Sunday, September 27, 2009

More On The Murder Of John Gilbride

Pic of Gary Wonderlin from his Century 21 website

The recent article by Jason Stark in the Philadelphia Daily News brought up some great points and should raise more suspicions of MOVE members and supporters regarding the murder of John Gilbride.

For the first time in several years, Alberta Africa gave an interview and clearly wanted to give the appearance that she was being quite candid. Unfortunately for the truth, Alberta, offered only more obscurations and self-serving quotes that to outsiders were probably more puzzling than anything else.

Early on in the article, Alberta is quoted as saying that John is still alive. She claims that “Maybe he went off the deep end or something and is hiding somewhere. He seemed like he was deeply involved in the government,".

On the face of it, Alberta’s claim is at best deluded. At worst, it is the attempt by a deeply cynical person who knows quite well that John is dead, knows that he was murdered, and who knows exactly who did the killing, because it was Alberta herself who ordered John to be killed.

It is important to also that this story of John being alive and “hiding somewhere” has not always been Alberta’s story. In a 2003 article in the Philadelphia City Paper, Alberta is quoted as saying the following about John’s murder:

“I deserve to know what happened to him, who killed him and why, but more importantly, my son deserves to know what really happened to his father”

However, the day after John was murdered, Alberta was fairly clear on who was had murdered John:

"I've experienced a lot of hurt and pain at the hands of this government and I'm pretty sure they're the ones who did this," Alberta Africa said. "To me, that sounds like Special Forces."

It is important to note that Alberta has changed her story as to what she thinks happened to John on several occasions. One constant theme in all of her flip-flopping is that MOVE members and supporters had nothing at all to do with John’s murder. Another thing to consider is that there is absolutely no indication that MOVE has put any effort at all in either finding the person that they “believe” killed John. The group goes out of it’s way not to mention his name and did it’s best to stymie the efforts of Police investigators looking into John’s killing. I can remember that before I was questioned by the Police, I was brought into to speak with high-level MOVE members who instructed me on how best to say nothing to the cops while making it seem like I was telling them everything I knew. This is hardly the behavior of a group that dedicated towards “truth” and which has the resources to spread their messages far and wide. MOVE’s silence and reluctance to discuss John Gilbride speaks volumes to the group’s true intentions.

For the sake of argument though, let us assume that John was still alive and had gone into hiding. What would be the point of that? Clearly, he had fought for custody of his son. I think that much is beyond argument. So, if he was in hiding and not be able to see his son, does that negate all that he had fought so hard for? If he were alive, would he not let his family know? I have spent a fair amount of time personally with the Gilbride and it is quite clear that not only do they believe that he is dead, but they know that he is dead. There is simply no rational explanation why John would have faked his death and Alberta’s explanation that he has been off “hiding somewhere” for seven years is mind-blowing and insulting to anyone who can rub two brain cells together.

The second part to Alberta’s statement is the assertion that John “seemed” like he was “deeply involved with the government”. The only evidence that Alberta has offered that John was somehow involved with the “government” lay only in the fact that he opposed MOVE in general and her specifically. By labeling John as a government agent, Alberta was able to change the dynamic of what should have been a custody dispute into a conflict between the system and MOVE. In doing so, she was able to garner support from the network of MOVE supporters from around the world as well as to exploit those around MOVE who had been trained by the group to believe every word that Alberta spoke. It is important to remember that while Alberta was accusing John of being a government agent, she was also accusing him of conspiring to instigate another “May 13th”. Prior to John’s murder, Alberta had built up John to be the ultimate Judas figure that had turned against her and wanted to harm the child that they had together. In the days and weeks before John’s death the whole focus of everything did and said had to do with demonizing and destroying John. In sticking to her allegation, Alberta continues this defamation.

Alberta also claims, in the face of all evidence, that "we are not murderers,". The history of MOVE says otherwise. Eight MOVE members are currently incarcerated for murder. Mumia, a MOVE supporter, is in jail for the rest of his life for murdering a cop. MOVE members in general have been accused of and imprisoned for literally hundreds of violent episodes. People sometimes forget that Alberta herself served seven years in jail for crimes she committed while in MOVE. So, while one cannot say that Alberta is a “murderer” per se, one can say, with complete accuracy, that she associates with murderers, considers murderers her family members, and has demonstrated that she is willing to commit crimes in the name of MOVE.

