Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Investigation

“Confederate fursuiter” Magnus Diridian arrested at Midwest Furfest – what’s the story?

by Patch O'Furr

Midwest Furfest 2017 broke the attendance record of all furry cons by the margin of a small con itself. It raised an eye-popping $86,000 for an animal charity that was previously in the red and is now funded for years. Twitter was on fire about the smashing success for the fandom. Among many ecstatic posts by attendees, of course there had to be some kind of drama too. It came with a fursuiter being arrested. Here’s the story pieced together by claims on twitter:

Scene: a hotel lobby. A black, red and white wolf fursuiter with a German WW1 style Pickelhaube helmet is parading around. People taking photos are greeted by offensive behavior like saluting with a “Sieg Heil” and shouting racist things. It causes hotel and/or con security to pursue him, and he flees and gets cornered in some bushes until the police come. They make him take off his suit, and he’s taken away in underwear. He was previously banned from the con and hotel, and the charges involve trespassing and assaulting a staff member before his arrest.

Some of those claims may be disputed (especially the nazi part), so let’s look deeper for the truth. Here’s an arrest record. Associates confirm the fursuiter who matches it is Magnus Diridian, AKA Rob Shokawsky (real name Robert Sojkowski). What is Magnus known for in furry fandom?

  • Fake Lemonade Coyote: At Anthrocon 2014, Magnus gained notoriety with a “bootleg” fursuit made to imitate a furry who died on duty as an EMT. People mourning his death were unhappy about exploitation of his image, which continues in 2017.
  • Confederate flag fursuit: At Anthrocon 2017, Magnus caused more anger with a flag-design fursuit and a Trump sign. It was a protest of takedown of the flags around the USA due to their racist association, following national attention on hate crime murders by Dylann Roof. The story was covered in a Dogpatch Press article: The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time.
  • Grimace McWendy’s: Custom suits show that Magnus puts a lot of effort into these events. If it’s not just calculated to troll, isn’t that’s a loveable quality? The same is said by people close to him who are earnest about defending him as a nice guy. I have to admit that this fursuit makes me laugh and I have to admire the creative humor. (Suiting video).

Read the rest of this entry »

How low can they go? Altfurry is grooming kids to retaliate against critics.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week was a very bad week to be a nazi furry. (Every week is bad for that, but this one was exceptional). Call them the Incel ISIS, or just a bunch of trolls, but the week kept bringing reminders that the furry fandom is past the limit of tolerance for their hate. There was a wave of critical attention:

  • Newsweek published a deep look at the racist alt-right origins of alt-furry.
  • Dogpatch Press posted an expose by a mole inside the Furry Raiders, and their hate group activity led former members to repudiate it.
  • @Deotasdevil posted an essay about neo-nazis recruiting in nerd groups. It reached far outside of fandom, including 41,000 watchers of Sonicfox5000.
  • More evidence was found in a video from Casey Hoerth/”Len Gilbert”, an altfurry recruiter/bottom-feeder. He soon regretted his words in the video and tried to bury it with a whack-a-mole game of DMCA claims. His rare moment of candor was too revealing about their private narrative.

Read the rest of this entry »

What I learned from lurking the Furry Raiders chat – guest post by Aristide

by Patch O'Furr

What I learned from lurking the Furry Raiders chat

Hi, I’m Aristide, and I’m a narc. For the past several months, I’ve had a sockpuppet account in the Furry Raiders Telegram, Skype, and Discord groups and periodically leaked screenshots of them to @edgedestroys. I chose Edge in order to protect the credibility of my sockpuppet account, and because I work in a sensitive workplace and worry about being doxxed. Most speculation about the Raiders – that they’re Nazis, they’re Alt-Right, they’re losers – is generally correct. I want to provide a better picture of what we, as a community, are dealing with.

Same Losers, New Politics

The general population of the Raiders community is a combination of old-school 4Chan racists, conspiracy theorists, new wave white supremacists, and impressionable but misled minors. Racist memes from a long-forgotten era of /b/ populate the chat in equal measure to WorldNetDaily or YourNewsWire links. Several dozen in the chat subscribe to the Daily Stormer and similar neo-Nazi websites, while a refrain against “fake news” rings against any news source that is not part of the alt-right media ecosystem. Lost in this mix are impressionable minors, 13 to 17 year old kids that found their way to the Raiders one way or another. Some of them joined because they hated SJWs – (the GamerGate to Alt-Right pipeline is well documented) – others were actively recruited by Foxler, Kody, and other de-facto leaders in the Raiders.

The first commenter left the group with a statement at bottom of article.

Read the rest of this entry »

Florida furry dead, police hunt serial killer.

by Patch O'Furr

Anthony, AKA James Firefox, was age 20. As a furry fan, he shared fandom creativity through music.  As a person, media reports say he was autistic, but reaching for independence. Public buses in his neighborhood in Tampa, Florida took him to his job where he was packaging hurricane relief supplies.  A light glance at his online profiles shows that he expressed frustration about social difficulties, but seemed to find a lot of happiness with music, cartoons and furry art.  Sometimes it was edgy but other parts showed self awareness like criticizing memes about the las vegas shooting out of sensitivity for others.

