Jacob D. Robida: Wikis


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Jacob Robida

Jacob D. Robida (June 13, 1987 ‚Äď February 5, 2006) was a Massachusetts teenager who attacked three patrons at a New Bedford gay bar on February 2, 2006. He fled the state and drove to Charleston, West Virginia, where he allegedly kidnapped a female companion and drove southward, attempting to cross the Mexican border. He was halted by authorities in Norfork, Arkansas, where he murdered his female companion and a police officer, then commited suicide.

He died in a hospital in Springfield, Missouri at 03:38 CST on February 5, 2006.


Accusations and manhunt

The Puzzles Lounge

In the early hours of Thursday, February 2, 2006, eighteen year-old Jacob Robida entered a gay bar in New Bedford, Massachusetts, fifty miles (93 km) south of Boston. The teenager, dressed in black, entered the Puzzles Lounge, a popular local bar, around midnight. Robida proceeded to order a drink using a fake ID which indicated his age was twenty-three. After downing his first drink, he asked the bartender if the lounge was a gay bar. The bartender confirmed that it was. After finishing his second drink, Robida swung a hatchet at a patron's head, injuring him. Other patrons tackled him and relieved him of the hatchet, whereupon Robida produced a handgun and began shooting, wounding at least three more people.

Robida then fled the scene; both the hatchet and a machete were later recovered by authorities in the bar. Robida was then wanted on three counts of attempted murder. Police treated the incident as a hate crime. In total, four people were seriously hurt in the attack. Local authorities immediately began a manhunt for Robida and raided his mother's home in New Bedford. They talked to his mother, who told them that she had last seen Robida at 1:00 a.m. bleeding from the head and that he had left soon after. They found weapons of all types, including hatchets, knives, a few handguns, as well as a shotgun. When police entered Robida's bedroom, they found "Nazi regalia" and anti-Semitic writings all over his bedroom walls. [1] Fearing that he may have left Massachusetts, the local authorities contacted the FBI, which sparked a nationwide manhunt. Flyers were distributed all over Massachusetts, which gave a depiction of Robida, and stated that he was driving a 1999 green Pontiac.


In the afternoon of February 4, 2006, Robida's green Pontiac was seen about 1500 miles away in Arkansas, and Jim Sell, a Gassville police officer, initiated a traffic stop. After conversing with the officer for about half a minute, Robida opened fire with a 9mm handgun, killing the officer. Police pursued him and laid spike traps, but this failed to stop the vehicle. Robida fled about eighteen miles and stopped in Norfork, Arkansas and exchanged gunfire with police. During the gunfight, he shot his female companion, Jennifer Rena Bailey, age 33, of Charleston, West Virginia at point blank range, killing her. The authorities believe that Robida had picked her up earlier in the week at her home in West Virginia, for some unknown reason. It has been reported that Robida lived with her in West Virginia in 2004. After Bailey's death, Robida apparently attempted to commit suicide, shooting himself in the head. He was airlifted over a hundred miles to Springfield, Missouri for medical treatment, where he died of his injuries not long afterward.

MySpace biography

A high school dropout, [2] Robida maintained a MySpace.com profile (now taken down - however, there is a copy of the page's contents here), which showed his main interests to be Neo-Nazism and the rap group Insane Clown Posse. He called himself a Juggalo, a term coined by Insane Clown Posse to mean "a follower of the Dark Carnival," and made many references to the Juggalo sub-culture on his page.

Responses to the attack

At first the Mayor of New Bedford, Scott Lang, attributed the attack to video games:

This was a hate crime... the actions of a single deranged individual act as a wake up call to our community and once again the nation... This cycle of violence must stop. The guns have to come off the streets. The violent video games have to be taken out of our homes. [1]

Believing the mayor was jumping to conclusions, gamers and members of GamePolitics wrote to Mayor Lang, citing that nobody had even mentioned video games as connection to the mass murders, nor did Robida even once mention games on his MySpace weblog. In reply to Andrew Eisen, a member of GamePolitics.com who had written to the mayor over his comments, Mr Lang wrote:

When you get a chance please explain to me the social benefits behind police and military video games for the future of our children.
While I am not familiar with these videos I have seen enough to know they can provide no healthy education for our children. Lastly, there is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Robida played these video games on a regular basis as he was completely obsessed with weapons, violence and destruction. See his my space website for more details. I sincerely appreciate your comments.

However, examination of Robida's MySpace website (archived on GamePolitics [3] (PDF)) showed a passion for neo-nazism and the rap group Insane Clown Posse, known for its violent and dark lyrics. One song in particular mentions attacking people with a hatchet, similar to Robida's crime.

Jack Thompson comments

On February 7, 2006, Jack Thompson commented on the incident, describing the bar attack as a "killing scenario" from Postal² and the killing of Officer Sell a "suicide by cop homicide" inspired by Grand Theft Auto. [4] [5] Postal² does not require the player to go into the bar at all (additionally, there was no edged weapon available in the game during Robida's lifetime), and GTA does not have a "suicide by cop" scenario. In fact, dying in GTA is heavily penalized. Police later dismissed the "suicide by cop" theory when it was discovered that Robida had fatally shot himself.[3]

Thompson claimed to have spoken to a New Bedford detective [6], who "repeatedly" said that Robida's friends had said "he played the Grand Theft Auto games." No further details have emerged, but the following day the Bristol County District Attorney rejected the video game link after examining all the evidence collected from Robida's apartment and car.

My look at the search warrant [for Robida's home] was that the investigators turned up no video games. From the information we have here, there is no proof video games were involved. [7]

Statement by Insane Clown Posse

On February 7, 2006, Insane Clown Posse posted a response to the events in which Robida was involved. The response reviled Robida's actions and expressed ICP's regret over them.

ICP's manager, Alex Abbiss, wrote the response. He was quoted saying:

"Today I'd like to speak out about the incident which took place in New Bedford, Mass. First, I'd like to say that we'd like to extend our condolences to the victims and their families in this tragedy. Our prayers are with you. And with that said, I would now like to address the whole issue. This guy had problems. Anyone going into a bar swinging an axe and shooting a gun would have to realize that they would get caught and/or get killed, and that this would be the last action they took for the rest of their lives, and would clearly have to be insane and out of their mind to do this...in my opinion, the perpetrator of this crime committed these acts not because he was a Juggalo, but because he was a neo-Nazi. He subscribed to an ideology of racism and bigotry, and was quite clearly, in my opinion, out of his mind. Anyone that knows anything at all about Juggalos knows that in no way, shape, or form would we ever approve of this type of bullshit behavior." [8]

See also


External links and references

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