Police foil plot to murder Justin Bieber with a paisley pattern neck tie
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Thursday 13 December 2012
A convicted murderer with a Justin Bieber fixation hired two men to strangle the teen pop sensation, but then informed the police of his plan before it could be carried out.
Dana Martin, 45, is serving two life sentences at the Southern New Mexico Corrections Facility at Las Cruces, for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Vermont schoolgirl DeAndra Fluorucci, 12 years ago.
While incarcerated, he became so infatuated with Bieber that he commissioned a tattoo of the singer on his leg. But when his attempts to contact the 18-year-old Canadian megastar were unsuccessful, an upset Martin decided to plot his death.
According to Albuquerque’s KRQE News, he enlisted a fellow inmate, 41-year-old Mark Staake, to carry out the murder. When Staake was released from Las Cruces last month, he also enlisted his nephew Tanner Ruane, 23, to assist in the grisly undertaking.
The two men first travelled to Vermont, where they planned to kill two men, said to be witnesses to the Fluorucci murder, by strangling them with a paisley tie: Martin’s “calling card”. Then they were to move on to New York, to murder Bieber and his bodyguard before his two-sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden on 27 and 28 November.
It was previously reported that the pair also intended to castrate Bieber, but an affidavit for an arrest warrant obtained by New Mexico police suggests this fate was meant only for the first two victims.
Martin reportedly offered a bounty of $2,500 for each of their testicles. However, Martin apparently changed his mind, and informed police of the plan as it began to unravel. Staake and Ruane took a wrong turn in Vermont, which led them to the Canadian border, where Staake asked for directions and was arrested for having violated probation.
Ruane was released and made it as far as Rotterdam, New York, where he called Martin to apologise for having failed to fulfil the contract. Police were listening in, and Ruane was apprehended soon afterwards. He was carrying a pair of Fiskars “Durasharp” pruning shears when he was arrested.
Bieber’s entourage includes security director Moshe Benabou, a former Israeli soldier, and celebrity bodyguard Dustin Folkes. “We take every precaution to protect and insure the safety of Justin and his fans,” the star’s management said in a statement.
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