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Old 03-17-2010, 01:19 AM   #76
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Wow Fort Ord still operational huh? Geese. Yeah surprising to me a lot of these base closures never seem to completely happen and some continue to be full functioning military bases. I was aware they had tried to close Minot AFB it was and still is big news in North Dakota, people want to keep their bases there. I know a few years back they tried to close Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota too. I always liked driving on I-90 past Ellsworth, nothing driving by on a clear day and seeing the Air Force Jets practicing, flying through the air, awesome sight. I am originally from North Dakota but sometimes we would go back to North Dakota on I-90 through South Dakota.

Sorry about the confusion, I meant commissioned but I was thinking of two things at once. I guess it is because I was talking about enlisted ranks and then I started talking about officer ranks without clarifying I meant commissioned officer ranks.

It depends from what I have heard on what fort you are at and I guess some totally suck and people tend to get unhappy at them. I have had friends and other people I know in the Army in recent years. IF I remember right, let's see, two went to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, another guy I know went to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I know more people in the Air Force and Navy though. People in the Air Force, lets see, well all of them went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Then for technical school, lets see, one went to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, the other went to technical school at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. Then permanent assignments, well, one was over in Japan for a couple of years, he is now back at Lackland and the other one was assigned to Langley AFB in Hampton, Virginia. The latter was in a really bad traffic accident off duty a couple years ago and lost both his legs. Good guy though and doing the best he can. Navy, the guy's I know, they both went to basic in Illinois. They were then assigned different places, well the one guy ended up getting discharged after 9 months, he lied about being gay so they would discharge him. The other one, he loves it, he was in Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida for training and is now in Norfolk, Virginia. I also know one guy in the Marines, he went to basic in San Diego and then he was at Camp Pendelton, California he did his tour in Iraq and now he is stationed at Camp Lejune, North Carolina.

Anyway, sorry for getting off of topic, but I mean, in the eyes of a soldier, does the assignment in terms of your duty station play a big part in the soldiers morale or mental or emotional health? I mean I am not sure if you are able to answer this or not, but it seems from what I have seen even in the few stories on UM that many of these guys, their problems at least in part resulted in their being transferred to a place they did not want to be transferred to.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:41 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by MegtheEgg86
I realize I'm digging up an old thread, but a recent post got me reading the posts I haven't yet read here.

As some of you know, I'm a military officer. I've spent nearly five years in the Army and really want to set the record straight here.
Awesome post Meg!! Thanks for clarifying how the program works. My BIL was a Ranger but I never really understood what that entailed.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:32 PM   #78
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Looking at Burgwinkel's case more, I would not say he was schizophrenic or seriously mentally ill. I think the issues though, I do think he had mental and emotional issues to a degree. When I say that, I mean I am talking about his confidence. He knew right from wrong, but I think he always felt there was something lacking in himself. I mean it seemed he had many friends, that he got along with people well, he had a girlfriend that he appeared to be very much in love with and happy with and she seemed to feel the same towards him, so the only thing I can think of is, he lacked confidence and felt he needed to say and do these outlandish things to try to impress people.
It's important to remember that there was another person that called Iolanda regarding "the mission". There is another party involved in this case.

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But the big thing, like I said, it seemed he always had an interest in weapons, especially nuclear weapons, long range missiles, things of that sort. When Justin first joined the Army in 1990, the Cold War was just winding down and I think that Justin probably felt cheated that he missed out on being in the military during the Cold War. It didn't say where Justin went to basic, but he was in South Korea for several months before getting transferred to Fort Ord in 1991. In early 1993, Burgwinkel was transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington as Fort Ord's manpower was being dwindled down in preparation for the base's closure.

I wonder if Justin might have attempted to be a "spy". For example perhaps he tried to contact an embassy. Justin in his efforts to play spy might have actually been used in a drug smuggling operation. I could easily see Justin trying to rationalize his smuggling of drugs as some type of "political intrigue". Hence the "White Sands" reference.

