After a 15-month investigation, a New Jersey man has been charged with one count of criminal mischief in the vandalism attack on America's Stonehenge that left the New Hampshire colonial cold cellars wrongly believed to be an ancient Old World monument defaced with QAnon slogans. Mark Russo, 50, is currently is in jail in New Jersey waiting for extradition to New Hampshire to face trial.
The New Hampshire Union-Leader reported some of the details:
Russo was arrested after police found images of the stone and Russo online. Detectives connected him to a Twitter account responsible for a Tweet referencing “a few improvements” at the site. The images on the cross were also linked to Russo, police said.
The newspapers also falsely reported that the tourist attraction was 4,000 years old and likely built by Old World people. The paper repeated claims straight from the site's website, with only a brief reference that "skeptics claim" the site to be a nineteenth century construction. Additional details were reported on Twitter.
Russo's now-suspended Twitter account had posted tweets in which Russo discussed his desire to destroy the Washington Monument (which he called a monument to Baal) and the obelisk at Bunker Hill, and he cited History Channel and Travel Channel host Scott F. Wolter, a conspiracy theorist, from whose show America Unearthed he had learned about the false claims made for America's Stonehenge, specifically the episode I reviewed here.
Russo apparently believed America's Stonehenge to be an evil pagan monument that had to be defaced and destroyed to break its prehistoric power in the name of God and QAnon, wrongly believing Wolter's allegations on America Unearthed that the colonial cold cellar had been the scene of grisly human sacrifices. The cider press popularly called the "sacrificial table" was the target of the vandalism attack authorities charged Russo with committing.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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