DEATH IN THE CAPITOL- CHAPTER XXXV

In thinking about how all of this went down, I am amazed that I was not thinking about security for me or for my family. If it was true that all of these people were connected in some tenuous way, they probably already knew where my family was. I never even thought about my own parents, who were still around living in Florida. I had not heard anything untoward, but just to check in on them I called them and found them in their usual good mood. They were just ready to go to the nearest early bird special for some dinner.

I called Jane Merchant and asked her if she was in a safe place. She told me that her sources at the paper were iron clad and that anything that they felt was curious or unusual, would be reported to her and she would call me and Commander Waslewski. She had emailed the person who had said that he was a member of the Sons of Liberty and had given us some interesting information.

The city councilman was named Ebenezer Edes. Somehow that last name was familiar to me. I went on my browser on my phone and ran down Sons of Liberty and the name Edes. As it came onto my screen I realized where I had heard that name before. When my son Jonathan had some research about the original Sons of Liberty, Benjamin Edes was one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty. Could this be a coincidence, or was this just part of the larger nationwide conspiracy. How then could we find out more about how things worked? We certainly had nothing to hang our hat on with Mr. Edes. As far as we knew, he was in a house where two people who had followed two state policemen had wound up. Nothing in our current understanding of Mr. Edes would enable us to question him or bring him in for questioning. He had done nothing wrong. Furthermore, it would look like a useless action of harassment of a city official. How then would we go about finding out more about Mr. Edes.

We had one shred of information that we could use. I called Jane and told her what had happened. I asked if she would email the man who was a part of this conspiracy and ask him if Mr. Edes was the master here in Pennsylvania. She thought that was a great idea.

In a few hours she called back and told me that our mysterious informant had told her that Mr. Edes was the contact for all of the Sons of Liberty in Pennsylvania. He also was the only person in Pennsylvania who had any knowledge of the center of operations in Framingham, Massachusetts. That confirmed our information that we had gotten from our tech people. Somewhere in Framingham was the one person who knew what was going on in the entire country. The next question was how to identify him/her and what proof would we need to be able to either arrest him for a national conspiracy which included murder and possibly treason?

It was certainly a coincidence that the name Edes was reappearing in the search for the current Sons of Liberty. What if the entire plan was to use descendants of the original Sons of Liberty to effectuate a change in the United States? Would it profit us to find those three names McIntosh, Gill and Edes across the country? Certainly McIntosh and Gill were more common names, but Edes was not. Maybe the first job was to look for those three names in Framingham and work out from there? I delegated that task to my tech savvy son Jonathan. I felt that he had been so helpful to me in the beginning that I would want to include him, as long as it was safe.

In a few hours Jonathan struck gold. He had found a number of McIntoshs in Framingham, but most lived in the suburbs. The one McIntosh family that lived in the city was a William McIntosh. Jonathan used Google maps to locate the house and noticed some peculiar things about it. The house was situated near a more industrial part of town. However, it was very large and looked to have been added onto in the near past. The one outstanding feature of the house was a number of what looked like satellite dishes on the roof. That would be a normal protuberance for at least a couple of television sets, but these were many more that were needed for such a thing. There was definitely something wrong with this picture.

DEATH IN THE CAPITOL-CHAPTER XXXIV

As it turned out, Jane did a spectacular job in writing the article about the Sons of Liberty. Of course there were kooks out there who responded on twitter and Instagram that it was obviously a sexist organization. How can people even think like that? Here there is a threat to our country, and their first reaction is that it is a sexist organization. I guess that I will never understand people’s priorities.

The article went national on the AP. Morris Leach took the article and compressed it into six inches with a banner headline that said, “Secret Organization May Take over Country.” That was all that we needed. There was no more a just us that was fighting the enemy, it was now across the country. Within a day or two of the article, we visited the P.O. Box and saw over 20 letters there. We decided that of the twenty, two seemed to be what we were looking for. One even had an email that we might contact the person.

We did not get any reports of people watching the post office, either inside or outside. That was kind of disappointing, but we were going to have to be patient.

Commander Waslewski (he is really called Commissioner or Colonel), seemed to be pleased with our idea and told me so. He also believed that Jane Merchant’s article was well done. Since Morris Leach’s article was nationwide, he thought that maybe there would be interest on the part of the Attorney General’s office in Washington. That was soon to be.

One of the interesting pieces of information contained in the letter with the email, was that there was actually a head person in each state. They were called Masters. The Masters were the only people who knew anything about the founder(s) of the organization. No one knew where this central authority was. Contact throughout the organization was very personal and through a secret computer network that was set up before the internet was widespread. It was a closed network that worked outside the internet. I had actually set something up like that in the early 1980’s.

On the fourth day following the article, Commander Waslewski got word that there was suspicious activity going on at the P.O. Box. When his people picked up the mail, there were two men just kind of hanging around the post office kind of glancing around, trying to look inconspicuous. They appeared to stay in the post office, but when Waslewski’s men left, the two got into a car and remained there for quite a while. They eventually drove off.