I'm starting more and more to buy the drug dealing theory.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:18 PM   #79
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It's important to remember that there was another person that called Iolanda regarding "the mission". There is another party involved in this case.
If I recall, he wasn't home when the call came in? If so, could've been him calling and disguising his voice.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:06 AM   #80
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Awesome post Meg!! Thanks for clarifying how the program works. My BIL was a Ranger but I never really understood what that entailed.
Cool. I have a number of friends who are Ranger tabbed. My boyfriend is actually starting Ranger School next week, so I've been brushing up here lately on the itinerary.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:38 AM   #81
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It depends from what I have heard on what fort you are at and I guess some totally suck and people tend to get unhappy at them. I have had friends and other people I know in the Army in recent years. IF I remember right, let's see, two went to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, another guy I know went to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I know more people in the Air Force and Navy though. People in the Air Force, lets see, well all of them went to basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. Then for technical school, lets see, one went to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, the other went to technical school at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, Texas. Then permanent assignments, well, one was over in Japan for a couple of years, he is now back at Lackland and the other one was assigned to Langley AFB in Hampton, Virginia. The latter was in a really bad traffic accident off duty a couple years ago and lost both his legs. Good guy though and doing the best he can. Navy, the guy's I know, they both went to basic in Illinois. They were then assigned different places, well the one guy ended up getting discharged after 9 months, he lied about being gay so they would discharge him. The other one, he loves it, he was in Pensacola and Jacksonville, Florida for training and is now in Norfolk, Virginia. I also know one guy in the Marines, he went to basic in San Diego and then he was at Camp Pendelton, California he did his tour in Iraq and now he is stationed at Camp Lejune, North Carolina.

Anyway, sorry for getting off of topic, but I mean, in the eyes of a soldier, does the assignment in terms of your duty station play a big part in the soldiers morale or mental or emotional health? I mean I am not sure if you are able to answer this or not, but it seems from what I have seen even in the few stories on UM that many of these guys, their problems at least in part resulted in their being transferred to a place they did not want to be transferred to.
Very sorry to hear about your friend at Langely. Good to hear he's still around, though. Any day above ground's a good one.


Yes, duty stations can definitely be morale boosters or killers. In my own experience, I definitely have posts I'd give anything to go back to and others I pray to God I'll never have to return to for even two days. For young soldiers just entering basic and AIT or arriving at their first duty stations, the transition can be especially hard. I did my basic training (I was a prior enlisted) at Ft Jackson, which was relatively close to home for many of the southerners like myself, but a few of the kids from up north and out west took a considerable amount of time to adjust. Typical teenage stuff--being away from the parents (many of them for the very first time), break ups, that usual growing up stuff. It can be hard for anyone at any stage in his or her life/career, though. It isn't hard to imagine it may have been difficult for Burgwinkel to learn he was transferring to Lewis, especially if he had a girlfriend while at Ord.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:57 AM   #82
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I do not believe he had any covert duty or assignement. I do not think he was mentally ill because of the phone call his girlfriend received. I do not believe he was involved with anything illegal because he was drawing sttention to himself by acting bizarre to his girlfriend. This phone call was staged either by himself or a friend, and if he was truly mentally ill I doubt he would fake this call, it was all staged. Anyone remember that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie True Lies where his wife falls for a cons secret agent life etc, while her quiet boring husband was actually a agent?

I believe he stayed at the hotel his car was at or near it until he ran out of money, or had little left then he walked off. He either then commited suicide or is homeless.

for those wondering well if he committed suicide where is his body, I believe he wanted to hide the fact he would be doing this, a example off the top of my head on how you could do this would be to simply jump in the bottom of a semi full trash container at night and shoot yourself.
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Old 04-02-2010, 11:07 AM   #83
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for those wondering well if he committed suicide where is his body, I believe he wanted to hide the fact he would be doing this, a example off the top of my head on how you could do this would be to simply jump in the bottom of a semi full trash container at night and shoot yourself.
Or simply jump of a bridge.

1. If he shot himself the gun would be in the trash container also.

I think the garbage men and other people that use the trash container.
Remember this is a full human body..not somebody chopped up and put in a trash bag.

People also spend a lot of time dumpster diving and going through trash.

we hear stories all the time of people being found in trash containers..I guess it's not out of the question that his body didn;t get noticed.

Conservative joe, have you or anyone else ever come across an example of someone killing themselves in this manner? I'm just asking..I've yet to come across a suicide like that?

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I believe he stayed at the hotel his car was at or near it until he ran out of money, or had little left then he walked off. He either then commited suicide or is homeless.
That almost indicates that he was on the lam or believe he needed to be on the lam. From what?

