Filed under: Where’s Waldo?

‘Better Than D.B. Cooper?’ The Unfolding Saga of the ‘Where’s Waldo Bandit’

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Ryan Homsley wrote the following Facebook update sometime on Wednesday: “ db cooper was a great man….the wheres waldo bandit will be better….see ya gys in seattle next.” Homsley, by his own admission, had just become a bank robber. In the process he also acquired a nickname, one he readily embraced: “the Where’s Waldo Bandit.” Surveillance photos made of the 29-year-old Portland, Oregon artist made it clear as to why he’d been equated with the bespectacled cartoon character with the distinctive striped shirt–Homsley looked just like “Waldo,” minus the jaunty hat.

Police believe Ryan Homsley entered a Key Bank branch in Bridgeport Village in Southwest Portland on Sept. 21 with what he said was a bomb. He demanded cash from the teller. Surveillance photos helped police identify Homsley by the following Wednesday.

And on Wednesday night, Ryan Homsley doubled down by taunting cops on his Facebook page. He made the surveillance image of him in his ‘Waldo’ sweater his profile photo. Homsley said he was doing it to pay medical bills and that he was heading up to Seattle.

Homsley also had a MySpace account:

http://www.myspace.com/jesusridingadinosaur

He was still actively using the account up till Sept. 18, posting status updates:

drinking an Orange Crush and chilling out on some dilaudid I just got from OhSU thanks to Dr. King in the Internal Medicine department
Mood: mung

4 days ago

acid casuality with a reposessed car…vietnam vet playing air guitar…just watching the sun so far
Mood: edgy

2:52 PM Sep 3

i think of the immortal words of Socrates who said “I drank what?”
Mood: Romanesque

1:46 PM Sep 2

feeling pretty good today….made some money…hanging out with April today….wondering where my shades are at
Mood: core

5:10 PM Aug 29

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Homsley blogged a bit on MySpace. It was hard to make heads or tails of many posts. They looked like collages of his own writing mingled with unattributed, copied text. One blog entry from March this year did seem too personal to have been written by anyone but the blogger:

I am becoming more and more numb to the fact that tomorrow I will wake up and I’ll be 60. That one day I’ll realize that all of this sorrow I feel now is really pain management for the future. That every day I am put through the crucible again and again to understand that I AM NOT SPECIAL. I should have been an arsonist because I am very talented at burning the world around me. I am almost creative when it comes to new and unique ways of burning the lives around me. My life has become the end of happiness for those around me. Maybe we were born not to live our lives, but better those around us. If that is true than I am death, the desroyer of worlds. I just want to live. I want to become the bright lil love of your life. I want to know what it’s like to have purpose. I just want to love, but I’m, incapable…so now I drink.

A year before the post quoted above, Ryan Homsley wrote another blog entry that spoke of “hopelessness and agression towards the state of things.” He continued:

As hard as I try it’s not good enough. I am once again without shelter and, even though I am not in pain due to my stash of vicodin provided by my good doctor, I am in a rut of not being able to find work. No matter what the situation is I seem to end up a rope burning from the bottom. The sunlight pisses me off and it’;s because I spent the whole nite wandering up and down Holgate street due of the situation I’m in. It’s my own fault. I sometimes get the notion that I’m destined to live in this shit for the rest of my yank. Doomed to wander like a loud Radiohead song and forced to feel like a derelict in a giant outdoor insane asylum called PORTLAND. Fuck all of this. Fuck the world, fuck the pills, fuck the job.

A month before Homsley’s ‘fuck everything’ blog post, the artist published another entry that is too ironic in light of what he’s accused of to not quote in its entirety (still worth noting that it really is hard to tell in his MySpace blog where Homsley is speaking and where he’s quoting–he wasn’t often concerned with sourcing):

robber masks
Many of you laughed at me when I put ski masks on the great big list of things that make me angry. Many of you disagreed with my stance that they are a public menace with no redeeming qualities. Many of you thought my campaign to have them renamed “robber masks” was a waste of time. But at least one public official has joined the fight against ski masks (albeit a full year after the campaign began). Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton has proposed stiffer sentences for criminals who wear ski masks when committing crimes. The chief proposes adding two years or 25 percent of the sentence, whichever is more, for wearing a mask…

Homsley is probably too busy avoiding the FBI and Portland authorities to respond, but a message has been sent to him asking about the nature of his illness, among other things. Mr. Homsley, if you read this, let us know.

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Waldo, of “Where’s Waldo” fame

Back on Facebook, a couple of Ryan Homsley’s friends have already acknowledged his posts about committing the robbery by either liking the status or responding. Commenting on Homsley’s “im now a bank robber” status, a friend named Nikki simply said, “somehow, i am not surprised.”

There is a reward for information leading to Ryan Homsley’s arrest. If you think you can help call the FBI at 503-224-4181. If the situation is dangerous, call 911.

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Ryan M. Homsley

 [ThePortlander]