Hitchhiker writing book on kindness actually shot himself

Last week, writer Ray Dolin, 39, made news when he claimed to have been shot in a random drive-by while gathering experiences as a hitchhhiker for his book "Kindness in America." Turns out though, Dolin actually shot himself. I guess PR is PR. From The Missoulian:

Dolin, of Julian, W.Va., acknowledged he concocted the tale about the random shooting after he was confronted by investigators at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Miles City where he is recovering, said Sheriff Glen Meier.

Authorities later arrested Lloyd Christopher Danielson III, 52, and charged him with felony assault. That charge was dropped Thursday, although Danielson remained in custody, accused of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he was arrested.

"Sheriff: Hitchhiker writing book on kindness shot himself"


    1. Paul Christoforo has filed a lawsuit against iControl, N-Control’s parent company, for harming his reputation.  Really.

      1. I think I heard about that, wasn’t part of his evidence emails that were dated from the timeframe when he had total control of their accounts?

    1. He will end up with charges and a record even though the “probable cause” for the police contact was false. Happened to me in Los Angeles. I, walking down the street,  “looked like” some guy they were chasing so what I had in my pocket got me 10 days in County jail and a felony charge that has haunted me ever since. In Amerika there is an assumption of guilt which you must disprove from a jail cell. 

  1. How exactly did the police have enough evidence to arrest Danielson for a completely made-up crime? What was their reasonable suspicion? And since when is being under the influence “of drugs or alcohol”, which could be “had drunk a couple of beers”, enough cause to keep someone locked up?

    Am I the only person who thinks this whole story is fishy as hell, and not just the “crazy person supposedly shot themselves for publicity” part?

    1.  Cynical, you’re not being cynical enough.  This whole story is fishy as hell, but sadly, “police arrested someone for a crime they couldn’t possibly have committed then kept them anyway just because” is not in any way the implausible part.  Prediction: Danielson will turn out to be someone the police already knew/suspected/didn’t like.

      1. Surely if they hold onto him they’ll find a crime some where. Sadly this is really really common. 

    2. Well, we don’t know the facts. It seems quite possible that the shooting “victim”, when interviewed by the police, described a putative shooter (something like “haircut, vehicle type, headed west on this road a half-hour” ago – or perhaps more detailed), and that Mr. Danielson matched the description. The shooting “victim” may have deliberately described Mr. Danielson (he may have had a grudge, or may have based his character on his impression of Mr. Danielson), the resemblance may have been (un) fortuitous, or the police may have grabbed the first drunk hick they found who’d have passed the “victim” in the right time frame.

  2. I know it’s not popular to suggest that any American police force might be capable of doing their jobs honestly (or at all), but there’s a lot we don’t know about this. What we do know is that the guy who shot himself lied to the police about it. As in, made stuff up. As in, provided specific details for the police to look for someone, knowing that they could not possibly find the right guy as long as they weren’t looking for him. 

    If I’m the owner of a maroon pickup, and I’m known to be in the area of this shooting, and I’m known to have a gun like the one the “victim” described, and I’m in a drunk and disorderly state when they catch up with me, and I can’t or won’t immediately account for my whereabouts, or any of a dozen other combinations of coincidences that add up to probable cause, then I’m going to get arrested. I will be PISSED, and rightfully so since I know I didn’t do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the wrong call to arrest me under those circumstances! 

    Now, the fact that an arrest record is tantamount to a conviction in terms of how it affects you afterwards–that’s a very serious problem of the fixable sort, if we as a culture didn’t find it easier to just write people off based on things that databases say about them. I think there should be a law in every state making arrests without convictions automatically expunged after a short period of time, plus another law making it illegal to discriminate for jobs, housing, etc. based on any knowledge of fruitless arrests. But the police aren’t (and shouldn’t be) in charge of making that change happen.

    1. the fact that an arrest record is tantamount to a conviction in terms of how it affects you afterwards

      That’s actually not a fact. An arrest can cause problems down the line in certain situations, but it is by no means “tantamount to conviction.”

  3. Might be fun, simply as a retrospective of course, to re-publish the comments from the first post when ‘he was shot’ in Montana.

  4. Something seemed off to me, even about the whole 
    “self promoter hoisted upon his own petard” angle. 

    Took a look at his site ( oneshotimpressons -a little TOO fit for punnery) 
    and noticed a few things were off concerning the site….

    Why is the domain registered to a woman with an address in Mercer Island, WA
    but a phone # in Charleston, WV? 

    The site’s created with Wix using a free template, 
    so I’m thinking she wasn’t his website designer….

    guess I have more questions than answers…

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