KGW-TV in Portland had an exclusive report last night about the deadly Dec., 2008 bank bombing in Woodburn, Or., that killed two law enforcement officers and seriously wounded a third. It seems the accused suspects, the father-son duo of Bruce Turnidge and Joshua Turnidge, had been planning (or perhaps “fantasizing” is a more accurate term) about robbing banks ever since 1994.
According to a police affidavit, a family friend, Ronald Laughlin, stated that he heard Bruce, Joshua and another family member who has not been charged in the case “speak so often about robbing banks that it became like ‘white noise’. Often, Laughlin said, they’d “discuss methods of robbery including diversions.”
Laughlin described the men as Constitutionalists and anti-government.
According to investigators, in the summer of 1994, Laughlin recalled meeting Joshua and Bruce Turnidge for lunch in Woodburn.
Witness Joshua Turnidge said “he had called the bank and told them there was a bomb and they were to deliver $20,000 to $40,000 to a construction Port-a-potty.” Laughlin said he watched police arrive at the bank.
How odd they were thinking of that in 1994, the summer of love, er, black helicopters. I can’t find seem to find anything in the Constitution about blowing up banks and killing cops, oddly enough.
The new information makes a statement by Oregon Republican chair Vance Day shortly after the deadly Dec., 2008 bombing even more curious.
And the arrests of two members of the Turnidge family — which decades ago helped start the Salem Academy Christian schools — have left those who know the family incredulous.
“I would be very surprised if Bruce Turnidge was involved in that,” said Vance Day, the Oregon GOP chairman and a Salem attorney who has known brothers Bruce and Pat Turnidge for several years. “I know him to be strong, very pro-American. He doesn’t believe in violence of that sort whatsoever.”
Now, it’s true that there be monsters in the world, and sometimes you think you know people and all that. So I have no problem taking at face value the idea that Day was genuinely stunned. It’s not really clear from press accounts what relationship Day had with the Turnidges. Political leaders meet all sorts of folks, take their money, shake their hand and move on.
Still, WTF? And there’s another family member who was also talking about robbing banks in 1994? Remember, this is a fairly prominent family in Salem. Crazy.