A man walking on a Southern California beach Friday discovered a well-preserved carcass of a bizarre-looking fish that typically resides at depths of 2,000-plus feet.
The extraordinary discovery of what has since been identified as a female Pacific footballfish, a type of anglerfish, was made by Ben Estes at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach.
Images of the 18-inch anglerfish were captured by Estes and Crystal Cove employees, and shared to Facebook on Saturday by Davey’s Locker Sportfishing & Whale Watching.
“It’s been identified as a deep-sea Pacific footballfish, which is a species of anglerfish that normally dwell at depths more than 3,000 ft below the surface,” Davey’s Locker wrote. “It’s one of more than 300 living species of anglerfish from around the world. Though the fish itself is not rare, it is extremely rare to see one this intact along a beach in southern CA.”
Encounters with anglerfish are exceedingly rare because of the extreme, lightless depths at which they reside.
In 2014, scientists with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute captured ROV footage of an anglerfish swimming 2,000 feet below the surface.
Dr. Bruce Robison of MBARI described the anglerfish as being “among the most rarely seen of all deep-sea fishes.” Robison described the footage as first of its kind. The 3.5-inch fish was collected for study.
Most species of anglerfish measure less than 12 inches. They’re called anglerfish because first spine of their dorsal fins, called the illicium, extends outward and contains a phosphorescent bulb intended to lure prey.
They snatch up prey, usually small fish or squid, with long, sharp teeth.
While anglerfish fish are rarely observed, many will find them to look familiar based on a scene in the popular animated movie “Finding Nemo,” in which Marlin and Dory are entranced by the glowing light and narrowly escape capture.
The Pacific footballfish discovered Friday was collected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and it was unclear Saturday where it would end up.
–Images are courtesy of Ben Estes (top) and Crystal Cove State Park
An alleged intruder armed with a knife took a fatal head shot from a homeowner Tuesday in Escambia County, Florida.
WKRG reports that the suspect, a 54-year-old male, allegedly kicked in the door of the residence then “armed himself with a knife.”
He allegedly made threats against the woman of the house and went “room to room” trying to find her. He discovered her in a back bedroom. She was armed and shot twice at the man out of fear for her life.
One of the shots struck the suspect in the head, killing him.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) commented on the incident, saying, “At the time of the incident, the suspect, had an active Domestic Violence Injunction filed on him. He was also reportedly on his way to anger management treatment when the incident took place.”
The ECSO posted video showing the suspect allegedly kicking in the door to make entrance into the home.
Ledell Lee was executed for murder in a flurry of lethal injections that divided the Supreme Court and proceeded despite lawyers’ calls for DNA testing.
“No one should be executed when there is a possibility that person is innocent,” attorney Nina Morrison said in April 2017, just after Lee — convicted in the 1990s — became the first person put to death in Arkansas in more than a decade. The state drew national scrutiny for moving aggressively through capital cases before one of its drugs used in executions expired.
Four years later, attorneys say genetic material from the murder weapon in Lee’s case points to someone else.
New testing found DNA from an unknown man on the handle of the bloody club apparently used to bludgeon Debra Reese to death, according to lawyers who sued the city of Jacksonville, Ark., to have old evidence analyzed. The Innocence Project, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lee’s family sought the testing last year in an unusual effort to exonerate someone with DNA testing even after the person’s execution.
The results obtained nearly three decades after the crime “proved to be incomplete and partial,” acknowledged Morrison, a lawyer with the Innocence Project. But she framed the discovery as significant and leaving the door open for more findings down the road in a case that relied largely on eyewitness testimony.
“We are glad there is new evidence in the national DNA database and remain hopeful that there will be further information uncovered in the future,” Patricia Young, Lee’s sister, said in a statement.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) defended Lee’s execution at a news conferenceTuesday, saying that the new evidence is “inconclusive” and noting that “the jury found him guilty based upon the information that they had.”
