The last time I posted to FreeKeene.com I shared my excitement of traveling back to the ‘shire with my partner Amanda B. Johnson. In that post I concluded, “There is no perfect, yet we can strive for it.” That aim is what motivates me to discuss a situation that occurred shortly after we returned. It’s my hope that transparency and discourse bring accountability and growth.
At the center of this conversation are the concepts of property rights, aggressive versus defensive force, and personal responsibility. This is admittedly a lengthy post — it allows for those involved to share their full recount of events in their own voice. If anything is unclear, please comment. Better yet, reach out to those involved to inquire of them directly.
I’m providing this statement, requested by Pete, to serve as background information.
I went on 2 or 3 dates with Matt Roach about two years ago. We exchanged Facebook messages, as well. It was pleasant enough, but after a few dates, I decided I wasn’t interested in going on any more. So I expressed to him that I’d not be spending more time with him. It all seemed to end cordially enough, I believe. I don’t remember many details.
Fast forward to November 2015. My partner Pete and I have spoken with Katie McCall about renting a room in her home for three months. This room is to serve as a landing spot for Pete’s and my return from Mexico. Over online messaging, Katie and I are both keen on the arrangement, and I even ask her how ol’ Matt is doing. I still have perfectly amicable feelings toward Matt. I even mention to Pete how neat it will be to live on the same property with another “mountain man” type, and that maybe he and Matt can go tromp through the woods together, and that maybe Matt will even sell us a firearm or two. Pete and I are both feeling dandy about the prospect.
Fast forward to the next month — we’ve arrived to New Hampshire and moved into our room in Katie’s place. I meet and greet all her family, and over the next several days, keep expecting to bump into Matt. Say hello and get re-acquainted. But it never happens. I never see him.
One day I have a Skype conference call. The conference organizers ask if I’d please use an ethernet cable during the call to ensure maximum bandwidth. I ask the House IT Guy — Katie’s teenage son — if they have an ethernet cable connection available. He says Matt has and uses one, but that no one else can/does because to do so would mess up the IP addresses of all the computers in the house (or something like that). Well that sounds pretty undesirable, indeed, so I drop the subject and just have my conference call without a cable. End of story.
Or so I thought. A day or two later, Pete goes outside to do a sort of workout with these straps that he hangs in trees. When he comes back inside, he’s quieter than usual. He looks highly focused and concerned, but he doesn’t say anything. I finally ask him what’s on his mind, and he blurts out that he’s just had a strange interaction with Matt. (I’m initially surprised to hear that he simply had an interaction with Matt — I still haven’t seen or talked to the guy yet, and we’ve lived here for almost a week.) Pete basically says that Matt is very upset with me, and that he’s sent me a Facebook message. This is news to me, so we check, and this is what we find:
We are pretty shocked by these threatening — and delusional — words. So we show Katie the message and tell her that we’re not feeling comfortable living in a threatening atmosphere. Katie schedules a mediation session with Rich Paul and asks her husband, Matt, me, and Pete to attend.
I am somewhat surprised by the results of the mediation. I of course agree with Rich’s conclusion that Matt is “irrational” — anyone can see that — but I find it odd that Rich, Katie, and Matt all seem to agree that the best thing is for Pete and me to move out, not Matt. This we do, of course, for our own safety. We’re gone within 24 hours.
Within days of leaving Stone Farm, we hear Matt has pulled a gun on Michael. A few days later still, Pete sees that Matt has been welcomed into the Keeniac Telegram group, and he’s troubled that self-professed adherents of the non-aggression principle would welcome him into their circle. Hence, this statement.
Amanda and I arrived at Stone Manor, the bed and breakfast property in Fitzwilliam owned by Katie McCall and her family. It was early December, 2015. Amanda and I both knew and had a friendship with Katie, had crossed paths with her kids 14-year-old Christiana and 13-year-old Robert, and were looking forward to meeting Michael, whom Katie married in 2015. We were also eager to be on the same property as another friend — Matt Roach, who was renting the apartment above the garage. Amanda and I thought it was a good place to land. We signed a contract for three months and paid in cryptocurrency.
In typical ‘shire fashion, the over-100-year-old-dwelling was big — 4,000+ square feet, which afforded lots of space for us all. Still, I thought it odd that after being there for a few days I had yet to see Matt in any of the common areas, let alone catch up with him in an impromptu visit.
The first exchange I did have with Matt only compounded the strangeness. It took place outside when I was exercising. Matt told me that while he was glad I was around, he wanted nothing to do with Amanda. That he’d recently had a camera system installed to deter and capture her movements in his area.That he thought she may have ulterior motives. And he said that he’d sent us a message on Facebook about it.
An hour or so later when back online I logged into the Facebook account Amanda and I started to create a Facebook page for The Daily Decrypt. I looked in the “Messages” folder attached to the profile but didn’t see anything from Matt so I continued with my day.
A few hours later Amanda and I walked into the kitchen to make some food, and we saw Matt quickly leaving. I told Matt that I’d not yet seen the message he said he had sent. He told me to check the “Other Messages” folder within Facebook. His tone wasn’t too friendly but straight to the point. I replied to Matt with something like, “We’re all here now, why not have an in-person discussion?” Matt just reiterated his previous statement and left.
After returning to our room I looked for and found the suggested folder and in it, saw the message that Matt had sent. That message is above (note that I overlapped a paragraph in the screenshots so it’s clear nothing was left out).
[see the screenshots embedded in “Amanda’s Experience”]
I thought Matt’s response was needlessly hostile. And I really didn’t understand his claim of a property rights violation.
