Things That Matter

Hiker Ronald Sanchez Jr. Identified As Victim In Fatal Machete Attack On Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,190 miles from the red Georgia clay trail through the wooded trails of Maine. The people who quit their jobs and carry everything they need to sleep and survive outside for four to six months are called “thru-hikers” and they meet and create trail families along the way.

So when news broke that on Friday, May 10, one thru-hiker was murdered and another critically injured from an attack by a man wielding a machete, the community was rocked. Authorities just released the name of the victim as Ronald Sanchez Jr.

Ronald “Stronghold” Sanchez, Jr., 43, survived several deployments in Iraq and was using the Appalachian Trail as a form of outdoor therapy.

@SummitCreekShop / Twitter

Sanchez returned from war with depression and PTSD. He was in a cycling group, a boat racing team and showed horses–all as a means of trying to get out of his comfort zone and treat his depression.

A Veteran Affairs’ doctor planned to track and report on Sanchez’ recovery along the AT.

@themailboxes / Instagram

Sanchez’s sister, Brenda Sanchez Loera, told CNN in a phone interview that “He was adventurous and he got out of his shell and we were so proud of that because for a while he was in darkness.”

Massachusetts man James L. Jordan, 30, was arrested for murder and assault with intent to commit murder.

@ArrestsMugshots / Twitter

The court documents include witness reports from three surviving hikers who said Jordan was “disturbed and unstable, and was playing his guitar and singing.” Jordan began threatening the hikers, including Sanchez, telling them he would pour gasoline on their tents and burn them to death. The group decided to relocate for fear of their lives and started packing up.

Jordan started threatening them with a knife and two of the hikers ran north to escape.

@cnnbrk / Twitter

After Jordan gave up the chase, he returned to the campsite and started yelling at Sanchez and an unidentified female hiker. Sanchez and Jordan entered into a verbal altercation, at which point Sanchez made an emergency call from his cell phone.

That’s when Jordan started stabbing Sanchez repeatedly in the chest.

@boston_informer / Twitter

According to the unidentified female hiker’s witness testimony, when she saw Sanchez collapse to the ground, she started running. Jordan caught up to her and she raised her arms “as if to surrender,” and Jordan began stabbing her.

The second victim had to play dead to survive the attack.

@dc4visitors1 / Twitter

After Jordan presumed her dead, he went back to the campsite, and the female hiker continued running down the trail where she met two hikers off the trail who had just set up camp. They escorted her six miles to a trailhead where they called 911. The hiker is recovering from her injuries at a medical center in Bristol, Tennessee.

Jordan gave himself the trail nickname “Sovereign.”

Sheriff Mike Hensley had the suspect in custody weeks before the murder.

@cbcasithappens / Instagram

In a CBC interview, Hensley reveals that, “On April the 21st of this year, we started receiving calls that there was an individual on the Appalachian Trail threatening people with a machete.” Deputies had been deployed to find him but with no warrants, they let him go. He was later arrested after giving a fake ID to police and for possession of drugs. The hikers that had encountered and reported him refused to press charges against him and he was released on probation.

As hikers discover that the person they hiked with for a day, an afternoon, or a meal, they’re posting tributes.

@julieleavesatrace / Instagram

“Today I found out who was attacked and killed on the AT in Virginia and I’m completely shaken. When we hiked with him right before Hampton, TN I thought he was a badass cause he had two knee braces and it was hard for even baskets to keep up with him,” julieleavesatrace wrote on Instagram. “He said he was doing shorter miles because he was easing into recovery with his knees. But he did those shorter miles so fast! We ate with him at the shelter before Hampton where he decided to stay for the night. There was a graffiti board there and I remember Drawing a huge heart on it. RIP Stronghold. I know for sure if you were still here you would’ve made it to Katahdin. ❤️”

Hikers are now searching for ways to honor his memory.

@tlbrown2012 / Instagram

One user wanted to carry something of his to the end of the trail in his honor. Another wants to build a shelter in his memory. The annual celebratory “Trail Days” taking place in Damascus, Virginia–where Sanchez would likely be celebrating the halfway point of the trail–is holding a ceremony in his memory.

Jordan has been seen before a judge and is being held in jail pending psychiatric evaluation and trial.

