Patterico's Pontifications


It’s a Mystery (Updated)

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 2:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Houston police shot a 52-year-old man yesterday morning after he fled during a traffic stop, led the police on a high-speed chase for almost an hour, and then made a threatening gesture instead of obeying the officer’s commands after he was stopped.

The mystery is why this happened because it now appears the deceased was an intelligence officer for the US government:

“The victim was identified by friends as Roland Vincent Carnaby, 52, of Houston. But who he really was — or more precisely, what he was — is something police are still trying to piece together.

Carnaby held himself out as a federal intelligence agent but was sometimes cagey about his precise job and employer. At times he mentioned the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security. He was the president of the local chapter of the Association for Intelligence Officers, a legitimate national organization whose board contains luminaries such as former President George H.W. Bush. Friends said they have seen him in the company socially of local law enforcement officials and high-level CIA bureaucrats.

The CIA told KHOU that Carnaby was not an employee of the intelligence agency.
“Most of what he does is so classified that regular homicide (detectives) will come up with a blank page and then a question about why you are asking,” said Fred Platt, the vice president of the local chapter of intelligence agents. “He’s here because of homeland security. The port and the airport. He knows everybody on the command staff of every agency.”

Local law enforcement officials, however, say they don’t know him, including Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas. The local FBI office also claims to have no knowledge of him.”

Platt is mystified by Carnaby’s death:

“That’s the question his friends want answered. They say Carnaby had no reason to run or disobey police. Platt said he had dined with Carnaby both Saturday and Sunday and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Carnaby was engaged to be married, he said, and led a happy life.

“I can’t fathom any reason why he would be running from the police because he is the police,” Platt said. “This doesn’t make any sense. I can’t understand him running or why they opened up on him. This doesn’t smell right.”

It sounds like a movie plot but sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

UPDATE: The article has been updated. It states that Carnaby showed police a card identifying him as a CIA employee when he was initially stopped but the police officer “did not know what federal credentials looked like” and did not know if it was authentic.

In addition, this 5/2/2008 Houston Chronicle article has more information from the police. Carnaby was being detained because the officer thought his CIA identification was fraudulent. Carnaby called acquaintances at the Houston Police Department and the FBI for assistance before and during the 120-mph chase, but he was unable to provide a CIA supervisor’s name or number.

It sounds like Carnaby was living a fantasy life, but it ended.


35 Responses to “It’s a Mystery (Updated)”

  1. I hope there is video that confirms the official version of events. If not, look to the denizens of Alex Jones-town to whip up something unbelievable, but fun to think about (for them).

    It wasn’t long after the death of Hunter S. Thompson by a self-inflicted gunshot wound before the Prison Planeteers were alleging that Thompson was killed because he was going to reveal which billionaires and D.C. powerbrokers were ritually molesting children at Bohemian Grove. Oooooh! Ahhhhh!

    When I was younger, I used to look forward to Lyndon LaRouche paid political announcements. No, I didn’t buy that Queen Elizabeth was the world’s largest dope dealer, and that LaRouche was #3 on worldwide assassination priority list behind Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. But it was a blast to watch — almost like a half-hour spy thriller.

    Then I grew up.

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  2. It will be interesting to see what chemical additives were in Mr. Barnaby’s blood-stream.

    He might have been in intelligence, that doesn’t make him smart.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  3. Sorry, “Carnaby”.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  4. he knew too much, and the company made it worth the while of a local cop to eliminate this potential problem. next, the cop gets whacked so there’s nobody left to incriminate the higher-ups. the truth is out there!

    assistant devil's advocate (a7f58b)

  5. Thank you, Mr. Stone!

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  6. About all that story says is that peopled believed what he told them. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Dusty (e28a9f)

  7. Carnaby sounds to me like a fabulist. It wouldn’t be the first time that people have made claims like that which were not true.

    It’s not impossible that he was clinically paranoid — and that would also explain why he fled from the police.

    Steven Den Beste (99cfa1)

  8. I find it interesting that the article mentions Fred Platt, who, if you just remove the first two letters, spells Ed Platt, who played Chief of Control on the Get Smart ’60s series.

    Stay with me here.

