Two Charged In Stupak Threat

Father, son vowed to paint bridge with Democrat's blood

Rep. Bart Stupak

View Document

Pair Charged In Stupak Death Threat

JUNE 7--A Michigan man and his son are facing federal charges for allegedly threatening the life of congressman Bart Stupak over the Democrat's recent support of the health care reform bill.

In a letter addressed to "Stupak family" and mailed to the politician's former residence, Russell Hesch, 73, allegedly threatened to paint a local bridge with the blood of Stupak and his family members, according to this FBI affidavit. Wondering whether Stupak's wife Laurie Ann and son Ken were prepared for the consequences of his congressional vote, Hesch noted that he was a "faithful fan and follower" of Showtime's "Dexter," a series about a serial killer. The program, Hesch wrote, "stirs a primeval emotion that is within us all just waiting to be explored."

After receiving the letter late last month, Stupak met with FBI agents and identified Hesch as one of his "historically most vocal and critical constituents." After comparing the typed two-page letter--a copy of which you'll find here--with dozens of prior e-mails and letters sent by Hesch to Stupak, investigators concluded that Hesch was likely the author of the death threat.

As agents searched his home last Wednesday, Hesch denied writing the letter, which was signed "Sincerely, The Devil within US." However, in a follow-up interview Friday, he admitted authoring the letter, which he wrote at his West Branch, Michigan home and e-mailed to his son David in Fort Collins. He instructed his son to print out the letter and mail it from Denver, so it would not come back to them.

Hesch told FBI agents that "his biggest mistakes were writing the letter, emailing it to his 50-year-old son David in Colorado, and asking David to mail the letter." Hesch and his son were both charged with threatening the life of a federal official, a felony. (6 pages)