READ: Venezuelan Charged With Murdering 24-Year-Old Valerie Reyes Who Was Found Dead In A Suitcase

Mexican Authorities Are Investigating How Two Thieves Managed To Steal $2.5 Million Of Gold Coins From The Mexican Mint

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Mexican Authorities Are Investigating How Two Thieves Managed To Steal $2.5 Million Of Gold Coins From The Mexican Mint

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A crime you would expect to see out a movie has made waves throughout Mexico. Officials in Mexico claim that thieves made their way into the Mexican mint and stole more than 1,500 gold coins valued at $2.5 million USD. The crime, while still unsolved, is capturing everyone’s imagination.

Mexican authorities are seeking thieves who managed to pull off a movie-level heist.

Authorities say that thieves broke into the Mexican mint, knocked a guard to the ground, took the guard’s gun, and robbed a vault of more than 1,500 gold coins. The details of the heist have left everyone puzzled, and a little skeptical about what really went down.

A lot of people have questions about what the guard was doing that allowed the thieves to make out with the coins.

Credit: @KTLA / Twitter

According to CNN, the guards and two staff members that were working during the time of the robbery were not following protocol. Since they were not following protocol, they were all taken aside for questioning to determine what happened that led to such a massive heist taking place.

Some people feel like the robbers had some inspiration by way of “Money Heist” on Netflix.

Credit: @Caddyshark / Twitter

Honestly, if a Netflix movie could give someone the inspiration to rob a mint, is incredible. Like, how likely is it really that a little film could encourage two people to rob a mint?

But, more importantly, people are certain that is was actually an inside job.

Credit: @steven2472 / Twitter

There are reports that the vault was left open at the time of the robbery. That is some impressive luck if the robbers showed up to a robbery only to find that the vault is open. All that is left to do is wait and see how this all shakes down.

READ: A Black Woman And Her Fiancé Sadly Had Their Proposal Interrupted By Racists Who Refused To Check White Customers

UPDATE: Prisoner Who Went Viral This Week For Disguising Himself As His Daughter To Escape Prison Is Found Dead

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UPDATE: Prisoner Who Went Viral This Week For Disguising Himself As His Daughter To Escape Prison Is Found Dead

@PhilippineStar / Twitter

UPDATE: Earlier this week an inmate went viral for his unusual attempt to escape prison disguised as his daughter. On Tuesday, Aug. 6, Clauvino da Silva was found dead in his cell by apparent suicide, according to CNN. 

Below is the story of how da Silva attempted to escape prison before his death…

Some things you just cannot make up.

Recently in Brazil, a gang leader attempted the tricky feat of escaping prison via some pretty lofty means: impersonating his own teenage daughter. To prepare for his attempt, da Silva, also known as Baixinho — or Shorty, attempted to pass guards at the Bangu prison complex in Rio de Janeiro wearing an actual silicone mask and wig.

Officials recently released photos of da Silva and pretty much everyone is confused about how he thought this would work.

Da Silva wore a silicone mask, glasses, a long black wig, jeans and a pink T-shirt decorated with a print of donuts to make his escape.

In a video released by Rio de Janeiro’s state secretary of prison administration, da Silva can be seen slowly taking off his disguise before saying his real name. According to authorities, his elaborate escape attempt was foiled after prison guards picked up on his nervous behavior.

According to Buzzfeed, da Silva, 42, is currently serving a 73-year sentence for drug trafficking. The gang leader worked for the Red Command, one of Brazil’s most powerful drug trafficking criminal groups. Officials say that since his thwarted prison break, da Silva has been transferred to a unit of a maximum-security prison where he is due to face disciplinary sanctions.

It’s not the first time da Silva has made an attempt with his daughter’s help.

Back in 2013, Brazilian news site Globo reported that he had successfully escaped prison. At the time, da Silva operated on a plan that allowed him to stroll out of the prison’s main door as his daughter remained in his cell.

Looks like a 73-year jail sentence can really inspire a person to get creative.

Also pretty sure that mask would have any daughter insulted.

The reaction on Twitter, of course, has been downright gold.

Perhaps a better budget would have seen da Silva far away and free from the gates of prison.

As of now, nearly everyone who has read this story has their fingers crossed that this story will inspire a movie.

Basically, everyone’s rallying for this to be the inspiration for the White Chicks 2 film.

Like so many references to White Chicks.

And all of this time we thought no one could have done a mask worse.

As far as the court of popular opinion goes, da Silva’s verdict is:

Scooby-Doo did it better.

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