It is December 30, 2008, and Walter L. Wagner, the Radiation Man, is still under indictment

>> Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It is December 30, 2008, and Walter L. Wagner, the Radiation Man, is still under indictment.

I know--a petty thing, perhaps, to be mentioning while we're here at the end of the year. A day before New Year's Eve, that symbolic time when we all get together with family and friends and flush out the old and ring in the new; toasts, champagne, downtown squares filled with revelers while everyone at home--in America, at least, I can't say what they do elsewhere--turns their televisions and eyes towards New York and that big ball coming down in Times Square. Why, then, write a blog post about how it is December 30, 2008, and Walter L. Wagner, the Radiation Man, is under indictment in the state of Hawai'i for Attempted Theft In The First Degree and Identity Theft In The First Degree?

Well, dear readers, as some of you know for yourselves: Walter L. Wagner is a vexing and obnoxious man, for one thing. His history of prior dealings with one poor former fellow law student over a thirty year period, for one thing, speaks for itself. For another thing, there's his foolish crusades against science, be it the Large Hadron Collider or the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (nine years since a lost-space accident and counting!). There's the ego on the man, what with the way that he has claimed that acing a teacher's certification exam, publishing letters in Scientific American, being a radiation safety technician and a student tech on a thirty-year-old cosmic ray experiment makes him an expert physicist; he also, to my personal ire, has boasted in comment threads about his legal skills--which admittedly, as a law-school graduate, must be better than the average pro se appellant's--notwithstanding the fact that he's had an appeal denied for failing to clearly state the grounds for appeal and another case thrown out for failing to prove that Switzerland is in the United States. Then there's the way he files suit after suit--my own personal opinion is that he abuses the hell out of the legal system, but in all fairness the one court that found Mr. Wagner to be a vexatious litigant was reversed on that particular score.

At this point, hell, Mr. Wagner is vexing simply by being Mr. Wagner. And so I can't help some sense of schadenfreude over this fact: that as of December 30, 2008, Walter L. Wagner is under indictment.

But it's not wholly schadenfreude. There is some public service in this, I think. See, if you go to, the "official" site for "Citizens Against The Large Hadron Collider" and apparently affiliated with Mr. Wagner himself, there is a plea for funds at the bottom of his "Take Action" page. You can mail your checks to an address in Hawai'i--why, the very state Mr. Wagner frequently resides in, where (as of December 30, 2008) he is under indictment for Attempted Theft In The First Degree and Identity Theft In The First Degree! And there is a method of paying through PayPal, with an e-mail address: ""; by an amazing coincidence, Walter L. Wagner's wife, Linda Wagner, is also under indictment (current as of December 30, 2008) for... Attempted Theft In The First Degree and Identity Theft In The First Degree! (Oh noes!)

Along with this plea for funds, we find this worrisome disclaimer on the site:

This organization is currently seeking tax-exempt status, which would make your donation tax deductible. Thank you for any support you lend to this cause, we hope to bring you a tax incentive in the near future and will inform you of any change in our tax status.

Troublingly vague, no? Do they mean they're actually applying for 501(c) status, as one assumes, or do they mean something else? And why are donations made online made to a Hotmail address? And a Hotmail address like "," to boot?

I've tried to find out more about's charitable status online, and I just can't. The cautious charitable person might... well, yes, he might actually donate to something appropriate and useful, but that wasn't what I was going to write; no, what I was going to point out was the obvious fact that the prudent donor likes to see that a charitable organization takes money into some form of trust and that a useful portion of his donation goes to the cause and doesn't get devoured in administrative costs (or, for that matter, in the personal legal fees of the fund's administrators). The cautious donor wants assurances. Not long ago, I put up a link for a charity run my sister participated in; when a friend insisted on researching the charity in question, I wasn't offended--if anything, I was relieved to know my sister hadn't been tricked into participating in a scam of some sort; in any case, I didn't expect intelligent people to simply throw money at a cause on my say-so. I trust my sister, but why should somebody out there in the aether trust either of us?

