Texas gun dealer charged with threatening to kill Fenway doctor as part of Children's Hospital transphobic hysteria
Matthew Lindner, 38, of Comfort, TX used his gun-business phone on Aug. 31 to call in a death threat to a doctor who works at a Fenway LGBTQ health center, according to court records unsealed today after his arrest on one count of transmitting interstate threats.
Lindner was arrested in western Texas today and will eventually be flown to Boston for his arraignment, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.
According to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the case, Lindner worked himself into a lather over bogus false reports that Children's Hospital was performing gender-reassignment surgery, including hysterectomies, on children. Those reports led to a harassment campaign against the hospital that has included death and bomb threats against the hospital and its doctors.
A Westfield woman faces federal charges for calling in one particular bomb threat that locked down the hospital and surrounding streets in the Longwood Medical Area for a couple hours on Aug. 30.
Early the next morning, the feds charge, Lindner called the main number for the National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center at the Fenway Institute, an affiliate of Fenway Health, and left a 41-second message for a doctor who "focuses on sexual health issues with a particular focus on gender nonconforming youth" and who is "an advocate for gender-affirming care and the use of puberty blockers/hormones to delay puberty in gender-questioning youth," according to the FBI affidavit. Specifically, the caller said:
You sick motherfuckers, you're all gonna burn. There's a group of people on the way to handle [Victim 1]. You signed your own warrant, lady. Castrating our children. You've woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket. Sleep well, you fuckin' cunt.
Within a span of eight minutes after hanging up, Lindner then called two numbers at a Rhode Island university where the doctor is on the faculty and a number for the doctor's former medical practice, to leave similar messages.
According to the affidavit, phone records quickly led investigators to Lindner - data from AT&T showed the number used to call the various numbers in Boston and Rhode Island was registered to Lindner. Online records show the number referenced in the affidavit is registered specifically to Lindner Ammo, LLC.
If convicted, Lindner faces a sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000, the US Attorney's office reports.
This is not the first time Lindner has threatened people. In 2007, as a player on the Texas Christian University football team, he had a gun in his waistband as he threatened two men outside a Fort Worth taco stand during an argument. In 2013, he owned up to his actions in a Fort Worth Weekly interview in which he said he was out of control then because he was addicted to drugs and alcohol at the time.
During the argument, over two women, "Lindner lifted his shirt to reveal a gun tucked into his waistband and threatened the two men, saying he would 'make them bleed.' " the Fort Worth Weekly reports, before recounting what Lindner said was his road to recovery from his addictions.
Complete affidavit (6.6M PDF).
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He’s not the brightest bulb,
Is he? Hope he gets the full 5 years. He deserves even more.
Fear and anger shut down your
Fear and anger shut down your rational brain
I think it went the other way around
His rational brain shut down first, allowing him to become easily scared and angered.
These are not critical thinkers we are dealing with here.
Another one of these
Another one of these “responsible gun owners” we hear so much about. Second Amendment Man in action. When they aren’t shooting people our themselves they are spreading conspiracy theories and threatening people who are smarter than them.
Every gun owner *thinks* they
Every gun owner *thinks* they're the good guy with a gun.
Conservative media - it doesn't merely present an opposing viewpoint. It breeds terrorists.
Need an edit
Adam - you carefully kept referring to the victim as "him or her", then included a quote that called them by their sex and used a sexual curse word. You might want to excise them.
Or just refer to the doc by
Or just refer to the doc by “they” pronouns and be done with it.
I think quoting the defendant is fine though, even if he could be misgendering or using pronouns the victim does not go by. Those are his statements according to the US Attorney, after all. Rude of him, though.
That's not the point
What I was saying is that keeping everything gender neutral in the text to protect the victim's identity doesn't work if you then include a quote that says things like "lady".
You're not saying different things
If someone's gender is unknown, or if you wish to anonymize them, or if you are talking about something that includes all hypothetical people, you should use they/them anyway so you include everyone.
"His or her" isn't neutral, as it does specify some genders and doesn't include all of them.
A second edit
Second to last paragraph - there is a word missing.
Belated thanks for pointing this out
I've changed the reference to "the doctor."
I started writing the story with the he/she formation because, obviously the affidavit does not name the victim and I've been doing it that way for a long time. I was mostly done with the story when I realized I hadn't finished reading the affidavit and when I saw the transcribed message, knew I had to get it in, but then obviously forgot to change the gender references.
I didn't want to take anything out of the quoted voice mail because I want to show what people are really putting up with and simply using some variant of [Deleted] just doesn't have the same effect.
Drunk when he called?
Is he so dim that he didn't understand that making threatening phone calls on his phone could get him into legal trouble? Or was liquid courage depressing otherwise sensible inhibitions? Whatever the cause this is a man who suffered from a mentality of rage.
Either condition does not change the consequences. If this guy does not serve time behind bars he will still be on Federal probation for at least 3 years. That might end his gun selling career if one of his probation conditions includes not owning or possessing firearms. If he drinks a great deal then this will probably impact his drinking. If he uses illegal drugs then that is another change he will have to make since he most likely will be periodically tested for illegal drugs.
But what of this guy's rage? Trump, et al. are able to manipulate so many people to follow their march to violence. Fox News, Sinclair network, the religious leaders and other businesses that profit from the strife would climb back into their cesspools if they couldn't mile people who are already angry, anxious, even raging.
Stop feeding that particular beast and the evils of Trump, Jerry Falwell II, Christian-Nationalists, etc. will disappear. Since so many of these folks rely upon Biblical quotes I think this one is appropriate:
It doesn't help
That in Texas and a few other states, executive level politicians are calling for doctors to be jailed for even talking to younger patients about gender or sexual topics.
This crap would be less common if the social warier types in the GOP universally denounced making threats and condemned these actions. As it stands, they are basically encouraging it.
Why would he think it would get him in trouble?
Why would he think it would get him in trouble? So-called "stand your ground" laws, removing all restraints on where weapons may be carried and brandished, full-throated demonization of LGBTQ people and anyone who doesn't hate them by right-wing demagogues, chest-beating flag-waving toxic narratives that portray these aggressors as heroes...why on earth would he ever think it would get him anything but a medal and a cabinet position in the next Trump administration?
Don’t worry about it…
….he turned his life around in 2013:
Interesting. But now he's dry-drunking on hate and fear.
“My father didn’t raise me to be a gun-flashing, gun-toting gang-banger,”
Probably didn't raise him to be a terrorist, either.