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Old 04-27-2008, 05:05 PM   #31
slasherman
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Maybe he got an new identity working in a secret government agency.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:35 PM   #32
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Default Justin Burgwinkel's story airs Wednesday 10/15/08

Justin Burgwinkel's story airs Wednesday 10/15/08 at 6 PM est on Spike TV (channel 168 on Dish Network)

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Old 10-14-2008, 02:36 PM   #33
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I've always found this story fascinating. I have seen the movie White Sands several times. Why did Justin make a reference to this movie?
From what the segment said Justin wouldn't tell his family or girlfriend what he was involved with but told them to watch the movie "White Sands" and they would understand. I suppose it was supposed to be some sort of clue as to what his covert activities were.
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:58 PM   #34
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There were actually several similar cases over the history of UM where "average" soldiers went missing and there were rumors of secret missions or that there was much more to the story.

As much as I like the stories, I've come to the conclusion that in most if not all of these cases, the person in question probably was nothing more than an average soldier and/or they got involved in something non-military like drugs or theft.

It just strikes me as odd that an average soldier would suddenly be picked for a secret mission or would get involved in some grand plan.

IIRC, isn't "White Sands" about international arms smuggling? Seems a little much to assume that's what Justin was involved in. I think his family and girlfriend were sincere, but I just don't buy that he was in on a secret military mission.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:06 AM   #35
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Could his allusions to secret missions have been delusions brought on by mental illness or drug use?
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:28 PM   #36
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There were actually several similar cases over the history of UM where "average" soldiers went missing and there were rumors of secret missions or that there was much more to the story.

As much as I like the stories, I've come to the conclusion that in most if not all of these cases, the person in question probably was nothing more than an average soldier and/or they got involved in something non-military like drugs or theft.

It just strikes me as odd that an average soldier would suddenly be picked for a secret mission or would get involved in some grand plan.

IIRC, isn't "White Sands" about international arms smuggling? Seems a little much to assume that's what Justin was involved in. I think his family and girlfriend were sincere, but I just don't buy that he was in on a secret military mission.
Just saw this episode for about the 100th time in its SPIKE re-airing and I feel that Justin's disappearance had nothing to do with drugs or illegal activities. I do think he was however trying reinact the movie "White Sands" by carrying around that briefcase everywhere he went.

I believe that Justin have become frustrated at his lack of progress as far as ascending up the chain of command in the military and simply began to live out his fantasy of being a top flight agent for the government as a way of compensating for his lack of progress in the military in real life.

I guess the disappearance of Justin Burgwinkle comes down to how much stock you put in this young man's acting abilities. If you believe that Burgwinkle was a good actor he could've easily conned those near him into believing he was involved in secret missions and gun running or whatever else he might have been trying to sell his friends and family on at the time.

Simply put, the disappearance of Burgwinkle may have just been a case of a young man who was frustrated in how his life was progressing and decided to go AWOL from the army and leaving his friends and family with a story ripped right out of a motion picture to explain his disappearance.

While it does seem a bit extreme that Burgwinkle would abandon his friends and family forever, I believe this is exactly what happened. I believe that Justin Burgwinkle is still alive, living a new life somewhere under a new identity. I believe a individual who was such a fan of movies where he would study the plotlines of a film to the point where he could adapt aspects of that movie to suit his own life would be capable of abandoning his past in order to start over with a clean slate somewhere else. For Burgwinkle it may have been akin to simply killing off a "character" in order to develop a new identity for himself.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:04 PM   #37
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It's not unusual for washouts of military/police (or people who cannot achieve elevated status within said institutions, remaining on the "bottom rung") to band together and create their own deluded world in which they are "important players". Such as getting into the lower levels of drug trade, and pretending (often believing) they are high level players. Being in the stimulant trade and using ones product would fuel such delusions, jack up paranoia, and lend itself to stereotypical behavior such as shredding paper. Of course nerves and adrenaline would also mirror stim abuse, and crime of any sort, especially with a good dose of narcissism and intrigue... but the facts are that operatives don't leave messages such as "the mission's off" with one's girlfriend, real gunrunners don't buy handguns and ammunition that Unsolved Mysteries could trace, and thousands of people walk away from their life every year. And thousands of people trying to rip-off higher-ups in the drug trade also disappear every year. Bodies aren't impossible to dispose of.
I was watching UM today and saw the case, searched the web to see if they'd resolved the case yet. I didn't realize the case was so old.
I'd go with Occams Razor on this one- the solution to this riddle is going to be far more prosaic than tri-letteral (CIA/DoD/FBI/etc) conspiracy. It's by his design and desire, not by operational necessity, that he carried around that briefcase that EXACTLY mirrored the movie poster of what was probably his favorite movie, White Sands.
It's a sad story of a young man with dreams of being an elite warrior, losing that dream, and turning to the wrong place to try to fulfill his needs. The guy who called was probably a dominant personality that sucked Justin into a fantasy that Justin was unable to resist.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:10 PM   #38
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Heh- DarkDante and I were synched at the brain. Sorry Dante- your post wasnt up when I started on mine, otherwise I woulda just put in an arrow pointing to your post
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Old 12-23-2008, 03:28 PM   #39
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Just watched this case again.

I just thought of something...

..has anyone thought of possibility that Justin became a mercenary, and perhaps has died or is still fighting in a foreign country.