On October 19, he got on an unfamiliar bus line when his usual one was shut down. He ended up in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time and became an unlucky statistic. He was the third victim of a series of shootings in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood that appear to be done by a serial killer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Furries resist hate, Altfurry Discord logs go public, Casey Hoerth removed by employers.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week, Dogpatch Press linked the alt-right of furry fandom with a violent neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville. It came on a wave of fandom news, synched with the even bigger one in the mainstream.  There’s too much for one update (more is coming.)

Open neo-nazi marching led to nationwide pushback.  It included hate groups being kicked off of many services, from Paypal to Discord. The Altfurries saw it coming in their own Discord group, and soon their group was gone. (Keep in mind that’s not a government act.)

That was a signal for inside leaks to be exposed.  I had access for months but couldn’t talk about it before.  Months of altfurry private communications are now here for anyone to see; what we’ve been saying all along wasn’t exaggeration.  Altfurry really does represent neo-nazi activity they are trying to push into the fandom. It was a huge blow to their pretense of just having different opinions.  The dust will be settling for a long time.

Altfurrydiscord logs get viral sharing and media coverage.

Flayrah covered some of the happenings: ‘Alt-Furry’ suffers blowback after Alt-Right rally leads to death of citizen.

Newsweek interviewed some involved people including Deo, and from the altfurries, Casey Hoerth and Nathan Gate. The journalist is a freelancer who did a previous piece on the alt-right, whose previous experience was writing for Heat Street (a conservative site that recently shut down). I spoke to his editor about reporting with false equivalency. And I spoke to another media source for coverage that isn’t open to talk about yet. Those articles are forthcoming.

Work begins for sorting info.

Confidential volunteers are tracing connections and identities in the altfurry logs. A few sample contents include:

Read the rest of this entry »

The truth about the myth that “Deo Killed RMFC” – guest post by Harper.

by Patch O'Furr

It’s very possible you’ve heard the assertion that Deo (DeoTasDevil) is responsible for the demise of Rocky Mountain Fur Con. There’s been a lot of back and forth about it, and allegedly she’s the main and even sole party responsible.  Let’s put aside the various instances of the fallout and just examine the sequence of events pertaining to Deo’s participation.

  1. In January 2017, Deo tweets “can’t wait to punch these nazis.
  2. She receives a reply from someone that they would be amused if she were shot in response to her purported action.
  3. Deo responds asking if this person was threatening to bring a gun to RMFC.
  4. Deo contacts RMFC security to inform them of a potential issue.

Read the rest of this entry »

Call for help with the Fullerton Murder story; and The Furry Code Of Silence.

by Patch O'Furr

Furry reached new heights in 2016. Disney came to our party.  There was a low point of a chemical attack on Midwest FurFest that turned into a high quality Vice News story.  Notice the title, “CSI Fur Fest” – I’d like to think it was chosen to make up for the other CSI, who did us a disservice. But this time “the media” earned a nomination for a 2016 Ursa Major award.

It was cool that Vice did that story. The media was on our side.  That’s the theme of this post.

In 2017, there was the unreal experience of Furry Nazis grabbing the wheel for a minute and making us swerve into no-man’s land.  Maybe we’re getting back on track, but don’t relax.  Those headlines were rough, but rougher ones are coming.

Look at California, where you might say Furry Fandom really got started. In SoCal, the Skiltaire House is where you can hang out with the founders of the first convention and have a friendly night of fursuiting or watching animation.  That’s where Jennifer Yost was known as a mom to others, including her daughter Daydreamer Fox. They went together.

One day in the fall of 2016, Daydreamer went missing. The Skiltaire put out an alert. I shared it and got contact from a reporter. Then Daydreamer was found. It wasn’t a missing person alert any more. The Yost parents and a family friend were dead and two other kids were orphaned.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rocky Mountain Fur Con backs neo-nazis, sex offender to intimidate critic for reporting threat.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

A Dogpatch Press exclusive report for community interest.

BACKGROUND: A neo-nazi cult-like group (the “Furry Raiders”) is agitating the Colorado Furries.  They recruit members with gifts, grooming, and manipulation.  It makes a classic appeal to people who are desperate to belong to a group. The Furry Raiders self-create an “us vs. them” situation by provoking others so they can pretend to be treated unfairly.   Their trolling includes assault, spreading hate speech, display of nazi-style apparel, refusing to honor meet rules, posting photos of people against their wishes, doxxing enemies to harrass them on the phone, and persistent straw-man attacks at “SJW’s”. In 2016, they provoked wider attention when they tried to gain power at Rocky Mountain Fur Con by interfering with the hotel room block.  In early 2017, they gained more mainstream news headlines.

There is a spotlight on furries and the subculture they love. This report, with participation of many concerned Colorado furries, is not to sensationalize the fringe so media can mischaracterize the rest. Their message is that they care enough to oppose malicious behavior, so protecting a superficial image is less important than making a good community.