However, the Commander’s men noticed a black SUV following them as they left the post office. The two men in it were not the same two. The commander’s men were smart enough to lead these people on a merry chase and when they could no longer see them, they doubled back and wound up behind the car that was following them. It eventually led to a house in the Germantown section of Philly. The two men got out and entered the house. They called in the address to Commander Waslewski and he called it in to one of his trusted subordinates in the local state police barracks in West Chester. The owner of the house was registered to a City Councilman in Philadelphia. The question was, “Is this one of the Masters?”

DEATH IN THE CAPITOL-CHAPTER XXXIII

When I called Jane, she did not think it was such a good idea to come out in the newspaper with so little proof and let the Sons of Liberty that we were on to them. I told her that we did not have to fabricate anything. We could point to the murder of Sam Ellis, the attempted murder of Chet Wainright, the threat to Jane Merchant, and the “accidental” death of F.B. I. agent Eric Haakenson and so on. None of those things are exaggerations or untrue. It may be somewhat dangerous, but it would put things out there in public.

It might also occur to some people who have not been forthcoming about the Sons of Liberty to come forward to tell their own stories about Sons of Liberty activities. There might even be a member of the Sons of Liberty that would like to tell us more than we know now. Jane was warming to the task. She even said that there might be a chance that the AP might pick up the story because of the F.B.I. involvement and the chance that this might be a national problem. Our real problem might be if any of the higher ups at the two news organizations were members of the Sons of Liberty.

I left the phone call with Jane and turned to Commander Waslewski. He was concerned for my life as well as Jane’s and frankly his own. We tried to figure out how we might stay in the background. It even occurred to us that there might be members of the Sons of Liberty in the current administration. Who knows how high up this goes? Are we sure that we even know what the object of the organization is. During the revolution it was to overthrow the crown and kick the British off the soil of the thirteen colonies. Is it possible that these people are aiming to get rid of people, who in their view, don’t belong here? If that’s one of their aims, we are in for a bloody time in the near future.

DEATH IN THE CAPITOL- CHAPTER XXXII

There was nothing more that we could have done. Waslewski and I went back to our car and began to travel back on the turnpike towards Harrisburg. There was silence in the car for the first ten minutes. I did not expect that we would talk at all on the way back. However, along about Roosevelt Avenue, I could not hold it in any longer. “What in God’s name just happened back there?”

“There are a couple of things that we know for sure.” He said. “The first is that someone knew what was going on with Haakenson. There was someone listening, or Haakenson told someone or there was listening going on his cell phone or computer. Second, we now know that there are Sons of Liberty in the F. B. I. and we don’t know how far it goes. We are now both on the official hit list of that organization.” All of those things had occurred to me. I was now in the midst of a theatre of the absurd, where I was the only one in the cast who did not know what was going on. A few things for sure, my life was in danger, as was Waslewski’s and maybe some others. I could not believe that as long as this organization was around, someone did not get wind of it. There were a number of “accidents, “but there must have been someone who is still around. I guess when things get too close, like in Sam Ellis’ case; they simply do away with the person. They appear to have no compunctions about killing anyone in their way. In their way of what?

The rest of the drive was quiet and uneventful. Waslewski spoke in short bursts about whether there were Sons of Liberty in the state police, the legislature, and the administration. How far up did this go here in Pennsylvania? How far up did it go in the federal government? Are there any other people that we can trust, or are we the only two, along with Jane Merchant, who have any idea of the size of this, what will we call it, coup d’état?

In looking for allies, we spoke about the military. Could they be trusted, or are there people that we know who are absolutely above board? I was certain about Steve McElroy, and now I am almost sure that he is one of them. How can we spread the word that we are looking for people to help us? There was one way that I could think of. What if Jane wrote an article in the Harrisburg paper explaining the extent of the conspiracy and wonder if anyone else had heard of the Sons of Liberty? We could establish a P.O. Box, which would undoubtedly come under surveillance by our friends. That might be a way for us to identify the watchers and actually watch them and follow them. If Commander Waslewski had some plainclothes officers that he trusted implicitly, that might start us off.

The commander thought for a while and came up with a few names. A couple of them were actually relatives. The others were long time associates of Waslewski that he was positive  had no other interests in life other than police work. The plan was hatched. Now to contact Jane.

DEATH IN THE CAPITOL- CHAPTER XXXI

What did Eric mean by acting with impunity? Have there been a series of incidents across the country that has come to the FBI’s attention as being coordinated by one organization, or pseudo-organization? I asked Eric to explain. He asked if Commander Waslewski and I could meet him in a coffee shop in the Reading Market. We agreed to meet him there in 20 minutes. It would take us about that time to walk over. It actually took us a bit less than 20 minutes to get there. We were waiting for Eric to show up. He did not. We waited a full half hour before we decided that he was either held up by his job or he was never going to come.