Captain Fisher of the Philadelphia Police Department Civil Affairs division has often been quoted expressing his doubts as to MOVE’s ability to murder John Gilbride. However, it is important to note that Fisher’s job description with regards to MOVE is to keep the peace between the City and the cult. Ever since 1985, the City of Philadelphia has had a policy of avoidance and appeasement with regards to MOVE. Captain Fisher has the duty of being the luckless individual who has to keep the peace with MOVE, and his job would be much more difficult if he were to go on record and say anything other than he believes that MOVE couldn’t have killed John. As disconcerting as it is, one must remember that it is not the Philly PD’s job to find John’s killer, it is the job of the Burlington County Prosecutors Office to do that. So, whatever comes out of the mouths of people like Captain Fisher, must be taken with a grain of salt.

The police who are actually charged with investigating the murder of John have, according to my sources, rejected the idea that John was killed by the “mob”, as has been insinuated by Capt. Fisher and others. What must be immediately understood was that it was not Capt. Fisher, but MOVE that started the whole “mob hit” rumor. Fisher actually piggy-backed what MOVE said and added his credibility to MOVE’s inane theory. As people have pointed out, the mob does not kill people who owe them money for the simple reason that dead people can’t pay them anything. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, there was never any proof that John had any contact with any mafia types ever!

The idea that a “professional” would have had to do the “hit” is also somewhat absurd. You do not have to be some kind of trained assassin to hide out and shoot somebody when they get home from work. But you do need to be absolutely committed to the idea that the person you are going to kill “deserves” it. You need to have people around you to give you an alibi. You need the resources to do the crime and there has to be the “what’s in it for me factor”. At the time of John’s death the group was painting him as a veritable force of evil, committed to not only destroying Alberta, his own son, and MOVE as a whole. MOVE had spent years molding people like Gary Wonderlin into non-thinking fanatics who were wholly devoted to their cause and especially to MOVE’s leaders like Alberta. The group had plenty of money from the cult’s lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and the group’s leadership had plenty of time to sit around and figure out a way to kill John Gilbride and than figure out how to get away with it. In essence, MOVE had the motive, means, and opportunity to murder John Gilbride.

Towards the end of the article Alberta wants people to believe that the tears she cried for John in 2002 were real. The only thing I will say about that is that I was around Alberta many times before John died and after John died. I never saw her cry about anything or anyone until she was in front of the media the night she was interviewed by the news media about John’s death. After that night I never saw her shed a tear again. She certainly was not crying at her wedding to MOVE supporter Gary Wonderlin, the same wedding where she emphatically declared that “we beat the system” in front of dozens of people.

There are other issues that were raised in this article. Many of which revolve around the man that Alberta married after John was killed, Gary Wonderlin. Alberta claims that the marriage has to do with “stability”. From my vantage point, it has nothing to do with “stability” and everything in the world to do with a payoff for a job well done.

(Please read the following article I wrote in 2005 about Gary Wonderlin)

Who is Gary Wonderlin?

Chances are, unless you have been around MOVE a good bit, you haven't a clue.

And MOVE's leaders like it that way.

Wonderlin, a middle aged, white haired, white man is not the image that is brought forth when you think of MOVE. And that is one of the reasons that Wonderlin is so valuable to the group.

Wonderlin, is also married to Alberta Africa, MOVE's unacknowledged leader and serves as father figure to her young son. The boy's real fathers name was John Gilbride. The same John Gilbride that was gunned down while in a custody dispute with Alberta and MOVE in back in 2002.

Just a couple of months after Gilbride's death, Gary Wonderlin got a big promotion within the tiny world of MOVE. He married the queen of MOVE herself, Alberta Africa.

This was quite a step up for Wonderlin to say the least. He had been a MOVE supporter for over twenty years, yet his mannerisms were strange and eccentric and there were even muted whisperings about his sexuality (not a good thing at all in MOVE). Gary was a freak amidst a collection of freaks, but his loyalty to MOVE and especially to MOVE leader, Alberta Africa was never something that was in question.

It was known around the Organization if some sly, dirty work needed to be done, that Gary would be the one to do it. Whether handing out libelous flyers about MOVE's opponents or calling reporters with cryptic threats, no task was to underhanded for Wonderlin to take on. Especially if it was at the behest of Alberta or her shrill and Nazi-esque, clone Sue Africa.