The informed donor, then, upon considering the usefulness of donating to the LHCDefense fund (yes, let's assume he sees these lawsuits as useful and not as a waste of the court's time or a provocateur of harmful fears--a teenager in India apparently killed herself over fear of the LHC and I've seen teary-eyed, frantic forum posts in various places from people who have been scared witless by the thought that the Large Hadron Collider would eat the world)--anyway, this informed donor would surely want to know something of how the fund was being run and by whom and for whom, and this hypothetical donor (you weren't thinking of donating, were you?) would surely want to know that two people attached to the fund and/or the solicitation of monies for the fund were, say it with me... still under indictment, as of December 30, 2008, in the state of Hawai'i for Attempted Theft In The First Degree and Identity Theft In The First Degree.

Mr. Wagner and his Missus are, of course, innocent of Attempted Theft In The First Degree and Identity Theft In The First Degree until proven guilty.1 I have no idea whether or not either of them actually committed Attempted Theft In The First Degree and/or Identity Theft In The First Degree. I am given to understand that Mr. Wagner says that this is all the result of politically-motivated lies from somebody who successfully defended himself from another civil lawsuit that Mr. Wagner lost and is allegedly appealing; being personally familiar with how much prosecutors enjoy inserting themselves into civil disputes (not at all), I can only imagine that once Mr. Wagner successfully prevails upon the Hawai'i prosecutors with the injustice of his situation, they will simply dismiss the charges and perhaps join his crusade against whatever new radiation-or-elementary-particle-based hazard looms minutely on the horizon. Or not. Meanwhile, the Hawai'i courts have, as far as I have been able to determine, continued to deny Mr. Wagner's motions to dismiss (can they not see the injustice of trying Mr. Wagner on the basis of these charges that have been motivated by nothing but a successful civil litigant's thirst for vengeance upon poor Mr. Wagner!) and it seems Mr. Wagner waived his speedy trial rights, possibly in consideration of permission to leave Hawai'i for Utah without having another bench warrant issue for revocation of his bail (the last one, happily for Mr. Wagner, seems to have been recalled last July).

In the meantime, while we breathlessly await Mr. Wagner's trial and hope that donors to his LHC legal fund aren't deterred by the fact it's not presently a tax-exempt charity and the donations possibly go to his wife (we're not sure--but I mean, come on), this fact must be stated as the one thing we all know with certainty:

It is December 30, 2008, and Walter L. Wagner, the Radiation Man, is still under indictment.

1This means, of course, that a finder of fact has not yet heard the prosecutor's side of things and determined beyond a reasonable doubt whether or not the facts thus presented rise to make a legal case for Attempted Identity Theft, Identity Theft In The First Degree, or some lesser-included offense. A person might, to present a purely-hypothetical example, brutally murder his ex-wife and a hapless waiter, only to have the finder of fact (e.g. a jury) conclude that insufficient evidence had been presented by incompetent prosecutors and racist police officers. And yet a subsequent finder of fact in a civil case--applying a less-stringent burden of proof--might still later find that the person in fact was responsible for two deaths and must therefore part with... oh, I don't know, for the sake of a purely-hypothetical illustration, let us say he has to part with a valuable football trophy or something along those lines as partial restitution to his victims' families.


Janiece Murphy Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 3:40:00 PM EST  

Ah, schadenfreude, how I love thee.

And you, Eric. I also love you.

Jim Wright Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 4:10:00 PM EST  

One wonders, of course, what the IRS would make of Mr. Wagner's donation fund. Or Mrs. Wagner as the case may be.

Yes, one wonders.

Perhaps one might wonder enough to contact the IRS and ask a few questions.

Janiece Murphy Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 6:32:00 PM EST  

I've added this to my Sidebar of Shame.

Because I'm shameless.

And Carol Elaine? I have first swooning rights on Eric. Me. Don't make me come over there.

kimby Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 10:38:00 PM EST  

And this is why Eric rocks!
(and i am third in the swooning line, behind Janiece and Carol Elaine)

neurondoc Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 11:16:00 AM EST  

Crap, does that make me 4th in line for swooning? I hate not being at the front. Will one of you trade places with me? Please?

