Neal Rauhauser Post on ZAPEM
March 14, 2012
I have a bit of quite time the next few weeks as some other stuff gets sorted out, so I am free to set aside my poor Google intelligence collection skills and actually do some genuine detective work.
First, for background, we’re talking about An Inconvenient Kook, a woman I’ve tentatively identified as Michelle Lessick aka ZAPEM. All I had to start was:
The Twitter username @ZAPEM (now @Repository1) and a now defunct WordPress blog
Records of various streams of tweets and writings, which are a fairly distinct personality showing delusions of persecution
An email from Patrick Read aka @SwiftRead naming her as Michelle
A tip that her last name was Reilly, perhaps Nagy-Riley, which I believe to be incorrect
A tip that her name might be Lessick
Assertions that she was a police dispatcher and her husband a police officer
Many indications she lived in northern New Jersey
I did quite a lot of digging with Google and finally did locate the connection to the name Lessick, which can be seen in the link containing her name. I chased various permutations of this name and the Jascawow alias using a variety of search tools and came up empty.
Someone with some paid services I don’t have gave me the name of a couple in New Jersey with the last name of Lessick, Republicans in their mid fifties. For various subtle reasons I was fairly sure the wife was not the woman I was seeking, but I thought that perhaps Michelle was a daughter in her late twenties to early thirties who had developed schizophrenia, or another relative in the area who is on disability and not visible to typical search methods. I spent a few minutes on the phone with her last night and I’m sure that she is not the one, nor does she seem to be covering for someone she knows.
I wrote a nice note to the Morristown Tea Party leadership, hoping that they may have had their fill of her antics. My source for much of the information I do have is someone on the right who feels her conduct is weird, dangerous, and embarrassing to the rest of them. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find someone local who holds similar views of her.
I went through the Morristown Democrats I could find online, sending email and making calls. I signed up for Topix and posted a request there looking for an activist in the area who can help me make connections. Then I called the chief of police in Morristown and we spent a few minutes on the phone. They don’t have their own dispatchers and he gave me the number to call at the county dispatch center.
Due to Donald Payne’s death I’ve felt it was inappropriate to bother the folks on Capitol Hill, but I will probably go down and make a few inquiries next week.I’ve got fifteen more days to do such things until Aaron Walker’s assault trial. Maybe I will get a break on this, maybe I am going to have to grind through a civil suit, we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.