Tag Archives: Warrior

Planned Parenthood suspect: ‘I am a warrior for the babies’

The man accused of killing three people in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic defied his own defense attorney in court, declaring himself a “warrior for the babies” who would not be silenced by the lawyer tasked with potentially saving his life.

Robert Dear, 57, repeatedly interrupted public defender Daniel King and accused him of seeking a gag order in the case to conceal what Dear portrayed as Planned Parenthood’s crimes that led to the Nov. 27 assault. The conflict added a new level of turmoil to a politically charged case that has already sparked debate about when political speech becomes a call for violence.

“You’ll never know what I saw in that clinic,” a bearded, unkempt and shackled Dear yelled on Wednesday in one of more than a dozen outbursts as King successfully argued for the gag order by contending that public discussion of the investigation could prejudice potential jurors. “Atrocities. The babies. That’s what they want to seal.” A deputy squeezed Dear’s shoulder in an effort to quiet him.

King appeared to be trying to follow the same playbook he used in his defense of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes, whom he convinced a jury earlier this year to spare from execution on the grounds of his mental illness. But, as Dear was formally charged with 179 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and other crimes that could lead to the death penalty, he was having none of it.

“Do you know who this lawyer is?” Dear exclaimed of King. “He’s the lawyer for the Batman shooter. Who drugged him all up. And that’s what they want to do to me.”

Holmes was on anti-psychotic medication this year during his trial for the 2012 shootings that killed 12 people and wounded 70. He was sentenced to life in prison.

“Seal the truth, huh? Kill the babies. That’s what Planned Parenthood does,” Dear yelled later. At another point, he snapped at King: “You’re trying silence me.” Then he said: “Let’s let it all come out. Truth!”

King did not directly address the outbursts, though at one point during a break he leaned over to Dear and said: “I know what you’re trying to do; it’s not going to work.” King raised doubts about whether Dear is competent to stand trial, saying defense attorneys wanted investigators to turn over evidence as soon as possible so they could assess the “depth of his mental illness.”

Colorado Springs police have refused to discuss a potential motive in the Nov. 27 attack, which wounded nine and killed three. But even before Wednesday’s startling outbursts, there was mounting evidence that Dear was deeply concerned about abortion.

He rambled to authorities  about “no more baby parts” after his arrest. And a law enforcement official told The Associated Press this week that Dear asked at least one person in a nearby shopping center for directions to the clinic before opening fire. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

On Wednesday, Dear interjected as Judge Gilbert A. Martinez discussed a pretrial publicity order, saying, “Could you add the babies that were supposed to be aborted that day? Could you add that to the list?”

At one point, Dear yelled simply, “Protect babies!”

Later, he accused his attorneys of being in “cahoots” with Planned Parenthood to “shut me up.”

“I want the truth to come out. There’s a lot more to this than for me to go silently to the grave,” he shouted.

Dear has lived in remote locations without electricity or running water and was known to hold survivalist ideas.

One of his three ex-wives, Barbara Mescher Micheau of Moncks Corner, South Carolina, said he vandalized a South Carolina abortion clinic at least 20 years earlier, announcing to her that he had put glue in the locks of its doors, a common protest technique among activists trying to shut down abortion clinics.

Killed in the attack were Garrett Swasey, 44, a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs officer who rushed to the scene; Ke’Arre Stewart, 29, an Iraq war veteran who was accompanying someone at the clinic; and Jennifer Markovsky, 35, who also accompanied a friend at the clinic.

Five other officers were shot and wounded in the rampage.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said Monday that responding officers rescued 24 people from inside the clinic building and helped remove 300 people from surrounding businesses where they had been hiding while the shooting unfolded.

Martinez set the next hearing for Dear for Dec. 23. A first-degree murder conviction can lead to life in prison or the death penalty.

At the end of Wednesday’s hearing, the judge looked at Dear and said, “Are you finished?”

Tom Hardy, who’s burning up the screen as Mad Max, says he’s drawn to characters who frighten him

Mad Max is back. Three decades after the last installment in the post-apocalyptic film saga Max Max: Thunderdome hit the theatres, legendary director George Miller is resurrecting the cult franchise that turned Mel Gibson into a star and set the standard for all future visions of a dystopian earth: “A world without hope. Without law. Without mercy,” intones a voice from the trailer to the film.

Mad Max: Fury Road, now in worldwide release, has all the makings of a billion dollar summer blockbuster that will doubtless thrill audiences with epic desert battle scenes and high octane mechanized mayhem. Tom Hardy replaces Gibson as Max Rockatansky, the menacing leader of a ragtag group of lost souls trying to cross a bleak Outback-like wasteland.

Hardy recalls how he was deeply affected as a 12 -year-old when he first saw the original Mad Max.

“When I saw the first Mad Max, I remember feeling the saw way that I felt when I began listening to Jimi Hendrix records,” Hardy recalls. “There was too much to understand, and the sounds and images were very disturbing to me, but now I love them madly.”

Adds Hardy: “I’m honored to be part of this incredible world that George Miller has created and carrying on the legacy. … The story of Mad Max has all the qualities and mythology of Greek theatre that you see transformed into a visionary post-apocalyptic action movie.”