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I do not believe he was involved with anything illegal because he was drawing sttention to himself by acting bizarre to his girlfriend
That just may mean that Justin is a bad liar and a lousy criminal.

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This phone call was staged either by himself or a friend, and if he was truly mentally ill I doubt he would fake this call, it was all staged
For some reason I was always under the impression that there was a 2nd person involved with Justin's activities. Looking back at the segment it appears there isn't one.But that just might be the segment. I would like to know if Yolanda or Justin;s mother ever so a second person that seemed to be involved in Justin's activities?






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Old 04-02-2010, 02:22 PM   #84
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well my suicide example was just a idea of how one could have possibly killed themselves and explain why his guns were missing, and neither was ever seen from again.

the reason i think he stayed out in the hotel area is I do not believe any of his stories/hints/suggestions he was a involved in anything. I believe he was just a boring cook. His briefcase was left as a way of identifying his existence and dog tag a clue that he was a goner to his girlfriend and family. It may have been he was worried about the AWOL disciplinary issues who knows.

nah mastermind to be a criminal or do anything successfully in the army, such as a dealer etc, you cant be a bad actor. No way you would be succesful and there would be evidence he was into this and so far the only evidence he was anything other than a boring cook is all stories and acts he made up.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:19 PM   #85
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Great discussion!

This was mentioned earlier, but I feel that this case mirrors the Chad Landford in many ways: Both were "low-level" (no offense intended at all) army guys who wanted to appear to be higher up and more important than they were. I feel that both of these guys committed suicide, and that they wanted to go out with those closest to them thinking that they were involved in something "important." The fact that Justin told his girlfriend relatively soon before he "disappeared" that finding a tag would mean he was dead, makes me feel this was planned in advance.

Justin's ostentatious behavior around his girlfriend really gives one the impression that he wanted her to know that he was involved in something "major" and "important." As people in the army have said in the thread, if he really was involved in such activities, he would have kept them hidden, and not been so open and obvious about it.

It's a really sad story (both are actually). IMO, I feel that Justin was a disaffected young man who was very unhappy with the situation in his life, and he presented a false persona to those around him (and probably started to believe it himself) in order to get them to think he was a big shot. Then, he went out in the proverbial "blaze of glory." Plus, living such a huge lie can ironically lead one to feel suicidal, as the fear of being "caught" can seem horrifying to the person. If Justin's girlfriend/family discovered that he was in fact, simply a low-level guy who had gone AWOL, his entire facade would have been revealed as a lie, which for someone like that, would be too much to handle.

Thats my take... and my 200th post too
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:57 PM   #86
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nah mastermind to be a criminal or do anything successfully in the army, such as a dealer etc, you cant be a bad actor
1.I don't think covert activities is necessarily a requirement of all positions in the military. I've seen more than a fare share of "space cadets" that are currently enlisted in our nations armed forces. One of them a very good friend who I wouldn;t trust to watch a bar a soap. You only need to show intelligence as an officer. For enlisted men they could care less.

2. Plenty of well to do drug dealers out there that rank among the incompetent. There is no prerequisite for being a drug dealer. Just a desperation for income and loose moral standards. Ever read David Simon's "the Corner"?

3. I'm not sure I would assume that Justin was a "succesful" drug dealer. Considering Justin is missing...I think it is safe to assume he failed in a big way. I wouldn;t be surprised if Justin screwed up enough to wind up owing some people on botched packages and that's what led to him running away.

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No way you would be succesful and there would be evidence he was into this and so far the only evidence he was anything other than a boring cook is all stories and acts he made up.
Like what?

Drugs?
I doubt Justin handled his merchandise at his home. he probably had a place for that or he had someone else that dealt with that. You bust into a drug dealers home your usually not going to find drugs (unless he's using it himself)

Criminal Associates?
Justin may have done everything face to face..he may never have called anyone. And if so it may have all been done on pay phones.

How do you determined the difference between a conspirator and a friend. If Justin had an army buddy helping him sell drugs, any conversations or contact is going to seem like a regular meeting with a friend.

Weapons?
Justin is a soldier...so finding weapons in his home wouldn;t be that unusual.

