On Tuesday evening, as tourists snapped photos in front of the White House, a young man with blond hair and blue eyes approached the black iron fence.
Kyle Odom wasn’t there to take pictures, though.
He was there to deliver a message to the president.
A Secret Service agent spotted Odom tossing something over the fence and approached him. When the agent ran his name through a law enforcement database, a red flag popped up: an arrest warrant issued just two days earlier on the other side of the country.
The charge: attempted murder.
Arriving seemingly out of nowhere, Odom was arrested at the White House, bringing a sudden end to a two-day hunt for the Marine veteran.
It also provided a bizarre coda to an already baffling crime saga, one that stretched from rural Idaho to the nation’s capital and potentially threatened the lives of 50 members of Congress.
When Secret Service agents unwittingly stopped Odom, the 30-year-old was the only suspect in the shooting of an Evangelical pastor in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Sunday. According to authorities, Odom had ambushed Tim Remington in his church parking lot, shooting the popular pastor in the head and back before he vanished.
Remington, who survived the point-blank shooting in what one church member called a “miracle,” had appeared a day earlier with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) at an event hosted by his presidential campaign. That led to speculation that the shooting was politically motivated.
But Odom’s manifesto suggests that the shooting, if he did it, was something else entirely: the act of an unraveling mind.
The 21-page manifesto, which authorities say Odom sent to his parents as well as several Idaho television stations, is a window into what he was thinking.
According to Coeur d’Alene police, Odom has a history of mental illness. In his manifesto, he outlined his path to Sunday’s shooting in clear but increasingly paranoid prose.
He admitted to plotting to shoot Remington. He also claimed that the pastor was part of a vast alien conspiracy to enslave the human race — a conspiracy that Odom believed extended to Congress.
“My last resort was to take actions to bring this to the public’s attention,” Odom wrote in the manifesto. “I hope that something good comes of it. Just realize that I’m a good person, and I’m completely innocent. Also realize that the ‘people’ I killed are not what you think.”
‘Who is Kyle Odom?’
The manifesto opens with the question on the minds of many Americans: “Who is Kyle Odom?”
“Born and raised in North Idaho,” Odom wrote. “Grew up in a loving family. Joined the Marine Corps after high school. Developed an interest in science. Went to school for a degree in Biochemistry. Won numerous scholarships and awards. Graduated Magna Cum Laude then got invited to prestigious university to work on genetics.
“Check my personal documents,” Odom continued. “As you can see, I’m pretty smart. I’m also 100% sane, 0% crazy.”
But the documents Odom sent to local media reveal an intense and dangerous paranoia, as well as an obsession over “hypersexual,” mind-controlling Martians.
“Everything started while I was at University of Idaho,” Odom wrote. “Spring 2014 was my final semester and was taking a heavy course load. I was very stressed due to the intensity of my schedule, so I searched for a way to cope. I discovered meditation, which seemed to help, so it became part of my daily routine. As I learned more about meditation, I became interested in consciousness and our ability to affect it. I kept working on my meditation techniques and began achieving extreme states of consciousness.”
One night in February 2014, Odom was meditating when he said he had an out-of-body experience.
“I entered a space that was completely dark and had no awareness of my physical boundaries/orientation,” he wrote. “I felt very peaceful there until a blue light began to approach me. As the blue light got closer, I realized that it was another being.”
When Odom awoke, he had tears in his eyes, according to his manifesto.
At first, the alleged alien encounter seemed like a blessing for Odom. “The remainder of the semester became exceedingly easy for me,” he wrote. “It felt like I had tapped into some kind of power. I was exerting no mental effort even though the classes had been extremely difficult before.”
But Odom’s close encounter would prove to be the beginning of his nightmare.
Odom accepted an offer from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, to work on a PhD in human genetics, but he quickly dropped out because the work was too easy, thanks to his alien awakening, he wrote.