“Whenever you make tough decisions, whenever you have to carry out the decision of a jury, you realize that it’s been reviewed by the Supreme Court at every level,” said Hutchinson, who scheduled Lee’s among a wave of executions in 2017. “They affirm the convictions, and it’s my duty to carry out the law.”
In a statement, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) dismissed criticisms of the case against Lee.
“The courts consistently rejected Ledell Lee’s frivolous claims because the evidence demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that he murdered Debra Reese by beating her to death inside her home with a tire thumper,” Rutledge said, adding that she hopes the victim’s family got closure after Lee’s execution.
The Washington Post could not reach the lead prosecutor on Lee’s case on Tuesday. Now a judge, she has expressed confidence that authorities took a serial predator off the streets, and Lee was convicted of two rapes in the early ’90s after his arrest for the Reese murder.
“I think what makes Ledell Lee particularly deserving — and no other penalty but the death penalty would be proportional to the crimes that he has committed — would be this pattern of being a serial rapist and a killer,” the prosecutor, Holly Lodge Meyer, previously told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
After his arrest in the 1993 killing of Reese, authorities linked Lee to four other crimes with DNA — three sexual assaults and one homicide, according to the Democrat-Gazette, though the homicide and one of the assault cases were dropped.
In Reese’s case, one neighbor testified that he saw Lee enter and leave the victim’s home the day of the killing, according to the Democrat-Gazette. Another said that Lee came to his door once asking for tools — what prosecutors suggested was Lee’s tactic for seeking out women home alone. Authorities said a shoe print and human blood found in Lee’s sneakers also bolstered their case.
Yet lawyers advocating for Lee said a review uncovered flaws in the evidence,including a “shocking[ly]” biased photo lineup. Lee’s appellate attorney acknowledged in an affidavit that he had struggled with substance abuse and didn’t have the resources to mount a proper defense. Now, there is also the new testing.
No match was found for the unknown man’s genetic profile in a national database of DNA, but it will now be automatically compared against any new additions, according to lawyers with the Innocence Project, the ACLU and two law firms that represent Lee’s sister. DNA that appears to be from the same person was also discovered on a bloody white shirt wrapped around the weapon, they said.
Testing could not rule out Lee as the possible source of one of multiple hairs and hair fragments recovered from the scene, they added, but the kind of mitochondrial DNA profiles analyzed “may be shared by thousands of individuals in a given population.”
A lawyer for Jacksonville — which also received the new reports, according to the lawyers who sued the city — did not immediately respond Tuesday evening to a request for comment.
Lee died maintaining his innocence, and attorneys appealed his case right up to his lethal injection. The Supreme Court eventually cleared the way to execute Lee and others on Arkansas’ death row — splitting 5 to 4 at one point, with the court’s liberal justices saying the state should not proceed.
“I have previously noted the arbitrariness with which executions are carried out in this country,” wrote Justice Stephen G. Breyer. “And I have pointed out how the arbitrary nature of the death penalty system, as presently administered, runs contrary to the very purpose of a ‘rule of law.’ ”
Lee died just before midnight, after making some last calls and sharing up his possessions, a lawyer said, among them chips that he gave to a fellow prisoner. That man’s execution had just been called off, and he remains on death row.
LOS ANGELES – Authorities arrested a man believed to be connected with more than 30 masked burglaries across the Los Angeles area.
Rockim Prowell, 30, of Inglewood, was arrested on Sunday following a traffic stop in Beverly Hills. He was later charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with two counts of burglary, two counts of grand theft, and one count of vandalism.
Police found items, including a face mask, in the vehicle he was driving that linked him to a string of burglaries, the Beverly Hills Police Department said. They also determined the license plates attached to the vehicle were stolen.
Authorities connected Prowell with at least two burglaries in Beverly Hills. One was on April 20 in the 1900 block of Loma Vista Drive, which helped authorities link the suspect to another burglary, on June 20, 2020, that occurred in the 100 block of Stanley Drive. During both crimes, the suspect stole flat-screen televisions.
When detectives conducted a search warrant at Prowell’s home in Inglewood, they discovered stolen items connecting him to additional residential burglaries.
