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Common Sense Prevails

A little while ago, I mentioned a case here in New Hampshire where a guy broke into a house, only to be shot dead by the owner. This morning, another story gave the complete story:

Bryan Gaedtke, 21, naked, drunk, and carrying a tube of mechanical lubricant, (I don't know why, and I don't wanna know why) went past a truck with a bumper sticker saying "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands" and broke into the house through a second-floor bedroom window. The owner confronted him with a gun and ordered him to back away from him, his wife, and his two children. Gaedtke didn't listen, so got shot once in the chest and was killed.

Fortunately for the homeowner, Geoffrey Hamann, he lives in Rocheter, NH, which is about 30 miles north of The Line Of Insanity (also known as the Massachusetts border). The New Hampshire Attorney General's office has officially declared it a "justified" shooting.

I suspect Mr. Hamann just wants to put this whole thing behind him and go on with his life. I respect that, but I'd still like to give him a medal.

(Comments now closed in light of repeated libels and criminal threats. IPs and actual comments preserved for possible use by the Rochester Police.)

Comments (23)

I kinda like the "medal" he... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

I kinda like the "medal" he gave the bad guy.

Maybe I'm a wuss, but if I ... (Below threshold)

Maybe I'm a wuss, but if I had to shoot some crazy naked guy to protect my wife and kids, I'd probably wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it and would be constantly second-guessing myself ("was he really a threat?" "did I really have to shoot") for a long time afterwards, if not for the rest of my life. Even though the shooting is completely justified and if I were in that situation, I would not hesitate to do the exact same thing.

Geoffrey Hamann is probably going through much of the same thing right now. I, too, am thankful he doesn't have to worry about a potential prosecution to add to his troubles.

"Bryan Gaedtke, 21, naked, ... (Below threshold)
Moe Lane:

"Bryan Gaedtke, 21, naked, drunk, and carrying a tube of mechanical lubricant, (I don't know why, and I don't wanna know why) went past a truck with a bumper sticker saying "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands"..."

That would be the point where this officially became an evolution-in-action scenario.

"...a bumper sticker saying... (Below threshold)

"...a bumper sticker saying "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands"..."


I've never put a bumper sticker on any vehicle I've owned but this would be oh so tempting.

Just what kind of wacky wee... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Just what kind of wacky weed was he nipping on?

I understand the evolution-... (Below threshold)

I understand the evolution-in-action bit, but it is still a tragedy that Hamann had to kill the guy.

To prevent future incidents like this, it should be against the law to wander around loose if you're too drunk to understand the consequences of going into a gun-owner's house without permission.

I'd probably wouldn't be... (Below threshold)

I'd probably wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it and would be constantly second-guessing myself

OregonMuse, that would just prove that Mr. Hamann is not a sociopath. I agree that most people would feel some stress over this type of incident, but most also realize that while the taking of a life is regrettable, the alternative was much worse.

I've gone through something similar as I was on a jury last year where we convicted a man of two counts of aggravated sexual assault (meaning he sexually assualted someone under the age of 14, by Texas law). We sent the man away for 100 years and he won't be eligible for parole for 50, which means he will be 86 before he can even think about getting out. It was the right thing to do, but I know everyone on that jury still had butterflies in their stomach as the sentencing was read and each of us probably went home and thought about it for awhile (I know that I did and I still believe that we should have given him life on each count).

for everyone wanting to giv... (Below threshold)

for everyone wanting to give this guy a medal why don't you figure out the whole story before you go and just pin Brian as the bad guy. all of the articles written about this fail to mention the fact that Brian lived one street way from where the "break in" happened, in a house that looked very similar. It also fails to mention the fact that Brian tried to use his keys to enter the home and when they did not work he went to what he thought was his bedroom window and climbed in. Brian was only about 110 pounds soaking wet, definately not a threat to a marine. Brian was one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Everyone who met brian knows him a kind hearted, gentle kid who would never hurt anyone. For all the people who have not had this happen in their family or to a close friend think of how you would feel to have things exploited the way they have been.

How could you possibly know... (Below threshold)

How could you possibly know that Brian attempted to use a key? Were you with him? Were you also with him when he attempted to get into another house by breaking the window and leaving his pants and underwear outside?

If "khart" is correct, that... (Below threshold)

If "khart" is correct, that Mr. Gaedtke made a mistake - why was he coming home NAKED carying the machine lubricant? Or is that the norm for this deviant with a long criminal record?

(libel deleted)... (Below threshold)

(libel deleted)

(libel deleted)... (Below threshold)

(libel deleted)

Jadedgirl, first of all let... (Below threshold)

Jadedgirl, first of all let me commend you on protraying such vast intelligence with that last comment, the one that begins "How could you possibley know". How hypocritical. I have a question for you, How could you possibley know? You say that he attempted to break in and left his pants outside. Were you there? Was that your house? Wait let me guess, you read it in the paper. Well heres some truth for you, the paper isn't always right, they take certain facts and twist them around to make the story more intersting. Heres some more truth, you have absolutely no right to disregard any one elses comment and then make an ignorant comment like the one you made. You weren't there, you dont know what your talking about.