Regarding the Internet disconnection Matt cited: I myself was in the kitchen cooking food when Amanda was getting situated for her Google Hangout conversation. She had sat down at the table in that room to be closer to the router. I heard her ask Robert, Katie’s son, if he wouldn’t mind pausing his gaming and downloading for half an hour to ensure that she had a reliable connection. Robert agreed and he and I sat in an adjacent room for a bit and discussed various games and their innovations (as I’m not a gamer myself). After a bit I went back to the room that Amanda and I had rented and she later joined me.
Shortly after I read the message Matt sent via Facebook I asked Robert about how Matt’s Internet got disconnected, as that was the first time I became aware of its occurrence. I did so not in a leading way (i.e. “Why did you disconnect Matt’s Internet?!”) but more balanced (i.e. “Do you recall a couple of days ago when Amanda was trying to partake in an online conversation?”…). After a few questions Robert stated that he had, on his own accord, disconnected Matt’s Internet. He stated that he was just trying to ensure Amanda’s call worked correctly, and that he thought that Matt wouldn’t mind as he had been sleeping.
Upon reading the message Matt had sent Amanda told me that she too was unaware that Matt’s Internet had been disconnected. Yet for whatever reason Matt communicated that Amanda was responsible. And that she had in fact violated his property rights. And also, that if she dared to transgress upon him further he’d be warranted to “rain down” his “undying wrath” upon everyone in the house.
In my mind, Matt’s assertion — that Amanda had wronged him — was not disproportional (as she did not harm him) but was totally off-base as his claim was without merit. Matt later admitted that he was aware that Amanda did not physically disconnect his Internet, that Robert had done so, and even that Amanda may not have ordered him to do so, but that her powers of mind manipulation were so great that she coerced Robert to do her bidding.
Needless to say, after reading the message Matt had sent, Amanda didn’t feel too comfortable in the house. Her thought — if Matt believed that she had violated his property rights, when she had not, what was to stop him from claiming that she had wronged him another time, to which he might respond with physical violence?
When I next saw Katie I described to her the situation. I brought my computer into the room, captured screenshots of the message that Matt had sent, and shared them with her. It’s my understanding that she and Michael later spoke with Matt, an encounter that left them perturbed.
On Sunday, Katie asked if Amanda and I would be willing to attend and participate in mediation led by Rich Paul at the SLAP house the following day, Monday, December 14th. We agreed.
At the mediation Katie, Michael, Matt, Amanda and I spoke in a group setting then Rich spoke with us individually. I had hoped that given the passage of four days since Matt sent the Facebook message, the conversations he’d had with Michael and Katie, along with myself when I was outside exercising, and the presence of an impartial person, that Matt would have recanted his accusation that Amanda had violated his property rights and also apologize for his unwarrented aggressive tone. That did not happen.
Instead, Matt stated that he was just being cautious. He stated that he didn’t trust Amanda as far as he could throw her. That he had contemplated, prepared for, and was trying to thwart any scenario that involved Amanda trying to access his room to either 1) seduce him, 2) slit his throat, or 3) compromise his property.
Some backstory: Matt and Amanda hung out for a couple of weeks in early 2014. After a bit Amanda let Matt know via an online message that she wasn’t interested to see him anymore in that capacity. Amanda had disclosed that information to me in the past and I was totally fine with it. As I told her, I had always thought Matt was a good guy, and told her about the first time I had met Matt, when he rolled into Keene years ago on his motorcycle and walked up to the crew assembled in the Central Square for a Nightcap and introduced himself as “Matt from New York.” Certainly, the behavior I was witnessing from him the past week was a complete surprise. I had had no indication he was so hostile to Amanda or her presence. Nor had she.
In the group setting Matt told all present that he believed Amanda to be a master manipulator, capable of choreographing the actions of everyone else in the house except himself, who alone was aware of her prowess. Rich told Matt twice that he was acting “irrational.” Michael told Matt that he was being “delusional.” Katie asked Matt to move out, as she didn’t feel safe or comfortable with him on the property with her and her kids. Matt refused, pointing to his lease that went through June. Rich later told Amanda that if he was her, he would not feel safe in the house. Amanda and I then inquired of Katie and Michael if they’d agree to let us out of our lease. They did.
After the mediation we all returned to Stone Manor. Amanda and I started to put out feelers for another place. That night we nailed down a good option and the next day a friend from Manchester scooped us and our belongings up. It was hoped that with our departure things would calm down, that Matt would return to his old self. Unfortunately that was not the case.
On Wednesday, December 16th, the day after we left, we received a message from Katie that informed us that Matt had pulled a firearm on Michael. What. The. Hell. I thought.
At that time I advocated that Katie be public with the incident. As I’m not really active on Facebook these days I’m unaware to what extent that was, or was not done. I do know that word of Matt’s gun-pulling spread, as friends in Manchester began asking me in-person what had unfolded. After sharing my own experiences with one particular person, he communicated to me that previously he would have handed Matt a loaded firearm, no questions asked, but that now — upon learning of the backstory — he would not do so.
Later I heard that Matt was moving out from Stone Manor, which brought some relief as I knew that Katie and her family preferred that he be gone.
An impetus for this post, and for making public these details, came on January 8th. I had been scrolling through the Keeniacs group on Telegram, just to see what my friends in that area had been up to, and saw that a new person had been added on January 4th. That person was Matt Roach. And one of the people who welcomed him was Ian Freeman. I wrote the following message to Ian (whom I call “IF” due to his initials):
Ian and I exchanged a few messages, which made clear to me that Matt’s version of what happened during the gun-drawing-and-pointing was controlling the conversation primarily because Katie and Michael (at the encouragement of some in their sphere) had opted to remain mostly quiet in the hope that things would blow over.