Also who knows what was in that briefcase he always carried around.....
It's contents may have changed during his trips.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:04 PM   #87
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If Justin's girlfriend/family discovered that he was in fact, simply a low-level guy who had gone AWOL, his entire facade would have been revealed as a lie, which for someone like that, would be too much to handle.
I'm not sure that they were that convinced of

I'm also not sure that Justin cared whether his story was believable. Just that he needed something to say to them to explain his activities.

The thing that intrigues me is why Justin would use the drug angle of White Sands for his "cover".

He could easily have said he was working for the CIA. Simple enough lie.

It;s almost like Justin wanted an excuse for his family should he be arrested for drug posession.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:21 PM   #88
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I'm not sure that they were that convinced of

I'm also not sure that Justin cared whether his story was believable. Just that he needed something to say to them to explain his activities.

The thing that intrigues me is why Justin would use the drug angle of White Sands for his "cover".

He could easily have said he was working for the CIA. Simple enough lie.

It;s almost like Justin wanted an excuse for his family should he be arrested for drug posession.
I think you're making some leaps here. I never think it's a good idea to say things like "he could easily have said he was..." Plus, I find it hard to believe that he would have come up with the whole "white sands" cover simply to, before the fact no less, give his family something to think if he ever were arrested for drug possession.

First, that implies that he was into drugs and drug dealing/possession (which there was no evidence of then, and still to this day none has come out). Plus, even on this tread those who knew him while he was in the army say that the most he ever did was smoke a joint once in a while. Second, why come up with a cover, esp. one so elaborate? If he ever did get arrested for possession, his "white sands" story would be easily verified or disproved, and so would the drug possession charge.

In other words, the idea that this was in his head as a way to make himself seem bigger than he was, to me, is more likely as it requires fewer "other variables" and speculation, such as: Drug possession, him thinking he might be arrested in the future, etc.

Finally, you might be right that his family/girlfriend weren't that convinced of the whole white sands thing, but we don't know if he knew that. In fact, on the segment it seems to imply that they were giving that angle some serious consideration. And if Justin did start to realize that they weren't that convinced, that's all the more reason why he would need to disappear/commit suicide: He saw the facade unraveling.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:26 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Mastermind
1.I don't think covert activities is necessarily a requirement of all positions in the military. I've seen more than a fare share of "space cadets" that are currently enlisted in our nations armed forces. One of them a very good friend who I wouldn;t trust to watch a bar a soap. You only need to show intelligence as an officer. For enlisted men they could care less.

2. Plenty of well to do drug dealers out there that rank among the incompetent. There is no prerequisite for being a drug dealer. Just a desperation for income and loose moral standards. Ever read David Simon's "the Corner"?

3. I'm not sure I would assume that Justin was a "succesful" drug dealer. Considering Justin is missing...I think it is safe to assume he failed in a big way. I wouldn;t be surprised if Justin screwed up enough to wind up owing some people on botched packages and that's what led to him running away.



Like what?

Drugs?
I doubt Justin handled his merchandise at his home. he probably had a place for that or he had someone else that dealt with that. You bust into a drug dealers home your usually not going to find drugs (unless he's using it himself)

Criminal Associates?
Justin may have done everything face to face..he may never have called anyone. And if so it may have all been done on pay phones.

How do you determined the difference between a conspirator and a friend. If Justin had an army buddy helping him sell drugs, any conversations or contact is going to seem like a regular meeting with a friend.

Weapons?
Justin is a soldier...so finding weapons in his home wouldn;t be that unusual.

Also who knows what was in that briefcase he always carried around.....
It's contents may have changed during his trips.
I don't know mastermind. Where are you getting this whole drug smuggling angle from? I don't recall there ever being any evidence whatsoever that he did drugs, let alone was involved in drug smuggling. Plus, he did everything he could to make his girlfriend suspicious of his activities, such as sobbing in the room, ripping up paper. He did more to attract suspicion than to hide it, which is why I think he absolutely wanted people to think he was involved in something huge, when in fact he really wasn't.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:49 AM   #90
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I don't know mastermind. Where are you getting this whole drug smuggling angle from? I don't recall there ever being any evidence whatsoever that he did drugs
,

1.This was a theory that was put forth in previous posts. It would take me to long to explain the genesis. Look in previous posts.

