brain sizes: Einstein's and women's
insomniac at winterslight.org
Wed Aug 14 21:39:47 EST 2002
"John Knight" <johnknight at usa.com> wrote in message
news:jnz69.36012$eb.2335172 at news2.west.cox.net...
> Aug. 12, 2002: 8 paragraphs
> This article posted online at "http://www.hoffman-info.com/wire.html"
> Killed for Driving 72 in a 60 mph zone
> by Michael A. Hoffman II
Let's get this right, shall we. You are particularily moronic when you fail
to post whole stories.
Quoted from http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/news/3841937.htm:
Posted on Sun, Aug. 11, 2002
Activist makes his final stand
Driver involved in deadly police shootout in Massillon mistrusted
By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer
Friends of Donald W. Matthews, a 61-year-old former Steelworker who quoted
the U.S. Constitution like a preacher thumbing a worn Bible, say he was
suspicious of government.
But nobody knows why he chose a routine traffic stop Friday night to make
his final stand, fatally shooting a Massillon police officer in the back
before he was killed himself in return gunfire.
He might have been returning home from a constitutionalist study group in
Cleveland when a state trooper pulled him over for speeding.
The trooper stopped him near Edwards Road in the short stretch of state
Route 21 that crosses Wayne County. It was near sunset. He asked Matthews --
a big man weighing more than 300 pounds by some estimates -- to give him his
driver's license. The Jackson Township resident held it up, but he wouldn't
hand it over.
Perhaps he felt such a demand violated his constitutional rights. Or that
the trooper was out of his jurisdiction or had not properly sworn his oath
of office. Or maybe it was the legitimacy of the seat-belt law.
These were common gripes discussed at the study group Matthews led several
times a week.
For whatever the reason, Matthews wouldn't give in and instead led a
25-year-old trooper on a chase toward Massillon that covered 12 miles in 12
Matthews stopped twice more, but sped off again each time. On the last stop,
the trooper saw Matthews reach for a gun. The trooper ran to his car and
four Massillon police cruisers joined the pursuit.
A block away, the showdown began.
Matthews rolled out of his Ford Taurus and started firing a .32-caliber
semiautomatic military pistol made in Czechoslovakia during the Cold War.
Witnesses heard the exchange of a few shots, then a barrage erupting in
In the end, Matthews was shot dead.
Dead, too, was a 31-year-old Massillon patrolman, Eric B. Taylor, a
four-year veteran, a husband and the father of two young children.
He was the first officer from that city killed in the line of duty since
Taylor's chief choked on his words Saturday morning, saying he never
regretted hiring Taylor until Friday night when a police chaplain had to
comfort Taylor's family and answer the impossible question -- why?
Matthews had a valid driver's license and no criminal history, not even for
traffic violations. He had no outstanding warrants and no apparent mental
illness or addiction. His friends and a former employer said he didn't
``His reason to run we don't know and may never know,'' said State Highway
Patrol spokesman Lt. Gary Lewis.
In recent years, Matthews had devoted himself to a political cause that
consumed all his days.
He was president of a local study group called the National Constitutional
Academy. He memorized the Constitution and its relationship with God's law.
He led discussions in area restaurants. He frequently called late night AM
radio talk shows, agreeing with the conservative ones and jousting with the
He quit his last known job, selling hunting equipment at a sporting goods
store, to devote himself exclusively to the cause.
He studied the excesses of government power and never allowed anyone to take
Frustrated and angry
The chronicle of his last decade, which he spent frustrated with the courts,
the police, the media, all the institutions that dismissed him, may begin to
explain, if not answer, why that frustration turned fatal.
Matthews was raised in Pittsburgh, where he spent the early years of his
working life, said his brother-in-law, Robert Perkins, who lives in East
``He knew all of Pittsburgh,'' Perkins said. ``He worked in the steel mill
up there. He worked in pizza shops up there. He's done truck driving, taxi
cab driving. He was versatile in all those trades.''
In the late 1960s, Matthews served in the Marine Corps, Perkins said. He
doesn't believe Matthews served in Vietnam and he doesn't know under what
conditions he was discharged, but he said Matthews wasn't receiving veterans
Perkins, who is 52, served in the Army in Germany. He said his
brother-in-law rarely spoke about the military, but they shared the same
view about having to re-enter American society as civilians.
``They taught me to fight, taught me to kill. But when I come back here, I
have to live by their rules?'' Perkins said.
