The person who allegedly attacked Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband early Friday posted memes and conspiracy theories on Fb about Covid vaccines, the 2020 election and the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol, and an acquaintance instructed CNN that he appeared “out of contact” with actuality.”
David DePape, 42, was recognized by police Friday because the suspect within the assault on Paul Pelosi on the speaker’s San Francisco dwelling.
Three of DePape’s relations instructed CNN that DePape has been estranged from his household for years, and confirmed that the Fb account – which was taken down by the social media firm on Friday – belonged to him.
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His stepfather, Gene DePape, stated David DePape grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, and left Canada about 20 years in the past to pursue a relationship that introduced him to California.
“I actually do not know what to suppose,” the suspect’s uncle, Mark DePape, stated of his nephew’s alleged assault on Pelosi. “Hopefully it is a rip-off. I do not wish to hear one thing like that.”
Individuals who knew DePape in California described him as an odd character.
A 2013 article within the San Francisco Chronicle recognized him as a “hemp jewellery maker,” and stated that he lived with a nudist activist. Different photographs printed by the Chronicle present DePape – totally clothed – at a nude marriage ceremony on the steps of San Francisco Metropolis Corridor.
Linda Schneider, a California resident, instructed CNN she received to know DePape roughly eight years in the past and that he sometimes homes for her. Once they met, she stated, DePape was residing in a storage unit within the Berkeley space and instructed her he had been combating arduous medication however was “making an attempt to create a brand new life for himself.”
She stated that he was extraordinarily shy. “He stated he could not even go and have a checking account as a result of he was frightened of chatting with a teller,” Schneider stated.
However Schneider later obtained “actually disturbing” emails from DePape during which he seemed like a “megalomaniac and so out of contact with actuality,” she stated. She stated she stopped speaking with him “as a result of it appeared so harmful,” including that she recalled him “utilizing Biblical justification to do hurt.”
DePape’s social media presence equally paints an image of somebody on a worrying trajectory, falling into conspiracy theories in recent times.
Final yr, David DePape posted hyperlinks on his Fb web page to a number of movies produced by My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell falsely alleging that the 2020 election was stolen. Different posts included transphobic photos and linked to web sites claiming Covid vaccines had been lethal. “The demise charges being promoted are what ever ‘THEY’ wish to be promoted because the demise charge,” one publish learn.
DePape additionally posted hyperlinks to YouTube movies with titles like “Democrat FARCE Fee to Examine January sixth Capitol Riot COLLAPSES in Congress!!!” and “World Elites Plan To Take Management Of YOUR Cash! (Revealed)”
Two days after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was discovered responsible of killing George Floyd, DePape wrote that the trial was “a contemporary lynching,” falsely indicating that Floyd died of a drug overdose.
He additionally posted content material concerning the “Nice Reset”– the sprawling conspiracy concept that international elites are utilizing coronavirus to usher in a brand new world order during which they achieve extra energy and oppress the plenty. And he complained that politicians making guarantees to attempt to win votes “are providing you bribes in trade in your additional enslavement.”
Many of the public posts on DePape’s Fb web page had been from 2021. In earlier years, DePape additionally posted lengthy screeds about faith, together with claims that “Jesus is the anti christ.” Not one of the public posts appeared to say Pelosi.
Extra not too long ago, two different blogs written by somebody with the username “daviddepape” have posted content material much like that on DePape’s Fb web page.
In a string of posts on a WordPress.com weblog over the course of a number of days in August 2022, the creator complained about huge tech censorship and posted statements like “Hitlery did nothing flawed.” The positioning has since been taken offline.
And one other weblog, additionally attributed to “daviddepape,” featured antisemitic screeds and content material linked to the QAnon conspiracy concept. One video posted on the positioning features a shot of Pelosi swinging a gavel throughout one among former President Donald Trump’s impeachments, and one other video contains a picture of Pelosi and different politicians. A 3rd video features a clip of Pelosi talking on the Home flooring.
Different posts from the previous couple of weeks featured movies accusing LGBTQ folks of “grooming” youngsters, and declared that “any journalist saying” there isn’t a proof of election fraud “needs to be dragged straight out into the road and shot.” The newest publish – linking to a YouTube video evaluating faculties to cults – went up the day earlier than the Pelosi assault.
CNN was not in a position to affirm that the 2 blogs had been written by DePape.
One other former acquaintance of DePape’s additionally instructed CNN he exhibited regarding conduct over time.
Laura Hayes, who additionally lives in California, stated she labored with DePape for a couple of months roughly a decade in the past making hemp bracelets when he was residing in a storage shed within the Berkeley space. She stated DePape bought the bracelets as a enterprise.
“He was very odd. He did not make eye contact very nicely,” Hayes stated. She recalled him saying that “he talks to angels and there will likely be a tough time coming.” However she did not bear in mind any severely threatening feedback, and stated she did not suppose a lot of it as a result of “it is Berkeley,” a spot the place eccentric characters aren’t unusual.
Hayes, who was Fb mates with DePape, referred to as his newer posts “so phobic in so some ways” and stuffed with “a lot anger.”