|Photo Adam Bergseth recently sent to a friend|
The man who was shot and killed by a Marionville police officer on June 30th had an extensive criminal history and traveled highways and back roads between the east and west coasts frequently.
Bergseth attended elementary school at Piru School in California and bounced around schools near Oxnard, California, near where his mother still lives, according to a childhood friend of Bergseth's. He was also a creative writer, according to his facebook page.
He had a son when he was about 18 with a "significantly" younger girl named Autumn, according to the friend. He also had three children with another woman, Laurie Weiss, who now lives in Florida. Bergseth and Weiss had been in a relationship for over a decade before they split up last year.
|Bergseth's Florida mug shot (courtesy Seminole County SO)|
In July of 2011, Bergseth was arrested by the Sanford, Florida, police department and booked in to the Seminole County jail. Online records do not say what he was being held for or if any charges were filed against him at that time.
In November of 2011, Bergseth was arrested after police in Sanford received a tip that he was wanted on an arrest warrant out of Missouri and was driving on a suspended license. At that time he told police he was homeless, according to The Sanford Herald.
On January 5th and 6th, 2012, Bergseth made the following posts on his facebook page:
"Found myself in a strange position today as a young woman asked me out. Had no idea what to do and like the cool sophisticated suave guy I am I ran to the bathroom and threw up and escaped out the back door. I am not ready for anything major and all that.
Blonde, blue eyes, 5 foot 2 and about 99 lbs at the most. Will post some pics later I guess. Sighs."
Bergseth, who has also lived in Republic, Bolivar and the state of Nevada, had violated the conditions of his probation or parole at least 12 times in the last 4 years. Authorities in Greene County issued a warrant for Bergseth's arrest on June 15th after he failed to appear for a probation violation hearing. He was placed on probation again last year after pleading guilty to drunk driving and being a persistent offender of driving while revoked, according to online court records.
“Subject has consistently demonstrated throughout the years that he [has] no intention of complying with terms of his probation,” the probation officer wrote in a report to the Greene County Court asking that Bergseth’s probation be revoked.
Adam Raleigh Bergseth aka as Adam Bergs or "Adam The Liberal" trolled Craigslist looking for lonely women to hook up with, according to Erica Chaffin.
It was at Chaffin's townhouse that Bergseth lost his life. "I had put up a fake Craigslist ad because I was trying to catch my husband cheating." Chaffin says.
Bergseth responded to the ad and he and Chaffin began communicating via text message, phone calls and the Internet for a few weeks when they hatched a scheme to trick her husband. "We told him that Adam was the gay cousin of a friend of mine."
Bergseth told Chaffin, and her friend Kim O'Callaghan, that he was a successful video game designer who was working on Dead Space 3 and traveled frequently for his job. He told the women he had business meetings in Dallas about a week prior to him being killed and that he was into the "swinging lifestyle." In reality, sources say, Bergseth was really in Aurora hooking up with another woman. When Bergseth "returned" from Dallas, he would visit Chaffin's home for a few hours every couple of days and then leave.
So when Chaffin's husband, Dillon Albers, left for a drug study in Springfield that fateful weekend he thought he had left his wife and son in the safe hands of a gay man he had never met. He had no idea at that point, well, no one did at that point, that Bergseth was allegedly responsible for the murder of at least one woman whose remains would soon be discovered in a trash can outside his rented Springfield home.
It was Marionville police chief Mark Webb who wanted to know more about how Bergseth ended up in his jurisdiction that led him to Bergseth's home at 1231 W. Edgewood. As he was piecing that puzzle together Webb said he notified SPD about "a smell of human decomposition" in the Mitsubishi Eclipse that Bergseth had driven to Marionville. "They didn't seem interested at first," said Webb. When Webb went to Bergseth's rented home at 1231 W. Edgewood on July 3rd he alerted authorities to the grisly discovery in the trashcan.
|Bergseth's home surrounded by crime scene tape|
Chaffin, who is on probation for drug and stealing a motor vehicle convictions, confirms there was an "awful" smell inside the vehicle. "He told me that he had been messing around with a woman and her boyfriend found out and dumped pigs blood in his car."
But Chaffin says the Edgewood house isn't the place Bergseth took her to when they went to "his" place. "It was a townhouse where we went."
Chaffin says Bergseth told her he would help her make a furniture payment that weekend and when they arrived at the furniture store Bergseth handed her a check. "They didn't accept checks...and thank God they didn't," said Chaffin. It was while she was on her way out of the store that Chaffin noticed the check didn't belong to Bergseth - it belonged to a woman named Kelly F.
Chaffin says that Bergseth took her to Great Southern Bank on Battlefield on the afternoon he was killed and attempted to have her pose as a woman named Jillian or Julianne P. in order to cash a state check. "I asked him who Julianne was and he said you are now." Chaffin says the drive thru teller gave the check back to them and said she couldn't cash it if the person did not have an account at the bank.