The agency’s new recruitment video is dangerously woke.
The CIA has become CONTROL. But only the Chinese are laughing over at the Ministry of State Security. Would you believe the Russian Intelligence Service? How about the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence? Actually, everyone is scoffing at the vomitively woke CIA recruitment video that just came to light. It seems more like a Mel Brooks parody than Get Smart, the brilliant classic spy-spoof sitcom he created 56 years ago with the late, great Buck Henry. Except the show’s buffoonish secret agent, Maxwell Smart (the unforgettable Don Adams) acted more competent than the leftist fools who put out the video and are unfortunately running the agency — into the ground. The CIA may be as inept as Smart’s employer, CONTROL, but our enemies are a lot sharper than his foe, KAOS.
The recruitment video has to be seen to be believed. A description can’t do it justice, but here goes: It opens with a clear shot of a CIA building in Langley, Virginia, which may appear inadvisable from the jump. As cheesy piano music plays, a plump, unattractive Hispanic woman with earrings the size of arm bracelets approaches the entrance. Well, maybe the agency isn’t recruiting Bond Girls anymore, but even Valerie Plame was portrayed by Naomi Watts (Fair Game, 2010).
Then the woman’s voice starts spouting academic tripe in an abrasive tone. “When I was 17, I quoted Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘How It Feels To Be Colored Me’ in my college application essay. The line that spoke to me stated simply, ‘I am not tragically colored. There is no sorrow dammed up in my soul nor lurking behind my eyes.’ … Now nothing about me was or is tragic. I am perfectly made.” While such pointless racial drivel may fling open PC university doors, it won’t expose the Russian mole in Section 2.
The woman’s narration continues, “I can wax eloquent on complex legal issues in English, while also belting ‘Guayaquil de Mis Amores’ in Spanish.” Perhaps she should first conclude the complex legal argument before breaking into song. “I can change a diaper with one hand and console a crying toddler with the other.” It’s unclear which of these various skills can best anticipate the North Korean missile attack on Seoul.
“I am a woman of color,” the subject declares. “I am a mom. I am a cisgender millennial who’s been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional. But my existence is not a box-checking exercise. I am a walking declaration. A woman whose inflection does not rise at the end of her sentences, suggesting that a question has been asked.” This whole portion is either total progressive garbage or some ingenious code language. Either way, it could replace CIA waterboarding in getting al-Qaeda prisoners to talk.
“I did not sneak into CIA,” she asserts. “My employment was not and is not the result of a fluke or a slip through the cracks.” This we can instantly believe since she is shown standing next to John Brennan, the most disastrous CIA director of all time, although Biden still has the opportunity to appoint someone worse. “I used to struggle with Impostor Syndrome,” she confesses. “But at 36, I refuse to internalize misguided patriarchal ideas of what a woman can or should be.” Chinese Intelligence had a pretty good patriarchal idea of what a woman should be when they planted their comely agent Fang Fang in a honey trap for Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell.
The next section of the narrator’s self-promotion sounds like a nonsensical “Daily Affirmation” from Stuart Smalley, the old Saturday Night Live character played by Al Franken before the latter became another disgraced Democratic politician with a patriarchal idea of what a woman should be. “I am tired of feeling like I’m supposed to apologize for the space I occupy rather than intoxicate people with my effort, my brilliance. I am proud of me.” She might as well have said, as Smalley did, “Because I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me,” for all the relevance this has to the CIA mission of national security.
Finally, she ends the quasi-psychiatric session. “I stand here today a proud first-generation Latina and officer at CIA. I am unapologetically me. I want you to be unapologetically you, whoever you are. Know your worth. Command your space. Mi hija, you’re worth it.” And doubtless so is all the top-secret information that will be funneled to the Kremlin with intersectional fools like this woman recruiting new people for the CIA.
Come to think of it, why are we seeing a Central Intelligence Agency recruitment video in the first place? Before Obama and Brennan, the institution was as secretive about its recruitment as its activity. I know this because I once applied there and, thanks to the involvement of a then-agent, got an interview at Langley.
