Week In Review: May 15-19

by Travis Mateer

This week’s review is a solo effort that took two sessions to finish, and Saturday’s session was recorded AFTER I saw Glen Harley Stephens die on the sidewalk right in front of the doors that lead to the offices of our County Commissioners.

Here’s an image I took before the sheet went on and before the 4-5 Sheriff Deputies showed up to process his corpse:

When you listen to my podcast episode, you will hear the conversation I had with Harley two days before Christmas, 2021. This is MUCH MORE context than what you’ll get at the Missoula Current–an alleged news organization that used Harley’s image in an article earlier this month:

Since the grapevine can be as accurate as Martin Kidston’s reporting, I took it upon myself to share what happened with a few people and entities that would help confirm the identity, like a pawn shop contact I have, and The Ox. It was at The Ox I learned Harley’s beard may have earned him a Santa-related nickname.

Harley is a part of an old generation of homeless characters I knew well, and will miss. I suspect the cost of responding to him, if it could be calculated, is IMMENSE in first responder dollars alone. Harley also caused thousands of dollars in damage to the building that houses the Badlander downtown when he ripped apart nice metal gratings that had been put in place to keep riffraff from sitting on brick window sills. I also once had a conversation with Judge Kathleen Jenks about Harley because his 80+ charges in her court, and inability to address his behavior, greatly confounded her.

My last conversation with Harley actually included talk about housing, which he said he was coming up on the list for. He also acknowledged something else I heard from a private security guard, who had taken an interest in his situation and making it better, and that was the fact Harley was regularly getting robbed. I asked Harley how many times and how much he thought had been taken, since his prolific ability to panhandle money is well known. He said he had been robbed about a dozen times for probably about a thousand dollars.

This makes me sad, and I wasn’t in the greatest of places before coming across Harley’s final moments in this fucking town. I’ll be following up on this story if more develops, especially if I’m able to find any family, who I think are in Idaho.

If you value my work, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to help keep it going, or you can make a donation at my about page.

Thank you for reading/listening.

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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3 Responses to Week In Review: May 15-19

  1. Carol says:

    Travis do you know the guy with the wheelchair who sleeps under the riverwalk bench by the Cedar St apts? I’m starting to wonder if maybe he isn’t dead too. I go by around 8 am and he’s always wrapped up like a mummy

  2. TC says:

    Travis, as someone who tried to intervene in the last moments of the less fortunate, I am left wondering. After a young man committed suicide in a pantry at the POV, after a black man was killed at the POV, after a man was beaten to death on the California St bridge, after 4 dead women were fished out of the Clark Fork between Orange and Reserve, after a woman was found dead in a culvert near East Missoula, after a woman was found dead near the cemetery, after a man was found dead behind a dumpster near Taco Bell, another found dead in a ditch near Silvers Park, 3 found dead just this week, and a hundred more I could name over the last 20 yrs; Im left wondering.
    Why doesnt our local media dig deep, why dont they ask any questions (let alone clarifying questions). Why dont they look for accountability?
    Why are our non-profits marching in the streets and shouting down City Government? (They were quick to show their distain over George Floyd, Donald Trump, and a mass shooting in Texas – but not about things that happen right here).
    Why doesnt our local government even acknowledge these tragedies?
    Why do we (as good liberal progressives) just read off a few names once a year and then go back to our next good liberal progressive fund raiser?
    Oh thats right – its all fucking performative virtual signaling!
    Never mind

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