The Below Articles Were Written By Julie Montanaro Of WCTV About Six Years Ago. This Story Clearly Shows The Similarity Of Chris Dorner In Which History Repeats Itself For The Psychos Working In Our Local Law Enforcement.
Reporter: Julie Montanaro | WCTV.Tv
Ten years ago today the woods of Gadsden County were teeming with police, helicopters, dogs and fear in one of the biggest manhunts in Florida history.
The search was on for Carl Clausen, a former military man and police officer who had recently lost his job and discovered his wife was having an e-mail affair with an old flame.
“Hopefully he would come to his senses and turn himself in but I don’t really believe he’ll do that,” Gadsden County Sheriff W.A. Woodham said at the time.
Carl Clausen had killed his wife, opened fire on responding deputies and put into practice all he’d learned as a U.S. Army Ranger.
“He knows the lay of the land,” Tallahassee Police Sergeant Mark Meadows said during the search. “He definitely has the home field advantage out here. When it gets dark, it’s even more of an advantage because now we can’t see real well.”
Clausen managed to evade 150 law officers, heat seeking helicopters, bloodhounds and more days into the manhunt no one knew where he was.
“You could look into some of their eyes and you could see there was a fear here and you knew, if he went down, he was going to take somebody down with him,” recalled former WCTV reporter Tony Whitehurst.
Four days and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, there was still no sign of Clausen. All the SWAT teams, TAC teams and military minds packed up and went home.
The next day, Clausen sneaked back to his home and onto the back porch, only to be ordered to the ground at gunpoint by his former son-in-law, John Pretti, who also happened to be a Tallahassee Police Officer.
“It seemed like he knew that he was caught. I remember he had a bag. I told him to put the bag down and turn around. I proned him down on the back porch and I begged him not to move because in my mind, I was going to shoot him. I remember he wanted to take his glasses off. I told him he’d been in the woods for a week; he could wait another couple of minutes. I said please don’t move and I told someone to call 9-1-1,” Pretti said.
Daughter Karin Clausen remembers getting word that the search for her father was finally over.
“My ex-husband John Pretti called me and he was very excited and I couldn’t understand what he was telling me. He was very loud and almost incomprehensible, and when I finally got what he was saying, I was like, I’m so relieved, I’m so glad, and is everybody okay? So that was a great, a wonderful end to it that nobody else had been hurt.”
Carl Clausen had managed to outsmart the law for five long days and he did it with a backpack full of survival gear. FDLE opened it for the first time last week at our request. Inside there were military rations, goggles, fishing lures, vitamins, an Army ranger handbook and more.
Deputies surmised that after days in the woods, diarrhea and foot fungus forced him out, but a look at FDLE case files shows Clausen never intended to give up and perhaps intended to kill again.
In an interview about an hour after his arrest, he told FDLE agents that he came home to get his car keys so he could “solve the other half of the problem” and make his wife’s e-mail sweetheart “suffer like he had.”
“It was our belief that Carl was trying to make his way down there to confront or assault him,” said FDLE Case Agent Chris Hirst.
Clausen eventually plead guilty to murdering his wife and trying to kill four deputies. He was sentenced to fifty years in prison. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at what he’s doing now, his attorney’s quest for a new trial and share our conversation with Clausen’s daughter Karin.
Ten years ago this week, Carl Clausen was the most wanted man in Florida. He had killed his wife, fired on deputies, and managed to evade capture for five days. Clausen’s only explanation for it all has come in police interviews and appeal records and his children still struggle to understand why.
“I just wanted it to end. It seemed like it was never ending at the time. It started out awfully and then seemed to spiral from there,” his daughter Karin Clausen recalled.
Karin Clausen found her mother’s body that night and in the past 10 years has had to come to terms with the fact that her father pulled the trigger.
“I can’t even believe that this is, years later, and we’re still talking about this and how awful it was and how awful it continues to be to not have her there, and of course you know, you live your life and you do things day to day, but it’s always there.”
Carl Clausen is now serving 50 years for the murder of Cynthia Clausen and the attempted murder of four deputies who responded to the scene. He’s in Zephyrhills Correctional, a center for elderly inmates where he works as a custodian and maintenance man.
We tried to arrange an interview with him, but his attorney refused. Clausen’s only account of his wife’s murder came in an appeal in which he claims she pointed a gun at him first.
“My impression was the muzzle was two feet away,” he wrote, “perhaps less; not wavering in the least.”
“I remember hearing the hammer snap,” and then, “straightening and twisting some to get hold of and free my pistol from my right front pocket and thrusting it forward and firing,” he wrote in an affidavit dated July 6, 2000.
Clausen’s attorney says he’ll try again to win the 70-year-old inmate a new trial. Loren Rhoton of Tampa claims Clausen’s original attorney did not pursue any defenses, including self-defense or temporary insanity.
Court records show Clausen has already appealed and lost five times.
“I think he thinks he has an excuse. There is no excuse,” daughter Karin said.
She doesn’t speak or correspond with her father at all.
“I have nothing to say.”
Instead she tries to remember her mother before things went so wrong.
“She was such a nice person to know. She was so smart, always quick with the worst puns that you can imagine, and she loved her job as a social worker in Chattahoochee at the hospital.”
“There is a space for your mother in your life that can’t be filled by anyone else, I don’t think, and to lose your mother in that manner, so needlessly, just makes it even more bitter.”
Karin Clausen admits her parents had a rocky marriage at times, married and divorced, remarried and often arguing, but she could never have imagined this.
“Outside of what happened to our family, they were really, really wonderful people in their ways, but domestic violence doesn’t see. It doesn’t care how this happens.”
The Department of Corrections says Carl Clausen is not eligible for parole, but he can earn gain time for good behavior. Right now Clausen is scheduled to be released in April 2045. He’ll be 109 years old.