It was the early ’80s, the height of the Cold War. Having lost my homeland to that war, I thought I could do my part to win it. I was met in the lobby by a young officer, who showed me the confidential Wall of Heroes containing the names of CIA stars who died in the line of duty. “Some of those names might surprise you,” he said. I met with the recruiter in his office. He was interested in my Cuban background and Spanish proficiency, not to find out if I was a proud Latino or could croon “Guantanamera” in Spanish, but to determine if I could blend in with Castroists on foreign soil. I believed I could. I was young, foolish, and game, and besides, Ronald Reagan was president and I trusted him to get me home if I messed up.
I didn’t get the job. And now I feel sorry for anyone who does, judging by this new recruitment video. The iconic espionage novelist John Le Carré (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) called British Intelligence the Circus. He may have foreseen today’s CIA with its preponderance of clowns. But, unlike Maxwell Smart, they’re not funny, except to our enemies.
Two elderly Asian women were stabbed without warning as they waited for a bus in downtown San Francisco in the latest in a series of attacks against Asian Americans nationwide since the start of the pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO — Two elderly Asian women were stabbed as they waited for a bus in downtown San Francisco — the latest in a series of attacks against Asian Americans nationwide since the start of the pandemic last year.
A woman working at a flower stall Tuesday afternoon told KGO-TV that she saw a man walking on Market Street shortly before the attack carrying “a pretty big knife” with knuckles on the handle.
“Her back was turned and all I see is feathers came out of her jacket. So I am very sure that she got sliced,” the witness said of one victim. “He walked away like nothing happened, like Sunday morning.”
Police said the 63- and 84-year-old women remained hospitalized Wednesday. The 84-year-old was initially treated for life-threatening injuries, but her medical status has been upgraded to non-life threatening, police said.
Patrick Thompson, 54, of San Francisco was arrested about two hours after the attack. Investigators were working to determine whether the incident was motivated by racial bias.
It wasn’t immediately known if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. The San Francisco Public Defender’s office didn’t immediately know whether it would be assigned to the case.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said his office expects to announce charges against Thompson on Thursday. His office also plans to start a pilot program to provide support to elderly Asian victims of crime, he said in a statement.
The attack highlighted the dangerous climate Asian Americans have faced since the coronavirus entered the U.S. after surfacing in China. Racially motivated harassment and assaults have occurred nationwide.
“These are horrifying, deliberate attacks on Asian residents, often elderly,” said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney, who represents the area where the latest attack occurred. “We have to stop this. People need to be able to walk down the street safely and wait for a bus without fear.”
Elsewhere, a police hate crime task force in New York City was investigating a recent incident in which a 31-year-old Asian woman and her companion walking in midtown Manhattan were accosted by a woman with a hammer.
Surveillance video released by police shows the attacker saying something to the women, hitting one with the hammer and swiping at the other before leaving. Police said the woman who was struck suffered a head laceration and later told police the attacker told her to take off her mask before she was hit. No arrests have been made.
In an incident near Times Square in March, a man was seen kicking and stomping a 65-year-old Filipina woman in front of an apartment building. A parolee who had been convicted of killing his mother two decades ago was arrested.
Another man was arrested last month on hate crimes charges in an attack on a Chinese immigrant in East Harlem. The 61-year-old victim was collecting cans when he was attacked from behind, knocked to the ground and kicked in the head.
New York is among several cities where police are beefing up patrols in Chinatown. The San Francisco Bay Area has also seen an increasing number of attacks against Asian Americans.
California prosecutors have filed assault and hate crime charges against a man accused last week of yelling racial slurs before knocking down Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
In separate attacks in San Francisco in March, an 83-year-old Vietnamese man was knocked down and broke his neck, and a 77-year-old woman was attacked. Police arrested a man on suspicion of f assault and elder abuse in both cases. Another 83-year-old man was pushed down in February, broke a hip and spent weeks in a hospital and rehabilitation.
