Who Found Joey Thompson’s Body In The Clark Fork River, And Where?

by Travis Mateer

I wasn’t planning on walking a good length of the river where Joey Thompson’s body was supposedly found by a private property owner between the Tarkio boat launch site and the Forrest Grove boat launch, but since my attempt to make public comment at the MINERAL County Commissioner meeting wasn’t successful (they start at 10am now, not 11), I wanted to salvage SOMETHING from my trip to Superior, Montana.

The area I’ve been wanting to check out is difficult to access, so I parked near this interstate bridge that spans the Clark Fork river and started walking upstream. What I found creeped me out.

Footage of my exploration can be found further down. But first, here are the other posts I’ve written so far that reference this case:

Some Curious Things NOT Happening In The Joey Thompson Missing Person Case (May 5th, 2023)

Are There Symbols And Tactics Being Shared By An Online Sub-Culture Of Killers? (May 9th, 2023)

Why Are These Montana LifeGuards, Fighting Human Trafficking, So Quiet? (May 11th, 2023)

Who Knows What Happened To Joey Thompson? (May 15th, 2023)

We Adults Are Failing The Friends Of Joey Thompson (May 20th, 2023)

Why Are Two Sheriff Offices Now Failing To Call Me Back Or Acknowledge Any Investigation In The Death Of Joey Thompson? (May 28th, 2023)

We’re Keeping The Coroner And Crime Lab Busy In Zoom Town! (June 2nd, 2023)

This image shows some structures on the north side of I-90 where the cattle raised on this land are tended to. Since my upbringing was of the suburban-brat variety, I’m not sure what it takes to raise cattle, or to test sick animals for diseases, like chronic wasting.

Would a rancher, for example, cut a hole in the head of a young calf to test its brain for Chronic Wasting Disease? Or would a hunter do the same for a deer? And, after getting a brain sample, would they just leave the head behind?

I’m asking these specific questions because I found the skull of an animal with a hole clearly cut into it, a hole that appears sawed by human hands. Here’s a picture:

See the hole? You can’t miss it, and it looks like whoever made it knew what they were doing. I’m trying really hard not to jump to ANIMAL SACRIFICE because I think there are probably more plausible explanations.

In an attempt to find a less nefarious reason for the hole in the skull, I did a brief search and found a little context from a Wisconsin government website on how hunters can take samples from their kills in order to test for Chronic Wasting Disease. It does, indeed, have something to do with the head. From the link (emphasis mine):

While I investigate cases of people who have died in Western Montana under mysterious circumstances (notice the lack of racial/social qualifiers), our local media and criminal justice pretenders, like Jesse Laslovich, are making themselves appear important and competent by discussing HATE CRIMES.

From the link (emphasis mine):

Anti-LGBTQ+ laws swept the nation during the last round of state legislative sessions, but hate against LGBTQ+ individuals in Montana is documented locally, too.

“We haven’t just had national and international incidents grounded in hate,” Montana U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said at the panel, hosted at the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III Law School. “We’ve experienced them right here, in Montana, as there’s been an increase in hateful rhetoric against historically marginalized groups, such as our LGBTQ+ community members.

“With the recently concluded Montana legislative session, new laws have targeted transgender youth and the drag communities.”

Missoula Rep. Zooey Zephyr, one of Montana’s first transgender lawmakers, was censured in the recent legislative session, and homophobic neo-Nazis showed up to Missoula’s Trans Day of Visibility in March.

I have to be VERY careful with my frustration here because there are personal implications with what I know about an investigation at the state level on the back-burner with personal ties to our U.S. Attorney. That’s why I won’t detail ALL the calls I made last Thursday, I’ll just mention that Travis Spinder (Montana Crime Lab) and Kyler Nerison (Montana AG Office) both received voicemails from me about what is NOT happening in the Joey Thompson case.

Before wrapping this post up with my video report from the banks of the Clark Fork River, I’ll include one more quote from the HATE CRIME article, because it includes the detective I spoke to recently about what I think this graffiti means:

Here’s the quote (emphasis mine):

Missoula Police Detective Ethan Smith serves at the department’s LGBTQ+ Community Liaison.

Smith said he monitors social media posts and decides what to focus resources on.

“My biggest concern, of course, is if there’s going to be something dynamic, it’s going to happen at an event like this,” Smith said of Missoula’s Pride events. “So we do investigate that stuff.”

It looks like I talked to the right detective. At least I hope I did. Now, here’s the video:

If you would like to support my work, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way, and the donation button at my about page is another.

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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8 Responses to Who Found Joey Thompson’s Body In The Clark Fork River, And Where?

  1. Travis,

    The photo of the deer head above with a section cut out of the skull MAY have something to do with animal sacrifice or CWD, but the simplest explanation is that the animal was a buck with a fairly decent set of antlers which the person who killed it or found it cut out and took home to mount on his garage wall.

    Not to say that this is the case, but it satisfies Occam’s Razor.

  2. Animal sacrifice? Qhqhqhahahahahahahahahahhahhahhahahahahahahah Yea. You’re a crackpot crazy conspiracy theorist.

    That sentence alone put everything you’ve ever posted into question. Becsuee it’s all nonsense from a delusional conspiracy theorist.

  3. Let’s assume animal sacrifice. Forget that a hunter likely did it. Oh no. Somebody sacrificed that animal.

    For food. And it’s antlers. Jesus Christ you’re a f-ing fool.

    • Thank you for the comments, it drives traffic and if more people are looking at this post then maybe more people will ask why a f-ing fool is the only one in local media raising awareness about Joey Thompson’s case.

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