Deo, a steelworker in the midwest, was upset about the trolls.  They were ruining what the furry community represents to her.

It made her connect current events to the problem.  She tweeted about punching Nazis.  It was a rhetorical comment in line with the patriotic spirit of entire generations of Americans since WWII.

A troll answered to threaten her.  It involved Rocky Mountain Fur Con.  Deo had never gone and wasn’t planning to go, but cared enough about other furs to notify police and hotel security.* Deo says: “It started when a Furry Raider member @Oliviameles threatened to bring a gun to RMFC – I contacted RMFC con security to warn them.  I never received a reply to my email.” 

(*Update: on 7/16/17, clarification was requested. Deo gave an accurate quote of emailing the con only. It was lumped with “hotel” the con was in, an editing error referencing the quote and email I saw. Deo didn’t contact the hotel or police in Colorado. I was told of consulting local jurisdiction about her safety but they wouldn’t pursue net activity.

In the below screenshot: 1) Deo’s 1/26/17 tweet is a meme joke about that week’s much hyped news of Richard Spencer being punched. 2) The chair and staff of RMFC confirmed that there were many threats before and after Deo’s tweet and the hotel did not act until March.)

Read the rest of this entry »

VICE looks back on the Midwest Furfest attack, earning kudos for thoughtful journalism.

by Patch O'Furr

You can’t get inside (The Hooded Utilitarian, 1/5/15) is one of the few best “mainstream” articles about furries.  ‘Mouse’ wrote it with the perspective of an insider looking at outsiders who want an inside look:

“Furries are a little ridiculous.  We have an understanding about that.  But every blip of attention, even an attack on our second-most populated convention, investigated by authorities as an intentional act, is an occasion for poking fun.  Midwest Furfest is in Rosemont, Illinois, and this year it attracted 4,571 fuzzy folks.  My wife and I are regular attendees, though this year work obligations found us elsewhere.  Very early Sunday morning on December 7th, someone laid chlorine powder in a ninth floor stairwell.  Nineteen people hospitalized (one of them a good friend of mine), and hundreds endangered and inconvenienced, and all of them odd ducks.  Please remember how odd they are, and that they sometimes have sex, which is odder still.  So the gorge of distrust between our community and the media grows wider.  “We’re just not going to talk to you people any more,” we tell ourselves periodically, when the eye of mainstream culture is upon us.  Mainstream culture then obliges us.  A pity, because insulation from outside scrutiny is poisonous for any human endeavor.  But who is ready to cover us?”

The Midwest Furfest attack was perhaps the biggest spotlight moment for how furries and the media look at each other. The media didn’t come out looking so great. It was strange when a bunch of silly misfits kept the higher dignity.

A new article in VICE (2/11/16) breaks through that recursive mirror.  It’s a refreshingly direct look back, engaging us personally with no giggling about the misfortune of strangers.  It leaves outsider baggage at the door, while reminding us where it is.  The attack is unsolved, but the lack of conclusion doesn’t matter.  It’s about recognizing how impactful the story is. 4_Esv2H4_400x400

CSI Fur Fest: The Unsolved Case of the Gas Attack at a Furry Convention – by Jennifer Swann.

Read the rest of this entry »

Zarafa’s stolen fursuit found in San Francisco, after big support response.

by Patch O'Furr

san-francisco-furry-zaraffa-cable-carHere’s a nice story of community problem solving.

Any time there’s a furry event in San Francisco, Zarafa Giraffe is there. He gets around so much, that he was the featured image (with me too) when SFGate news mentioned “furries” in a silly little story about “The Most Embarrassing Google Searches” per state.

Zarafa is iconic for SF Bay Area furries.  So it was a shock to hear that his fursuit was stolen:

SAN FRANCISCO FURRIES NOW TARGETS FOR ROBBERY.

That’s very nice personal coverage from Broke-Ass Stuart.  He’s a well known San Francisco personality who does travel writing, news blogging, TV hosting, and even ran for mayor.  The news tip came from Smashwolf.  It made great press, counting the city as a place for the wild and creative, and furries as a unique part of it.

Broke-Ass Stuart linked Dogpatch Press.  There was already a story here about the scene of the crime – a crossover between the subculturally hot Frolic furry party, the big party Bootie, and it’s venue, DNA Lounge.

Drag Queens vs. Furries at a legendary San Francisco Party – January 30, 2016.

The fursuit theft happened with a car break-in.  Furries speculated that they were specially targeted, but consensus held that the carry case was a random target.  There had already been high-profile efforts to reduce car robbery in the neighborhood with assistance from night life venues. NBC News reported about DNA Lounge: “After thieves targeted club staff, performers and guests, the promoters chipped in to hire security guard Jonathan Yancey.” (More at SFist.)

As crushing as the loss was, the stage was set for a very visible search.  (The attention shows what I take as a credo… if you don’t like what the media does, Be The Media.) The hunt was on to find a missing purple giraffe.  He’s a good fursona… how many of those are there?

Read the rest of this entry »