Joining Hardy for the ride is Charlize Theron, who plays Imperator Furiosa, the savage desert queen who forms an uneasy alliance with Max. Other cast members include Nicolas Hoult (Nux), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (Splendid), and Zoe Kravitz (Toast).

Over the years, Hardy has gained critical acclaim for his work in films like Bronson, Lawless, Inception, Warrior, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and of course as the villainous Bane in The Dark Knight Returns. His more recent films include the indie classic Locke and The Drop.

Growing up the son of a father who wrote ad copy and an artist mother, Hardy attended public school but was an indifferent student. In his late teens and early 20s, he went on wild drug and alcohol binges to the point where he needed to check himself into rehab. He has been clean and sober for over a decade now.

Hardy has a seven-year-old son, Louis, with his former girlfriend, Rachel Speed, and is now living in London and married to actress Charlotte Riley, whom he first met on the set of Wuthering Heights in 2009.

For our chat, Hardy was looking casual as ever, sporting a baseball cap and clad in T-shirt and jeans. In conversation, he’s nervous, animated, but supremely engaging. He would just as soon talk about anything else rather than his work, and he’s still very much a “lad.”

In recent years, he has become a huge dog lover.

Tom, Mad Max is an iconic figure in a long line of lone warriors who are strong, silent types. How did you imagine him?

Max lives in a world where everything has a cost. It’s all about pain and sacrifice. He’s a superhero without super powers, someone who doesn’t wear a colored costume, can’t fly and doesn’t have laser vision. If he had his choice, he would rather be at home with his family wearing a cardigan, drinking beer, and watching TV. Except he doesn’t have a family, a home, a cardigan, or a TV. He only sees pain and destruction around him and he doesn’t feel the need or desire to talk a lot to anyone about anything. It’s the kind of desolate world where you only speak when it’s necessary.

What are your impressions of George Miller, the director and creator of Mad Max?

He’s a genius who has spent half his life living with these characters and had the whole story in his head. He also had a profound and complex visual understanding of everything he wanted to do in the film. At the beginning of the shoot, George showed me and the other actors this giant storyboard that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I love comic books, but I’ve never read one that’s 300 pages long and contains over 3500 panels drawn by five different artists. Every frame of the film was in that book.

How do you feel about becoming part of this cult franchise?

I don’t even think about that. … It was a new challenge for me and you look at the project as something where there are a lot more moving parts and more money being spent than most of the films you work on. I felt quite small on a very big space.

Do you feel that you’ve now found the kind of place as an actor that you’ve wanted to occupy?

I don’t know. I’m lucky to be where I am now after messing up things when I first arrived in Hollywood. It took me a while to earn back people’s respect and find good roles again. I still feel like I’m a character actor who’s getting the shot at playing lead roles, which is great. But I’m not a classic leading man type who’s going to be playing different versions of himself but underneath it all it’s still the same person. I try to undergo a radical transformation each time out, disappear into my character and find all these new layers if I can.

What kinds of characters do you find yourself drawn to most?

I’m drawn to characters who frighten me. I like to play people who are opposite or very different from I am, whoever that is! (Laughs.) I find it much simpler to interpret people who make me wonder what it’s like to be in their skin, maybe to be tougher than I am.

Did you ever get into fights during your wilder days?

Yes, tons of them. But you smarten up and realize that you might come up against someone who has skills that could really damage you. It’s like Bob. I imagined him as someone who would sit back, let everybody think he’s a nobody, and then he shows you that he’s the kind of guy you should never pick a fight with.

You tend to play violent characters. Do you ever get tired or worried about constantly putting your head into those kinds of roles?

No. Maybe earlier in my career it might have had an effect, when I was living a much wilder kind of life. I’m very peaceful in real life now, but because of all the hell I went through in the past I can use all that in creating very dark characters.

Do you consider yourself a survivor?

I’m lucky to be alive. I’m constantly fighting the 400-pound orangutan that is running amok in my brain and trying to kill me. It’s the self-sabotage side of me that I have to keep fighting. It’s part of my addictive personality and something I will probably always have to be on guard against.  But it feeds my work and I confine it to that space instead of letting it ruin my life. Having to deal with that makes you stronger — it makes you want to be better.

You have an interesting canine connection to Mad Max, don’t you?

 (Laughs.) When I was 17, I was given a dog named Mad Max, although I wasn’t that fond of the name because the dog (a bull terrier/labrador mix) was so friendly. Then 17 years later my dog died and I got the call that I’m going to playing Mad Max. … That was kind of eerie.

You bonded with one of the pit bull puppies who were playing your dog Rocco in the film The Drop. Your co-star Noomi Rapace says that you’re never without a dog near you?

(Laughs,) I love dogs. I’ve loved dogs since I was a kid. I loved this one pit bull puppy in particular and I just had him around me all the time. They’re a very maligned breed. What really touches me about dogs is how loyal they are. How they will just stay at your side all day long just because they have this affection and attachment to you.

I love having a dog around me on every film. My wife tells me I’m not allowed to bring any more dogs home with me for now — we have two — but I love finding strays like the way Bob finds Rocco (the pit bull). There’s something that touches me about dogs. Maybe it’s the child in me, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I feel similar to what a dog is like — someonewho likes to bark but would never bite you, unless seriously provoked. (Laughs.)