As I later told Katie, this tactic reminds me of when a person gets wronged by a police employee, and is told by a lawyer to “stay quiet” rather than making what happened public. The “stay quiet” tactic prevents finding justice in the court of public opinion. To put it another way, it seemed to me like Matt was acting in a vacuum, so that his version of events was the only thing others were hearing. And also, that he was trying to paint both Katie and Michael as worthless.
I was not present when Matt pulled a firearm on Michael. But I did see Matt’s demeanor and actions and statements the week prior, and hence wanted to make all of this public because I feel as if it’s all connected. I requested statements from Amanda, Katie and her family for the same purpose. I don’t now have direct communication with Matt but I did ask Ian if he’d be willing to inquire of Matt for me. He did so, and Matt’s brief response is included at the bottom of this post as well.
I should add that a couple of the folks below weigh-in on the subject of Michael possibly being drunk when Matt pulled his firearm (they adamantly state that Michael was sober). To my knowledge Matt actually never made this claim. It was only in my back-and-forth with Ian, prior to requesting statements from everyone, that Ian reported that Matt had made that comment when detailing the event to him (Ian). I made mention of this to Katie when requesting statements. Sorry for the confusion on this aspect. To be clear: *everyone present agrees that Michael was sober.*
I felt very fortunate to rent out a room in the front of our house for the winter to Pete and Amanda who have been great friends. It was a perfect fit for our mutual needs: We were planning to go out of state for three weeks during the winter (my husband, two children and I) and Matt was leaving for five days during that time. Having someone there to care for our chickens, cats and house plants, plus contribute to the security of the home was a plus. Winter is also usually a slow time for the B&B so the extra income was a great supplement. They rented one room in the B&B for three months and signed a contract. Matt was the other renter we had, who rented a room in the back of the house, above the garage, with a private entrance.
I should make it clear what the property situation is here… some have been under the false impression that Matt and I rent this place together or own it together. The house is owned by my family and me. Although Matt and I rented a property together as roommates the previous two years, when that lease ended I looked for a place to purchase. Matt asked to rent a room as a tenant last July and signed a one year lease. He appeared to be very content with the prospect and while we had typical roommate squabbles, we got along great most of the time. During our previous stay at Stone Farm, the agreement was that Matt would help around the house in exchange for me paying for his room and board. In the new house he was to pay rent and was no longer involved in the B&B business. He was working a job, my businesses had picked up and he had a private entrance and so I didn’t see him nearly as often in the new place.
In the fall and winter my midwifery business picked up substantially, I was on call most of the time and spent approximately 80 hours a week away from home, often overnight at births. The first I heard of any issue Matt had was the day I found out Pete and Amanda wanted to rent. He was upset he had heard the news from an outside source (the Keeniacs page) and not from me. Perhaps I should have consulted with him, but I had not consulted with him about anyone who stayed in the B&B prior as the B&B was at the other end of the 4,000 square foot house, had a separate entrance and he no longer worked for it. Busy hours at work and the speed at which the news spread through the community created a case of missed communication. I apologized for this and he said he understood and that it was a good business move to help with winter expenses.
Pete and Amanda arrived on December 6th. When we did see each other (which wasn’t often because of how many babies I had due) everything seemed fine.
Then, two days after they arrived, Matt sent me this message and didn’t respond to my questions. I assumed he was mad at me about something.
Two days later I received a Facebook message from Matt while I was working that read as follows:
At this point I thought Matt was angry with my son for unplugging his router. I couldn’t figure out what “cuntwhore” (who I assumed was Amanda since she was the only female staying with us) had to do with it. So I asked my son and he explained that Amanda had tried to make a Skype call and was having trouble so he came up with the idea to unplug Matt’s router since he was asleep in an attempt to give her more room for the call. He said when Matt noticed it had been unplugged when he woke up he came down and yelled at Robert, who apologized. He said Amanda had nothing to do with it and didn’t even know where the router was located.
Matt and I didn’t see each other between both our work schedules. Then on the morning of December 13th, Amanda and Pete asked to chat with me about a Facebook message they had received from Matt. They shared the message below:
[see the screenshots embedded in “Amanda’s Experience”]
Somehow, my son disconnecting his internet had mutated into Amanda doing it. I told them that Michael and I would confront Matt about what was going on. They expressed that Amanda was understandably not feeling comfortable in my home as a result of the message, above.
That afternoon Michael and I confronted Matt and asked him about it. Both of my children were also in the room. Matt expressed the following reasons for his message:
1. He believed that Amanda had convinced Pete to move to our house so she could leave Pete and seduce Matt.
2. He believed that Amanda “mind controlled” my son into unplugging the internet for the sole purpose of coaxing Matt out of his room where he was hiding. He said that she did this because she “just wanted” to see him. This, despite my son again stating that she had nothing to do with it and was planning to take the call at the library.
3. He referred to Amanda as his “ex-girlfriend” after going on one date with her over two years prior that ended with her expressing her disinterest.
4. He diagnosed her as “histrionic” and said she was “just like” all his other girlfriends who wanted nothing more than to stalk him.
These statements caught Michael and I off guard as being less than rational, and suddenly delusional. We urged him to consider the insanity of those statements but as we did he dug his heels in deeper. We asked him to give us even one instance that warranted his fear and he only reiterated his previous points.
We ended the conversation and decided that we would be seeking mediation for the house.
