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If you haven’t read about Dante Pagan, the guy who “found” missing Springfield man Achim Bailey’s fully functional cell phone after it was allegedly outside on a railroad track for 12 days and nights in the snow and rain, read this and this to catch up.
As if this story wasn’t wild enough, this genius decided to do the one thing a lawyer would advise him NOT to do in this situation – sit down with a reporter from Western Mass News (James Villalobos), and answer questions in the most inconsistent and shady way possible. Let me just say that I do appreciate the work James Villalobos has done on this. His coverage has been excellent, thorough, and fair. But, in this video he refers to “the blog” several times. Come on dude, just say the word we’re all thinking – Turtleboy. Everyone knows what you’re referring to. I swear, these people get a directive from their bosses not to legitimize what we do while completely legitimizing what we do.
Anyway, besides that just listen to this 30 minutes of rambling and drink every time he says, “just to clarify.”
If you didn’t watch, here’s some highlights:
- Dante says that his home was broken into last night, thus turning himself into the victim. “I been getting a lot of threats that I had something to do with it. My family’s in danger as you can see yesterday someone tried breaking into my home. That wasn’t right at all. yes, I’m not the perfect guy, yes I’ve been arrested before, that doesn’t make me a suspect or a bad guy, just wrong place, wrong time.” Yet I highly doubt he lives with this woman, I don’t think he’s married, and later on he says she’s in Florida, so he has no reason to fear for her. Also, he’s just a regular fella who occasionally gets arrested, but he’s not a bad guy besides that.
- He repeatedly refers to himself as a “working guy,” even though his job seems to consists of selling stolen iPhones on Facebook
- He said this about why he became involved with a search for a person he didn’t know: “At first I thought he was gonna end up showing up, but after 4-5 days I started to share a post.” Except he didn’t share it 4-5 days after. He shared it the day after. Why would someone with no attachment to Achim take such an interest in this story so quickly? Either way, that is yet another lie.
- Perhaps the creepiest part of the interview is when he says he can relate because his grandfather was thrown out of a bar while drunk (just like Achim), murdered, and he was found 12 days later. He “found” Achim’s phone exactly 12 days after he disappeared. What a coincidence!!
- Later on in the interview he says several times that he can’t relate to or imagine what Achim’s family is going through. Except if his story about his grandfather is true he could relate better than anyone, since the EXACT same thing evidently happened to his grandfather.
- Villalobos asks him why he was there at 5 AM. This was his response: “Im gonna respond to those comments by saying I been doing my my own search. This isn’t the only time I searched. I went Wednesday and searched I got a picture of me dressed up at 10 something at night searching with my cousin.” His picture from the “search” on Wednesday is him by himself at 10:52 PM, when he would not be able to see anything. Nor could he see anything at 5 AM. He flat out doesn’t answer this question and deflects by humble bragging about how dedicated he was to solving this by himself.
- Also, his expertise from joining the ROTC is what guided him to the phone: “We couldn’t find nothing, reason why is the snow. Plus we wasn’t towards that area we were towards downtown where the search is being focused. It’s not like I’m gonna wait till daytime, plus he disappeared at night time, homeless people are walking around, somebody saw something, somebody heard something. I see a lot of TV’s. I did 4 years ROTC so I know how to track a little bit, I know how to do things. I did my job.” So he searched at night time when he couldn’t see anything, because that’s when Achim disappeared – night time. That’s his reasoning. And marching in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the ROTC is what enabled him to search for clues in the snow in the middle of the night.
- He once again presses him about why 5 AM: “The day before I seen the updates that the authorities said they were putting their search towards the downtown bridge. So because I go during the day or during the night whichever at the moment I search. So I go early on 5-6 in the morning and I thought there’d be more people there. I was the only one there so I started my search I did my own investigation.” So….he has no answer. He was there at 5 AM, in the dark, because he is a maverick who investigates in his own way.