As we walked out of the terminal, we saw a crowd of people standing beside an ambulance and a number of police cars.  The EMTs were lifting a gurney with a figure on it. The figure was not moving. Since the figure was completely covered, we surmised that the person had not survived. According to the people standing around, this person had been run over by a very large truck. The truck had not stayed around. The police were looking for it now.

It occurred to us at once that we best find out who the person was. Commander Waslewski walked over to one of the policemen standing near the ambulance and flashed his badge. He must have told the cop that he was working on a case and needed to know who the victim was. The policeman looked at him suspiciously, but told him. It was an FBI agent named Eric Haakenson.

DEATH IN THE CAPITOL- CHAPTER XXX

I called Margaret, Jonathan and Sara. I gave each of them as much information as I dared. They were very worried about me, as I was about them. I was praying that they were not in any danger. I felt that my entrance into the investigation on my own could be both. Evidently, I had said something to Margaret about the Sons of Liberty. She must have said something to Jonathan. He is an avid internet surfer and pretty good researcher. He had looked up the Sons of Liberty and was sending me an email about the origins and the people involved. On the phone he told me that the organization had its roots in Framingham, Massachusetts. I was very anxious to read what else he had found out. The name Framingham was enough to get all of the wheels turning in my head. I was sure that we were now on some kind of trail. Hopefully, it would not be short circuited by me being disposed of.

I called Eric Haakenson and made an appointment to see him the following day. I notified Commander Waslewski about the appointment and he said he would be able to make it. I told him that I would drive with him into the city. That night, I looked at the information that Jonathan had uncovered about the original Sons of Liberty. There were the names-McIntosh, Gill and Edes, the men usually ascribed as the actual founders of the organization. The nature of the organization, if you could call it that was just as peculiar today as it was then. It appeared that there was no structure to it, just members. None of the members really knew who the other members were. Each of the colonies had some sort of master at the top of the food chain, but no one really knew who he (in one case, she) really was. All communication was done by physical contact, riders on horseback,  an early form of the pony express.

Actions were taken within the colonies with little instruction from a central authority. In certain instances, events were planned far in advance to happen on certain days. These directions came from a William McIntosh in Framingham, Massachusetts. There were no rejections of any of these directions, either from the central authority (which happened very infrequently), or from the colonial masters. All happenings were never discussed, with either insiders or outsiders. Local actions were not the purview of the central authority. They were done by local members of the Sons of Liberty.

Is it possible that there was such an organization still in existence today? Certainly communication would be easier in the 21st century, but the manner of the form of the organization could really be the same. Why would such an organization exist? Was it to change the nature of our democracy? Would it be to replace all of our public servants, and possibly captains of industry with likeminded people? Although things were not really clear, at least there was a germ of an idea. I was very thankful to my son for his endeavors on my part. What a boy, I owe him.

Somehow, I had a suspicion that I was being followed pretty much all of the time. I was also cognizant of a presence outside of my home pretty much during the evening hours I was tempted to call Chief Banion and ask him if he was watching me. I decided not to. I could always ask Commander Waslewski the same question. He had not really promised to keep an eye on me. However, with things going so fast and I was obviously in someone’s cross hairs, he would be having me watched more closely.

In our drive to meet Eric Haakenson, I asked him if there were troopers around my home in the evening. He told me that over the last week, he had seen a need to get some protection for me. I was not as open as I would have liked, but I know he was being very cautious. Sometimes, it’s best not to know.

We arrived at Eric’s office at about 10:00 a.m. He was waiting for us in the reception area on the 4th floor of the federal building. He really had not changed in all of those years. He was a tall person with stringy grey hair (formerly blonde) and piercing blue eyes. If I did not know better, I would have thought that they were contact lenses He ushered us into his office. He closed the door and asked us to begin from the beginning. He listened and took notes. For some reason, I felt that he did not feel comfortable having anyone in the office know about what was going on.

After a while, he got rid of his notebook and looked at us as we responded to his questions. There was something in his questions that made me believe that all of this was not news to him. I finally said, “Eric, what the heck is going on here. It appears that you know more about our story than we do. Why haven’t you brought in anyone to help you with this case, if there is one?” Eric pulled a chair closer to where we were sitting. He said, “Listen Chet and a trustworthy commander of the state police. Have you thought about the possibilities of people in your own offices and management being involved in this activity? Is it possible that this organization has infiltrated lots of levels of society in both government and private industry? How about the world of religion? Are there any of these people there? Could it be that the head of denominations, large churches and ministers, priests, rabbis, imans, etc are part of this so very secret organization?”

Honestly, I thought of some of those things, but Eric was clearer about things than I was. Commander Waslewski commented that his own experience with that phone call was an annoyance, but now takes on larger significance. “Are you saying that you don’t trust anyone here?” “Not exactly,” said Eric, “but I am not going to take any chances. I have done some of my own research and although there is never something that you can put a finger on, there are certain instances that only are explained by the Sons of Liberty acting with impunity.