The Caretakers, The Reporter, And The Man Who Wants To Be Sheriff Of Mineral County

by Travis Mateer

UPDATE: this post has been edited by the author.

I was reminded recently in a conversation with Mineral County Deputy Attorney, Wally Congdon, that people who I don’t know sometimes know me. That’s basically what Wally said to me: “You don’t know that I know you, but I do.”

How does Wally know me? He was, once upon a time, a board member of the Poverello Center, a homeless shelter in Missoula where I worked from 2008-2016. Great, I said, then you are familiar with the work I used to do, and then I proceeded to tell Wally my latest concern, which is this:

Who is using my blog to impersonate people in the comment threads?

I was alerted a few days ago that a comment made by someone named “Tamera”–a person who exists in real life–made the comment herself, but I learned that was not accurate, so I removed it. Later I had to edit this post when I got more information about the potential impacts of this impersonation.

This underhanded move made me recall a similar example of impersonation, which occurred back in February when new commenter, “DB”, trolled a post I wrote about the Rebekah Barsotti “river accident” case. Could this be the same person, or group of people, attempting to muddy the waters before things like autopsies are released and new Sheriffs are elected?

Since I love sharing information with anyone who might have influence in a case like this, I texted Monte Turner my hot tip about this impersonation thing. I’ve been a little surprised that Monte has continued communicating with me, since this post about the hilarious candidacy of Bill Burt utilized texts from our brief exchanges over the past few months, so I wasn’t all that surprised to find out Sheriff wannabe, Ryan Funke, has been telling Monte about my Gonzo journalism.

Here’s Monte’s response to my tip and my subsequent response, which seemed to alleviate his concerns. That is until he hears about THIS post.

Isn’t it nice to see how damn considerate Sheriff Toth was? He only wanted EXPERIENCED searchers involved, like Deputy Funke, who couldn’t even find Rebekah’s gun in her abandoned car.

But Deputy Funke DID come all the way to Missoula to interview a witness who claims David Barsotti told her he was there that day, on the banks of the river, and SAW HIS WIFE DROWN! When I told Wally Congdon about this witness, he said he had never heard about that at all. I suggested he chat with his colleague, Debra Jackson, if he wanted to be better informed.

My serious lack of faith in ALL the investigators on this case (even the PIs) comes partly from the direct information I have been able to gather myself. One example is a recorded phone call I had months ago with one of David’s caretakers, Brandy Walker. I haven’t released that conversation until today, but now I feel the timing is right, especially considering the geographical proximity of Brandy Walker’s residence to the trailer park where the email came from.

After listening to that conversation and marveling at all this amateur sleuthing and platforming of people getting their 15 minutes in (since no real investigation appears to be happening) I’d like to share a bizarre TikTok clip from “Sarge” and his TikTok account. Because why not?

If you want to see more amazing TikTok videos of dogs, and a weird one of a hand, have at it. There is also an entire online community looking at all this shit, not to mention a Dateline producer poking around.

I will leave it there for now, but coming soon: finding David Barsotti a Church! I’m thinking that vein will be so rich, an entire series may be required, so stay tuned!

And, as always, thanks for reading!

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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2 Responses to The Caretakers, The Reporter, And The Man Who Wants To Be Sheriff Of Mineral County

  1. Jessica says:

    I can not say enough how much I appreciate your approach in the conversation with Brandy, and it’s fantastic that you are staying in case details, it’s only way true light will shed in the entire thing. She deserves justice and her family closure, the rest of us in this community deserve to see the wrongs handled and the issues removed from any position previously or current anyone who shouldn’t be in , exposed and consequences of their actions or involvement.

  2. amastrovito56 says:

    Brandy Wallker states that I requested a home visit. I never requested a home visit from the VA. The story about Rebekah not having a relationship with me or her family is a false narrative that is being scripted by David Barsotti.

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