Ricin Man Identified-- Home, Warehouse to be Searched, By Rob Kall
Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_rob_kall_080302_ricin_man_identi...
March 2, 2008
Ricin Man Identified-- Home, Warehouse to be Searched
By Rob Kall
According to a Homeland Security internal document obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the man in a coma whose room contained ricin is Roger Von Bergendorff, of Riverton Utah.
The ricin was discovered by his cousin, Thomas Tholen, according to an article by Associated Press, which also reported:
A down-on-his-luck Roger Von Bergendorff lived at the home of his cousin Thomas Tholen for more than a year before moving to Las Vegas about a year ago, said Tammy Ewell, who lives across the street from Tholen in Riverton, Utah.
She described Tholen and his wife, Ellen, as close friends.
"He was very much a loner. I would say more or less socially regressive. He just barely got by in life. He'd just barely make it," Ewell said of Von Bergendorff. "Tom was the last resort."
In a brief phone interview earlier Saturday, Thomas Tholen said Von Bergendorff was "holding his own" in the hospital.
Tholen, 53, wouldn't say much more about Von Bergendorff or the discovery Thursday of several vials of ricin, which is deadly in minuscule amounts, at the man's extended-stay hotel room on Valley View Boulevard near Flamingo Road.
Officials have secured Tholen's home, where Von Bergendorff is reported to have stayed, but they have not searched it because they are awaiting court approval for a warrant, FBI spokesman Juan Becerra said later Saturday.
The article also reported;
Von Bergendorff also rented a "storage bin" at Allstate Self Storage, on Boulder Highway near Desert Inn Road, that investigators inspected, a Homeland Security memo obtained by the Review-Journal stated.
A manager at the business declined to comment on Friday, referring a reporter to Las Vegas police for information on the investigation.
Previous reports have indicated that firearms and a book on anarchy, tabbed to a page on ricin were found in the room where Bergendorff was found.
Further Googling found links to a Thomas S Tholen Jr., who had written a book on terrorism, The war on terror : implications for the future of U.S. relations with France and Germany / by Thomas S. Tholen, Jr.
but the link was found on the right wing freeper site, freerepublic.com, and there is no confirmation of an tie to the cousin reported by AP.
The AP article reports, that police, who did not identify Bergendorff or Tholen, said,
Tholen arrived in Las Vegas after Von Bergendorff summoned an ambulance and was hospitalized Feb. 14 in critical condition.
Tholen contacted hotel management Feb. 22 to inform them about pets in the room, and Las Vegas Humane Society officials took custody of a dog and two cats. The dog, which officials said was ill after going at least a week without food or water, was euthanized.
Von Bergendorff was picked up from the hotel room and hospitalized on February 14. On February 22nd, his cousin, Thomas Tholen, reported that animals in the room needed care and the humane society came, later euthanizing a dog that was near death, from starvation.
CNN Reported yesterday,
... police first were called to the room on Tuesday (Feb 26) after weapons were discovered there. He said officers discovered "general firearms," which have been impounded, and an "anarchist-type textbook" marked at an entry on ricin.
The room was tested for ricin at that time but none was found, Lombardo said. When officers returned Thursday, they found the ricin, but a test of the room showed it was not contaminated.
The AP article reports that Tholen, who we conjecture was staying in the room, to be near his hospitalized cousin, found the ricin vials and reported them to the hotel front desk on thursday, Feb. 28th. That's when the story jumped to national headlines.
Strange that they didn't find the ricin first time around, on Tuesday.
Strange that the Feds can tap phones without warrants but when a WMD is found, they can't, after several days, do a search of a warehouse storage unit or home. Or maybe there's more to this story that yet meets the eye. It is highly unlikely that a case where a man with acute, hospitalization-requiring respiratory distress, whose room is later found to have firearms and a book on anarchy, with the page or ricin bookmarked, would still, four days later, not have seen successful searches of the man's last home and the warehouse where he stored things.
See my previous article: Who Is the Ricin Man? No Terrorism During Bush's Watch... Except for Anthrax and now, Ricin...