Fugitive abortion foe: I sent anthrax threats

Waagner makes visit to Web site operator

Post-Gazette/November 25, 2001
By Dennis B. Roddy,

Fugitive Clayton Waagner said he is the sender of a series of anthrax threats to family planning clinics, and said he plans to begin killing 42 clinic workers he has identified, according to a fellow anti-abortion militant who says Waagner held him at gunpoint Friday.

"He had some FedEx packing slips and he had copies of the letters that had been included in there," said Neal Horsley, a Carrollton, Ga., anti-abortion activist whose writings Waagner has read.

The latest round of anthrax threats against family planning clinics had been sent through Federal Express last week using billing numbers stolen from Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation.

Horsley said Waagner, who has family roots in Western Pennsylvania, appeared heavier than in previous photos, had a beard and, when asked how he has survived as a fugitive, flashed rolls of $100 bills he said were taken in bank robberies.

"He said at one point, 'You know, I really am an accomplished criminal,' " Horsley said. "I asked him once where he had been and he said, 'I have never slept in the same bed twice.' "

Horsley's Web site, Christian Gallery, has been the subject of national controversy since he first published The Nuremberg List, a compendium of names and addresses -- sometimes photos -- of abortion providers, clinic workers and abortion- rights supporters. Critics have said that the files are a de facto hit list from which clinic stalkers have drawn names of future targets.

At the time Waagner was arrested, after allegedly staking out dozens of clinics in the Northeast and Mid-south, he said he was attempting to update the Nuremberg files and had hidden new addresses and information in a series of free e-mail accounts on various sites on the World Wide Web.

Waagner escaped in February from a jail in Clinton, Ill., where he was awaiting sentencing on federal firearms and interstate theft charges. As a career criminal, he could have received a life sentence.

In September, Waagner kidnapped a man outside a Tunica, Miss., casino and later fled in the man's car.

According to Horsley, Waagner stopped at Horsley's home shortly before noon Friday, but did not identify himself. Horsley said he did not recognize the man, who simply told him he had read Horsley's writings, shook his hand, then left.

About an hour later, Horsley said, the man reappeared and asked him if he recognized him. When he did not, the man said, "I'm Clay Waagner."

Horsley said the visit lasted about an hour, during which Waagner flashed money, showed dozens of false driver licenses with his photo on them, and informed Horsley that the gun he was carrying had been stolen in Memphis, Tenn.

"He asked me if I had heard that anyone suspected him of sending hundreds of letters filled with what was supposed to be anthrax powder to abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices around the country," Horsley said. "I told him I thought it was unlikely anyone would suspect him since he was on the run and obviously wouldn't have the means to do something like that. He took a seat near by desk and said, 'Well, it was me that did it.' "

Horsley said Waagner agreed to "an escape clause" under which he would not attack the 42 abortion industry workers he claims to have identified and targeted for murder.

They would be left alone, Horsley said Waagner told him, if they resigned their jobs and documented it. Wagner, according to Horsley, said these people needed to send Horsley information to prove that they no longer were employed at clinics.

Waagner then wanted Horsley to post the information on his Web site, which Waagner said he monitors.

"I said, 'How are they to know they're targeted?' " Horsley said. "He said, 'The holy spirit will tell them.' "

Their encounter ended a while later.

"When he left, he tied me up with duct tape so that it took many long minutes before I could untie myself," Horsley said.

Police in Carrollton, Horsley said, took fingerprints in his home, copies of documents Waagner left behind, and had him examine photos of Waagner. Horsley said he identified Waagner from one of three photographs posted on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List.

Carrollton police said yesterday that they have notified the FBI, and they would not discuss the incident.

Horsley's claim of a visit from Waagner comes a week after federal agents, including U.S. Postal inspectors, searched the Waagner family's home near Kennerdell, Venango County. At the time, agents were looking for information that might give some idea of his whereabouts.

The U.S. Marshals Service confirmed last night that Carrollton police were called to Horsley's home on Friday where they took possession of a tape and documents that appeared to be from Waagner.

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