JTankers Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 4:49:00 PM EST  

Dear Eric,

The charge of "identity theft" was dismissed as legally unfounded in August 2008. (Only a single motion to dismiss was filed and it was granted. Specifically the 'identity theft' charge was challenged as improper based on facts presented to the grand jury and dismissed.)

Please write a retraction. Thank you.

Eric Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 5:25:00 PM EST  

Mr. Tankersley:

As of this writing, January 1, 2009, the State Of Hawai'i Ho'ohiki computer system does not reflect a dismissal of the identity theft charge captioned 3PC08-1-00097. Indeed, it still shows as pending and the last action on it is still (as shown in the screenshots taken on December 30, 2008) a September 3, 2008 production of Mr. and Mrs. Wagner's police reports for an in camera inspection by the court (i.e. a review of documents by the judge in chambers to determine what documents, if any, can be released to one or more parties and whether redactions are appropriate).

I will be pleased to write a follow-up blog entry detailing the dismissal if credible evidence of a dismissal is provided by either the Ho'ohiki system or if a certified copy of the dismissal is provided by mail to my work address:

R. Eric VanNewkirk
c/o Public Defender's Office
325 N. Marietta St.
Gastonia, NC 28052

You are welcome, Mr. Tankersley, to do your own research if your MENSA duties permit: the Hawai'i court computer may be accessed here and a search made for Mr. Wagner by name or by docket number. This search will actually lead you initially to Mrs. Linda Wagner, with Mr. Walter Wagner listed as a co-defendant when you click on the button captioned "party list."

Thank you for your interest. Have a nice day. Happy New Year. Please don't refresh my blog repeatedly like you did with Mr. Wright's: I assure you, you will not see a retraction or update here without satisfactory proof it's merited.

Jim Wright Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 8:14:00 PM EST  

I gotta say, Eric, that's is the nicest way I've ever seen anybody say "Shut the fuck up."

Tankersely is a lawyer too, now, I see. Mensa, is there nothing those guys can't do?

Jim Wright Thursday, January 1, 2009 at 10:00:00 PM EST  

Eric, an additional corroborating item - Wagner's correspondence to me stated clearly that the charges have not been dropped and the case is still pending on appeal.

Considering how closely Tankerboy is adhered to Wagner's posterior, and given his superior Mensa-honed intelligence and ability to create shadowy government counter intelligence organizations whole cloth, I'm shocked that he was confused about Wanger's situation. Perhaps Mr. Wagner could clear matters up here so that Crankersley can resume his accustomed perch as pet butt-monkey without further difficulty.

Anonymous,  Monday, January 5, 2009 at 11:37:00 AM EST  

Mr. Wright:

While you seem to be quite familiar with what a 'butt-monkey' is, whether from personal experience or otherwise is not clear, I am afraid I don't know what you mean. I have never met or spoken with Mr. Jim Tankersley, though we have exchanged a few emails.

He is being quite candid with Eric when he stated that the 'Identity Theft' charge was dismissed as unfounded. The minute orders of the Court clearly show that. Minute Orders are not generally included in the list of pleadings referenced by Eric [which did list the motion to dismiss that charge, which motion was heard during the due course of proceedings, and granted by the Court, as the Minute Orders fully reflect].

Further, my email to you merely stated the other charge ['attempted theft'] is technically still pending, not that both charges are still pending, but apparently either I did not make myself clear, or you have a difficult time with English comprehension.

Further, that case is at a 'pre-trial' stage and not on appeal, with a second motion to dismiss [the remaining false charge] to be filed later this week by the attorneys.

The underlying civil suit I filed [which trial-court loss (the loss was caused by an unlawful granting of summary judgment when four witnesses presented facts in support of my claim for monies owed to me, and only a crony-attorney presented 'evidence' by way of his 'argument' to the contrary) is the basis for the false claim that I was engaged in 'attempted theft' for filing a losing civil suit.

"If you lose a civil suit you weren't owed the money, so you must have been trying to steal it through the court system." is apparently the 'reasoning' behind the false charge of "attempted theft". It is that civil suit case that is on appeal, seeking a reversal of the 'summary judgment' and entry of a default judgmnet in my favor [due to the failure to timely file an answer which resulted in a clerical entry of default against the defendant].

