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Old 10-15-2009, 04:16 PM   #46
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I think for whatever reason Justin chose to leave. His involvement in illegal activities he feared would soon be found out. So I think he went someplace like Canada, where he could live without the US Government coming after him for desertion. Like a lot of other guys over the years have done to avoid the draft and whatnot. He's probably made a whole new life and identity for himself, and no one knows who he was before or where he came from.
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Old 10-15-2009, 06:15 PM   #47
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So I think he went someplace like Canada, where he could live without the US Government coming after him for desertion. Like a lot of other guys over the years have done to avoid the draft and whatnot.
Interesting thought. Though I think that Justin would have risked continuing in his activities rather than "retire".

I also think Justin would have contacted his girlfriend Yolanda at some point about joining him. He could have easily used the "special assignment" excuse for them moving. Heck he even could have contacted his mother.

The fact that Justin contacted nobody since his disappearance is a clue in and of itself.
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Old 10-16-2009, 01:05 AM   #48
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I think this is one of those cases where the most obvious is answer is that Justin was involved with buying and/or selling drugs or stolen property.

He may have been involved in something more elaborate but I got the feeling from the story that he wanted people to think it was a bigger deal than it really was. If the way UM portrayed it was true, it sure seems like he went out of his way to try and say, "Hey, everyone! I'm a black ops spy! I'm on a secret mission!" If the "spy" part is true, he was either very naive, very bold, or both. Honestly... when I heard the whole reference to "White Sands" I thought WTF? Why would such a low-level Army guy be involved in international arms smuggling? I think he wanted Yolanda to think it was something bigger than it was.

I agree that he may have fled to avoid prosecution but I think most likely is that he got involved with the wrong people selling drugs or fencing stolen goods and then he was murdered.
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Old 10-18-2009, 04:32 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Todd Mueller
I think this is one of those cases where the most obvious is answer is that Justin was involved with buying and/or selling drugs or stolen property.

He may have been involved in something more elaborate but I got the feeling from the story that he wanted people to think it was a bigger deal than it really was. If the way UM portrayed it was true, it sure seems like he went out of his way to try and say, "Hey, everyone! I'm a black ops spy! I'm on a secret mission!" If the "spy" part is true, he was either very naive, very bold, or both. Honestly... when I heard the whole reference to "White Sands" I thought WTF? Why would such a low-level Army guy be involved in international arms smuggling? I think he wanted Yolanda to think it was something bigger than it was.

I agree that he may have fled to avoid prosecution but I think most likely is that he got involved with the wrong people selling drugs or fencing stolen goods and then he was murdered.
Exactly. I think the Chad Langford case generally falls along these lines as well.

As has been stated before, organized crime is a problem on any military installation. Most of the time, it's drug dealing and robbery--ocassionally, illegal arms dealing does occur, but mostly the activity falls into the first two categories. In fact, wasn't there something in the Langford case about some plot to rip off the main PX at Red Stone Arsenal? I seem to remember something like that, but I could be confusing cases.

I'm currently at Ft Benning, GA and just two weeks ago a male was raped by a group of men while running at night on a remote area of the post--it's believed to be gang-related. There are places of business in the city of Columbus (just outside post) that are off-limits to anyone stationed at Benning per the base commander. The main reason: illegal activity goes down at every one of them.

I love my Army; otherwise, I wouldn't have decided to join it. But like the society it was born of, it has its share of criminal problems. And I completely and totally believe SPC Burgwinkel got himself mixed up in it.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:08 PM   #50
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I vaguely remember what he did but wasn't Justin involved in some sort of incident which is why he was placed on cook duty? Does anyone remember what exactly he did?
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:33 PM   #51
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I vaguely remember what he did but wasn't Justin involved in some sort of incident which is why he was placed on cook duty? Does anyone remember what exactly he did?
I'm seriously fuzzy on the details. I'm sure someone else here will know more than me, but I think he was involved in some shoplifting. I don't know if getting caught in that illegal activity resulted in him being put on kitchen duty, if it was a culmniation of things, or what.
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:47 PM   #52
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Look at it this way...

