In 2019, period re-enactors and combat enthusiasts used their skills with sword, axe, and crossbow to fend off attackers, protect the innocent, and even commit murder.
Murder/Suicide, Medieval Style
In May 2019, three members of the International Jousting League, who had stopped for the night at a hotel while on their way home to Germany from a jousting tourney in Austria, the following morning were found dead in an apparent murder/suicide. When police arrived, they found Torsten Weiss (age 53 and shown here) and Kerstin Enders (age 33) shot through the heart with a crossbow bolt and lying in bed next to their wills. A third woman, Farina Caspari (age 30), lay dead on the floor, apparently killed by a self-inflicted bolt shot into her neck.
Even more bizarre, Caspari’s partner, a 35-year-old teacher, was found dead, along with another woman (age 19), at their apartment. Their cause of death was not disclosed.
Weiss was the proprietor of Milites Conductius, a shop that sold mead, medieval weaponry, Templar flags, period clothing, and provided space for sword-fighting lessons.
It has been suggested that the five were part of a medieval sex cult, of which Weiss was the leader. Even so, it is unclear how the cult impacted their decision to take their own lives.
Home Invasion Thwarted by Berzerker
In November 2019, a re-enactor protected himself from a home invasion not with his bare hands, but with a double-headed steel battle axe.
Ben Ball, age 36, was sitting peacefully in his Michigan apartment playing video games when his ex-roommates’ boyfriend, a convicted violent offender, kicked in the door at around 11:30 pm. Suspecting him to be armed, Ball grabbed his Viking-style axe and, in a well-practiced motion (Ball regularly practices medieval combat), hit the intruder in the torso with the weapon before grappling with him, hand-to hand.
The intruder fled, but only after leaving the apartment in disarray and covered in blood. Soon after the police arrived, along with a K9 unit. They were easily able to follow the trail of blood from the house and swiftly apprehended the subject, who, after a night being stitched up at the local hospital, now faces up to 20 years in prison for the home invasion.
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Also in November 2019, Zorikh Lequidre, a SCAdian and member of the NY Armored Combat League, was attacked after trying to subdue a man from assaulting another passenger aboard the L Train, while on his way from Brooklyn to NY’s Union Square.
The attack occurred around 10 pm, after Lequidre saw what may have been a homeless man harassing another man on the train. In his attempt to diffuse the escalating situation, he approached the pair and asked him to stop. After a verbal riposte, the man slashed Lequidre’s face with a knife, before running off the train.
The 7-inch gash is the first scar Lequidre says he has sustained in his long and storied career as a medieval warrior (see his fight reel).
Although the police were unable to apprehend the attacker, the modern-day knight has taken the assult in stride, saying that it’s his mission to defend others, even if it means getting a little bloody.