There have been several stories of soldiers who have deserted and joined paramilitary groups, dictator armies or even drug dealers in order to pursue a chance to fight in an actual war.

Suppose Justin did such a thing and wound up fighting for Serbian soldiers or in Columbia for a Cartel? If he died in combat, no one would ever know what happened to him.

Heck as much as i hate to say it maybe Justin is now fighting for/with/against Al Queda!
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:49 PM   #40
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Cool Updates?

Looks like Unsolved is returning to Spike in September 2009. Maybe there will be an update.

Two other cases that need updates are the disappearances of Amy Billig & Tammy Lynn Leppert.

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Old 08-08-2009, 05:01 AM   #41
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Have to agree with ToddMueller, DarkDante, and deus here--SPC Burgwinkel was quite literally the average joe. It's really not uncommon for average joes to exaggerate their duties. And sometimes, they fabricate them completely.

Burgwinkel's MOS was 92G: an Army cook. I understand it's stating the obvious, but cooks DO NOT get picked up for high-risk details that require skill sets found in other occupational specialties. That's the stuff of, well, movies. In reality that kind of selection is done inside those groups (i.e., Special Forces, Rangers, some MPs, some Intel personnel, etc).

I've stated this before, but Burgwinkel would have NEVER been allowed off post with that briefcase if there was anything sensitive inside it--especially being a junior enlisted soldier with minimal OPSEC and SAEDA training. His girlfriend wouldn't even have had the faintest clue about his work if any of his "story" was legitimate (and I can almost certainly guarantee it absolutely was not).

I don't see the mercenary/subversive theory panning out in reality. While groups like that do actively seek out military personnel on occasion (it really doesn't happen that often, though, honestly), they're usually looking for people with either direct combat experience or special skills....and if you go AWOL to join one, it won't be long before we, or a federal agency, finds you and brings you back. I don't see someone like Burgwinkel being valuable to a mercenary group, or being particularly clever enough to elude authorites either, frankly.

Unfortunately, I think he was a troubled young man who had serious, strong delusions--which may have contributed to his disappearance, perhaps death. His case is indeed unsolved, but I think there's far less mystery here than the viewer is lead to believe.
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:22 AM   #42
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I've always thought that this kid had been emulating that White Sands movie and giving himself more importance than his actual life had by keeping up this charade. I just wonder where he ended up.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:34 AM   #43
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I've stated this elsewhere, but for the record, I don't believe Justin Burgwinkel was involved in any real, gov't related, covert operations.

The call to his girlfriend's phone happened on an evening when Justin and his buddies were out together. I think they were at a bar or someplace, and Justin encouraged one of his friends to call the gf with the message to tell Justin "the mission's off". Justin didn't live at his gf's house, and was just there visiting her when he went out one night with his friends and the gf gets the mysterious call. If he were really involved in secret activities, then he would have had a pager or some other means of being contacted. They wouldn't be calling his girlfriend and leave important messages with her.

Another thing that I thought was weird was how it seemed that he'd be out with his gf and all of a sudden, he'd say that he had to leave to work on his secret mission. He hadn't received a page or a phone call or any message. He'd just be in the middle of some activity when he'd announce that he had to leave. That seems really odd.

And, he was always going to Monterrey, either planned or on the spur of the moment, which made me wonder if he had a second girlfriend there that the gf who was interviewed on UM didn't know about. If so, maybe the secret gf is involved with his disappearance.

It seemed like UM was trying to say that Justin carried papers with secret mission instructions on them, and that he would tear the paper up into tiny pieces to get rid of them, so the information wouldn't fall into the wrong hands, etc. To me, that's ridiculous. Why wouldn't he shred the papers in the office, or burn the papers to really get rid of them. Why turn them into confetti? It doesn't make any sense. And why did the gf say that she watched him in the mirror to see what was in the case and what he was doing, and that's how she found out that he was just tearing up paper. If you were in the same room with someone, wouldn't you be able to hear paper being torn, rather than have to watch him do it to know that that was what was happening?
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:50 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracyLynnS
And why did the gf say that she watched him in the mirror to see what was in the case and what he was doing, and that's how she found out that he was just tearing up paper. If you were in the same room with someone, wouldn't you be able to hear paper being torn, rather than have to watch him do it to know that that was what was happening?

TracyLynnS,
That is a very smart point. Insanely simple...yet something I have never thought about. There was something about this case that reeked of someone that wanted to be something that he was not. I find it hard to believe that he was involved in some sort of huge classified case.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:15 PM   #45
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1. If Justin has committed suicide, where is his body, then? I guess he could have gone to Mexico to commit suicide, but that would have meant he took of his dog tags. I guess he could of jumped off a bridge. The fact Justin is missing is a huge clue in this case.

2. I have to imagine that Justin was armed frequently. Especially since he was playing "spy". I would find it hard to believe that random robbers or killers just subdued Justin without a fight and then hid his body.

3. corruption and drug dealing can be on military installations. Arms dealing is quite prevalent on armories. It's quite possible that Justin either got involved with them or was trying to stop them and this led to his demise.

I still maintain the theory that Justin either:
1. Fled to be a mercenary or hired hand of sorts abroad.
2. Was killed by some "organization" he became embroiled. This organization could be a simple as a group of "play-soldiers" or as complex as a "drug cartel".
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