by Travis Mateer
No. With the ID’ing of Rebekah Barsotti’s body yesterday, a race is now on to establish a narrative of how that body came to be “placed” on the river bank 10 months after the supposed “river accident” that triggered 2,000 hours of fruitless searching by all the agencies congratulated for failing to find the body.
Here’s the statement Sheriff Mike Toth released that for some reason does NOT acknowledge the 26 year old with a fishing pole who apparently found Rebekah.
This statement represents the first shot in the race to control the public’s view of the circumstances surrounding Rebekah’s death. So, before eager members of the public rush forward with theories speculating about what’s happening TODAY, let’s go back to July 2021 to review some basic assumptions about this case.
First, what was going on with Rebekah in the days and weeks leading up to her disappearance? Who were the last people to see her in those final days? Should any assumptions about the basic facts in this case be challenged? If so, which facts?
For example, I, myself, have never seen footage, or reviewed still images, of Rebekah meeting the person at Town Pump on the supposed last day of her life. I HAVE spoken with one of David Barsotti’s caregiver’s, Brandy Walker, and that conversation left me with quite a few questions.
One of the biggest questions is WHO made the 911 call? And why? Did a person, persons, or a family traveling from Oregon, REALLY make a 911 call because they saw some personal items stacked on the riverbank in the middle of a hot summer day in July?
The temperature that day was in the 90’s, and Rebekah’s car was parked somewhere near the river. I have taken my own dogs to this spot on the Clark Fork, and they’ve chased a few sticks into the river, and not once was I worried about the dangerous water down stream threatening their safety.
After reviewing some of these basic assumptions about the facts of the case, where should we go? Into the weeds of jurisdictions and how 2,000 hours of searching and rescuing were directed by local law enforcement, or somewhere else entirely?
How about the hitman? What, you haven’t heard about the hitman hired to kill Rebekah’s family? He’s blowing up North Dakota Facebook radio and a Youtube True Crime channel.
If, at this point, you think the introduction of a hitman might somehow undermine the idea of a river accident, welcome to the last 10 months for those paying attention. For those of you who are new, this hitman even comes with a slew of corroborating audio files, like 92 of them, documenting David Barsotti plotting to kill.
Other places we might go haven’t been prepared for public consumption yet, but at least I was told by a nice member of local PD that the hitman, who got shot in the leg last week in New Mexico, is no threat. That made my pancakes and eggs more palatable.
I mention breakfast because it was at a local eatery, right before the news broke that an ID had been announced, where I got a raw opinion from the waitress about who she thought was responsible for Rebekah’s death, then compared the case to Jermain Charlo.
One thing I learned from watching the hitman have his moment in the North Dakota spotlight (are you hearing me, Montana media?) is that PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING. While the public may perceive that a positive ID provides closure for the family, does it?
Instead of trying to answer that question, I’d like to shine the hitman’s wisdom on the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and how Rebekah’s mother may have been perceived BEFORE her plane landed in Montana. I think there’s a bigger story there, but for now I’ll just say this:
MCSO didn’t expect Angela Mastrovito.