The next day, December 14th, I drove Matt to mediation with Rich Paul at the SLAP. Matt had specifically requested him and Pete and Amanda agreed. Michael drove Pete and Amanda. Mediation was long but the conclusion was that Matt still believed the statements he made the previous day to be true, and believed Pete was being controlled by Amanda. At one point he leaned toward Amanda angrily and said “I know what you’re thinking and you’re not going to get it.” He held fast that she had violated his property rights by mind controlling my son and he would be justified in using violence if she did so again. Michael and I were experiencing so much grief and couldn’t imagine our old friend Matt making these illogical assertions. Matt’s brother is schizophrenic and I became worried that he was suffering from mental illness. Pete and Amanda understandably requested to be let out of their contract and we agreed to do so and to refund the money they had paid toward rent. I voiced my concern in mediation about the fact that if Matt was justifying violence over a perceived property rights violation that didn’t occur, how could we be safe in our home and avoid violence? Rich suggested Matt seek housing elsewhere because he didn’t sound happy in our home. Matt stated he would not be leaving until his lease was up. Amanda asserted that it seemed like her presence was causing Matt the upset and if she removed herself maybe Matt would just go back to the old Matt we all loved. Amanda and Pete planned to move out immediately, so Rich suggested waiting until my family returned from going out of state to revisit the issue and all of us agreed to avoid each other until that time.
But something had changed in Matt toward Michael and I. Just the previous week he was ranting and raving about how much he “loves that guy” (referring to Michael) and going on and on about what a great entrepreneur I am and how hard I work and what a great mother I am etc. He seemed to enjoy living with us, signing a lease only a few months prior after living with us for two years. He happily volunteered to cook the amazing food he did for our wedding in October. But at the end of mediation he told Rich that our friendship has been “decaying” since the beginning and that I’ve been trying to get rid of him for a long time and that he never sees me because I’m always at work and that I’m always drinking… things I’d never heard him say before. I became afraid that I was becoming an “enemy” like Amanda in his mind.
That evening my daughter broke down emotionally because she said that Matt had messaged her privately on FB (a move from a 39 year old man that feels inappropriate to me as a mother) and confided in her that we were kicking him out and he was worried for her and Robert being left alone with us. She had asked him about it in person after receiving the message and he told her that he believed Amanda would try to kill herself with his guns. She came to me in tears and I was very angry about this interaction but did not speak to Matt about it because we had promised to avoid each other.
The next day, Pete and Amanda left. Michael and I realized that with the loss of income and not having someone to care for the house while we were gone we would need to cancel our trip. Both the kids were very upset and my son cried all afternoon. Michael went to work at 5pm. Shortly after that, Matt kept coming to the door of my office, where my son and I were both on our computers, and began yelling about various issues he had that he wanted taken care of right away. None of them had been immediate concerns until right that moment and I couldn’t do anything about them in that instance. I attempted to just ignore him and do my work. But he got louder and meaner and alternated betweening yelling at us and going up to his room and posting things online about how he would withhold rent because I’m a slumlord. I was starting to feel uneasy about the volatility and messaged my husband to ask him to come home. As soon as Matt heard Michael arriving he ran away and left in his car.
Michael suggested we lock the doors to our part of the house to avoid contact (his room has a private entrance) until Michael got home at least. As soon as Michael left to go back to work, Matt returned. I did not witness how he gained entry (my daughter says she let him… she wasn’t really involved with anything prior and didn’t understand what was going on). He came straight again to my office and began yelling again, even more angrily. And then he yelled at me because his mother had received a phone call from my mother who was concerned about his mental health. This last thing made me VERY nervous for my safety and I messaged Michael to come back.
Michael returned, very frustrated at having to leave work twice and enduring a day of children crying over a lost trip to see family and the loss of income and all the drama caused by Matt not keeping to his word that we would avoid each other and cool off. He confronted Matt in the garage (my desk is on the other side of the garage wall so I can hear everything). Michael called Matt a coward and told him he should quit picking on women and children. At NO point did I hear any threats of violence made on either side. There is no way in my mind someone could be “cornered” in our gigantic garage (two and a half car garage with two garage doors, two back doors that exit out the shed to the outside, one door to the kitchen, one door to the porch and one stairway leading upstairs where you can either go to Matt’s room or walk the length of the upstairs and out the front door). My husband does not own a gun and was completely unarmed, albeit upset that Matt had not kept to himself like he had agreed at mediation.
I did not know where my children were, but they were not with me. All of a sudden I heard Matt yell “Step the fuck back!” to Michael and Michael respond with “What!? You’re going to pull a GUN on me now?” I began to panic. I yelled for my children to come into the office. They weren’t responding. I felt frozen and just began to cry and plead that Matt wouldn’t shoot. I don’t remember anything but crying and then my son’s arms around me telling me it would be ok.
I gathered up enough strength to message a friend of Matt’s [name redacted] to ask her to come talk Matt down even though I knew that in my earlier years I would have called the police. The last thing I wanted was more guns being aimed at people. Then Michael came and held me. Then my daughter. Then [name redacted].
[Name redacted] took Matt to her family home. We asked him to move his things out. He eventually did the following Sunday. From the moment he left our home he has been hell bent on spreading lies, delusions and exaggerations about my family in a vindictive manner. I originally said that if he would just get his things and leave in peace I would not make a statement to the community at large. Mutual friends either encouraged calling the police or just keeping my mouth shut. But it’s become apparent that on multiple levels he continues to defame our character which is costing us more income and our reputation in this community is important to us.