“The day after I decided to leave, my life became a living hell,” Odom wrote. He couldn’t sleep. After a few days, aliens posing as classmates tried to provoke him to become “the next school shooter,” he wrote, so he left Texas and returned to his home town of Coeur d’Alene.
“This is where the story gets weird,” he wrote. On a flight home after a job interview, Odom began to suspect that strangers were sending him secret messages. Newspaper headlines had hidden meanings.
“It was blatantly obvious they were doing something to me, but I didn’t know what,” he wrote. “I had applied to several government agencies before this happened, so I thought this might be their way of contacting me.”
Back in Idaho, a friendly text message would put a beloved local pastor in Odom’s path.
‘Whoever I was dealing with was extraterrestrial’
In Coeur d’Alene, Odom received a text message from John Padula, the Altar Church’s outreach pastor, inviting him to attend service, he wrote. When Odom first went to the church, though, “something felt very wrong,” he wrote. “I felt as if my life were in danger and I became so uncomfortable I had to leave.”
Odom began receiving text messages from Remington, but he saw them as something more menacing.
“At first they were innocuous bible messages, but then he started threatening me,” Odom wrote. “He sent messages talking about ‘their power’ and other things. He did all of this through bible verses so it would not look suspicious.”
When Remington allegedly sent Odom a text reading “angels,” the Marine veteran saw helicopters flying around his house. “At this point, I knew I was in trouble.”
Odom then began to experience strange sexual feelings — “it felt like someone was manually pumping blood into my penis” — and he heard suggestive songs inside his head, he wrote.
Soon the songs gave way to a voice telling him that he was going to be “sacrificed like Jesus and get beheaded,” he said. When a man knocked on his door with a religious pamphlet, Odom “became completely delirious” and “thought for sure I was going to die.”
He bought a one-way ticket to see his family in Albuquerque, and he said he thought the man next to him on the flight was reading his mind. At the baggage claim, Odom believed he was “surrounded” by aliens, whom he could detect by their constant “sniffing.”
“The sniff is something they do all the time,” he wrote. “I think it has to do with dominance.”
Odom thought he saw the aliens everywhere. They disguised themselves as humans but really looked like giant green frogs with proboscises on the top of their heads, he wrote.
“As time went on, they started coaxing me to go outside alone,” he wrote. “I was scared to death they would kill me, so I refused. Eventually, they threatened to harm my family, which caused me to give in to them. I told them I would do whatever they want if they left my family alone. They responded by saying ‘Go to church.’ I knew they meant The Altar, so I agreed to go when I got back.”
At The Altar, Odom smelled something like “a reptile and vinegar,” he wrote. “I realized that whoever I was dealing with was extraterrestrial, so I became very scared.”
At times, Odom’s manifesto appears to acknowledge that he is delusional. “I began to hear voices more often and I began to hallucinate things that I knew weren’t real,” he wrote. But he blames the voices and visions not on his own mind but on telepathic aliens.
Part of his alien obsession appears to have been sexual.
“They also started playing with me sexually,” he wrote of his Martian tormentors, who he labeled “hypersexual.” “Both the males and the females would play out their sexual fantasies in my mind.”
Once, in a grocery bakery, Odom believed he was “surrounded by a bunch of old men” who were actually aliens.
“They started stimulating” him and ordering him to perform sexual favors, he wrote.
Odom’s tormenting visions caused him to attempt suicide twice, he said in his manifesto.
“I filled a charcoal grill with lit coals, put it in my car and rolled up the windows,” he wrote. “I reclined my seat, laid there calmly, then fell asleep.”
But the aliens didn’t allow him to die, Odom wrote.
“They woke me up in an extreme panic, which caused me to get out of the car,” he wrote.
According to his manifesto, Odom then checked himself into the local Veterans Affairs hospital. A VA spokesman was not available Tuesday night to confirm whether Odom received treatment at the center.
After leaving the hospital, Odom returned to the Altar Church, where he eventually found himself face to face with pastor Remington.