Energy rays coming out of the White House Photo illustration by Salon/getty Images
Federal authorities are investigating two invisible attacks that occurred on U.S. soil, including one last November near the White House, and have the hallmarks of a mysterious neurological condition known as “Havana syndrome.”
According to a CNN report, federal officials have not yet arrived at any definitive conclusions regarding the source of the attacks. Defense officials reportedly briefed lawmakers in the Senate and House Armed Services Committees last month on the most recent incidents – one of which occurred in the Ellipse, the large park just south of the White House fence, when a National Security Council official reported feeling suddenly “sickened,” according to people familiar with the matter.
Another incident occurred back in 2019 and involved a White House official who was walking her dog in a Virginia suburb just outside of Washington. The official similarly described a feeling of sudden illness.
That the most recent incident unfolded within walking distance from the White House has renewed concerns around the strange phenomenon that first made news in 2016. Back then, multiple U.S. diplomats stationed in Havana – as well as their support staff – reported “hearing strange sounds, steady pulses of pressure in their heads and a number of other bizarre physical sensations. In some cases, they “noticed a sharp deterioration in their hearing and vision,” according to CNBC. Canadian diplomats also alleged similar experiences.
One New York Times investigation also found that a CIA official working out of Moscow fell ill with “severe vertigo in his hotel room in Moscow and later developed debilitating migraine headaches that forced him to retire.” In 2018, Americans working at the U.S. consulate in China reported symptoms that resembled those “following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury,” according to The New York Times.
While the phenomenon has been with us for some years now, little is known about it. Several senior CIA officials have floated suspicions of Russia’s role in the attacks, given the country’s history using weaponry known to cause brain damage as well as its potential interest in undermining America’s relations with Beijing and Cuba, according to the Times. One former official involved in current investigations of the attacks told CNN that China is also a potential culprit.
According to CNBC, government-affiliated physicians scanned the brains of 21 victims. However, the results “showed structural changes to the brain that had not been identified or linked to any known disorder.”
During the Trump administration, federal officials complained that defense agencies were not taking the attacks seriously enough. Chris Miller, then acting defense secretary, told CNN last week: “I knew CIA and Department of State were not taking this sh*t seriously and we wanted to shame them into it by establishing our task force.”
In February, the State Department vowed to appoint a new senior-level advisor to oversee future cases of Havana syndrome. “This advisor will be positioned in a senior role and will report directly to the department’s senior leadership to ensure, as I said, that we continue to make significant strides to address this issue and to ensure our people are receiving the treatment they need,” a State Department spokesperson said at the time.
That same month, during his confirmation hearing in February, CIA director William Burns promised to take the attacks more seriously. “If I’m confirmed as director of CIA, I will have no higher priority than taking care of people — of colleagues and their families,” he declared. “And I do commit to you that if I’m confirmed I will make it an extraordinarily high priority to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for the attacks that you just described, and to ensure that colleagues and their families get the care that they deserve including at the National Institutes of Health and Walter Reed.”
In March, the National Academy of Sciences published a report which speculated that “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” was a probable culprit of the condition, according to CNN. However, the report arrived at no conclusive findings.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that the White House is working to “evaluate any situation.”Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.
The student body president of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was discovered posting extreme, racist, and violent rhetoric on social media, which included advocating for the targeted killings of law enforcement. In one post to social media, the “transgender & non-binary” leader of VCU’s student government wrote: “i hate white people so much its not even funny.”
“Ur reminder to advocate for the [killing] of [kops],” tweeted VCU student body president Taylor Marie Maloney in March, from the now-suspended Twitter account, @okrasocialist, according to a report by Post Millennial.
In another tweet, the student body president celebrated the killing of a Capitol Police officer.
“love this we need more of this,” Maloney wrote in response to a tweet from the Associated Press, which read, “A Capitol Police officer was killed after a car rammed into law enforcement at security barricade. A second officer was injured, police say.”
