Phillip (alternately, "Philip") Marshall, 54, a career airline pilot who claimed to have once served as a contract pilot for the CIA and DEA during the Iran-Contra affair, shot and killed his two teenage children, and the family dog, then killed himself.
The apparent murder-suicide was discovered at the family home in an upscale gated golfing community in Murphys, California.
According to local news reports, teen friends of Alex Marshall, 17 (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), and Macaila Marshall (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), 14, noticed the siblings had not been active via text or social media updates since Thursday and went by the house on Saturday to check on them.
The last posts made by either child to Instagram and Facebook were dated Thursday night.
The friends told police that when they arrived, they found Phillip Marshall, 54, "lying in a pool of blood inside the home," his 9mm Glock nearby.
Deputies believe the children were shot while sleeping on a couch.
The family dog was found shot to death in a nearby bedroom.
Marshall's estranged wife Sean, the children's mother, was out of the country at the time.
Phillip Marshall has been identified as a former pilot for Eastern and United airlines. He self-published a number of books, including at least two about his 9/11 conspiracy theories: "The Big Bamboozle" (February 9, 2012) and "False Flag 911: How Bush, Cheney and the Saudis Created the Post-911 World" (July 29, 2008).
A previous novel published in 2003, "Lakefront Airport, New Orleans," detailed his claimed experience as a pilot for the US during Iran/Contra.
In his books and his social media bios (including multiple Facebook accounts, his Twitter account and a Tumblr), he claims to have served as a contract pilot for the CIA's Special Activities Division during the Iran-Contra affair, flying shipments to and from Nicaragua.
He appeared on "outsider truth" shows like Coast to Coast to promote the theories in his books that 9/11 was an "inside job," the result of a plot between the US government and the Saudis.
From his author bio on Createspace.com, Amazon.com's self-publishing service:
Philip Marshall, a veteran airline captain and former government "special activities" contract pilot, has authored three books on Top Secret America, a group presently conducting business as the United States Intelligence Community.
Beginning with his role in the 1980s as a Learjet captain first as part of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sting on Pablo Escobar, and later in the covert arming of the Nicaraguan Contras, Marshall has studied and written 30-years worth of covert government special activities and the revolving door of Wall Street tricksters, media moguls, and their well funded politicians.
I am unable to confirm the veracity of the claims in his self-authored bio at this time.
[UPDATE: CIA spokesman Preston Golson wrote in an email Tuesday: "We're unaware of any information that would substantiate Mr. Marshall's claims."]
A Facebook page for "The Big Bamboozle" showed posts as recent as January 31 with titles like, "WHAT IS THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HIDING?," "THE ARAB WORLD KNOWS THE RAID WAS A HOAX," and posts about the Bin Laden assassination having been faked.
"PICTURES PAINT A THOUSAND WORDS," read one such Facebook post from Marshall about photographs of the assassinated Al Qaeda leader. "Since bin Laden died in 2001, these would be "alleged" photos of bin Laden. Give us a break."
He once also pitched those theories to a television news journalist with whom this blogger is acquainted.
A young friend of the two slain teens with whom this blogger is personally acquainted described them as "sweet, funny, lively, good kids."
A tweet from Macaila on January 25:
Would it be wrong if I threw my cat with his claws retracted at my dads face right now?… #pissoff
— Macaila Marshall (@MacailaMarshall) January 25, 2013
Photos from the siblings' Instagram feeds suggest that they were outgoing, well-liked by friends, and loved one another very much. In one, Macaila is in the hospital after a "golf cart accident," with her father sitting in the background.
In the last self-portrait she posted on January 28, her brother blows a hair dryer at her while she goofs in the mirror.
"I pretty much just wanted to say how great of a big brother you are," Macaila writes to her brother in another Instagram caption, "I love you so much!"
A family photo Instagrammed by Alex shows the boy at a much younger age.
In it, he is helping his father mow the lawn with a toy lawnmower.