Justin needed to explain to Yolanda why he was coming and going at odd hours, why he was making and receiving random phone calls, and why he had records that he needed to keep her from seeing.

His choices were:

1.) Tell Yolanda that he was involved in something "Top Secret" and imply that he was a spy and possibly involved in high level, off-the-record arms trading and that he was on a secret mission.

2.) Tell Yolanda that he was dealing drugs and fencing stolen goods.

Which one sounds like it would go over better with the girlfriend? But which one sounds more ridiculous? Like they say, "The bigger the lie the more likely people are to believe it."
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:23 PM   #53
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Look at it this way...

Justin needed to explain to Yolanda why he was coming and going at odd hours, why he was making and receiving random phone calls, and why he had records that he needed to keep her from seeing.

His choices were:

1.) Tell Yolanda that he was involved in something "Top Secret" and imply that he was a spy and possibly involved in high level, off-the-record arms trading and that he was on a secret mission.

2.) Tell Yolanda that he was dealing drugs and fencing stolen goods.

Which one sounds like it would go over better with the girlfriend? But which one sounds more ridiculous? Like they say, "The bigger the lie the more likely people are to believe it."
Exactly!

It also gives a reason why he's missing if he has to lam it or disappear entirely. If he should die in his activities, it also allows his family to potentially look at him as if he died honorably, rather than doing something illegal.
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:27 PM   #54
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I vaguely remember what he did but wasn't Justin involved in some sort of incident which is why he was placed on cook duty? Does anyone remember what exactly he did?
I was under the impression that this was his MOS (job) in the Army. We don't place soldiers on "KP" duty that aren't qualified to cook/serve (health and welfare issue). Now dining facilities are mainly staffed by civilians, but when Burgwinkel was in there were many more actual Army cooks (they're known as 92G's) doing the work.
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Old 11-08-2009, 12:14 PM   #55
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Default Justin Burgwinkle

I knew Justin personally, I served with him sometime between 1988-1993. We served with HHC 9th Infantry Regiment, Fort Ord,California. I was stationed there from 1988 to 1994 but he came in and was with us for maybe 2 years roughly. Yes he was a Cook, he signed up as a cook. He worked in our company/dfac for the first year they they were split up to one of our line units so he then became part of either 1/9, 2/9 or 3/9 infantry.

He was sort of a partier, a drinker but he did spend alot of time out of the barracks. From time to time many of us sat around the barracks just hanging out, we did our PT together for some time and always had inspections together. He was a nice enough guy but always seemed a bit shady, secretive. He was definately not part of an Elite or Special assignment.

There are a few of us that just met on Facebook, after all these years, that knew him personally. Though he did spend a "little" time with the rest of us he mostly spend his time with his fellow cooks and then again lots of time away with his girlfriend.

Around the time when he came up missing, the Army base was being closed and were working on closing down and relocating so I lost track of any of them unless they were still within our unit so it wasnt until a few years later that I had heard about his disappearance. I think he spent alot of time in San Jose in areas that well most shouldnt spend time in .. a bad part obviously. I do know that he did smoke pot occassionally but thats it thats all i can remember anyways.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:58 PM   #56
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He was sort of a partier, a drinker but he did spend alot of time out of the barracks. From time to time many of us sat around the barracks just hanging out, we did our PT together for some time and always had inspections together. He was a nice enough guy but always seemed a bit shady, secretive. He was definately not part of an Elite or Special assignment.
Welcome!

Couple of questions:
1. Do you think it is possible that Justin could have been involved in drug trade on the base?

2. How difficult would it be for one of you guys to find a mercenary group or some type of broker to help you fight overseas?

3. Did you ever get any hint or evidence that Justin might have had some homosexual inclinations?
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #57
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Welcome!

Couple of questions:
1. Do you think it is possible that Justin could have been involved in drug trade on the base?

