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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    NE - Steven Haataja, 46, found dead, tied to tree, burned, 4 Dec 2006

    In December 2006 Chadron State College math professor Steven Haataja (HAWdeeya) disappeared. His charred body was discovered bound to a tree 95 days later just over the hill from my house, in the rugged hills south of the college.

    This USA Today article gives an overview of the case: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-05-07-neb-prof_N.htm

    The case was bungled by local LE from the beginning, and although the case remains open, the consensus among local LE is that Haataja’s death was a suicide. I am one of many Chadron residents who disagrees and believes the death was a homicide.

    Chadron author Poe Ballantine wrote a book focusing on the case: Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere. A documentary film based on the case has been completed. An introduction can be seen at this link: http://www.loveandterrorthemovie.com/

    It is strange that although the body was estimated to have been 95% charred, the tree to which the body was bound, as well as the surrounding area, were barely burned.

    Excerpt from Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere:

    “You read about things like this, of course,” Sheriff Conaghan said. “You’re trained for it. But I had no experience. The upper body burned to bone and the tree that he was tied to not burned? The area all around him barely burned? How does that happen? It was Twilight Zone *****. And I didn’t have the staff or time to deal with it. I got prisoners, paperwork. I was up to my ass in alligators. So I turned the case over on the spot to State Patrol.”

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    This is really weird
    Love is a wild animal
    It breathes you it looks for you
    It nests upon broken hearts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    For sure.

    It really is, Lizbetbathory, and the more one learns about the case, the weirder it gets. Here’s another example: an ash ring from an apparent campfire was found several feet from the badly burned body, but the body was tied to the opposite side of the tree, facing away from the ash ring – and, like the tree itself, the ground vegetation between the tree and the ash ring wasn’t burned.

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