It is for that reason alone that I write this. I have said very little until now and my husband has said NOTHING in the hopes this would just go away. Instead of our quiet bringing peace, it has unfortunately given Matt a vacuum to web vindictive lies. I’m writing this for those who choose to make friends with peaceful people so that you can be cautioned. I wouldn’t want this to happen to another family.
I take complete ownership for my faults. I should have been more present to Pete and Amanda when they arrived to make sure all was good. I should have brought up our plans to Matt long before Pete and Amanda agreed to rent the room (even though it’s our house I still like people feeling good in it). I should have declined taking on so many clients so I wasn’t so busy when this all went down. I should have asked Matt to get his own internet instead of turning a blind eye when he just hooked into ours. And most of all, I shouldn’t have ignored red flags… To those who have been put in harm’s way, especially my family, I apologize for my actions and inactions.
Back in November, my wife Katie McCall agreed to rent one of our bed and breakfast rooms to Pete Eyre and Amanda Johnson, AKA Amanda Billyrock, for three months. Katie and our renter Matt Roach had known both Pete and Amanda for several years, I had never met either of them. Matt had apparently had some sort of relationship history with Amanda, consisting of one actual date.
When Pete and Amanda arrived, I heard Matt at work (we worked at the same place) telling coworkers how pissed off he was that we had invited his “ex-girlfriend” to come and live with us, and that he would have to spend the next three months hiding in his room. I also heard him telling a coworker that Amanda was a “psychotic cuntwhore” and a “master manipulator” who used “military level precision” to control people. He also said that he had warned Katie’s children- Robert(13 y/o) and Christiana (14 y/o)- to watch out for her, not to trust her, and that he had “instructed” them to keep an eye on her and “report” to him anything she said or did regarding him. At the time I just shrugged this off as Matt being his usual bombastic and hyperbolic self, and did not take any of it seriously. This turned out to be a mistake.
As time went on, at work I would hear him talk about the situation and his levels of anger and fear seemed to be rising. He did appear to be hiding in his room (he has a private entrance) and we didn’t see him. After they had been here for a few days, Amanda needed to make a video call on the internet, however the internet was being too slow for it to work. According to Robert, she came and asked him if he was downloading or streaming anything that would be slowing the internet, he said no. Matt had an ethernet cable that plugged into the main wifi router in the kitchen and ran up to his room, where the wifi did not reach. Anytime anyone had a problem with internet in our house, Robert’s solution was to unplug Matt’s cable. According to Robert, he knocked on Matt’s door to ask if he could unplug it, did not receive a response, and so assumed he was asleep (Matt usually slept past noon). He then went down and unplugged Matt’s ethernet cable assuming he couldn’t possibly need it while he was sleeping, and Amanda was able to make her video call.
Matt was upset about this, and sent Katie a series of angry messages about Robert not respecting property rights, and saying he did not want anyone unplugging his internet to help Amanda. He also, apparently sent a message on Facebook to Pete and Amanda about it. They did not see it until sometime later since it was in their “other” box on Facebook, but when they did they found a rant accusing Amanda of manipulating Robert into unplugging the internet in order to “create a situation” that would force him to interact with her. The message accused her of being up to something unspecific, and told her in no uncertain terms that he disliked and distrusted her. He told her that he had video surveillance in his room connected to the cloud, and that he would be alerted if anyone attempted to enter his room or unplug his internet to disable the cameras. He told them that if our house were to be “attacked or raided” that his room would be a “sanctuary” for Pete, but not for Amanda. He closed by warning her to stay away from him and his stuff “lest my undying wrath rain down upon us all with great discomfort.”
Pete and Amanda then came to Katie and said that this message made them feel uncomfortable and unsafe in the house with Matt, especially with us about to leave for three weeks. She asked me if I would try to talk to him later that night, and I agreed. Pete and Amanda then left the house to take a walk. While they were out, Matt came downstairs from his room and Katie confronted him about the message. Matt became very agitated, and refused to state any reason for his paranoia beyond calling her a “threat” and a “psychotic bitch.” We continued to press him to give us any reason, any thing she had ever said or done to provoke such a strong reaction, but he would only say that he was only concerned about was she was GOING to do. He continued to become more agitated and angry, lashing out at Robert and yelling at him to “shut the fuck up, you can’t be an adult so just shut the fuck up.” He accused Amanda of having manipulated Robert into unplugging the cable in order to force him into the same room with her. When asked why she would bother doing that, he declared that he thought she was “done” with Pete, and had come to our house in order to “get rid of him” and in order to “latch onto” Matt. Matt refused to give any reason for thinking any of this beyond saying that he “knows her type.” When it was pointed out that nobody else who knew her had ever even hinted of any problems like this, that everyone we knew seemed to really like her, he stated that this was because other libertarians- particularly the Keeniacs- were all “spineless cucks who suck the cock of any female libertarian they see on YouTube.” In the middle of this, Pete and Amanda returned from their walk, and Matt went back up to hide in his room. Katie got everyone to agree to attend a mediation with Rich Paul at the Society for Love and Peace in Keene the next day.
That evening Matt posted this on facebook:
The next day- Monday December 14- we went to Keene at noontime. I drove Pete and Amanda, Katie drove with Matt. The mediation was unsuccessful despite Rich’s admirable attempt to resolve the issue. Matt stated that he did not see the message he had sent them as threatening or menacing in any way, and claimed that he had only asked her to leave him and his stuff alone. Amanda stated quite clearly that she was uninterested in touching any of Matt’s things and was uninterested in latching onto Matt. Matt refused to believe her and stated that he had “diagnosed” her as being histrionic, a diagnosis that he was qualified to give because he had taken a college course on psychology some years ago. I told him that this did not qualify him to make any diagnosis on anyone, much less someone he barely knew. He responded that he WAS qualified, because at the end of the class they had been asked to diagnose a movie character.