What was clear to me while I was in MOVE was that Gary was fiercely protective of Alberta and her son. To say that he loved her and the child would not be an overstatement at all. Obsession would be also be a word I could use without sounding hyperbolic to describe Wonderlins unhealthy affinity for all things Alberta.

It is a known fact that most violent crimes are committed out of "passion". It is often only a deep up swelling of emotion that drives one towards extreme and cruel and seemingly pointless barbarity. It is also a fact that it is these kinds of crimes are committed by those that we least "expect" it from. It is not likely that the killers of John Gilbride wore dread locks and smelled of garlic.

Hypothetically speaking, of course, what would it take to drive a mild-mannered, middle class, man of good legal standing, to commit a terrible and violent act?

Perhaps nothing more than the most basic of human emotions, love.

A misdirected and warped love of course. A love of a manipulative and evil woman who would be cynical enough to exploit such a base human emotion. A love of a group, a group that had long ago replaced the biological family with that of a generic one, a faux family, that oozed and dripped plagiarized emotion. Love for a child, a child that was supposedly in grave danger. A child that an evil government was bent on destroying through the means of an evil agent. A child who would grow up to lead the revolt against all that was wrong and to set things right. A child who had to be protected at any and all cost.

Sounds silly?

It is.

But this is this is a partial description of the mythological world that MOVE inhabits and when such dangerous perceptions exists, even more dangerous realities await anyone within MOVE's orbit.

MOVE's world is one where it would be perfectly acceptable to lay and wait and stalk a human being and than shoot them apart just as long as it is being done to "protect" MOVE. So long as the leaders of the cult have deemed it necessary. So long as the person or persons doing the deed have been sufficiently indoctrinated into ways of group think and of course if there is a payoff of some kind.

MOVE members tried desperately to kill police officers in 1978 and unfortunatly they completed their, John Africa, appointed, task. In 1981 Mumia sought to do the same and again met with success. In 1985, police officers lives were spared through a mix of body armor and luck. MOVE members are killers and no one should expect them to be anything else. We should, however, expect them to change their tactics every once in a while.

It is known now that after John Gilbride was killed, Gary Wonderlin got a big payoff. He married the widow of John Africa. He gets to help raise the child that John Gilbride should have had a chance to love and care for. He moved from his small, rat infested, dump of a home, to Alberta's upper middle class home in Cherry Hill. He got it all, and we all know that in the real world, and even in MOVE's convoluted one, nobody gets anything for free.

The question begs to be asked, and I have to wonder aloud, just what did Gary do to deserve his big promotion?

I do know one thing for sure and that is that Gary Wonderlin knows what he did to get his big bump up in the MOVE world. Maybe he can come out and share his big "secret" with the rest of us.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Slaying of ex-MOVEr still roils feelings 7 years later

Philadelphia Daily News 856-779-3231

The execution-style murder of former MOVE member John Gilbride Jr. in Maple Shade, N.J., has resulted in seven years of theories, accusations and harsh words between his father and his former wife.

The two have never seen eye-to-eye, even before John was shot to death in his car on Sept. 27, 2002.

The murder remains unsolved, but Gilbride's father, Jack, believes that MOVE, the organization his son followed and later fled, has blood on its hands.

Faced with those accusations, MOVE matriarch Alberta Africa, now known as Alberta Wonderlin, continues to claim that her former husband is alive, forgoing any contact with the son he was fighting for in court for a life of seclusion, courtesy of the U.S. government.

"Maybe he went off the deep end or something and is hiding somewhere. He seemed like he was deeply involved in the government," she said recently, standing behind the door of the Cherry Hill home she once shared with Gilbride and their son, Zackary.

Jack Gilbride, 70, said it's hard to believe that Alberta still makes that claim to reporters, particularly since he identified his son's body, attended his funeral, and buried his cremated remains.

"I could only wish," he said during a recent phone conversation from his home in Virginia. "She knows more than anyone else that it isn't true."

Investigators at the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office have made no arrests in the case and the office declined to be interviewed for this story.

"It is still an open investigation and we continue to put forth our best effort toward solving Mr. Gilbride's murder," spokesman Joel Bewley said in a statement.

When asked to comment on Alberta Africa's theory, Bewley said, "John Gilbride was found shot inside his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene."

Gilbride, a baggage supervisor for U.S. Airways, was found dead inside his Ford Crown Victoria at 12:08 a.m. outside the Ryan's Run apartment complex in Maple Shade, authorities said.

