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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    SF Bay Area, CA

    CA - Matthew Coleman, 45, & Jere Melo, 69, murdered, Mendocino County, Aug 2011

    KTVU.com News Posted: 12:37 pm PDT September 2, 2011

    Updated: 12:44 pm PDT September 2, 2011
    FORT BRAGG, Calif. -- A transient suspected of fatally shooting a prominent Northern California city councilman is now also wanted in the death of a land steward, authorities said Friday. Mendocino County sheriff's officials said they are obtaining an arrest warrant for Aaron Bassler for both murders, The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported.<snip>
    Melo, 69, a forest land manager, was killed while he and a co-worker were investigating reports of an illegal marijuana farm just outside of town along the Noyo River in the heart of pot country. The co-worker managed to escape and called for help on his cellphone. Just two weeks earlier, Matthew Coleman, a former Fish and Game Department employee and land manager for the Mendocino Land Trust, was found shot to death next to his car Aug. 11 while clearing brush near a 400-acre ranch owned by the Save the Redwoods League north of Westport. James Bassler told The Press Democrat that his ex-wife had dropped off their son who was armed with a rifle, in that area around that time. The father told the newspaper that his son had made the forested coastal hills his home following a steady psychological decline marked by delusions, paranoia and violent outbursts.
    more at link: http://www.ktvu.com/news/29063958/detail.html

    B.B.M. Disgusting! Who in their right mind drops off a paranoid schizophrenic in the woods with a rifle???
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Long Beach, California
    Bassler was shot and killed this afternoon by a Sacramento County sheriff's deputy:


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    San Diego
    I think they should charge the wife with something. What the heck did she think that guy was going to do with his gun? Shoot at fish?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    This is a really interesting case and I was hoping to find more information here! There are a lot of discrepancies in stories and the police never did release the autopsy/toxicology report. They snuffed the guy sniper-style and not another word. There was another guy who fit the same description as Aaron who was arrested for murder during the manhunt for Aaron, and they never even entertained the thought that perhaps it was that transient that shot the councilman. Important to note that they never released the ballistics report that they promised would link Aaron to the murders, either. Sad story all the way around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Whatever other guy fit the same description really makes no difference, since the authorities had a DNA match in this case.

    "Mr. Coleman, who was working in the area, was killed by multiple gunshots. The authorities found Mr. Bassler’s DNA at the crime scene."

    Just my opinion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    New feature article about the case:


    One summer morning, Jere Melo tromped into the thicket... Melo had spent much of his 69 years in these woods: first as a forester and now as a property manager for a timber company. Clad in an orange vest and aluminum hard hat, he checked that gates were open and roads closed, or vice versa. If he stumbled on a marijuana garden (this was Mendocino County, in the heart of California pot land), he slashed water pipes, hauled out beer cans, and gave the sheriff’s office a heads-up. The growers didn’t rattle him much. Most reacted like teenagers at a kegger and fled.

    On this trek, Melo was accompanied by Ian Chaney. A tiling contractor who lived on nearby Sherwood Road, Chaney was the one who’d told Melo about the man in the woods, Aaron. Chaney didn’t know his surname, but he’d repeatedly run into Aaron near timber-company land and recognized his shaved head, broad shoulders, and tattered black wardrobe...

    It was midmorning when the men huffed up an incline, wind in their faces. They peeled back some brush and discovered a waterline. Chaney assumed they would write down GPS coordinates for the sheriff, then hike back. Instead, Melo followed the line, hacking it with his ax, and Chaney reluctantly tagged along. They soon arrived at a bunker: a fortress of dirt and logs a few feet deep, with a fire pit inside and barbed wire on top. Nearby were neat rows of red poppies. Opium poppies. Gave Chaney the creeps.

    Melo put down his ax and picked up his camera. That’s when Chaney saw a bullet casing. “We got to go,” he whispered. Something crackled. Leaves, probably. The men turned around...

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