2. when you have a missing adult male in the police or military, three possibilities become very prominent in the following order.
1. That the subject is a fugitive or on the lam
2. The subject is murdered and the killers needed to hide the body.
3. the subject committed suicide and the body has yet to be discovered.

If we look at the first two--what could have been that serious to require Justin to go on the lam?

Why would someone feel the need to kill Justin and hide his body?

You add that to Justin's suspicious and secretive behavior prior to that...it isn' that crazy an idea to consider whether Justin was involved in some sort of illegal activity. drugs is only one type of illegal activity. Justin could have been involved in another type of contraband operation. Usually drugs comes to mind.

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I think you're making some leaps here. I never think it's a good idea to say things like "he could easily have said he was..."
Disagree there.I think you do the same type of "They could easily have" in the MacDonald case. Everyone does. That's how people find holes in alibis and theories. i think it's always a good idea to put yourself in the killer or victims shoes and ask "why....didn;t do this". It will allow you to see logic gaps.

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First, that implies that he was into drugs and drug dealing/possession (which there was no evidence of then, and still to this day none has come out).
I agree. There;s no evidence of ANYTHING in this case. Just that Justin Burgwinkle was secretive and disappeared suddenly. That's basically it. Standard missing person's case. All possibilities are on the table.

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In other words, the idea that this was in his head as a way to make himself seem bigger than he was, to me, is more likely as it requires fewer "other variables" and speculation, such as: Drug possession, him thinking he might be arrested in the future, etc.
1. First off, that doesn;t solve the case. That just tells us the why. We still need to produce Justin. Okay so it;s in his head...where' Justin then? He could still be hiding out somewhere waiting to be found by his family. Which could lead to a happy ending to this case....hopefully?

2. we have variables and speculations because we have less constants and facts in this case. What constants do we have in this case? Speculation is needed to find a path to discover constants and actual facts. A large part of investigative work is predicting where you will find the evidence and facts. It;s the basis of search warrants and interrogations.

I'm predicting that if you look in the right places amongst Justin's friends and associates...you will find someone that was in on Justin;s activities and could tell you exactly what he was (or pretended to be involved in)

I don;t think Justin was doing his "game" alone. Just my thoughts..I could be wrong.

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" Plus, I find it hard to believe that he would have come up with the whole "white sands" cover simply to, before the fact no less, give his family something to think if he ever were arrested for drug possession.
1. White Sands wasn;t that popular a movie. In fact if I seem to remember wasn;t it considered a bomb?. Strange choice to give as an example.

2.

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Plus, he did everything he could to make his girlfriend suspicious of his activities, such as sobbing in the room, ripping up paper. He did more to attract suspicion than to hide it,
1.His family, yes. But were authorities and his military peers suspicious of his activities? Justin just had to give some reason for his behavior to his family?

2. Your assuming that his sobbing was because of mental difficulty. There may have been legitimate reasons for Justin to be sad...such as jail, court martial and ....death.

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Second, why come up with a cover, esp. one so elaborate? I
He didn;t have to come up with it. A movie was already created. he just had to say watch this movie. The movie provided all the explanation he needed.

In fact I don;t think Justin had to say much. He just said watch "White Sands".

I think it's less elaborate than the McDonalds murders hippie theory, IMHO.

Quote:
If he ever did get arrested for possession, his "white sands" story would be easily verified or disproved, and so would the drug possession charge.
1. Well, the whole "we will disavow any knowledge of your existance" spy thingey would make it impossible to verify anyway. Justin would always have that to cling to and say to his family.

2. If your selling drugs your going to get arrested...regardless of whether the CIA told you to do so. The CIA has no authority on US soil. If the CIA assasinates someone on US soil, they will get arrested regardless whether it was authorized. I could be wrong, though...am i getting my CIA knowledge mixed up???

3. The "white sands" story would at least give him a positive look in his families eyes and turn Justin into James Earl Ray. His lawyers could also use this as a defense and way to help his case. There would be these "CIA guys" that gave him his orders. "CIA guys" that would become like "Raoul" in Justin's case. Being this a drug case...there is actually a shot he could get off the drug charge.

You know, mattc...when I first watched this episode the first theory I had was that Justin ran off to become a mercenary (maybe even fought in Bosnia against Americans).
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