Angela Major
Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden and Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore speak to reporters about the ongoing search for Joseph Jakubowski.

Churches are focus this weekend in Jakubowski case

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, April 13, 2017

JANESVILLE—Local authorities have a plan to protect Rock County's many churches starting Good Friday and through the rest of the upcoming Easter weekend.

Officials on Thursday would not reveal details of the plan, which is a response to concerns of a mass-casualty event perpetrated by fugitive Joseph A. Jakubowski of Janesville.

The holiday typically draws many Christians to their churches.

Jakubowski wrote a manifesto in which he blames religion and government for society's woes, and he has an automatic weapon as part of an 18-gun arsenal, authorities believe.

But Jakubowski has made no specific threat to attack churches or religious people, Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore said at a news conference that he and Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden held Thursday afternoon.

That statement came hours before the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office announced a threat to churches in the Sussex area had been received.

The threat, sent through the U.S. mail by someone claiming to be Jakubowski, “is directed at unspecified churches in the Sussex area, threatening unspecified violence on Easter Sunday,” according to a news release.

Authorities were trying to determine if the threat was authentic or a hoax, according to the release.

“We know he has this general distrust and dislike of religion, which is concerning to us,” Moore said at the news conference.

Jakubowski refers to “religion” in his manifesto. He does not mention any specific kinds of religion or denominations, Moore said.

Moore said the investigators are hoping to prevent a mass-casualty event, adding: “We urge Mr. Jakubowski to turn himself in. Go to a friend, a family member, someone that he trusts and turn himself in. No one has been harmed, yet, and we think that is a great opportunity for him and his family to bring closure to this and do the right thing.”

Spoden noted the upcoming holiday weekend: “Go and worship as you normally do. Go to the churches. Be with your families. Be aware that the sheriff's office and the Janesville Police Department, as I'm sure many municipalities across the state, are going to be at a heightened level, and we are going to ensure that people can worship, and they can do so in a peaceful manner, and they can do so safely.”

Also at the press conference, Spoden discussed the manifesto, saying “it rambles on and doesn't make a lot of sense,” but it expresses anger against government and others that control society, including police.

In answering other questions, Spoden and Moore said:

-- Concerns that Jakubowski might attack a school have lessened considerably. That's due in part to the fact that a man has been arrested in an incident on Thursday in which a man was seen picking up a firearm from the terrace near Janesville's Lincoln Elementary School.

Moore said it doesn't appear the incident at the school has anything to do with Jakubowski.

“I hope this information gives some comfort to our communities, certainly (it) will give comfort to our schools because these appear to be two separate incidents that unfortunately happened on the same day,” Moore said.

-- Authorities are aware of a potential threat to public officials and government buildings, but the threat is likely focused on the federal government.

Jakubowski calls for a revolution, which would indicate a desire to change the country as a whole, Moore said.

Spoden added that an increased number of deputies have been stationed at the Rock County Courthouse. Copies of Jakubowski's photograph have been seen posted in courthouse offices.

Blackhawk Technical College and UW-Rock County have asked for help, so officers are monitoring those campuses, Spoden said.

-- Authorities do not plan to release the 161-page manifesto to the public anytime soon because it's still being analyzed, Spoden said.

The document is key to concerns officials have expressed in recent days about Jakubowski's possible intentions.

-- Investigators are monitoring people who know Jakubowski and are re-interviewing some of them.

Spoden said everyone interviewed has been cooperative, but it's not certain that everyone has been completely truthful.

-- Investigators on Wednesday ended a search along the shores of local rivers and lakes. One thing they were looking for was a sign that Jakubowski was hiding in a summer residence that would be vacant this time of year, Moore said.

-- People such as Jakubowski typically experience some event that triggers their actions, but investigators have no idea what might have been the trigger in this case.

Officials previously had said Jakubowski lost his job at a retail store in January and had not been able to find work.

An acquaintance told The Gazette that Jakubowski had trouble finding work and could not get government food aid.

-- There's no indication Jakubowski has any accomplices, but investigators haven't ruled that out.

-- Asked if Jakubowski is an anarchist, Moore said that's a possible conclusion if “anarchist” is defined as someone who wants to be free of government.

-- Asked if Jakubowski is a survivalist, Moore said no, but he did possess some equipment and had researched survival techniques.

Investigators are checking the possibility that Jakubowski might be “hunkering down” in a rural area, Spoden said Wednesday.


A mystery about a firearm found near Janesville's Lincoln Elementary School last week might have been solved.

Police received a report of someone stopping near the school, finding a long gun near the street and placing it in the trunk of his car and driving away.

At a press conference Wednesday, Moore said the weapon was stolen, and a suspect was arrested overnight.

There are strong indications the incident had nothing to do with Joseph A. Jakubowski, Moore said.

Jakubowski is being sought after he mailed a political manifesto to the White House on April 4 and then burglarized a gun shop, taking 18 weapons, including silencers and an automatic M-16.

The man police suspect of stealing the long gun in the Lincoln School incident had lived with the person who owned the gun, Moore said.


WTMJ-TV on Thursday announced it had received a copy of a portion of Jakubowski's manifesto.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office said the document appears to be authentic, but it did not have a copy and has not compared it with the full, 161-page manifesto.

The document posted on the Milwaukee television station's website appears to contain the last half of Jakubowski's manifesto, but it skips about half the pages.

The document contains repetitive, long criticisms of consumer society, health care, the economy and environment, which he says are being managed in contradiction to what he calls “the code of life,” which he contrasts with “the code of man.”

He repeatedly decries “selfishness and greed” as destroying society, calls those in power terrorists and cites the 2nd Amendment in arguing for his right to carry firearms, even though, as a felon, he is not allowed to do so.

Following are quotations from the document:

-- “The system sends in their terrorists to take away the people's right to freedom! Takes away the people's right to happiness!”

-- “We the people should be out for these sick-minded people belonging to the system! We need to spill their blood! These selfish and greedy are slowly killing us!”

-- “This system … has poisoned the water with oil, toxic waste, radiation … poisoned the food we eat.”

-- “A system for world domination … constantly feeds the people lies, beliefs and illusions of life. … teaching the people the only way to a great life is to chase someone else's greed! Chase the money!”

-- “The reality of chasing the american dream will destroy you as a person by how this system is designed!”

-- “For 32 years of my life, the system has tricked and manipulated me, thinking I was chasing a dream, yet I was chasing an illusion of greed!”

-- “Government was created to … take the public eye off the priests and the churches. … Priests and churches control the presidents and the banks.”

-- “My actions may lead to death.”

-- “I will not bring any harm or violence to any life belonging to these terrorist gangs, unless these terrorist gangs continue their terrorism on human life and force my hand to protect and defend the honor and dignity of life!”

-- “If … the system captures me, don't torture me! Don't cage me! Don't chain me! Walk me to an honorable death! … I choose my death to be carried out by the hands of the president. … .Not in secret, either. On live TV!”

Last updated: 12:31 pm Thursday, April 13, 2017

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