Once again, you need to retract your false assertion regarding my email to you.

Eric will be separately retracting his assertion that the 'identity theft' charge is still pending, I presume, as I requested in a private email to him [which he might not yet have received, as during my conversation with him at his place of employment he declined to provide me with his office email].

I'm sure he prefers to remain on this roster [ -- see Defender District 27A] rather than being added to this roster [].

On an entirely different note, you have stated that you served as an officer on the bridge of naval vessel(s), and you have been awarded medals for your combat role in Iraq.

I am familiar with how Naval officers such as John Kerry were awarded combat medals by running his Swift Boat ashore, and going ashore to engage in combat; but I don't believe there's been any Swift Boat action in Iraq. Would you be so kind as to enlighten us as to such conduct on your part. Perhaps I've misjudged you in previous writings, and I'm sure others who read your writings would enjoy knowing that conduct as well that resulted in combat medals.

Best regards,

Walter L. Wagner

Jim Wright Monday, January 5, 2009 at 4:16:00 PM EST  

So, in addition to his many other accomplishments, Walter L. Wagner is a military expert too?

I am familiar with how Naval officers ...

No, Wagner, you're not. Not familiar. Not an expert. Not nothing. Once again, you're claiming L. Ron Hubbard like expertise in a subject you have neither training nor experience in (the difference being that LRH actually was a Navy Officer, an incredibly shitty one, but still he's got you beat there. Just saying).

You have absolutely no idea what naval actions have occurred in this war, or the last one for that matter or you wouldn't have said something as stupid as you did. You have absolutely no idea what my role or responsibilities were or you really wouldn't have said something as stupid as you did. If you actually did any legitimate research at all you'd have seen a long, long list of Navy operations during this conflict, a significant number of which resulted in combat operations. In fact there were multi-national combat naval operations, and still are. Hell, Walter, there have even been a number of Coast Guard combat actions and number of CG casualties. Even now, there are over 30,000 US Navy personal serving on the ground with the Army and Marine Corps in both theaters of operation, over a hundred Navy personnel have died, 63 of them in direct combat - and a couple of those men were my friends. Now, if you're depending on your little butt-monkey pal, James Tankersley, for advice - well, his knowledge of Chief Warrant Officers, in or out of the US Navy, is no better than his physics.

Unlike you, Walter, my qualifications and my decorations are a matter of official US Government record. Additionally, a rather large number of my former shipmates and a number of my lifelong friends read my blog every day - if I exaggerated my accomplishments in any way whatsoever, they would surely call me on it. Loudly and in public, on my site and elsewhere because it would be dishonorable, a term I'm sure you have no understanding of. If anything, I'm careful not to discuss my accomplishments in any great detail for a number of reasons - and impressing you is the very, very least of that list. Really.

However, Walter, if you really are interested in my combat record, I suggest you watch the Military Channel or the History Channel - specifically the shows dealing with the taking of the off-shore oil terminals, or the UN Oil Monitoring Team rescue mission, or the guy who did the intelligence scouting for those missions for four months prior to the war in hostile waters - because if you watch carefully, Walter, you'll see me.

Now, this is the second time you've made an insinuation regarding my military past. You're damned lucky I'm not a serial litigator like you, Walter, because I'd drag your sorry ass into court just to watch you dance. You're also lucky you're not standing in the same room when you make those comments, otherwise you might learn how I earned a couple of those medals. All of which is irrelevant, because frankly I don't give two shits about your opinion one way or the other. Men and Women of Honor respect me. You? Who the hell are you? Nothing but a fraud and a fake.

Now before you get all pissy-britches about that comment, the one calling you a fraud and a fake, you can do what I asked you to do months ago:

You claim to be a lawyer. Don't bother to deny that you claimed such, any one of us here can dig up references: Prove it. Name your law school. Name the date and place you passed the bar.

You claim to be a Doctor of Science. Don't bother to deny that you made such claims, anyone of us here can dig up numerous references going back years: Prove it. Name the school and the date you obtained your PhD in physics or any other PhD. Where did you do your graduate work (elementary teacher exams don't count)? And if you must name that JD of yours, at least name one from an accredited school.