2. How difficult would it be for one of you guys to find a mercenary group or some type of broker to help you fight overseas?

3. Did you ever get any hint or evidence that Justin might have had some homosexual inclinations?

Dealing with drugs .. thats possible like I said I knew he was into weed atleast twice that I knew of and all the shady acting .. so slim perhaps yes

Mercenary group to help fight overseas .. not likely he was not in shape, no extra training towards and real combat, not elite by any means, those that work in the dining facility spend most of their time in the dining facility even all our Infantry related training they spend NOT having to participage. We did a land navigation course and the cooks joined in and they couldnt read a map or terrain to save their lives .. thats what they had us for. He didnt even like the army or to even cook. He did his job and lived his life after duty hours .. .sooo i would have to say no. There are plenty of other "Infantry" gung ho soldiers that would be a better match

Homosexual inclinations .. I dont think so, like i said he had a girlfriend and there was nothing that I ever noticed to support that thought
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:27 PM   #58
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Thanks for your answers.

Just one more:

Did Justin every mention or have any out of the ordinary political views that he voiced. ultra Right-wing, any hint of white supremacy(i doubt it since he had an asian girlfriend), left wing extremisim, pacifist beliefs? Any strong feelings toward any conflicts in the world. Did he speak a lot about Northern Ireland or Middle East?
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Old 11-09-2009, 11:34 PM   #59
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Not that I recall, but again we weren't "friends" I was just one of the guys that could hang with anyone and everyone and get along but I think if there were those thoughts they'd be shared with closer friend types. Either would be a possibility but never noticed or heard anything of the sort
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #60
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Today, the sad story of Justin Burgwinkel aired. A young man who joined the military, and disappeared under VERY strange circumstances. NEVER to be heard from or seen again. Leaving only a movie reference as a clue. Justin reference the movie WHITE SANDS, in which a small southwestern town sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and $500,000. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an FBI investigation

Apparently Justin had been acting strange, leaving at a moments notice, skipping out on important dates, only to rush off with a brief case.

After he disappeared his parents flew to from MA to CA where his car was found at an out of the way motel near the ocean. Locked in his trunk was his brief case. Only containing his wallet, which contained his credit cards, license, military ID, and his dog tags.
His mother appeared on UM and stated that she received NO help from the military, police, or anyone else. Not even anyone he served with would help.

He had previously told his g/f that if she ever found his dog tags lying around, that meant he was dead.

Im hoping some others saw this story or remember it from a previous airing. Ive searched and cant seem to find any information anywhere OTHER than on a website called burgwinkel.com which is a journal of a man named Joe Burgwinkel. BUT under the journal date of Novemeber 10 2003 the entry reads: paranoia big destroia- Why is the Department of Defense searching my site for the name 'justin'? Maybe they were looking for Justice, but they don't know how to spell it.

I know Im probably sounding ridiculous at this point, but does anyone else besides me think its strange that the Dept. of Defense is searching for this mans name? IN 2003!
The segment said Justin wanted to be an Army Ranger. The rangers are a specialized group in the Army, so maybe Justin's "mission" involved the stopping of illegal arms sales by a terrorist group or other kind of outlaws. This mission was probably his special initiation into the rangers, so when he was told "the mission's off" he was mad about it because he wanted to become a ranger that much. I think Justin carried the briefcase so he could pretend to look more like a spy instead of just a soldier, because the movie White Sands was similar to what his mission was. He told his girlfriend to watch the movie because he could not reveal the full details of his mission.

I think the first question that has to be answered to solve his disappearance is: what was Justin's mission? If we knew what his mission was, that would tell us why he may have disappeared. If he willingly disappeared, he probably left his dogtags behind to tell his family he was dead when he really wasn't; but if he left willingly, he probably went on a super secret assignment by the army and they had to fabricate his death so that he could complete his missions. If he disappeared against his own will, I think he was taken hostage by arms smugglers and his body was decimated to prevent it from being found.
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