Matthews moved to the Canton area sometime in the late 1960s.
He had a son, now in his late 20s, and a wife, Kathy, who is 54. Perkins
believes they have been married about 15 years.
He said the family has no photos of Matthews.
``He didn't believe in pictures,'' Perkins said.
Stark County court records indicate that in 1993, a judgment lien was filed
against Matthews, apparently for failure to pay personal income tax.
In the mid-1990s, he worked for about 18 months in the hunting department at
Kame's Sports Center in Lake Township.
``Don was an interesting character,'' said his supervisor, Steve Brockway.
``He felt back then that government was interested in taking his rights
Matthews buttonholed co-workers and even customers into discourses on God
and the Constitution.
``We didn't allow him to do that,'' Brockway said. ``He felt passionate
about it. At that time, in the mid-'90s, there were a lot of people who felt
that way, especially after Waco and Ruby Ridge.''
Brockway didn't know much about Matthews' life outside of work, except that
he boasted he had made a lot of money gambling in Las Vegas.
``He had a tendency to embellish things a little,'' he said.
Matthews was a natural fit at the gun counter and once told Brockway about
buying the weapon he later used to kill Patrolman Taylor -- a
Czechoslovakian military pistol first made in 1952 and long out of
production. Its firepower never stacked up to American military or police
pistols, then or now, Brockway said.
``He had that when he worked here,'' Brockway said. ``They are surplus guns
that are imported. I only deal with ones when they're turned in for a
Brockway said the .32-caliber bullets -- which were made for Soviet-bloc
weapons -- also are rare and generally must be imported or purchased at gun
Matthews' pistol weighed 33.9 ounces unloaded and racked 8 rounds in the
magazine. It was a semiautomatic, which requires the shooter to pull the
trigger for each bullet and ejects the bullet casing after each shot.
Sometime around 1996, Matthews left his job in the hunting department. But
he dropped by the store once in either 1999 or 2000.
``I hardly recognized him the last time I saw him. He put on more weight and
wore his hair shorter,'' Brockway said. ``He was looking to explore his
Rising in the ranks
Two years ago, Matthews ascended to the presidency of the National
Constitutional Academy. He has been involved with the study group since the
early 1990s, said his 71-year-old friend and fellow group member, David
``This man is a strong defender of the Constitution,'' Gatto said. ``This
man is a teacher of it -- he's very thorough. He knows it backward and
forward, as well as the Bible.''
Gatto said Matthews led study groups several times a week at a Denny's
restaurant in Massillon and at a diner near Magnolia. He also was a frequent
voice on talk radio.
The station manager of radio station WERE (1300-AM) in Cleveland, Tom Bush,
said Matthews was a regular caller of two programs at the station.
Bush said a station employee told him that Matthews frequently called to
talk on a program with a more ``liberal bent'' called Blues News hosted by
Dan Goulder from 11 p.m. to midnight. He also called a ``conservative'' show
hosted by Jim Hereford from midnight to 2 a.m., Bush said.
The objects of Matthews' frustration varied.
``We are fighting the city of New Philadelphia because they have no valid
oath of office. They're operating illegally,'' Gatto said. ``Don was
involved to show them how to prepare the paperwork in order to take it to
the highest court of the land.''
Gatto said the group found few people who would listen.
``The papers will not print it,'' he said. ``How do you fight them, if
you've got the papers against you and you've got the politicians against
you, and that's all they do?''
But Matthews abhorred violence, he said.
``Don't try to tie us into a militia group. We are not. We are a Christian
Constitution study group,'' Gatto said. ``We tie the laws in with God's law
to show how they relate.''
The group is particularly incensed about traffic laws and doesn't believe a
state trooper has the authority to stop a vehicle or demand to see a
``The police have become the standing army of our country,'' Gatto said.
``They are deliberately taking control of our people and the American people
are sitting on their -- excuse my language, cover your ears -- ass because
they won't stand up. All they want to worry about is the ballgame.''
On Friday night, perhaps after teaching his last class, Matthews drove south
on state Route 21 past woods and farms.
He saw the flashing lights in his rearview mirror. A trooper clocked him
doing 72 mph in a 60 mph zone. He wasn't wearing a seat belt, either.
He refused to give his license.
Matthews rolled down the window just an inch and quoted the Constitution he
knew so well.
But the time for study was over.
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