You can sue me over that statement Wagner, but then you'd have to prove it in a court of law - and I get discovery. I'd like nothing better than to make you put your records on the table so I can root through them, right alongside your 'credentials.' I'll make damned sure that every news outlet that ever called you a "Doctor" or a "Lawyer" is present, along with every major science journal in the country, Radiation Man - and I think they'd come with bells on, since they've already expressed interest.

Now as to that retraction, here's what you said verbatim (emphasis mine):
With respect to my "current legal situation", that 'indictment' is a politically motivated piece of B.S.. There is but one 'charge' pending in which it is claimed that my filing of a civil suit to collect money I am owed constitutes "attempted theft" since I lost the civil suit at the trial level [case was dismissed prior to trial], and therefore my attempt to collect that money was "attempted theft". That civil suit is currently on appeal [and I expect to prevail on appeal].

Those are your words, Wagner. Yours. Charges Pending. Lost. Appeal. Perhaps you should have been more clear, after all I don't have your ivy league legal education - but then I don't pretend to either.

Your continued attempts to divert unflattering attention away from yourself and onto to me are laughable. Your continued avoidance in answering the basic questions regarding your past and your supposed credentials is pathetic. So far you've managed to amuse me, nothing more. Really, Wagner, you want to stop now, otherwise I just might make it my life's work to destroy you. You've got all kinds of shit to hide, Radiation Man, you know it and so do I. Go away, leave me alone, stay away from my friends, stay away from my blog and the blogs of my friends - and just maybe I'll lose interest. Otherwise I'll see every detail of your sad wretched little life spread out like a biology experiment for the world to examine in absolute detail. You've got everything to lose, Wagner, everything. Think about it.

Oh, and for your sake, tell your little butt-monkey Tankersley to shut the fuck up.

Anonymous,  Monday, January 5, 2009 at 7:59:00 PM EST  

Jim Wright:

Thank you for your response and your retraction [by way of posting my direct email comment to you]. Yes, I wrote that there is but one charge pending [not charges]. The same thing I've corrected Eric on. If what I wrote wasn't sufficiently clear, I apologize for that. And no, I never attended Ivy League colleges.

I apologize if you inferred any kind of insulting or demeaning insinuation on my part regarding your military record. I was indeed unfamiliar with you and your service, and no such insinuation was implied. I was merely curious as to what you did.

I am aware of the Naval participation in Iraq, and in the Gulf War. I was unaware of your personal involvement, hence the query. A good friend of mine at the time [who bunked one deck below the captain on a Vinson class carrier, and who graciously provided me a tour of his captain's bridge and ship] served honorably during the Gulf War and before, and I kept abreast of that war as well as possible, as I also attempt to do as well with the current situation.

I missed military service way back when, even though timely registered for the draft [and yes, back then it was a compulsory draft, not voluntary enlistment] as I had a high lottery number. Half the men I went to school with, however, were either drafted or enlisted. Some of them, including some of my friends, were killed. Military service, however, is not the only high-risk endeavor, and I've faced personal risk as well, in which close associates of mine were killed and injured on the job. Like yourself, I would prefer not to blog about it.

And no, I have nothing to hide. Otherwise I would never have blogged here. If you wish to see what I normally blog about, you should go to, and check on the threads I've either started or posted on. There are about 1,000 such posts, so it might take you awhile. It's a science forum, so you should be prepared to justify yourself with logic, and not with vulgarities, if you wish to criticize. Otherwise, the moderators will ban you from posting.

And, of course, all of this misses the point of why I entered into the 'fray'.

We have a situation in which a number of credible persons [two of whom were awarded Nobels in physics] have stated, in writing before the Court, that in their opinion it is merely "unlikely" that the LHC would create a deadly situation for everyone [and hence they believe the experiment should proceed as-is]. Of course, it is highly unlikely that an unsinkable ship like the Titanic would sink on its maiden voyage; it is unlikely that the Hindenberg would explode on landing; it is unlikely that O-rings and leading-edge foam insulation would fail on space shuttles; and of course it is unlikely that the LHC would suffer a serious 100-magnet quench on its first operational test. The difference is that in those unlikely situations, should the unlikely actually happen, all of humanity does not die like my friends did in Vietnam and elsewhere.


