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Blogger Death Hoax?

A story about the suicide death of a failed presidential assassin turned right-wing blogger that first appeared at Free Republic has been gaining traction in the blogosphere. Looked at objectively and dispassionately it appears to be a hoax.

Ronald Barbour (aka Ronbo), a blogger (and failed assassin) few have heard of, announced in December 2007 that he had "blogger burnout" and was suspending his blogging activities. Today a posting on Free Republic links to what is alleged to be a suicide note from Barbour, via a post at his blog. The problem is that the "evidence" of death, an obit in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, only matches the blogger in name only - not age or city of residence.

The problem is that the Ronald Barbour in the obit is not the blogger.

Ronald Gene Barbour the blogger lives in Orlando, Florida not Cleveland. He actually lives at the Orlando VA Healthcare Center. He lived their last year as well

There's also some confusion about his age based on reporting of his arrest for attempting to assassinate President Clinton. Original reports would make him 52 years-old now, but later reports indicate his age is now 59. Barbour himself addressed that discrepancy and is turns out that his is now 59 years-old.

I'm not sure what exactly to make of Barbour, but it appears he's still very crazy, and very much still alive...

Update: I've been in contact with a reporter for the Orlando Sentinal who is looking into the story. I'll let you know what we are able to determine.


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Comments (7)

I agree with you that this ... (Below threshold)

I agree with you that this incident of suicide probably did not happen. It is obvious the man is disturbed...intelligent and articulate, but quite disturbed.

His suicide note also appears in another, more sparse blog, The Journal of Winston Smith.

No explanation, and no further posts on that blog, either.

By the way, "Winston Smith" who is supposed to be the blogger there is the protagonist of "1984" and the blog is written as though it were by him...kind of creepy and a different writing style than that of Ronald Barbour.

The post date and time differ only by minutes on both blogs.

I don't know what kind of mental illness Mr. Barbour has, but it's severe, I think. I know more than I want to about Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly called Multiple Personality Disorder) and he has some of the signs of this.

There are commenters on the Ronbo blog who seems to have followed it and it was they who grew concerned and then appalled when he threatened suicide in a very specific manner on Feb 17th. Then there was the obit in Cleveland that said a Ronald Barbour had died on the 19th. No cause of death was mentioned. It seemed to be the same person because of the proximity of dates.

Being in Ohio didn't seem odd. People from Florida are nearly always from somewhere else.

If you look at his profile, you'll find other blogs. In one, he appears to have a job at some mission, but I think it may be a covert description of the health center where he was a patient. And he recounts the kinds of conflicts there that severely dissociative people can have.

In DID, depending on its severity, different alters or states or fragments of the mind -- whatever term you use -- can want diametrically opposed things. Some are bent on suicide, other parts are valiantly fighting it off.

There is also a tendency to "disappear" and pop up somewhere else...especially in the case of Ronald Barbour who doesn't seem to have any connections to family.

But that's just my hunch. I have no proof. The only bizarre thing is the timing of his suicide note (Feb 17th) and the obit announcement saying a Ronald Barbour had died on the 19th.

I doubt we'll ever get the real story. I have asked someone to do some research on his blog and compare it to postings in the Winston Smith blog. I doubt that will give us any clues, though. Most alters write in a different style and have a quite distinct (if shallow) demeanor than the core self -- and what could be more shallow than to take on a fictional character?

The core self may not be aware of the fragments, or may only be aware of a few.

BTW, a therapist told me once that people with DID are above average intelligence. If not, their mental aberrations would take another form as it takes high intelligence to create these fragments to avoid mental suffering.

Wish I had access to Lexis Nexus...I think I could find out more, or rather, enough. OTOH, this guy will blog again, but there will be about as much similarity between Ronald Barbour and the new blogger as there is between Ronbo and Winston Smith.

Ronald Gene Barbour the ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Ronald Gene Barbour the blogger lives in Orlando, Florida not Cleveland. He actually lives at the Orlando VA Healthcare Center. He lived their last year as well

You may have missed this:

The main reason for this is because I'm leaving Orlando shortly after New Years and will be unable to post further due to being on the road and so forth.
Obituaries print full legal... (Below threshold)
Thanos Author Profile Page:

Obituaries print full legal names almost without fail to prevent readers from thinking someone died who really didn't.

It's likely the person in Cleveland who died was named "Ronald Barbour" with no middle name and that this is not Ronald Gene Barbour's obit.

I will be interested in what the Fl Sentinel comes back with, btw, RB's other blog is "The Florida Slantinel" which critiqued the Sentinel.

He's a great patriot, a pro... (Below threshold)

He's a great patriot, a prolific blogger, and a very nice guy.

Hey, thanks for posting this, many of us have been worried about Ronbo. If this was Ronbo, then RIP my friend , you will be missed. God bless you. I am very sorry for everyone's loss of this great man.

But, this does seem suspicious. One, Ronbo's blog profile says he is 59, not 46 like in the obituary. And fitting with that, he says in an early posting in 12/05 that he served in the US Army in Germany in 74-77. He would have had to have been 13-16 at the time if he is/was 46 today.
http://ronbosoldier.blogspot.com/2005/12/history-and-pictures-of-us-army.html

Also, someone jumping off a building in Cleveland or Orlando and killing himself would have made the papers somewhere.

For now, I will believe that our Ronbo is still physically with us.

Either way, he will always live on in the hearts and minds of his friends, family and fans.

Btw, here's the direct link to the GoV post on this.
http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2008/02/live-for-nothing-or-die-for-something.html

:)

and furthermore:More... (Below threshold)

and furthermore:
More on this: From his 6/10/05 post, The Florida Today article by Billy Cox about him from 3/5/00 "The Real Story of Clinton's Assassin" - Cox wrote that "Last December...Escorted by four federal suits, 52 year old Ronald Barbour spent an all expense paid evening in a downtown Holiday Inn, with supper and breakfast billed to Uncle Sam. Talk about VIP privacy - Barbour's hosts blocked off the entire fifth floor, just for him."

Also: "Ronald Gene Barbour's rendezvous with infamy has a number of potential origins. Maybe it started when he was a kid, growing up in Huntington, W.Va., reading books such as THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH, THE FIRST CIRCLE, FAHRENHEIT 451 and NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. Maybe it started with his Cold War under cover intelligence duties in Berlin.
"
http://ronbosoldier.blogspot.com/2005/06/real-story-of-clintons-assassin.html

Let's keep hope alive.

I also called the Central Care Mission in Orlando where he had worked and the man who answered the phone had not heard from him, or any news about him, in a few years. He said "he no longer works here". When I asked if he had heard any news of his possible death as I was a blogging friend trying to chase down a potential rumor he said "He (Ron Barbour) just disappeared" a while ago.

Even if his parents had moved from W.Virginia to Cleveland, it probably would have stated, and using his full name as well: "Ronald Gene Barbour of Orlando, FL..."

Let's hope Ronbo is really just "Sergeant Ronbo Going On Patrol".

God bless him wherever he is.

http://absurdthoughtsaboutgod.blogspot.com/

:)
.

To add to his misdeeds, thi... (Below threshold)
UPDATE:'Someone' has... (Below threshold)

UPDATE:
'Someone' has recently approved comments left on his last post.

That's a good thing! It's a very good thing.
God bless Ronbo!

:)




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