Now this is a strange saga worthy of CSI or even the X-Files. Activist John Lang was found stabbed to death from multiple wounds in his own home, which was also set on fire, in Fresno days after he gave a chilling warning on social media of his own demise.
On 14 January he posted to Facebook saying "Just wanted to give you guys the heads up. If anything happens to me in the next day or two it will be the result of Fresno PD, my neighbor and employee at my job Payless Brakes and Tires."
Then the next day he posted again addressing Corin Hoggard a local reporter for abc30.com asking him to investigate the alleged corrupt cops that Land been exposing in blog posts. "Corrupt Fresno cops are going to try and kill me this weekend, possibly tonight." he wrote. "This is no joke."
Days later he was found unconscious and bleeding from several stab wounds inside his burning house. He was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital hours later. "Investigators call the death suspicious and they believe the house was intentionally set on fire." says the abc30.com article that reported the death.
Lang was well-liked by most of his neighbors, many of whom were shocked by the incident and in disbelief that the man had any enemies.
The Fresno People's Media published why Lang thought he was a target.
I simply voice my opinion regarding local government and politics on local blogs. I also discovered local law enforcement had been running a license plate scanning scam where Fresno Cops would scan license plates at Retail Store parking lots (Save Mart, Von’s, HomeDepot, etc.) in lower income neighborhoods. After collecting hits of violations they then would pull the unsuspecting drivers over a few blocks away from the store location in a marked police vehicle claiming they simply came across their vehicle through routine driving patrols. This unethical and possibly illegal activity was simply motivated by “profit” and unfairly targeted Fresno’s poorer residents.
He also detailed how the police were working with local newspaper the Fresno Bee to find and intimidate people who were critical of local law enforcement:
I also discovered the Fresno Bee was sharing chat log data with Fresno Law Enforcement of Fresno citizens who were critical of local Fresno Government and Fresno Law Enforcement. Fresno Law Enforcement subsequently used the ip addresses in the chat logs provided by the Bee to track down, stalk, and harass those chat bloggers who were critical of local politics and local law enforcement. Since publicly exposing these local law enforcement activities it’s been a constant onslaught of stalking, harassment, and intimidation directed toward myself from Fresno Law Enforcement. They even tried to set me up and plant false evidence in my home. I filed a request for an Internal Affairs Investigation and that seemed to enrage them even more. They are simply trying to destroy me by any means possible. I am in constant fear for my life.
Lang also posted a video of a carpet cleaning van that he'd seen around and was suspicious of. "If I turn up missing or dead tomorrow remember this Van." he wrote under the video (see above) on YouTube. "I think I seen a couple of guys sneak out the side door and into the building when it was parked in the carport this afternoon. I've been causing the City of Fresno a lot of problems recently which I now regret."
Is it a case of paranoia on Lang's part and this was just an unconnected random killing or is there something more sinister at play?