Walter L. Wagner

Eric Monday, January 5, 2009 at 11:50:00 PM EST  

Mr. Wagner:

There is a difference between "corrected" and "contradicted." For you to have "corrected" me, I would need to see "corroboration." I'm still waiting.

I cannot speak for Jim, but I'm underwhelmed by your pseudo-apologetic "I'm sorry if you inferred, blah, blah, blah." I think the inference you intended was quite abundantly clear, and whatever else I may think of you, I don't think you're stupid enough to be as insulting as you were by accident. Your insinuation was quite clearly that you didn't believe Jim could possess a distinguished service record because there were no actions comparable to John Kerry's in Vietnam; i.e. you all but called Jim a liar.

Please don't think any of us are stupid, Mr. Wagner. Everybody noticed that you referred to Jim's service in Iraq and then claimed to be "unaware" of his service in your fauxpology.

On another subject: I have no objection in general to commentators self-pimping, as you've gratuitously done in your comment with yet another reference to your SciForums participation. The problem is that I--and I think I do speak for a number of regulars here--don't much care to see what else you've blogged about or posted on or commented on. Indeed, what I would most like to see of you is your back. Which is why I'm deeply disappointed you haven't availed yourself of my offer, which stands for the time being. I'm conflicted, frankly, as to how long the offer should remain open before I start posting caselaw. The legislative history of California's anti-harassment statute is quite interesting, and I believe I have two cases that discuss it briefly (don't worry--only one of them has your name on it, Walter). Such a discussion of legislative history and how a plucky group of lobbying law students can effect great changes in the law after being pushed into action by the plight of a fellow student--it has human interest on top of everything else.

But I'd much rather do posts about Star Wars or the (I think) funny riffing on Kafka and the IRS I have scheduled to appear Tuesday morning. Do take my offer so we can see the backs of one another and move on to more fruitful pursuits, please. Posting an unpublished but available-online Hawai'i court opinion in which Plaintiff-Appellants are chastised for violating HRS § 605-14 (Unauthorized Practice Of Law) by signing a notice of appeal for their daughter as a jumping-off point for an academic discussion of the importance of legal licensing requirements and conflict-of-interest issues is simple, but time-consuming, and Giant Midgets was never really meant to be a law blog.

I'm hoping, in short, you'll post your agreement to my offer very soon, instead of taking the time to issue thin "sorry you took offense at my obviously-offensive comments" mock-apologies. Thank you.

Janiece Murphy Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 9:44:00 AM EST  

The problem is that I--and I think I do speak for a number of regulars here--don't much care to see what else you've blogged about or posted on or commented on.

Amen, brother.

Random Michelle K Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 11:44:00 AM EST  

You, Wagner, should be ashamed of yourself.

You impugned the honor of a decorated soldier, and when called on it, pretended that you hadn't actually said what you did. Much like every other comment you have made.

If you were a gentleman, you could apologize. However, seeing as you have less sense than Brittney Spears on a two-week bender, I'm quite sure you'll pretend the incident never happened.

Well here's a clue. It did happen. You have lied repeatedly, and when called upon it, attempted repeatedly to change the subject rather than owning up to your mistakes.

I've dealt with compulsive liars before, and although you aren't the worst of the lot, you are right down there with the guy who had two kids who were three months apart in age.

Unfortunately for you, you have made the mistake of allowing your lies to appear in print (so to speak).

If you were a wise man, you would apologize to Jim Wright and Eric. Unfortunately, your wisdom is suspect, so I leave you with this last piece of advice: Seek psychiatric help. You are in obvious need of it.

Anonymous,  Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 12:16:00 PM EST  


Please note I agreed to accept your offer.

Random Michelle K.: If Mr. Jim Wright is offended by what I wrote, he can send me an email about it. However, I believe he is sufficiently thick-skinned not to have let such a query bother him, and I believe I did apologize.


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