ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Justin Bieber was the target of a bizarre plot designed to kill the superstar and, according to some reports, deprive him of part of his anatomy.
A plan to kidnap and castrate the pop star at a Madison Square Garden performance last month in New York has been foiled by authorities, a variety of media outlets reported.
Reports of the foiled plot were first published on Wednesday and have taken on a life of their own, propelled through the 24-hour news cycle.
The plan seems to have begun with Dana Martin, 45, who is serving two life sentences for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in Vermont in 2000.
Martin, who is incarcerated in a prison in Las Cruces, N.M., was convicted of strangling the girl with a paisley tie.
While in prison, Martin met Mark Staake. Martin allegedly persuaded Staake, who was released last month, to agree to kill four people: two in Vermont, plus Bieber and the star’s bodyguard, KRQE-13 TV in New Mexico reported.
Staake recruited his nephew, Tanner Ruane, in the plot to strangle Bieber with a paisley tie and then castrate him, according to KRQE.
Ruane had a set of pruning shears to perform the deed; some reports, quoting authorities, said he was to be paid $2,500 for each testicle.
The plot, however, was foiled when Martin, who has a tattoo of Bieber on his leg, seemingly had second thoughts and informed authorities, who rushed to track down the reported assailants.
Staake, 41, was arrested by federal agents on Nov. 19 in Vermont on violation of felony probation for aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon in New Mexico, News10 ABC reported.
Ruane, 23, was arrested at a gas station in Rotterdam, N.Y., a suburb of Schenectady.
New York State police recovered “murder tools and documents containing information about the intended victims,” according to reports. None of the four people allegedly targeted for death was harmed.
“We take every precaution to protect and insure the safety of Justin and his fans,” Bieber’s management team said in a statement distributed Wednesday night.
Kristin Cashman — who is Ruane’s mom and Staake’s sister — denied that either man was set on castrating Bieber, much less killing him.
“This Justin Bieber thing, it’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” Cashman told the New York Post. “My son was not planning to kidnap or hurt anyone. He has nothing to do with any of this.
“This has got to be some crazy thing Dana Martin made up. Everything about it is made up.”
Also not fully believing the reports is CBC News, the Canadian news outlet.
According to the CBC report — also cited by the New York Daily News, the archrival of fellow tabloid, the New York Post — Bieber was targeted for death, but castration was never explicitly ordered.
The Canadian search of the records shows that the other, less-celebrated targets in Vermont were targeted for mutilation, but not explicitly Bieber, as reported by the U.S. media outlets.
But the Canadians reported they had found the motive for the plan.
Court papers, cited by CBC, say that Martin began the plot because he felt snubbed by Bieber after sending the singer unrequited letters.
-Los Angeles Times