Man formally charged with taxicab stabbing

[Spoilers] By BETH IPSEN, Staff Writer
The Fairbanks man accused of killing a taxicab driver during a robbery Monday morning made his first court appearance Tuesday.
Jonathan Beiderbeck, 21, was charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with the stabbing death of Eagle Cab driver Michael Belknap, 53.

Alaska State Trooper Lt. Lee Farmer said a lab technician from the state crime lab in Anchorage is going over Belknap’s cab. Troopers said Belknap picked up Beiderbeck at the Tamarac Inn Motel at 4:15 a.m. and the stabbing occurred about 45 minutes later.

“As far as to where it actually occurred, we’re not ready to put something in stone on that yet,” Farmer said.

Court records said Beiderbeck told Belknap to take him to Henderson Road. Belknap’s body was discovered nearby, on the side of a dirt road at the intersection of Dome Road and Bluebird Avenue at 7:20 a.m.

Farmer said the technician is also trying to determine if the stabbing happened at Henderson Road or where the body was found.

According to a criminal complaint, Beiderbeck called for an cab with the intention of robbing the driver. Beiderbeck had Belknap drive him out to Henderson Road, where he robbed the man. Beiderbeck told the interviewing detective he stabbed Belknap in the chest and throat when the driver put up a fight.

He then dumped Belknap’s body, drove the red, white and blue Suburban to Geist Road, where he left the vehicle, and returned to the motel room.

He reported to police at 5:50 a.m. that he had been stabbed in the right bicep during a robbery behind Northgate Square. Police records said he claimed he was jumped by two men behind the mall. Police have not been able to substantiate Beiderbeck’s story.

The Suburban was recovered near Rebecca Drive at 10 a.m., troopers said.

Fairbanks police Detective Aaron Ring said a knife suspected of being the weapon was recovered when police searched the motel room where Beiderbeck was staying.

Ring said Beiderbeck admitted to stealing the knife during a recent robbery on Fairbanks International Airport property.

Airport Police Sgt. Karen Ebanez is still investigating that incident.

Ebanez said Vector Marketing Corp., a marketing industry that sells Cutco cutlery, reported July 7 that its offices had been burglarized. A couple of doors had been forced open, but Ebanez did not know the total value of the knives stolen.

Beiderbeck is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center on $250,000 bail with third-party approval.

At his initial arraignment Tuesday, Beiderbeck had only one question.

“What are the requirements for third-party custodian?” Beiderbeck asked. [/Spoilers]

Inside the spoliers tags, you will find the text of a follow-up article regarding the circumstances of my father’s death. You can use the link above to read it, or you can use the link to the original article below.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Fairbanks, AK

As you can imagine I’m a little pre-occupied with this. Most (if not all) of my blog entries tor the next few weeks will probably be centered on this. They won’t all just be reprints of news articles. I’ll try to write more about what I’m thinking and feeling — I’m just not ready to do that still.

Taxicab Driver Stabbed to Death

[Spoilers] By BETH IPSEN, Staff Writer
A taxicab driver was stabbed to death during a robbery off Henderson Road, Alaska State Troopers said Monday morning.

The body of Michael Belknap, 53, was spotted on the side of the road at the intersection of Bluebird Avenue and Dome Road at 7:20 a.m. by a man on his way to work, troopers said. Fairbanks Police Department officers arrested Jonathan Beiderbeck, 21, of Fairbanks Monday afternoon and charged him with stabbing Belknap to death while the two struggled during a robbery, a criminal complaint says.

Beiderbeck called dispatch at 5:50 a.m. from the Tamarac Inn Motel to report he had been stabbed during a robbery behind the Northgate Mall, police records say.

Fairbanks Police Lt. Dusty Johnson said an ambulance took Beiderbeck to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for treatment of a stab wound in his right bicep.

According to police records, Beiderbeck claims the robbery occurred near the Dumpsters, but police were unable to substantiate his story.

A criminal complaint charging Beiderbeck with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery says that while police were talking to Beiderbeck about his reported robbery, police received word from Yellow Cab that a taxi and driver were missing.

Belknap was last heard from while picking up a passenger from the motel, Johnson said.

A dispatcher at the trooper detachment was the first to suggest the two cases were linked, said trooper Lt. Lee Farmer. Dispatchers monitoring other area police departments’ radio traffic put the different reports together based on the motel room.

“This gets back to the left hand knowing what the right hand is doing,” Farmer said.

At 8:45 a.m., Fairbanks police picked up Beiderbeck from the hospital and took him to the Cushman Street police station to be interviewed by a police detective and trooper investigator, troopers said.

Beiderbeck admitted to calling the cab company with the intention of robbing the driver, the complaint said. A trooper report said Beiderbeck was picked up at 4:15 a.m. and he stabbed Belknap around 5:30 a.m.

When Belknap picked up Beiderbeck from the motel, he told Belknap to take him to Henderson Road. After he got up the courage to rob the driver, he slapped Belknap in the back of the head, the complaint says. When Belknap asked him what he was doing, Beiderbeck told him he was robbing him.

Beiderbeck said Belknap resisted and he stabbed him in the throat and chest, killing him, the complaint says. Beiderbeck then dumped Belknap’s body, ditched the car and found his way back to the motel where he called police, troopers said.

