotti case and asked if he was familiar with the case. Joe told me that he went himself to help search, but could not recall a date, when asked. Before and after this exchange with Joe Danzer, I spoke with Angela Mastrovito (Rebekah’s mother) on the phone, and she contests this claim of direct assistance.
Is it possible BOTH are telling the truth? Sure. Maybe Joe DID go searching at some point last summer, and as a private citizen, and maybe that tidbit never got to Angela, who keeps excellent notes.
If anyone can help provide clarity for Rebekah’s mother, her private investigator, James Terry, can be reached at 1-813-993-2242, and I can be contacted via email at willskink at yahoo dot com.
Thanks for reading.