However, Dillon Albers says his wife attempted to deposit the check in his account and they wouldn't accept it.
Chaffin says Bergseth would "get nervous and jittery" whenever they saw a police cruiser. "He started getting really controlling and possessive. He wouldn't let me really leave his sight or have my phone, so when I got to make a call, I called Kim and told her about all the weird stuff that had been going on all weekend and asked her to call the cops and tell them I was being held against my will."
Chaffin was on the phone outside her apartment door with O'Callaghan when officer Danny Hughes arrived to check on her well being. "She put me on speaker phone and I could hear everything that was going on," said O'Callaghan.
Hughes "asked where Adam was and Erica told him he was in Apartment A, it was unlocked and he could go in. He asked if there were any weapons in the house and Erica said, only knives and scissors."
When 37 year-old Bergseth saw the cop from the window he ran upstairs but was eventually coaxed downstairs, according to Chaffin.
When he came downstairs he bolted for the kitchen. O'Callaghan remembers this exchange. "Keep your hands where I can see them. Don't go back there....Adam keep your hands where I can see them....Adam, don't grab those scissors. Put the scissors down, I have a gun. Adam, put the weapon down, I have a gun - I will use it." She says the next thing she heard was two gunshots. Chaffin said even after Bergseth was shot, he again lunged at Hughes with the poultry shears and more shots were fired.
A source close to the investigation says authorities believe the human remains found in Bergseth's trashcan belong to Kelly F., who was from Longwood, FL, and that the identification of several people were in Bergseth's possession. Dillon Albers says someone in law enforcement told him that a severed body part, that does not belong to the victim in the trashcan, was found inside Bergseth's home.
When Kelly's mother, J.F, was reached by phone she confirmed that her daughter is missing and said she wasn't ready to comment until a positive identification was made. "It's every mother's worst nightmare. The waiting is unbearable."
A friend of Kelly F's, who lived with her and another woman, says they believe she met Bergseth when she was incarcerated in the Seminole County, FL, jail. "I know she was visiting him in jail. When he was extradited back to Missouri, she said she was going to go there to be with him. We begged her not to go.....we told her it was crazy and said what would you do if it was one of us. She said....tell you not to go. But she wouldn't listen to her own advice and went anyway."
The friend says he attempted to reach Kelly around the Christmas holiday and Bergseth answered her phone and told him she was asleep. Kelly never returned the phone call, according to the friend.
I received the following email from the boyfriend of a woman who met Bergseth after he moved to Missouri:
See, her and her friends used to hang around with him when they (meaning the woman and her friends) were in high school. He was the often the center of the party because he supplied the alcohol. She hadn’t seen him in roughly 10 years until February. She has a second job working 2 days/nights per week at a bar not far from his rental house (he told her he bought it). After he ran into her, they exchanged numbers & he FB friend requested her with the name he was going by Adam Bergs (I think he deleted the page mid June). He made a weird FB post about running into a girl who was way out of his league, but changed his outlook on life. Then he texted and called both her & her friend non-stop with messages I found weird. He continued to show up where she was a server & even waited for her after work once (early on) where he brought her out to his car to give her a (fake) signed Picasso. At some point she became sufficiently worried to make me fully aware of all his contacts, and I instantly told her he seemed psychotic. I told her some of the messages seemed to have dark undertones, and she needed to flat out tell him to never ever contact her again. The messages stopped, but he did come into the bar a few more times. A couple of weeks before he was shot, he was in there, and he was buying drinks for a group of people (one of them was his roommate). When he ordered drinks from my girlfriend, and she became aware he had an open tab, she told him she needed a credit card & she was going to close him out. The cc was declined & when she told him, he just took off running out the front door. Long story short… the SPD showed up & got permission from the roommate to go into his rental house to look for him. They apparently found a bunch of I.D.’s and credit cards. That must’ve been the time he realized the gig was up, because he remained out of sight until that Marionville policeman responded to that call.
|Marionville police chief Mark Webb (courtesy Springfield News Leader)|
"I don't know if he thought he was going to go to jail for the rest of his life or what, but I think he definitely knew he was living on borrowed time," Chief Webb said.
Chaffin and Albers were evicted from their townhouse the day after the shooting and Dillon Albers has filed for divorce and has an exparte against his wife.
Chaffin, who has had to seek mental health care since witnessing Bergseth's death, wants Officer Hughes to know she is thankful he "saved" her. "I could have ended up in a trash bag too. I'm sorry for the girl in the trashcan and her family. I hope the other girl is still alive."
Kelly Frech's mother Jeanne confirmed that the human remains found in Bergseth's trashcan are those of her daughter.