David DePape: The man who attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer is a nudist far-right conspiracy theorist
The man accused of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s California home and severely beating her husband with a hammer appears to have posted racist and often rambling messages online, some of which questioned the 2020 election results, defended former President Donald Trump and echoed QAnon. conspiracy theories.
David DePape, 42, grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, before leaving about 20 years ago to follow an older girlfriend to San Francisco. A mailing address listed for DePape in the college town of Berkeley in the Bay Area led to a post office box at a UPS store.
DePape was arrested at Pelosi’s home early Friday. San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said she expects to file multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and elder abuse.
Stepfather Gene DePape said the suspect lived with him in Canada until he was 14 and was a quiet boy.
“David was never violent that I’ve seen and never had a problem even though he was very reclusive and played video games too much,” Gene DePape said.
He said he had not seen his son-in-law since 2003 and had tried to contact him several times over the years, without success.
“In 2007 I tried to get in touch but his girlfriend hung up on me when I asked to speak to her,” Gene DePape said.
David DePape was known in Berkeley as a pro-nudity activist who went nude picketing protests against local ordinances requiring people to be dressed in public.
Gene DePape said the girlfriend his son followed to California was named Gypsy and they had two children together. DePape also has a child with another woman, his stepfather said.
Photographs published by the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday identified DePape frolicking naked outside City Hall with dozens of others at the 2013 wedding of pro-nudity activist Gypsy Taub, who was married to another man. Taub did not respond to calls or emails on Friday.
A 2013 article in The Chronicle described David DePape as a “hemp jewelry maker” who lived in a Victorian apartment in Berkeley with Taub, who hosted a talk show on local public television titled “Uncensored 9/11,” in which she appeared. naked and elaborate conspiracy theories that the 2001 terrorist attacks were “an inside job”.
A pair of weblogs published in recent months under the name David DePape contained rants about technology, aliens, communists, religious minorities and global elites.
An August 24 entry titled “Q,” displayed a scatological collection of memes that included photos of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and referenced QAnon, the baseless pro-Trump conspiracy theory that espouses the belief that the country is run by a deep cabal of child sex traffickers, satanic pedophiles and baby-eating cannibals.
“Big Brother considered doing your own research a thought crime,” read one post that seemed to mix QAnon references with George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”
In an Aug. 25 entry titled “Gun Rights,” the poster wrote, “You have no more rights. Your basic human rights hinder the ability of the Big Brothers to enslave and control you in a complete and totalizing way.
Web hosting service WordPress took down one of the sites on Friday afternoon for violating its terms of service.
On another site, someone posting as DePape repeated false claims about COVID vaccines and wearing masks, questioned whether climate change was real, and posted an illustration of a zombified Hillary Clinton eating human flesh.
There didn’t seem to be any direct messages about Pelosi, but there were entries defending former President Donald Trump and Ye, the rapper officially known as Kanye West who recently made anti-Semitic comments.
In other articles, the writer said Jews helped fund Hitler’s political rise in Germany and suggested an anti-Semitic plot was involved in Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine.
In a Sept. 27 post, the writer said any reporters who denied Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election “should be dragged straight to the streets and shot.”
AP Global investigative reporter Michael Biesecker reported from Washington and Breaking News investigative reporter Bernard Condon from New York. Reporters Stefanie Dazio in Los Angeles, Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco and news researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.
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