- He described his search: “I was walking around I went through the bushes, I saw a fridge there I looked in the fridge, there was homeless tents around so there’s activity that there’s homeless people around. I spoke to authorities and they say homeless people do be living there. I walked towards under the bridge and I looked toward the middle of the tracks. Let me clarify, a lot of people say I took the phone so I was afraid of get hit by a train, I’m gonna clarify by saying the phone was not on the track the phone was in the middle between both tracks. BUT, anything could’ve happened a rock could’ve hit the phone and as I said homeless people around so I made my choice to secure the evidence, to take a video of me grabbing the phone and to call Keno White.”
- Actually let ME clarify. His investigation involved looking in a fridge and some homeless people’s tents, even though other people on the scene said there were no homeless tents there, especially in this weather. Also, he’s not denying that a train was coming, but he didn’t remove the phone because of that, because as it turns out the train wasn’t going to get run over the phone because it was in between the tracks, not on the tracks, which is the the same thing. Oh, and he was worried about a random rock falling out of the sky and striking it, which is why he picked it up and turned it on.
- He claims he “screamed” when he found the cell phone. Witnesses who were there say that was a lie. He also says there were 6 other people searching with him, but someone who was there tells us that he was by himself most of the time and that no one actually saw him find and pick up the phone. He just said he found it, but easily could’ve had it in his pocket the whole time. Additionally, volunteers tell us they SCOURED the area where he found it many times. There is no possible way it had been sitting there.
- He said, “the phone was off, just to clarify.” But why would Achim turn off his phone? If he was wandering around looking for a way to get home, or wanted to call his friends, why would he turn off his phone? That makes no sense.
- He addressed how a phone could function after being outside for that long: “Just to clarify the phone was underneath the bridge, there was no snow or water, because it was underneath the bridge. The phone was in pristine shape.” Oh right. Because we don’t have wind in Massachusetts, so when you stand underneath a 50 foot high overpass you don’t get rain or snow on you.
- He admits not one could back up his story: “Yea I wish I had evidence of me being there with other people so they could be like yo he did find the phone he was with us the whole time but I ain’t go no alibi for that.” Yet he says he had 6 people searching with him earlier. Don’t worry, I’m sure he’s got a lie for that one too.
- When asked about why he was referring to Achim as dead: “I’m not gonna lie cuz Im a person that speaks the truth and I don’t wanna give false hope.” He is definitely NOT a person who speaks the truth, as we’ve seen.
- He made a point to let the world know that he’s not in it for the money “If the family offers me $5,000 right now I’m gonna turn it down.” Further cementing his status as a virtuous hero being wrongly maligned by a mob.
- When asked why he used the phrase, “put your soul to rest,” when referring to Achim, his reason: “I was out of breath.” So I guess he was so fatigued hours after finding the phone that it affected the choice of words he typed into his iPhone.
- A new piece of information was that Dante tried calling Achim’s friend from his phone, he didn’t respond when Achim’s friend answered, hung up, and then Achim’s friend called back. Dante sent a text asking if they knew Achim and said he found the phone and saw the missed call from that persons phone and ended up calling that number. But how did he get the number? Dante’s response: “When we turn the phone on the lady from Agawam was the one who read me the number and I called that number in front of everybody. To clarify the six people was there when we called that number.” Who is the lady from Agawam? No one confirmed that he called any number in front of them.
- Then there was his alleged religious convictions, which were one remarkable lie after another: “God gave me the guts to go search. I don’t go to church, I don’t believe in church. I believe in the Bible. I had a Bible that day on me. God helped me find that clue. I’m not a religious person but I carry the Bible everywhere, in my vehicle. You might never know when you actually need it. Once I found the phone I took the Bible out and kissed the Bible and said God thank you for this lead. The guy didn’t take the picture because I asked him not to take the picture. God works in different ways.”
