PROVO — Jerrod Baum has pleaded not responsible to brutally murdering two folks and dumping their our bodies in an deserted mine shaft.
However investigators wish to know if Baum’s tattoos inform a special story.
The Utah County Lawyer Bureau of Investigations just lately served a search warrant to gather up to date pictures of all of Baum’s tattoos. In accordance with those that know Baum, he considers his tattoos to be his “information.”
These information embrace tattoos of headstones with the initials of the folks he’s killed, in keeping with a brand new search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court docket.
Investigators now wish to discover out whether or not Baum has added tattoos to symbolize the killings of Riley Powell, 18, and Brelynne “Breezy” Otteson, 17.
“Simply as Baum’s iron cross might have documented bravery in battle for his involvement in any variety of acts, he might have documented his killing of Riley and Brelynne by means of tattoos as properly. My coaching and expertise and session with consultants leads me to consider that there’s a cheap chance that he has carried out so,” an investigator wrote within the warrant.
“There’s a sturdy probability Mr. Baum might have recorded the deaths of Riley Powell and Brelynne Otteson within the type of one other tattoo. Up to date pictures of any new tattoos would supply corroborating proof of the murders.”
Baum, 43, is accused of slitting the throats of the younger couple and throwing their sure our bodies into the Tintic Customary Mine exterior Eureka, Juab County, someday between the night time of Dec. 29 and the morning of Dec. 30, 2017.
Baum is charged with two counts of capital homicide and prosecutors have introduced they’re pursuing the loss of life penalty if he’s convicted. His trial is scheduled to start out in March.
Protection legal professional Mike Brown declined to remark concerning the search warrant, saying it’s a “pending legal matter” and his shopper is presumed harmless. Utah County Lawyer David Leavitt additionally declined remark Thursday.
On Aug. 18, investigators filed a prolonged 25-page affidavit in assist of their warrant searching for an replace on Baum’s tattoos. The affidavit goes into element about greater than two dozen tattoos Baum is understood to have.
Nearly all of the tattoos have hyperlinks to white supremacy symbols and rune writings. Investigators took curiosity within the tattoos after interviewing Baum’s girlfriend, Morgan Henderson, who was allegedly current when the killings occurred however lied to police about what she knew.
In 2018, Henderson pleaded responsible to 10 counts of obstructing justice as a part of a plea deal that will have her keep away from a prolonged jail sentence if she testifies in opposition to Baum.
“Whereas listening to interviews of Morgan Henderson I used to be made conscious Mr. Baum had quite a lot of extremely controversial tattoos depicting and documenting his ideologies and organizational rules. Throughout these interviews, Morgan made reference to the swastika tattooed on Mr. Baum’s face,” the warrant states.
In one other interview, Henderson mentioned Baum “spoke about his tattoos as ‘information.’ With specificity, she reported the tattoos of the ‘headstones’ … symbolized folks he had killed. Morgan acknowledged Mr. Baum did kill folks and he was a ‘tax man’ for illicit organizations,” in keeping with the affidavit.
Investigators famous of their warrant that in a 2002 interview with Grownup Probation and Parole, Baum claimed he was “working for native drug sellers ‘gathering taxes,’” which means he would assault individuals who owed drug money owed, the warrant states. “He admitted to a number of assaults within the Utah County space and one in Cedar Metropolis. He acknowledged that he has represented himself as successful man named Chris from California to assist safe money owed which are owed to native drug sellers. He acknowledged that he has threatened and intimidated quite a few folks.”
In the course of the interview with Henderson, she additionally mentioned Baum took the traditional faith of Odinism, the place worshipers embrace Norse and Viking figures like Thor and Odin, significantly, and that he had been instructing her about it.
“Morgan reported that Mr. Baum drew runes and symbols on her bare physique together with her personal blood … and that it was meant as a menace and to bind them collectively. Morgan then acknowledged Mr. Baum instructed her if she left him, they’d carry out the ritual once more, however that it will be with another person’s blood,” the warrant states.
In accordance with consultants from a safety menace group that the investigators talked to, what Baum was allegedly doing was making an attempt to ascertain possession over Henderson.
“Contemplating Morgan’s age and stability, this seemingly had a major psychological impact on her. The professional moreover suggested Mr. Baum used the runes as management measures via (corrupt) spiritual propaganda, worry and violence,” in keeping with the affidavit. “It corroborates her worry and explains why she was reluctant to report the murders to police.”
In November, Baum obtained a go to in jail from his organic sister. It was the primary time the 2 had met in individual in over 40 years, investigators wrote.
“In the course of the preliminary portion of the go to Mr. Baum started displaying Ms. Howe his tattoos. At one level within the dialog Mr. Baum states, ‘I obtained my little gravestones proper right here’ after which he laughs. It’s my impression in listening to this go to that Mr. Baum is pleased with his ‘gravestones,’” investigators wrote within the warrant.