‘My life was ruined’
It’s unclear whether Odom actually met with Remington, who emerged from a coma Monday and has not spoken publicly of the shooting. In Odom’s manifesto, however, the Marine veteran describes sitting down with the pastor sometime around August of last year.
“We were in mid conversation when he suddenly revealed himself to me,” Odom wrote. “I have no clue how he did it, but it looked as if his human face became his real face. … His eyes … were huge and bulging, the eyelids were darker green, and the irises were yellow/brown with slit pupils.”
Odom thought the church was going to turn him into a “sex slave,” he wrote, but when that didn’t happen, he left and didn’t return, allegedly until the shooting Sunday.
— Jeff Hite (@KHQJeff) March 9, 2016
For a while, it appeared as if his nightmare might be ending. He returned to school, studying pharmacology at North Idaho College, he said.
“I began to recover,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, they followed me to school,” he said of the aliens. “There were several of them in every class I took. They made it impossible for me to study, and they continually harassed me especially while I took tests.”
Odom wrote that he was targeted because of his knowledge of genetics and because the aliens had a hard time controlling his mind.
“I was too smart for my own good, so they decided to remove me from society,” he wrote. “They were worried I might change the way other people think, which could lead to problems. Problems in the form of a scientific revolution.”
After trying to kill himself twice, Odom felt that his only option was to go after the aliens, he wrote.
“My life was ruined,” he explained. “Ruined by an intelligent species of amphibian-humanoid from Mars.”
The manifesto doesn’t discuss why, exactly, Odom allegedly went after pastor Remington, only that Remington and Padula were supposedly aliens or the aliens’ “puppets.”
But the manifesto helps explain why Odom traveled to Washington after the shooting and tried to communicate with the president.
— KHQ Local News (@KHQLocalNews) March 8, 2016
On Tuesday night, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said that Odom drove from his home town to Boise, Idaho, where he boarded a flight to the nation’s capital. White said it was not clear how Odom was allowed to travel, but he might have boarded before he was identified as a suspect.
The manifesto suggests that Odom traveled to Washington to deliver a message to Obama. Part of his letter is addressed to the president.
“I want to thank you for your sacrifice to this country,” it begins, before suggesting that the president is controlled by aliens.
“They brag to me about what they do to you,” Odom wrote. “… I hope you stop letting them humiliate you. … It’s time someone took a stand to end this nonsense. Can you think of a better legacy than that?”
The manifesto also includes a list of “noteworthy Martians.” On the list are 50 members of Congress — belonging to both parties — as well as roughly three dozen members of the “Israeli leadership,” including “every single Prime Minister since 1948.”
— Hayley Guenthner (@KHQHayley) March 9, 2016
“This is by no means an all-inclusive list,” Odom wrote. “Martians are ubiquitous. They exist at every level of society in every nation. Some have blue collar jobs, while other occupy positions of power. They control our government, our military, and Corporate America as well. They keep track of every ‘wild’ human on the planet and manage us like animals in a zoo. Our ‘freedom’ is a carefully crafted illusion.”
It’s unclear what Odom was trying to deliver to Obama when he was arrested Tuesday night, although it could have been flash drives with his manifesto on them, similar to those he sent to his parents and Idaho media.
White, the Coeur d’Alene police chief, said the manifesto had “definitely played a part in raising our awareness and concern” about Odom as a fugitive. He said that authorities were stumped about where Odom had gone until he emerged on social media Tuesday.
“Things are not what they appear to be. The world is ruled by [an] ancient civilization from Mars. Pastor Tim was one of them, and he was the reason my life was ruined,” Odom wrote in a Facebook post, changing his profile photo to a picture of an alien. “I will be sharing my story with as many people as possible. I don’t have time right now, they are chasing me.
“I shot Pastor Tim 12 times,” he said. “There is no way any human could have survived that event. Anyway, I have sent my story to all the major news organizations. I have no time, I have to go.”
He was arrested a few hours later.