Daniel Beckwitt, a channer with a trust fund, began digging a bunker under his house after his mother died. Driven by survivalist paranoia and reinforced in adjacent ideologies by like-minded internet users, he hired another young man, Askia Khafra, to dig in the growing tunnel system while he blew the days on Reddit and 4chan. Everything was dangerous—the house and basement full of hoarded junk, the bunker a structural deathtrap—and when something terrible happened, it was Askia who could not get out. In The Washington, William Brennan tries to unravel what on Earth happened down there.
As neighbors watched the house from their lawns and windows, a county fire investigator made a startling discovery. Squeezing past the furnace amid a tower of junk in the basement, he was headed to shut off the gas meter when something caught his eye: A few feet ahead, there was a hole in the concrete floor. Below it, investigators soon learned, stretched an extensive network of tunnels and bunkers—long, twisting hallways of bare rock that would end up revealing the bizarrest of internet-era fables, and one with a ghastly ending.
It's hard to believe it's real. It's like groverhaus, but with a hole leading straight to hell and a murder conviction to take with you.