Hunting David Burgert
Thanks to my parents snagging a camp spot at Apgar, I got to spend a wonderful Saturday afternoon with the extended family, swimming in Lake McDonald and listening to the drunk bikers who roared into loop D at 10:30pm get rained out by an impressive thunderstorm in the middle of the night as we lay dry and safe in our tent.
Sunday we drove back after taking a quick half-hike to Avalanche Lake. After unpacking I caught the last few minutes of David Burgert appearing on John Walsh’s show (not the doomed plagiarist Senatorial candidate) “The Hunt”. Here is a report from a local news station that a national program is once again featuring this infamous and still at large member of the Montana militia scene.
Relatively recent stories like this one from the Missoulian and now this national attention appears to be a strategy of trolling designed to illicit a reaction, if he’s not dead. For some background, this Indy piece by Jamie Rodgers is really good.
This case, for me, hits close. I had an unnerving interaction with David Burgert months before he disappeared. At the time I had no idea who he was. But I will always remember seeing his picture pop up on my twitter feed and slowly realizing who I had been in proximity to.
I communicated this to the necessary authorities at the time, but got no follow up.
What put law enforcement into contact with David Burgert on that fateful day was a 911 call from a concerned citizen reporting that someone had been sleeping in their car at a location just outside Lolo. It’s sad that simply sleeping in one’s car is considered by many as suspicious behavior. There are dozens of people that are engaging in this suspicious use of an automobile as a home because they have no other choice.
With the kind of criminal background Burgert had earned himself after spending several years in prison from gun charges, there wasn’t going to be much of a chance that Burgert, upon release, would be able to reintegrate back into society.
None of this is a justification for what Burgert did. He is obviously a mentally unstable, dangerous person unfit to mingle with us law-abiding citizens. The Hungry Horse News referred to him as the “missing Flathead terrorist” and maybe that’s what he is.
Does that mean if found law enforcement can dispense with due process and just execute him where he stands?