As Matt became more and more agitated, he began turning the discussion on Katie and myself. He said that his relationship with Katie had been deteriorating ever since they had moved in together at Stone Farm, and that Katie had been trying to “get rid of him” for some time now. He also told me that I had no business having an opinion because I “don’t even protect” myself (ie carry a weapon). Katie and I expressed that we no longer felt safe or comfortable with him around given his agitation and paranoia, and Katie offered to let him out of his lease with no penalty if he really hated living here so much. Matt refused, stating that his lease ran until July and that he would be staying the entire lease. We then went and talked with Rich individually, coming to the conclusion that Katie would let Pete and Amanda out of their lease with no penalty, refund the money they had paid for the rest of the month, and that we would drop the subject and avoid each other until at least after our return from California in three weeks, giving everyone time to calm down and think.
We returned to the house, and Katie went to work while I stayed home with the kids. Matt went up to his room. Matt posted the following on Facebook: “Trampled by a herd of spineless cucks.” This caught my attention, and I decided to keep an eye on it. However, when I went to look at it later, I found that he had blocked me from seeing it. Later that night a mutual friend asked me if I had seen what Matt was saying about us on Facebook, and showed me the post. Matt had been telling people that Katie and I were kicking him out, that everyone was conspiring against him, that Katie and I were raging alcoholics, that I was a worthless parasitic loser, etc. This made me sad and angry. Talking shit about me and my wife is bad enough, but to do it in a way such that I can’t even see it or defend myself was infuriating, especially on top the money his behavior was costing us.
He also, as we found out later, sent Christiana a private message on Facebook telling her much the same thing; that we were kicking him out, but he wasn’t going anywhere, but he was sorry he had to leave, that Katie and I were worthless drunk losers who didn’t care about her, that she and Robert shouldn’t be living here, etc. This confused Christiana, who up until this point had not really been involved in anything going on.
The next day we decided to cancel our trip to California, as we could no longer afford it. I went to work at 5 PM. I had been at work a little over an hour when I began receiving messages from Katie saying that Matt had come downstairs and was yelling at her about an alleged flea infestation, demanding that she “do something,” threatening to withhold rent, and scaring her. She asked me to come home so I did.
I found her at her desk in the back sunroom that she uses as an office for work, and she told me that Matt was in the living room. I went there to confront him, but he wasn’t there. I went up to his room, I knocked on Christiana’s door, but he was nowhere to be found. Robert went outside then came back in and said “his car is gone!” We also discovered the door from the living room to the back yard was wide open. This door is kept locked and bolted, apparently when I showed up he had gone out the back door, around the back of the house, and left in his car. I went around the house and locked the doors to our part of the house, and told Katie that if he came back to NOT to let him in the main house unless he could be reasonable. I then returned to work. Not five minutes after I got back to work, I received messages from Katie saying that Matt was back and that he was yelling at them again. I left work a second time and went back home to confront him.
When I entered the house I saw a man I did not know. I assumed he was some friend of Matt’s who had come to back him up in the confrontation. I said to him, “who the fuck are you?” He told me that he had come to give Matt money for a truck Matt had sold him. I stood in the doorway of the garage and began yelling at Matt. Shameful to say, I lost my temper. I called him a coward, a bully and a liar. He was yelling back at me to fuck off, that he wasn’t going anywhere because he had a lease, etc. The poor guy who was there to pay him unfortunately witnessed our argument and I felt bad for him.
After the guy left I continued yelling at Matt about his behavior and he started yelling that I needed to get out of “his space.” I was, at this point, standing approximately 6-8 feet away from Matt in our garage. I told him that the garage wasn’t in the lease (he rents a room above it). He continued to demand that I leave the garage, and I refused. He then told me to “shut the fuck up and walk away right now.” I said “no,” and then he pulled his handgun from his holster and pointed it at me with his finger on the trigger. Robert and Christiana were standing behind me at this point. He ordered me to walk away again, and I not only refused, but took a step towards him… an instinctive action motivated by my fear for the kids and needing to remove the gun from his hands or get him away from them. He jumped back and began to crouch down, still pointing the gun at me, yelling “don’t close the distance Mike, don’t close the distance!” I heard Katie in the other room screaming for the kids to get away. I backed off slightly, and Matt holstered his gun and went up the stairs to his room.
I then went into the other room where Katie was having a panic attack, sobbing and rocking in her chair with her face in her hands. I hugged and told her everything was OK, but she was non-responsive. I continued to try to comfort her, and Robert was trying to do the same. Suddenly I realized Christiana was missing, and asked where she was. Robert said that he thought she had gone upstairs after Matt. That concerned me, so I went upstairs after her. I found Matt in the doorway to his room, talking to Christiana. Matt then made a big show of taking off his gun and putting it down, then came toward me and said “now what?” I replied, “now nothing,” and told him that he could no longer live in our house. Robert came upstairs and started yelling at all of us and said, “everyone shut the fuck up, my mom is downstairs having a panic attack and you all need to shut the fuck up right now!” I went downstairs and resumed trying to comfort Katie. Robert and Christiana also came downstairs, and we were all trying to comfort her.
