November 23, 2017
This is definitely a super weird type of story.
An American man, freed from North Korean labor camps with the help of President Jimmy Carter in 2010, burned to death last week in California.
Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 38, was found on fire late Friday by an off-duty police officer, who saw him running and then collapsing in a dirt lot in Mission Bay Park — all while engulfed in flames, Fox 5 San Diego reported.
Investigators ruled out the probability of homicide, saying the death likely resulted from either an accident or a suicide.
Gomes became the subject of an international controversy in 2010 after North Korean authorities arrested him for illegally entering the country from China. They sentenced him to eight years of hard labor in the communist country’s notorious work camps and fined him $700,000.
His exact motives for entering the country remain unclear, but he was teaching English in South Korea at the time and may have entered the enclosed country in support of a Korean-American human rights activist, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
“I was praying each and every day,” Jacqueline McCarthy, Gomes’ mother, told the Union-Tribune on Tuesday, recalling the 2010 events. “They would not let me talk to him.”
McCarthy claimed her son attempted several suicide attempts while in custody, including cutting his wrists and starving himself.
The media is reporting this as a top news story, and by doing so suggesting that the North Koreans were somehow involved – as if this was a type of revenge murder on American soil – yet no outlet is directly stating that.
I’m thinking that this is not what it actually was. It doesn’t make a lot of sense that North Koreans would hunt down a former captive in America and brutally murder him. But deaths by immolation are extremely rare.
What is possible is that he was brainwashed in North Korea, and that this is a suicide related to that.
But yeah weird.