On the day of the Derek Chauvin verdict, Maloney took to Twitter to proclaim that she hoped “that man” would be acquitted, so that rioters can “burn this bitch to the ground.”
“i hope that man walks so we can burn this bitch to the ground,” the student body president tweeted.
“i hate white people so much its not even funny,” Maloney added in a follow-up tweet.
Maloney has also taken to social media to defend the two teenagers who were charged in the fatal carjacking of Uber Eats driver Mohammad Anwar last month, tweeting, in part, “im sorry but a world where 13/15 year olds feel like they have to carjack is fucked up enough.”
The student body president also recently called for the burning of city buses in Richmond, Virginia, tweeting, “when richmond gonna fry up another grtc bus? when are we gonna see some action again? i thought yall was anarchists.”
Last summer, Maloney was arrested for trespassing in Monroe Park in Richmond, Virginia, while protesting, according to a reportby the Commonwealth Times. At the time of her arrest, Maloney was president-elect of VCU’s student government association.
Earlier this month, Maloney was championed by the ACLU of Virginia for being “the first openly transgender & non-binary person to do so at a major public institution,” and for allegedly “making a huge impact on their campus while also being an advocate in their community.”
A university spokesperson told Breitbart News that the school is “aware of the comments made on social media. Calls for violence and hateful language do not reflect the position or values of VCU.”
“The Student Government Association is a student-run organization. Neither the organization nor any of its members or officers speaks or acts on behalf of VCU,” the spokesperson added. “The university does not comment on whether disciplinary action has been taken against a student.”
Law enforcement agencies are investigating two possible directed energy attacks on government employees on U.S. soil.
One of the alleged energy attacks occurred on the south side of the White House in November, and is believed to have sickened a White House aide. That incident followed a similar one in 2019 in a Virginia suburb which reportedly injured an aide walking her dog.
The alleged victims’ conditions are not known, but the White House confirmed that President Biden has been briefed on one of the incidents. Senators are demanding answers on the mystery attacks.
“There are personnel who have been harmed. We need to make sure they get the care and benefits they need,” New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen said.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said leaders are focused on the “critically important” issue.
But officials say it’s too early to tell what happened. In the past, the National Security Agency has described an energy attack as a “high-powered microwave system weapon” that can “bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves” and “kill an enemy over time and without leaving evidence.”
Energy attacks were suspected in Cuba and China in the past few years as U.S. personnel reported symptoms of ear popping, pounding headaches and nausea. The symptoms have been referred to as the “Havana Syndrome.”
Sources tell CBS News there have been energy-directed attacks on U.S. personnel on multiple continents. While Russia is considered a main suspect, U.S. officials are currently skeptical that Moscow would have carried out an attack just steps from the White House.
“I woke up in the middle of the night,” Werner said. “I could feel this sound in my head. It was intense pressure on both of my temples. At the same time, I heard this low humming sound, and it was oscillating. And I remember looking around for where this sound was coming from, because it was painful.”
MY Little Pony is supposed to be a harmless kids show, but a hardcore following of adult fans have twisted it into something darker.
Animal porn and white supremacy have long been associated with the surreal subculture — which is now being linked with a mass shooting too.
Last week, 19-year-old Brandon Scott Hole shot eight people dead at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis where he’s believed to have previously worked.
The teen, who killed himself after the attack, posted a bizarre message on Facebook less than an hour before he opened fire.
“I hope that I can be with Applejack in the afterlife, my life has no meaning without her,” the post read, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The post was reportedly accompanied by a picture of Applejack, one of the main characters from the children’s TV series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
Characters from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV series have become an obsession for ‘bronies’
An internal Facebook memo obtained by the Journal says Hole had two Facebook accounts which mostly focused on My Little Pony.
Adult fans of the show refer to themselves as “bronies” — a portmanteau of the words “bro” and “ponies” — and as a group they’ve “displayed elements of far-right and white nationalist extremism,” the memo said, though there’s no sign that was what motivated Hole’s attack.
While the overwhelming majority of bronies are just sincere fans of the series, online forums have been infested with extreme porn and racist messaging for years — and have even been linked with real world violence before.
