Summarized by Kent Larsen
Man claiming to be LDS Church sacrifice ties-up Denver traffic (Police defuse tense downtown standoff)
Denver CO Post 15Oct99 D4
By Jim Hughes, Peter G. Chronis and Bruce Finley: Denver Post Staff Writers
A deranged man, claiming to have been chosen by the LDS Church for
crucifiction, so that church members could "travel, along with their
resurrected ancestors, to their three-tiered concept of heaven,"
climbed a statue near Denver, Colorado's city hall on Thursday, and
paralyzed commuters for nearly three hours. The man claimed to be
wired with explosives in a backpack and was carrying what appeared to
be an explosive trigger.
In order to talk the man down, Denver police captain John Weber posed
as a CNN reporter, and using a camera borrowed from a local TV news
program, allowed 28-year-old Desmond Howard Derrick to make a
four-minute speech. Following the speech he surrendered to police at
the foot of the statue.
In addition to the speech, Derrick carried a note that revealed,
according to LDS Church spokesman Conrad Schultz, a limited
understanding of Mormon theology. "He's really way off base," said
Schultz. "There's nobody that is predicted or prophesied or indicated
that they're going to save all mankind or do anything of that nature."