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Essay by man thought to have blown himself up concerns police

April 16, 2013|By Joseph Serna, Lauren Williams and Kate Mather

The contents of a long, rambling essay written by a Costa Mesa man who is believed to have blown himself up in an apparent suicide are concerning police, authorities said Monday.

The 17,000-word essay, titled “The Pricker: A True Story of Assassination, Terrorism and High Treason,” includes references to aliens, the O.J. Simpson trial, the U.S. government and “the pricker,” which the author describes as “an assassin’s weapon that deposits biological agents into a victim’s skin, on contact, without their knowledge.”

Though its author, 52-year-old Kevin Harris, apparently killed himself in the Mesa Verde area Sunday evening, elements of it are still of concern, said Lt. Jerry Hildeman. He declined to elaborate on what in the essay police were focusing on.

Throughout the paper, the author — identifying himself as Harris — expresses belief that the U.S. government and its allies control the flow of information to the public and assassinate dissenters through freak accidents and diseases, such as cancer and AIDS.

The essay claims the government was behind the killings of Nicole Brown Simpson and John Lennon, the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the death of Righteous Brothers singer Bobby Hatfield.

It also warned of dangers inside Harris' home.

"I am at 3152 Bermuda Dr., Costa Mesa, CA, USA. You can tell it's me because I am the only one who can get into my house," the document reads. "I think it may be dangerous for you to come to my house alone."

Police were called to Harris' home about 5:45 p.m. Sunday for a report of a man down. When they arrived, Harris got up and went back inside.

He told police he was fine and was wearing a hat that said in effect, “I don’t need any help,” Hildeman said.

Two hours later police were back and Harris was dead after an explosion. Three explosive devices were later found inside the home and detonated.

Family members described Harris as a brilliant and gentle person who had never expressed an interest in explosives or weaponry.

Carol Harris, his 82-year-old mother who lives in Nevada, said he had been diagnosed with a mental disorder, possibly schizophrenia.

She said that she hadn't seen her son in three years. The last time they spoke, she said, he told her was disconnecting his phone because he was getting unwanted calls. She said he didn't work and refused to let anyone enter his home.

Still, she said, "he was a very gentle person."

He was also worried about his safety, she said, and would tell her he was disappointed she didn't pay more attention to his online essay.

Mark Harris, 57, also described his brother as paranoid.

"He was sure they were coming to get him," he said. "He was doing everything he could to defend himself."

Harris said his brother was the youngest of five boys, and although the others were smart and high achieving—one is a professor, another a pharmacist—Kevin was the smartest.

"For us it's very troubling that he ended this way," Mark Harris said. "How he got off on his ideas on what you might call conspiracy theories … it's always been troubling to anybody who knows him because he's so smart."

Kevin Harris' home, practically hidden behind tall bushes and trees, was wrapped in foil, and when authorities entered, it was hard to see because all the windows had been covered, police said.

Harris posted messages on a tree on the edge of his yard, neighbors said. Sometimes the essay was there; other times there were cryptic notes.

David Rosendahl said he runs in the area regularly and started noticing odd notes posted to the tree about four or five months ago. He snapped a photo of the latest note Saturday morning.

"For your information: My introspection and my adversaries behavior have convinced me that electronic mind reading is now a reality," the note said.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

lauren.williams@latimes.com

kate.mather@latimes.com

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