The media battle over David DePape's ideology intensifies as fabrication allegations grow

The media battle over David DePape's ideology intensifies as fabrication allegations grow
David Depape (L) attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi (R) (Inside Edition screenshot/ YouTube, Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: David DePape, 42, is suspected of breaking into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's house and allegedly assaulting her husband Paul Pelosi while brandishing a hammer. He was taken into custody by San Francisco police immediately after the incident on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, violence, burglary, and other offenses. 

According to DW, DePape was well known in his community as a nudist activist who protested nude during demonstrations against regulations requiring being dressed in public. Although DePape was wearing clothing at the time, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper published a picture of him dancing at a nudist wedding in 2013 on Friday.  

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Although little about the suspect has been confirmed, an internet user going by the name of "daviddepape" has posted on a number of websites discussing the QAnon conspiracy theory, endorsing the former president Donald Trump, referring to "satanic paedophilia," and expressing racist and antisemitic views. He appeared to run a website where he posted a wide range of articles covering practically every type of contemporary conspiracy theory, including those about aliens, Jews, communism, vaccines, voter fraud, and many other subjects. The majority of the articles were posted very recently, which seems to have strengthened claims that his far-right ties are a fabrication. According to registration records, the website was registered to a ZIP code in the Bay Area. 

The suspect, according to his stepfather Gene DePape, lived with him in Canada up to the age of 14. Since 2003, he claimed, he had not heard from his stepson, and subsequent attempts to get in touch with him had been unsuccessful. Despite being quite introverted and playing too many video games, the stepfather claimed that David was never violent and was never in trouble.

DePape was considered an odd figure by those who knew him in California. Californian Linda Schneider told CNN how she met DePape about eight years ago and claimed he periodically helped her out by house-sitting. DePape told her he had struggled with hard drugs but was "trying to make a new life for himself" when they first met, she claimed, while he was residing in a storage unit near Berkeley. He was really shy, according to her. He claimed that he was too afraid to speak to a teller to even open a bank account, according to Schneider. 

DePape later sent Schneider some "very alarming" emails, in which she claimed he came across as a megalomaniac who was "completely out of touch with reality." She remembers him "using Biblical reason to inflict damage," and she said she stopped speaking with him "because it sounded so unsafe."

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