Eventually Katie calmed down enough to tell us that she had contacted a mutual friend, [name redacted], to come and try to talk to Matt. I calmed down quite a bit at this. While this had been going on, Katie’s mother had called from Los Angeles, sounding very concerned, wanting to know what was going on. I didn’t want her to call the cops, so I called her back and explained what had happened, and that everything was OK now. After I hung up the phone, I did something very childish and spiteful: I unplugged Matt’s ethernet cable. After all, there was nothing in his lease about internet. I then went and stood in the doorway to the garage again. Sure enough, within about a minute Matt came downstairs, and said “did you unplug my fucking internet?” I said that I had, and pointed out that there was nothing about internet in his lease. Matt sat down on his motorcycle with the tablet Katie had lent him and began using the downstairs wifi. I told him he only cared about property rights when it was his property, and pointed out that he had drilled holes in Katie’s walls without asking permission in order to run his cable.
Eventually [name redacted] showed up, and we told her what had happened. She then had Christiana take her to go talk with Matt. While they were talking, Matt Santonastaso showed up and said that Matt Roach had asked him to come and get him. I pointed him towards the garage, and he went to talk with Matt and [name redacted]. Eventually Matt Roach left with some of his things, and went with [name redacted] back to her family’s place. The next day Katie told her that Matt could never come back here again, except to get his belongings, and then only with members of the community. [Name redacted] said that Matt agreed, and that he also wanted members of the community there. It took a while, but Matt agreed to a date and moved out.
This was not the end of the issue, however. Matt Roach has been slandering Katie and me with gross exaggerations and outright fabrications. He has been saying awful things about us and our home to friends, to Katie’s clients and family, and to our coworkers. We have not responded to this before, because we do not wish to air our dirty laundry. However it is clear at this point that our least worst option is in fact to respond to this with our accounting of what happened. Accordingly, at the request of Pete Eyre, I have written this account. We cannot stay quiet while our reputations are defamed with falsehoods, nor is it fair for us to keep quiet to the rest of the liberty community about an individual who has apparently become unstable.
Nothing in this account is meant to suggest that Katie and I are totally without fault in this. We should have consulted with Matt before agreeing to rent a room to Pete and Amanda. We had considered Matt Roach as being a member of the family even though he was only a renter, and not at least talking to him first was disrespectful. I also regret not trying to talk to him when I heard him saying bizarre, paranoid things to coworkers. I also should have told Katie, and probably Pete and Amanda about the things he was saying. I kept quiet because I did not want to provoke any confrontations because I hate them, needless to say that blew up in my face. Part of me wonders if the armed confrontation could have been avoided; on the other hand it has become very apparent that Matt has been secretly harboring a great deal of resentment and animosity towards others for some time now. I suppose it is for the best that we found out, although I would have preferred another way.
My biggest regret is that I lost my temper, especially in front of Robert and Christiana. I had an opportunity to demonstrate to them how to engage in conflict resolution in a peaceful manner (even if someone isn’t reasonable), and I failed miserably. Also, when he was pointing the gun at me with them somewhere behind me, I stepped towards him thus greatly increasing the likelihood that he would pull the trigger, thus placing them in even greater danger. That could have ended disastrously for everyone, and I would never forgive myself if Robbie or Chrissy had been harmed or killed as a result of my action. When the gun came out, I should have just walked away like Matt wanted me to, or done whatever he said to try to defuse him but in the moment I wasn’t thinking. I was in so much shock it was happening.
I also want to point out a few of the things Matt has been saying since the event that are flat-out untrue: I have recently been told that Matt is attempting to justify pulling his gun on me by saying I was drunk and attacking him. I was not drunk. I was completely sober and came home both times from work. I did not charge him, or attack him or even threaten to. He was not “cornered” in any sense, he had multiple avenues of exit and could have simply left the house at any time. At no point in the confrontation was I ever even within arm’s reach of Matt. I never threatened to kill him, or to hurt him. And I never called him a “faggot”… a word that isn’t even a part of my vocabulary. I DID threaten him with the state, saying that if I had to I would get a restraining order from the police, after he had pulled the gun, but never acted on that threat. We were also NOT trying to kick him out prior to him pulling a gun. I find it odd that he is now telling people I was drunk and attacking him when his own version of the story that he posted online the day after he pulled the gun on me said:
So there you have it, this is my account of what happened during the confrontation, and of the events that led up to it. I am writing this so that members of the liberty community may have another perspective to consider, and to refute the exaggerations and fabrications that Matt Roach has been spreading around publicly. This is the only public statement I will be making about this. I’ve been completely silent about it until now, just hoping it would end. If anyone has any questions or wants to talk about this further, they are welcome to send me a private message on Facebook, or to come talk to me in person.
-Michael Anthony O’Day, January 9 2016
Christiana’s Experience (Katie’s 14 year old daughter)
BEFORE YOU READ: I don’t really know how to do a witness summary, but I will try my best.
The night that the gun pulling happened, Matt had said something on Facebook, though I can’t get on Facebook because it is blocked on the device I am using (it’s my school’s property.) So I had no idea what was actually said. Well regardless, Matt had left at some point. I don’t know to where, it wasn’t my business, but Michael came home fuming mad (he had left his work just for this.) I kept asking him what the matter was, but he kept screaming for Matt to come out.
He kept calling him a, “Fucking coward!” And when Michael found out Matt wasn’t there, he went back to work and told all of us to lock the doors and windows. They locked him out, which was illegal against state law, since he had a lease there until July (I’m not completely sure.) I said that it was also rude to lock him out for something that he said on Facebook.
Matt came back from wherever the fuck and knocked on the door (I was in the kitchen at the time.) He looked through the window with a confused expression and then made a twisting hand motion, obviously asking to be let in. It was obviously in his right to stay here till the lease was up, so I unlocked the door and let him in. Before he could enter though, I told him that Michael was mad at him and didn’t want him there. Matt told me calmly that he didn’t know why. I, at the time, shrugged as he walked in.