The warrant additionally contends that Baum was a participant within the 1994 homicide of Lonnie Blackmon, a Black man, on the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison. Troy Kell is at the moment on loss of life row in Utah after being convicted of stabbing Blackmon 67 occasions. Kell was seen on jail video surveillance tape recordings, strutting and yelling “white energy” after the homicide.
In accordance with officers, a few of Baum’s recognized tattoos embrace:
- A swastika to the aspect of his proper eye.
- Runes on his again stretching from his left shoulder to his proper shoulder.
- An “unknown demon” within the middle of his again.
- A Viking or Nordic scene with an iron cross on the decrease left aspect of his again.
- A swastika within the middle of his chest.
- Documented patch member of Aryan Republic Militia, plus unknown writings beneath the patch.
- The phrase “RAHOWA” written throughout the entrance of his abdomen. RAHOWA is an acronym for “Racial Holy Warfare” and has been used as a rallying cry for the white supremacist trigger.
- A swastika with two lightning bolts inside, plus a Viking and hammer on his left torso.
- “What seems like headstones and lettering” on his left forearm. Investigators famous within the warrant that “there’s possible trigger to gather higher pictures of the headstones on Mr. Baum’s left forearm as it is going to corroborate testimony of Morgan. Moreover, clearer pictures of those tattoos will supply a richer image of the lettering on the headstones resulting in proof of extra crimes Mr. Baum has dedicated.”
- An iron cross and a circle and undecipherable writing across the cross on his proper shin. Investigators famous within the warrant, “Fairly merely the wearer of this tattoo has been ‘courageous in battle with an enemy race.’”
The warrant additionally contends that Baum might have obtained that exact iron cross tattoo for collaborating within the July 6, 1994, brutal stabbing loss of life of Blackmon on the Gunnison jail. “Following the homicide of Mr. Blackmon, sources suggested Mr. Baum was holding the homicide weapon for inmate Troy Kell who perpetrated the homicide,” in keeping with the warrant.
“Experiences from the Utah Division of Corrections point out Mr. Baum gave inmate Kell the shank that he used to homicide Mr. Blackmon and following the homicide, inmate Kell gave the shank again to Mr. Baum. This is able to counsel Mr. Baum had been ‘courageous in battle with the enemy race.’”
Video of the killing exhibits Kell throwing the shank below the door of one other cell, only a few ft from the place Blackmon lay bleeding to loss of life, according to a 1994 Deseret News report. Any alleged involvement by Baum has not been publicly reported.
Baum would have been 17 on the time.
- Thor or a person with a hammer on his left thigh.
- World of the Church of the Creator patch on it with “14/88” and runes on his left shin. World Church of the Creator is a radical white supremacist group, the warrant states. 14/88 is a hate image, in keeping with safety teams. The “14” stands for the 14-word slogan of white supremacists. The quantity 8 stands for the eighth letter of alphabet, H, and 88 stands or HH or Heil Hitler.
However there are a number of tattoos Baum has that investigators weren’t in a position to decipher, partially as a result of they didn’t have a transparent image of them. The warrant notes that legislation enforcement has not obtained up to date pictures of his tattoos since 2018. The warrant served on Aug. 27 hopes to alter that.
Utah County investigators consulted with the FBI and members of Homeland Safety as a part of their investigation, in addition to corrections officers from different states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
“These consultants all indicated that a lot of Mr. Baum’s tattoos display his adopted ideologies in addition to doc his historical past in going into and out of white supremacist organizations. Primarily based on my session with consultants, it seems that the murders dedicated by Baum have a relation to Mr. Baum’s radical views: He used bind runes in a darkish method to manage Ms. Henderson and when that didn’t work he resulted to excessive violence. The usage of runes is a part of many white supremacist organizations. The view of ladies as subservient to males and as topic to their management can also be a part of many white supremacist ideologies, and each of those points of white supremacist ideology seem to have relation to the killing of Riley and Breezy,” the warrant states.
The warrant additionally notes that whereas in jail, Baum has been disciplined prior to now for possession of contraband, “particularly possessing a tattoo gun and ink,” in keeping with the warrant. In 2001, whereas Baum was being housed in a Missouri jail, “a jar of black ink, a selfmade tattoo gun full with motor and two AA batteries” was discovered throughout a routine search of his cell.
“Mr. Baum treats and speaks of his tattoos as being information of previous acts of violence. An up to date document of tattoos newer than January of 2018 would assist current violent conduct and produce extra proof of the murders of Riley Powell and Brelynne Otteson,” the warrant says.
Baum has a listening to subsequent week to argue the most recent in a sequence of quite a few motions filed within the case.