A patch of blood marked where Belknap’s body was left. Troopers combed the murder scene for evidence for about five hours Monday morning. They said the cab was recovered off Geist Road at 10 a.m. The car has been impounded pending further investigation and Belknap’s body has been sent to Anchorage for an autopsy.

Anna Nash, who Tamarac Inn owner Rose Mary Johnson said allowed Beiderbeck to stay with her for a few days, told investigators she received bloody money from Beiderbeck he claimed he got from a friend, the complaint says.

They were scheduled to be out of the room Monday, Johnson said. Instead, Fairbanks police officers moved in to search the room.

Beiderbeck, who turned 21 Saturday, has no criminal history as an adult and has had two domestic violence restraining orders filed against him–the most recent one was filed by a man July 3.

Farmer said there’s no indication that Belknap and Beiderbeck knew each other before the stabbing.

“At this time, we don’t have any reason to suspect prior contacts,” Farmer said. “But that could change and it might not change.”

Bill Northrup, operations manager at Yellow Cab, was called out Monday morning to identify Belknap’s body.

“It was not the best way to start the day,” Northrup said. “To go out and identify a co-worker and friend and downstairs neighbor.”

Northrup said Belknap was a full-time cab driver in Fairbanks for about five years, working 12-hour night shifts from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m., six days a week.

“It was, literally, his last trip of the day,” Northrup said. “Mike doesn’t care about money. He probably would have given it to him.”

Belknap, who was commonly called “Mikey” by co-workers and customers alike, was well liked, Northrup said. He also was considered a professional driver who carried maps in his cab and could find just about any address.

“He’s one of the drivers that I depend on,” he said. “The dispatchers didn’t worry abut him either.”

Belknap was survived by a sister and brother-in-law living in Whittier and other family members in California, Northrup said.

A taxi driver hasn’t been murdered in Fairbanks since Maurice Smith was beaten to death in July 1998. Smith’s remains weren’t found until the next spring. Shawn Aldridge, Dale DePue and John Holloway were convicted for their roles in the death and are currently serving their sentences.

“Years ago we used to have one every 14 months,” Northrup said. “We all realize it’s a dangerous occupation. … You drop your guard a little bit and reality slaps you in the head with a two-by-four.” [/Spoilers]

I’ve decided to put the text of the story inside spoilers tags. If you wish to read it, click the link above, or follow the link below to the original article.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Fairbanks, AK

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My father was killed yesterday. I just started crying again as I read that article. I’m still don’t feel ready to talk about this, but I realized that yesterday’s post would worry some people, and I wanted to let you all know what was going on. It was easier to cut and paste that article than to try and write about it myself.

Edited on Jul 15th 2003, 18:30 by Hooloovoo

Edited on Jul 15th 2003, 22:53 by Hooloovoo


I just got some very disturbing news a few minutes ago. I’m not ready to talk about it yet, but I wanted to let you all know that I may not be back here for a while.

I’m not sure how long “a while” is, but I will be back. This is something I will need to talk about.

For those that know my other forms of contact, please give me a few days before you try to call to find out what’s going on. I doubt you’d find me very coherent even if you did contact me sooner.

I’ll be back, but for now I need some time. I’m sorry this is so cryptic, I don’t think I could manage any more…


(before you start to worry too much, Jenny and I are okay, we just got some very bad news today.)

Job Update…

It looks like I will be spending 25-30 hours a week getting paid to do something I like doing anyway. The exact numbers haven’t been hammered out yet, contract negotiations are next week.

I also got to go to the SF Zoo and play with my camera, and have dinner with my mom. I’d say today was a pretty good day.


(updated to take advantage of the new categories)

Edited on Jun 28th 2003, 21:29 by Hooloovoo

It’s gotta be the pc card

I went for a bike ride this afternoon, and then went to my mom’s house to help her and my stepdad get thier new home network set up.

The OS X laptop is connected to the router via ethernet, the WinXP laptop is connected to the router via the new wireless card. The win98 desktop is not set up yet. (This blog enty is basically a test of the wireless connection.)

This is with the same basic euipment that chutta and I were using when we tried set up a wireless network at his place, only the wireless card plugged into a pci slot. We never did get it to work properly, however this afternoon has given me some hope.

Now I just need to see if the 98 machine has an ethernet card or not, and I need to get a length of Cat5 to connect it to the router too. (I’m not going to reccomend a wireless pci lan card untill I find one that actually works.)

I should probably set a WEP pasword on the router before I leave, too.

Still at Work

But I ‘m not working. 🙂

I just finished setting up Gallery on what will hopefully be a family website. I’ve go a couple of test albums up right now, (yes the kittens again) I’ll be adding a few more images over the next few days.

If anyone wants to check it out, clicky clicky. 🙂

The setup could have been easier – the documentation is a bit sparse, and I had to deal with some funky dreamhost configuration stuff. (If you are a dreamhost user and want to run gallery, make sure to check out the php-security entry in thier kbase.) I think I may blog an install guide with some caveats you should be aware of.)

One of the cools things Iearned is that the Gallery Remote java app works through my company’s firewall.

On a side note, Gallery might be an interesting thing to try to hook into GLUE (of vice-versa) – not that I have the time (or expertise) to attempt such a project right now. I’m just saying it’d be neat to have someday. 🙂

Jeez, its 20:40 – I need to get out of here.