Officer JEdward, (I'm going... (Below threshold)

Officer JEdward, (I'm going to assume you are a police officer because of your ample knowledge of the "deviant's" police record.) Would you mind letting us in on the exact details of the police record? Also, do you have children? Were you ever young? Have you ever gone over the speed limit? Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? Have you ever made a mistake? I hope not, because other wise you would have absolutely no right to call someone else a deviant or mention their police record especially since most likely you are not a police officer, you dont have any idea what crimes were committed or what the circumstances were and you are simply attesting to your own ignorance.
To address the question you posed, I dont believe anyone knows the correct answer to that but it is sad that you would assume the worst of a person who you did not know. Have you never ended up in a situation that you could not explain? Have you ever been drunk? The fact is Brian was a good guy, who had a rough life and probably made some mistakes as we all have but he doesn't deserve to be talked about like this.

jamison/ragincajun:<p... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:


From the first story about Gaedtke's death:
Gaedtke had brushes with the law before, including charges in Durham District Court for simple assault, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief, operating after suspension and conduct after an accident. He also had a license revocation in 2003 for driving while intoxicated.

Maybe there was a perfectly good, innocent explanation why he climbed in that guy's window and walked around his house naked and carrying a tube of industrial lubricant. But in that kind of case, I'm gonna give the benefit of the doubt to the homeowner, not the intruder.

I deleted your earlier postings when you said some incredibly defamatory things about the homeowner -- the kind of things people get sued over if they can't back them up.

If you have any evidence proving the homeowner was such a person, OR that Mr. Gaedtke was justified in his actions, I'd be intensely curious to see them. Otherwise, I'm going to chalk his death to one of three things:

1) Dirtbag does something stupid, takes dirt nap;

2) Idiot does something stupid, takes dirt nap;

3) Drunk/stoner gets blasted out of his mind, does something stupid, takes dirt nap.

The common element in each case is that the real tragedy is that the homeowner had to defend himself, his family, and his home.


Ragincajun: My heart... (Below threshold)

My heart goes out to you and I feel sad for you because you were obviously a friend or family member of Brians. A death of a friend or family member is never easy. We can all agree that none of us wanted this tragedy to happen. That being said, it is clear that Brians actions kicked off the chain of events that lead to his death. You referenced Brains “rough life”, but it wasn’t Brians rough life that caused this tragedy. Brians actions that night caused this tragedy. I know Brian did indeed have a rough life, but he went through the window on his own. It was not his father or his brother pushing him through the window.

Yes, I have been drunk – I have done wrong – I have had brushes with the law- I’ve even been accused of things I didn’t do, but I take responsibility for my actions and don’t blame them on anyone else or my rough life.

When I pray, I pray for the homeowner and his family – but I also pray for those who loved Brian and are mourning his death.


I am from the town where Br... (Below threshold)

I am from the town where Brian was shot, and I grew up with him and his brothers. Nobody believes that he broke into the house naked holding a bottle of lube. Are you people blind? (unsubstantiated libel deleted by Jay Tea.) Dont beleive everything you read in the papers.

May Brian rest in peace.<br... (Below threshold)

May Brian rest in peace.

I guess questioning the pol... (Below threshold)

I guess questioning the police report is a natural reaction for a friend to have. While I cannot confirm the lube, I can confirm that he had no clothes on. I was standing just on the other side of the police tape on Pine Street when they pulled his wallet out of his pants that were laying lawn two doors down. It appeared as if he removed his pants in a hurry as his undergarments were still inside of the pants. The pants were one step away from a broken window at another house he tried to break into.

The police reports are indeed accurate.

I understand you not wanting your friend to be painted as a deviant, but what motive would the homeowner/police/press have for releasing a false story?


A homeowner could lie becau... (Below threshold)

A homeowner could lie because they committed a murder. My point is what type of situation or setting would someone be naked in while holding lube? Think about it.

JT (And no, I'm not talking... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

JT (And no, I'm not talking to myself):

One minor problem with your conspiracy theory. The guy's wife and children were at home at the time.

I'm a pretty imaginative guy, but I'm trying to construct a scenario where a guy could get an innocent man to take off his pants and underwear, then break into a home two doors down from his clothing, and then shoot the guy while his wife and kids are at home. It doesn't just strain credulity, it ties it into a Gordian knot.

And that's with dumping the lube from the story.

The guy was naked and apparently uninvited in a family's home in the middle of the night. Maybe he was a nice guy, kind to small animals and children, and always said "excuse me" when he belched and held the door for little old ladies. He did something incredibly stupid (perhaps out of malice, perhaps out of intoxication (which is STILL no excuse, as no one forced him to get intoxicated) and paid the price.


JT: (Not Jay Tea)I... (Below threshold)

JT: (Not Jay Tea)

I am not fully understanding what you are getting at. You are being vague, which tells me you are really grasping at nothing in hopes of coming to a conclusion that will somehow honor Brian’s death in your mind.

All I can draw from your statement is that you are insinuating that there might be a sexual aspect to this crime. I know that Brian was heading to a child’s room inside the house. My guess would be that Brian was a child molester. All three of the houses that he broke into (or attempted to break into) are home to young children. The ones in-between do not. Is that your insinuation?

If not, how do you explain the lubricant, the other break-ins and the pattern of houses?


Jay Tea: The only wa... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea:
The only way I can even begin to explain the lube, is that somehow –and I know it is a stretch- it was used in some of the break-ins. It was machine lubricant after all, so perhaps it was to loosen a lock, a window, or whatever. I have heard stories about people walking around with machine-grade lubricants before, but it was about a young lady on her way to the Emerald City with a friend who tended to rust… Did anyone in the Pine Street area report seeing a tin-man by chance?







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