    OK. He was president of the local chapter of a legitimate organization. That may not mean anything.

    To #1: Police said the shooting was apparently captured by the dashboard cameras of the HPD patrol cars.
    We’ll probably get to see that video, and hopefully some info on where his bank deposits came from, as those two things would clear up a lot of questions. If this story continues, then count on him being some kind of quack. If it disappears, well, then…

    One other thing:
    Susan Carnaby said her husband has worked for the agency for 30 years. – then there ought to be some kind of pay record.

    But then in the last paragraph:
    Carnaby was engaged to be married, he said, and led a happy life. – What is this? More FLDS?

    Apogee (366e8b)

  9. The Chronicle updated its article and I’ve updated the post.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  10. Foxfier – Probably, and maybe a misprint, but the description of him as husband and not ex-husband, along with all the other irregularities between law enforcement officials and personal friends and family in the article just added to the confusion for me. As I said, the story’s legs will be a story in itself.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  11. It seems Carnaby was a man of mystery and he died the same way. If he was a government intelligence officer, and assuming the police acted by the book, it’s a shame for Carnaby and the officers.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  12. He could have been drugged in an attempt to make him erratic. But, then again, no one’s ever done things like that before, right?

    There was an interesting case in AZ where a DHS official “committed suicide” while driving to meet a higher-up. The city it happened in was a CIA smuggling base years before and the cops in that city had had a recent scandal.

    TLB (e10679)

  13. I swear I saw this exact story on an episode of NCIS…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  14. the police officer “did not know what federal credentials looked like” and did not know if it was authentic.

    This is so strange.

    Not strange at all. There are a very large number of very different federal law enforcement agencies with different credentials. I remember a long 2 a.m. discussion with a Washington, DC police officer about my credentials and right to carry a a concealed weapon – back in the 1960’s.

    Michael Spencer (3a5900)

  15. Michael Spencer,

    True, and I’m not surprised a Houston police officer might not know a CIA badge looks like. What I meant was the story – especially Carnaby’s behavior – was strange.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  16. Do they get an encrypted message they have to decode in order to know where the next meeting of the local chapter of intelligence agents will be?

    Attention members: our next meeting’s theme is transgender disguises suitable for hot, humid conditions. Congratulations go out to Special Agent Samuels on winning the Fly-on-the-wall award for February. Being sewn up inside a leather lounge chair was nothing short of brilliant.

    allan (d5a880)

  17. #17 allan:

    Do they get an encrypted message they have to decode in order to know where the next meeting of the local chapter of intelligence agents will be?

    That’s what we do, but every local chapter is different.

    I think Steven’s take at #4 is probably closest to the mark. For some inexplicable reason, people are willing to suspend disbelief, almost as if they want or need some romance even if it flies in the face of common sense or, for that matter, flat out denial. I’ve had neighbors on several occasions who were convinced that my long absences on classified government projects meant I was some kind of superspy: even after repeatedly warning them that if I told them what I did, I’d have to bore them to death.

    Secret Squirrel (84e813)

  18. Odds are the guy was just a pathetic wannabe with a rich fantasy life. Eventually he just flipped out in a definitive way.

    Ernst Blofeld (107e91)

  19. Secret Squirrel just WANTS you to think that he hit the wrong numeric key when referring to Steven’s take on the issue. Steven is #7, not #4. Sure, it’s in the same column, just one row up.

    The only question is whether S S is using the government standard code to convey his real meaning, or if it is the rogue, super secret code. Even members of the cabal can’t be sure.

    Seppo (a1acb4)

  20. It doesn’t seem so strange to me. Even feds can be a-holes.

    roy (78d4a2)

  21. #20 Seppo:

    Even members of the cabal can’t be sure.

