By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
According to Kevin Mitnick, a world-famous hacker, who now runs his own computer-security consultancy, there are only four ways such messages could emanate from that IP address: The e-mail came from Haskell’s computer — a Power Mac G4 desktop unit that was on when the police arrived — or another computer at that address; he was using a wireless connection in the vicinity of that IP address; he was using a VPN [virtual private network] tunnel, which employs special software; or there was malware — malevolent software — on the computer that he could operate by remote control. Haskell had no laptop, portable device or external directional antenna to access a WiFi signal from outside the loft — say, on the rooftop — nor did his utilitarian Samsung SGH T329 cell phone have Internet capability. No malware or VPN software was discovered on his computer, and there is no indication of remote access in his system log, nor did he possess the technical know-how (or, for that matter, the motive) to have marshaled either, making his presence inside the loft space a certainty.
This is significant, in that, as it appears in the California Penal Code, what is commonly known as “the Castle Doctrine” — Kalberg’s stated belief that “a person cannot murder another person in their home” — justifies the use of deadly force against any person “not a member of the family or household” who unlawfully and forcibly enters the domicile. If Haskell was no longer a member of the household, it had apparently been for less than four hours.
What’s more, we may be able to reconstruct Haskell’s last conversation — or at least his side of it. A handwritten letter or hastily scrawled speech was discovered lying outside his backpack next to his body, obviously intended for Kalberg. It reads, in part:
“You, the suffering artist. Old school all the way. But you do use computers, it’s true! One thing that you do that is really old school hip is make everyone close 2 you suffer 4 your art too — every day in every way. And by the way, that is exactly the reason new artists don’t do that — it burns bridges, contacts, opportunities, friends, lovers, money — everything, every reward consumed by the great flaming genius. The world is not a support system 4 your genius, your art. No — wrong — bad answer . You’ve tried so hard 2 make me hate you, to argue with you, injure, punish or even kill you. I won’t — I am stronger than you. You actually have no clue, no idea, how strong I am. You have never encountered an ‘adversary’ like me.”
On April 18th of this year, USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts hosted a one-day symposium titled “Shelf Life: A Big Day for Small Press.” Organized by Ewa Wojciak, it was an outgrowth of a design class she taught there two years ago, and as much as anything, seemed an extension of her work with Kalberg in publishing No Mag and Sub-Hollywood: In addition to Kalberg (under the name Bruce Caen), the main panel featured, among others, ANP Quarterly co-editor Aaron Rose (and author of the No Mag profile); RE/Search Magazine editor V. Vale, who wrote about female circumcision in Africa for No Mag and favorably reviewed Sub-Hollywood on his website; and Joe Carducci (the memoir Enter Naomi) who identified himself as No Mag’s distributor. To the strains of the Cramps’ “Human Fly,” a slide show introducing the panelists opened with the cover of Sub-Hollywood and a dozen No Mag covers.
Sitting stage left on the dais in a green long-sleeved T-shirt, and looking like a slightly more leathery Sam Shepard with a propensity for non sequitur, Kalberg was the first to field a question -- on his influences and aesthetic choices. “The idea behind No was that it wanted to negate everything it touched,” he began. “It was an antithesis to punk rock, an antithesis to art, an antithesis to itself… We scared people.” He credited the magazine with a “Buñuelian sense of humor,” by which he apparently meant The Exterminating Angel -- “Like when they’re trapped in the house and the windows are shut and no one can get out” -- and the social order disintegrates.
And then, somewhere in that first answer, he paused, as if bridling his train of thought. “Last year, I had a psychopath try to kill me,” he said. “And he was an ex-reader.” This drew mild, puzzled laughter. “He had all these tools” – he described Haskell’s power tools in some detail – “and he spent two weeks planning out the murder, and then when he broke in I killed him. So… what was the question?” This got a bigger laugh, as people assumed it was a goof. “I get hung up on that,” he said. “I have Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome over this; I keep looping on the murder.” He followed this with a long story about a No Mag photo essay on a putative dinner party where human flesh was secreted into the Beef Stroganoff for purposes of unwitting cannibalism. “It was done so deadpan that people believed it,” he said. This became a running joke throughout, as more and more outlandish examples of No’s staple interests turned into a schtick. “I had the best artists, worth thousands and thousands of dollars, working for me for free,” he said. “And they would do whatever I asked them to, because I was shooting methamphetamine and they were scared not to.”