- You gotta be shitting me. He’s not religious but he carries a Bible with him everywhere. I don’t even know what to say about that. It’s the most amazing lie I’ve ever heard. He’s not lying about not being religious or carrying a Bible with him at the search party. But it’s clearly all part of the act, since the Bible and religion go hand in hand. That’s him holding it in his right hand while “searching.”
- I loved this lie: “I never been to a club, except a year ago when I was last in the club.” Can’t make this stuff up.
- His response to becoming Turtleboy famous: “I got furious. I contacted the people with the article. Turtleboy Forever is known to tell elaborate stories. They’re bringing my wife into this, my daughter into this, her name, you’re letting people know how my family looks, and after that I was receiving so many threats.” We didn’t bring his “wife” or his daughter into this. We pointed out that he clearly is an absentee father who doesn’t see much of his daughter. His words, not mine.
- What about the fact that he actively sells iPhones on Facebook? “Yes I sell phones, I sell apple watches too. I sold an apple watch yesterday. I sold two apple watch last time. I buy phones too and I sell them back. And just to clarify, the phones that they put of me is not the same phone as Achim Bailey.” James should’ve asked him what we were all thinking – where do you get these iPhones from? He buys them wholesale off a dealer and then jacks up the price? Give me a break. He steals them and then sells them. And no, Achim’s phone was not for sale on Facebook, because not even Dante is dumb enough to sell the cell phone of a missing person who he likely knows the whereabouts of.
- He also has no alibi the night Achim disappeared, which is wicked convenient: “I was home by myself. My wife’s been in Flo…a state for the last couple days. I was just home relax, I was sick, I just wanna clarify something because I was actually sick. I’m definitely not gonna go out because my throat was hurting.” You were at home by yourself because you don’t live with your “wife,” who was in high school a couple years ago (so I doubt you’re actually married). And he couldn’t murder anyone that night because he had a sore throat. That clears that up. Oh, and why is he worried about his wife and daughter’s safety if they’re in Florida? It’s almost as if he can’t stop lying.
- Even though I highly doubt he has a LTC he still let it be known that he has a gun and isn’t afraid to use it: “I have the right to exercise my second amendment to protect myself.” But as a commenter pointed out:
Here’s some more quotes you can analyze as you see fit:
- “I can’t say someone placed it (the phone) there. All I can say is wrong place wrong time.”
- On getting “threats”: “I was gonna take a screenshot but I think the person took it out. I was crying, it was hurting me.”
- “I have a lot of respect in Springfield, but I’m losing a lot of respect now because people think I’m a suspect.”
- For people worried about coming forward with evidence, “Sit back, relax, and enjoy.”
- Why did you post on social media that you found it? “Cuz it was a lead, I should’ve called the cops first but in my mind it was just telling me let everyone know we found a lead. And I put it out there and I kept making videos telling people to join me. And after I found the phone and I did a video letting people know come down here where the bridge is at. I needed more people, there was no police.”
- “I apologize for the family.”
To smart people his interview completely bombed:
But to dumb people it was actually effective:
Then there were the people who completely ignored all of the wild inconsistencies in his story because Turtleboy be racist, or something.
“First time.” The Massachusetts State Police probably disagree with that statement, but you do your thing girlfriend.
Why is it always Turtleboy and never Turtlegirl? Sigh. And I’m a bouncer at Sam’s now too? Cool story.
Used facts and reason = speculated.
Usually when we’re writing about Springfield it’s because two cheesehogs got into a fupa brawl at the Holyoke Mall.
All I know is the Springfield Police were probably watching every second of it, as I suspect they’re giving him the rope to hang himself. They have publicly made it clear they have no suspects, which is something cops do this all the time when they have a suspect and they want to let him keep saying stupid shit to have a better shot at convicting him. It happened last year in Ohio when Tyler Tessier, who the cops suspected of murdering his pregnant girlfriend, did a press conference while holding the hand of his dead girlfriend’s mother.
He said a bunch of things that contradicted previous statements he gave to the police and he was arrested two days later. Tick tock.