The killer, they said, fired multiple bullets into Gilbride's head and chest at close range from an automatic weapon, then disappeared into the tangle of highways adjacent to the complex, leaving Gilbride's personal belongings.

"He's coming home from work late at night, going to his apartment, and they were there at that perfect time. Somebody had to know his schedule," Jack Gilbride said. "The purpose was to take his life, nothing else."

Later that afternoon, John Gilbride was scheduled to have his first unsupervised visit with his son, an action Alberta and other MOVE members had threatened to stop, Jack Gilbride claims.

"John told me he felt his life was at risk. He knew he was taking a big gamble," he said.

Before she married John Gilbride, Alberta Africa was the widow of John Africa, founder and leader of the controversial radical group MOVE. John Africa and 10 other MOVE members died in May 1985, when Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on their Osage Avenue home after a standoff and shoot-out.

Given the group's turbulent history, Alberta said police would have arrested MOVE members by now for John Gilbride's death if they had evidence.

"We are not murderers," she said.

John Gilbride first mingled with MOVE as a student at Temple University in the late 1980s, his father said, and later joined the organization and married Alberta against his family's wishes.

John Gilbride filed for divorce in 1999 and engaged in years of heated court battles over custody of their son.

The timing of the murder and the custody dispute is more than a coincidence, Jack Gilbride says, and he claims investigators have searched into his son's background for other motives and found nothing.

The theories presented by MOVE members themselves, namely that John's death was part of a murky government plot, have been easy for him to dismiss.

"That stuff is so far-stretched," he said.

In past interviews with newspapers, however, Philadelphia Police Capt. William Fisher, commander of the Civil Affairs Unit, has stated that John Gilbride's murder seemed like a textbook mob hit.

Jack Gilbride said Fisher, who suggested that his son had a gambling problem and other enemies, did a disservice to the investigation and was simply trying to ease the department's relationship with MOVE.

"He's just doing his job to protect the city of Philadelphia," he said.

Fisher, reached by the Daily News, said he could understand Jack Gilbride's pain, but still doubts that MOVE was involved.

"He wants to think that MOVE did it because that solves his problem," Fisher said. "I'm a parent too, and it's an emotional thing."

A gunman, particularly a professional one, could have known of John Gilbride's problems with MOVE, and could have timed the murder to cast blame on the group, Fisher said.

If MOVE was involved, Fisher said, they would not have outsourced the job to someone outside their organization.

But former MOVE supporter Tony Allen, who runs an anti-MOVE blog, said MOVE would never have put someone in their closest family circles at risk by killing Gilbride.

He believes that MOVE would have given that task to a supporter.

"My hope is that there's people in and about MOVE whose consciences will eat away at them," Allen said.

Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi, in a past interview with the Inquirer, mentioned that MOVE members had been questioned in the investigation, but he did not comment on motives.

Jack Gilbride said he speaks with investigators there about every three weeks but acknowledged "they get tired of telling me there's nothing new.

"They have looked at everything, and the one thing that hasn't been dismissed, the only thing that hasn't been resolved, is the custody issue," he said.

The hard truth, Jack Gilbride claims, is that his son's death resolved the custody issue for MOVE.

Zackary Gilbride, the little fair-haired boy at the center of the custody issue in 2002, is now a "big boy" of 13, his mother said.

Alberta Wonderlin said the former child model is a happy home-schooled teen, active in swimming and fencing.

"He has a life," she said. "I don't keep him locked up in here."

But Wonderlin admitted that her son has unresolved feelings about his father, and they resurface occasionally.

"We were looking at some baby pictures and we found a picture of his dad, and he just fell into me," she said. "He's a big boy, but he was in tears."

Alberta says the tears she cried for John were real in 2002 and she still feels his absence today.

"I'm still hurt about this. I do what I have to do to get by, but don't think we aren't hurt," she said."

Wonderlin said she remarried after John's death, not out of love, but to give her son a stable home.

Jack Gilbride said his life has been anything but stable since his son's death. His wife, Fran, died of cancer two years after his son was killed, and he speaks to Zack only once every three to six months.

Wishing his son were still alive is pointless, Gilbride said, so he focuses on resolving the case and hoping that the truth and time will someday bring Zack back into his life.

"That's really my last hope," he said. "He's been raised by MOVE his whole life. I hope when he gets older, he'll ask questions. I want him to know that his father fought for him."

Anyone with information about the death of John Gilbride can contact the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office at 609-265- 7113.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Barrel Of A Gun Movie Trailer


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