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The reasons for the actions aside, Joe Stack left 13 injured, 2 dead in Thursday's Austin, Texas crash suicide. The question everyone is asking is why? But unlike Amy Bishop, who left no note and is alive in jail, Joe Stack left a long note, and is dead.
By now, the pattern emerges of a person who was angry with the IRS, unhappy with Austin, Texas, and sad because of his own misfortunes in life. But that doesn't explain what set Joe Stack to aim an airplane into an Austin, Texas building. While Joe Stack was angry with the IRS, there's no hard evidence that Stack was formally involved with the Tea Party Movement.
A more rounded, human picture of Joe Stack is emerging. Stack was a guitarist who played in the Billy Eil Band, and while photos of his association with the group have been removed, the action was done after they were posted online and clues about him remain.
"Joe Stack – Bass, Vocals, Accordion on Spook Lights of Marfa" appear on the website. That means whatever ills Joe Stack carried around with him, he used music to help him cope with life.
Joe Stack was by all appearances a normal person getting along in life. He was married, had friends, was employed, and played more than one band...and by accounts not badly.
The recollections that appear from those acquainted with Stack were that "He seemed incredibly decent and mild-mannered" as Patrick Beach wrote in The Austin American Stateman.
Pat Beach was shocked and Billy Eli couldn't believe it. According to Beach, Eli said:
"He was the most sort of even-keeled and sane person I ever played with. I know everybody says that, but it's true. He was just a normal-seeming guy. I never heard him raise his voice."
Eli's band wasn't the only one Joe Stack played in. Stack was also a member of an Austin-based band called The Last Straw. On their MySpace page, the band wrote "We found a great keyboardist named Joe Stack."
It's hard to find any example of anyone who had anything bad to say about Joe Stack. Michael Cerza, who talked to Pat Beach for his column, said this:
"My impression of Joe was a kind, quiet, not at all brooding or taciturn person," Cerza said. "I didn't sense anything boiling under the surface. He was very pleased to get married again, I know that. There was no indication in his actions or his words that he would harm anyone. And then he crashes into a building full of strangers, innocent people. I can't make those ends meet in my mind. The madness of the times, maybe."
Just exactly what made Joe Stack reach that boiling point, that edge he wrote of being close to where he set his home on fire with his wife and daughter in it, and crashed a plane into a building, is not known as of this writing.
Joe Stack seemed normal. But then so did George Sodoni, who, last August 2009, went into a fitness club and shot women, after writing a web-based rant on his inability to get laid. And so did Dr. Amy Bishop, who , last Friday, got up and shot three of her University of Alabama-Huntsville colleagues in cold blood, then seemed to deny it ever happened.
Something is really wrong.