Unheeded Warnings

Sometimes a mass murderer goes undetected by everyone around them. Maybe a paranoid rant to a drinking buddy or an off-hand comment to a co-worker is all that hints at the violent impulses inside. The book Warnings Unheeded by Andy Brown (pictured above) is about the opposite: two men whose madness and violence went unchecked until it was far too late.

During the interview with Dan, author and former military policeman Andy Brown speaks in the third person of the slide into mass murder that was the life of Dean Mellberg. But the narrative shifts as Mr. Brown recounts the actions he took to end the rampage of the lone gunman.

Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild Air Force Base by [Brown, Andy]
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Indeed, it was the author who fired the pistol which stopped the carnage by ending the life of the madman.

This story is particularly frustrating because Dean Mellberg showed signs of mental illness from high school. (He was known for publicly and openly diddling himself.) After high school, he joined the Air Force and became a technician. As he became increasingly impossible to live or work with, he was almost discharged from the military on the recommendation of two psychiatrists. If it weren’t for his mother and a poorly informed congressman, he would have been let go. The madman felt he couldn’t let that happen and devised a murderous plan to murder as many people as possible with a rifle which he had even gone as far as to rehearse beforehand. Nothing to see here, folks…

Four days after the killing spree of Mellberg, a hubris-filled tragedy occurred. Pilot Lieutenant Colonel “Bud” Holland flew a B52 Stratofortress into the ground during practice for an upcoming air show. The plane was filled with senior officers in part because other flight crews were afraid of the increasingly risky antics of Holland. Many family members were watching as Holland during a risky maneuver could no longer control the hulking airplane which then fell instantly into a massive fireball incinerating everyone on board. There was a feeling the air show would bring about normalcy and relief after the Mellberg killings, but instead it brought more heartbreak.

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