Kids show with adult fans
My Little Pony had happily cantered along for decades as an innocuous brand for kids long before online forums became obsessed with it.
Hasbro began manufacturing the range of toys in 1981, but the series’ characters didn’t gain a widespread adult following until the launch of the animated kids series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic in 2010.
The show follows a group of magical pony friends with names like Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash on their adventures in a fantasy world called Equestria.
In the years since it first aired, the brony subculture built in online forums including 4Chan, an anonymous image board site now linked with a seemingly endless list of scandals.
But it soon spilled offline too, with brony conventions attracting thousands of likeminded fans from around the world to meet up in person.
And there’s even a hardcore following in the UK who’ve been outspoken in defending their interest, arguing that most bronies are just well-intentioned hobbyists.
“Some people seem to think it’s sexual attraction to the characters,” Sam Harris, organiser of the Severn Bronies, told the BBC.
“Or that they might want to do things with actual horses, or they collect the cuddly toys to do lewd things to them, that kind of thing is sensationalist hype and completely untrue.
“If anyone thinks it’s strange or unusual, I’d just say, there are so many different types of people in the world who enjoy various different things and as long as it makes them happy, and it doesn’t hurt them, what does it matter?”
Horse porn and white supremacy
In recent years, concerns have been raised about some of the content that is being shared on a daily basis on dedicated brony sites.
And despite Harris’ insistence, there are some bronies who do sexualise the characters.
Sometimes referred to as “cloppers”, these users commission and share pornographic images of the kids TV show characters.
And there’s also been well-documented threads of neo-Nazi and white supremacist content spread throughout the subculture.
One fan-made character, Aryanne, is often depicted wearing an SS uniform with a pink heart marking on her hip which contains a swastika.
The alarming cross-over between the alt-right and bronies might also have a serious grounding in the UK too.
An anonymous blogger known as Buttercup Dew ran a site called My Nationalist Pony which used the children’s characters to spread white nationalist ideas.
The writer claimed to be a man in their 20s from south London in a 2014 interview with Counter Currents.
“I was raised here and have never lived significantly far from here, so I’ve always been on top of a Ground Zero for white displacement,” they said.
They added that they were specifically preaching white nationalism to bronies because they are: “an implicitly (and heavily) white group of young men, who are suffering from a total disillusionment with modern life, casting around for an identity and meaningful purpose.
“Basically, the target demographic that White Nationalism needs to capture if whites are to survive.
“Despite a healthy crop of alienated losers seeking inclusion, the presence and sheer scale of the ‘brony’ fandom cannot be underestimated.”
Bronies have been implicated in murder cases even before last week’s bloodshed.
Joshua Charles Acosta, a soldier of the US Army, murdered three people at their home in Los Angeles in 2016.
Acosta, who was 23 at the time of the attack, shot dead the mother, stepfather, and a family friend of a teenage girl he believed to be freeing from an abusive family situation.
He met the teenager through furry and brony groups, NBC Los Angelesreports, with the former referring to people who are interested in dressing up as animals with human qualities.
Two girls aged six and nine were in the house at the time of the bloodbath.
On a 911 call played in court, the six-year-old can be heard saying: “My dad is in the backyard dead and my mom is dead in bed…”
Acosta was jailed for life in 2018.
While investigators hoped to discover a motive for Hole’s massacre in Indianapolis last week, the search continues.
He was placed under psychiatric detention by police last spring after his mother reported concerns that he was contemplating “suicide by cop”, according to the FBI.
A shotgun was taken from his home, but when he was cleared of harbouring “racially motivated violent extremism ideology”, he was able to legally buy assault rifles in July and September.
Police say he was seen using both weapons during the shooting, which left four members of the local Sikh community dead.
The Sikh Coalition has called for an investigation into “bias as a possible motive” in the killings, though investigators are yet to establish a motive.
The FedEx attack is the deadliest attack on the Sikh community in the US since 2012, when a white supremacist killed seven at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.