    Hell, even Secret Squirrel isn’t sure…

    Secret Squirrel (84e813)

  22. i am #4.
    who are numbers 1, 2 and 3?
    you are #6.
    i am not a number, i am a free man!

    mr. carnaby is either a fake spook or a real spook. if he’s a fake spook, this story will die by the weekend. i want him to be a real spook, because i love spy dramas ever so much. there has to be a goodlooking woman tied up in this somewhere (tied up as involved, not necessarily kinky bondage). 52 isn’t too old to have several bond girls in your entourage, i know this because i’m also 52 and have my own bevy of bond girls. remember sean connery when he was 52, back in the 1960s? any unattached woman in her 20s would have been tickled pink to have this most masculine of all 007’s tickling her pink. the real reason ernst blofeld (#19) hated 007 so much was that 007 got to sleep with the young ursula andress, while blofeld had to make do with the young janet reno.

    mr. carnaby gave the goodlooking woman a small package, maybe a sealed envelope, containing information to be released to a trusted authority upon his death. this information relates to the bad guys’ nefarious plot, and knowing it will enable its possessor to save the free world. i hope this information is on paper instead of a floppy disk, because it’s damn hard now to find a machine old enough to read floppies. the goodlooking woman is now desperately searching for someone she can trust to reveal it, as the company, knowing of her existence, moves to terminate her with prejudice. honey, if you’re reading this, post the information on!

    i zabasearched roland carnaby yesterday, found two roland v. carnabys complete with their phone numbers (area codes 702 and 727). it briefly occurred to me to call these numbers and pester the bereaved party at the other end for more information so i might be able to save the free world, until i realized that the company was monitoring those numbers and would undoubtedly come after me.

    assistant devil's advocate (e87f0a)

  23. “…would undoubtedly come after me.”
    Somebody should, preferrably carrying lots of meds.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  24. I wonder if there’s a connection to this.

    nk (1f1707)

  25. Today’s Houston Chronicle report is even more mysterious. The CIA insists Carnaby wasn’t an employee. If that’s true, he lived a lie with his wife.

    By the way, it looks like he had an ex-wife, a wife and a fiancee.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  26. #23 Got news for you. Sean Connery was not 52 until August 25, 1982. So in 1960 he was a mere thirty year old. Maybe you are thinking of Roger Moore?
    My favorite spy was George Smiley played by Alec Guiness. Richard Burton played Smiley in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer in the Ipcress File fine too. As I recall Dean Martin played a tongue-in-cheek Matt Helm spy role.
    Stil wondering if the FBI and CIA have any deep moles buried within their agencies. IMO plenty of drones in both offices are already traitors. Not a Bush basher per se, but he coulda, shoulda cleaned house long ago. How many Carterites have been poisoning the intelligence and diplomatic communities since the Carter years?

    madmax333 (bd0876)

  27. By the way, it looks like he had an ex-wife, a wife and a fiancee.

    I’m not sure I could stand ONE wife, let alone an ex, current, and future one as well…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  28. I guess we have no activist “Feminists” here, or we would have been told how all men are liars, and live lies.

    And, with that many women in his life, reminds me of that old Alec Guiness movie where he was the captain of a ferry going between Gibralter and North Africa, with a wife in each port.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  29. madmax…Don’t forget George Segal in “The Quiller Memorandum”.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  30. Speaking of not recognizing federal credentials, I was in a Burger King today and an Army sergeant ahead of me in line handed the ESL wait person an old style $20 bill. She said, “That’s counterfeit !” and tore it in half ! He couldn’t believe it. He turned around and showed me the bill. I guess those bills were out of circulation before she crossed the Rio Grande. Unbelievable. The last I saw of him, he was walking out to go to the bank down the street and exchange it. And he didn’t get a hamburger.

    Federal credentials work in mysterious ways.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  31. By the way, it looks like he had an ex-wife, a wife and a fiancee.

    Starting to look like suicide by cop.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  32. anyone notice that Carnaby was the person who brought the AFIO – Houston chapter back to life? anyone notice that this chapter is named in honor of William Francis Buckley, who was held captive by Hezbollah and executed by Islamic Jihad in Lebanon? looks like Carnaby might have been a spy…for Lebanon…

    p smith (f039ee)

  33. One of the articles said Carnaby’s father was from Lebanon and a Lebanese ambassador, but beyond that it’s a mystery. It’s worth investigating, though.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  34. Sounds related to to the fake Navy Seal phenomenon. A lot of those guys built up elaborate fantasy lives and could always answer the tough question with, “Well, it’s classified.”

    Fritz (9d312b)

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