He immediately went into the room my mom was in and began shouting at her. They weren’t threats. They were requests to grow up and handle the problem like an adult and to not lock him out of the house he was legally allowed to stay at till July. He then calmed down and went to the garage door, which he opened to get to his room.
I was confused as to why my mom didn’t respond to Matt, and then I figured that she was messaging Michael through Facebook, and I knew that he would be even more mad than the last time. So I sat at the table in the kitchen, and before I knew it, Michael was home from work again and more mad than the last time. Matt was in the garage (the door was open) and talking with a teenager, who had recently bought his truck.
Then Michael took a few steps into the garage and screamed, “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?” at the poor kid who was with Matt. The kid looked around a bit with a confused expression, before backing away as Matt explained who he was to Michael.
They were screaming at each other for a bit and my mom was screaming for us to get into the back room with her. I stood in the kitchen wanting to defuse the situation or at least, see where it would go. I saw Michael take a threatening step forward and that was when Matt drew his gun (It was in the moment, and I could understand the thinking of both individuals there at that time. Neither actions were the least bit appropriate and I wanted the situation to defuse quickly.)
My mom was screaming so loud and I could hardly breathe, but my mind was set on fixing the situation and everything felt so calm for being so stressful. I’m usually the least serious person and yet, I’m the one to try to convince people not to shoot each other. I could hear my mom was sobbing and my brother trying to ease her in the back of my mind. I knew she couldn’t move.
I was actually standing by the fireplace in the kitchen. I could hear and see everything from the two rooms. I stayed there because I thought that if Matt were to shoot (which would not happen,) that it could go through Michael’s ribcage and towards the bathroom next to me, hence why I chose the fireplace to protect me. I began to panic and covered my ears in case there was a shot fired (I couldn’t keep calm forever.)
I screamed for them to stop over and over again, but they seemed to ignore me. I could see Matt’s facial expression perfectly. Confusion and hesitancy and sadness. Something you’d never see on a crazy person’s face. I knew that Matt would never shoot anyone, and I could tell from Matt’s expression that he deeply regretted pulling the gun on his friend and around his family. Matt looked like he would do anything to defend his decision for pulling the gun, even if he knew that what he did was a mistake.
I assumed that since Michael was unarmed that he would back down, but instead he stepped forward. Matt backed away after defending his decision, and lowered his gun slowly, before backing up the stairs and into his room. Michael left the garage to go calm down my mom. I looked back at my family and then to the stairs and went up to ask Matt about what had Michael mad at him.
I went up and asked him and he pulled out his tablet to show me. Before he could, Michael followed him up the stairs and started screaming at him again. He threatened to call the police and use the state against him, calling him crazy, and even bringing Matt’s Schizophrenic brother into the argument. He even wanted to get a restraining order and threatened to throw him out sooner, which he couldn’t do. Matt screamed back at him as I stood between them.
Michael eventually left and Matt had completely forgotten about showing the messages at this point. [Name redacted] (I’m sorry if I spelled her name wrong) showed up later, along with Matt S. Matt wanted to move out as soon a possible. I helped [name redacted] and Matt S. pack up Matt’s things. I stood in the garage talking with Matt, and that’s when he told me to put some shoes because there might be glass in the garage. Matt was worried about my fucking feet, even though he had much bigger problems at the moment. I hummed Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart to calm my mom down and the rest of the evening I was singing Bella Ciao.
I hoped that things would go back to normal at some point, but that really doesn’t look like that will happen. I wished it did though. Matt was part of my family, and I wish that none of this had ever happened. And I know that Matt regrets ever pulling that gun from it’s holster.
Robert’s Experience (Katie’s 13 year old son)
I was standing behind Michael and slightly to the left of him when I saw Matt pull his gun out and aim it at Michael with his finger on the trigger. This all took place in the garage, which is about 35 to 40 ft by 35 to 40 feet. Matt was yelling at Michael to “step the fuck back.” They were both yelling because Matt kept coming down from his room yelling at my mom in her office and my mom tried to ignore him and called Michael to come home from work because she was scared. I was in the in the office with my mom when Matt came down each time to yell at my mom. Just as Michael came in the door, Matt ran out the side door and left. We locked the doors to our part of the house (Matt lives in the other part) and Michael went back to work. As soon as Michael left, Matt came back and broke in through the front door and yelled at my mom more. Then my mom called Michael for the second time because she was scared. Michael came home and confronted Matt and called him a coward for yelling at my mom and that’s when Matt pulled the gun on Michael. Michael refused to leave the garage and he stepped forward and put his left hand against the garage wall and leaned there. I yelled at Matt that my mom was having a panic attack because I could hear her crying. I went to comfort my mom and Michael followed me. After a little while we looked around for Christiana and Michael left to go find her. My mom messaged Matt’s friend [name redacted] and asked her to come calm him down. I went looking for Christiana and told Christiana and Michael to come downstairs and comfort my mom. They were upstairs by Matt’s room arguing with Michael telling Matt he needed to move out. Michael, my sister and I came downstairs to comfort my mom who was still crying. [Name redacted] showed up a little while after that and took Matt to her house.
There are two lies I’m hearing that Matt is saying that I know to not be true:
1. I unplugged the router the day that he blamed Amanda for doing it. Amanda never asked me to do anything like that. I was just trying to give her more room to do her skype interview. She didn’t “control” me into doing it. She didn’t violate his property in any way that I witnessed.
2. Michael was not “drunk” when he confronted Matt. He was totally sober and came home from work both times where he drives for work.