One of the most fascinating developments of this year has been the open-source research movement (like Qanon bills itself, but not stupid) that has been identifying the rioters who invaded the Capitol last month. Where the Q-cumbers will start off with a conclusion, such as 'Tom Hanks is a pedophile and use his weird hobby as 'evidence' for his crimes, the Capitol creeps researchers are the real deal.
One of the best aggregators of this information is physician, veteran, and activist Dr Cleavon Gilman, whose Twitter feed alternates between infuriating profiles of Capitol invaders and heartbreaking profiles of COVID-19 casualties. One of the biggest targets of Dr Gilman's righteous wrath has been the infamous 'bullhorn lady' or 'pink hat lady' who appeared to play a major role in coordinating the Capitol invasion:
Well, the internet sleuths finally identified this individual, a mother of eight from western Pennsylvania. She was identified by Forrest Rogers of the Deep State Dogs research group and University of Toronto researcher John Scott-Railton, betrayed by a distinctive Kate Spade brand phone cover which was cross-indexed with pictures from anti-mask rallies in Pennsyvania:
Ronan Farrow wrote about her path to radicalization for The New Yorker:
Identified: Rachel Powell, 40, from western Pennsylvania. The mother of 8 kids is also known as #PinkHatLady and #BullHornLady. She’s going to prison for a long time! https://t.co/BGzhWtIrKY pic.twitter.com/xft3cXX3MT— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) February 2, 2021
Her narrative is a familiar tale these days, lifestyle 'influencers' radicalized by the pandemic- she claimed that she was unfairly prevented from working as a distributor of dairy products because of her refusal to wear masks. On further scrutiny, the 'radicalized yoga mom' narrative seems to be a deception, she has a history of using racial slurs on social media, and then there's this:
NEW: “Bullhorn Lady,” one of the FBI's most wanted after she battered windows and issued orders at the capitol, is Rachel Powell, a mother of eight from rural PA. Her path to radicalization, and what it reveals about extremism in America: https://t.co/UxRMQ3e5X0— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) February 2, 2021
Looks like her training at the Valor Combat Academy came in handy. pic.twitter.com/7gcCzNBIQv— Heather Bucha Whaley (@HeatherWhaley) February 2, 2021
I realize that a lot of people shoot recreationally, but short-range combat shooting classes seem like something entirely different. These people lie constantly, but the truth will come out eventually- I suspect, though, that her defense team will play up the whole motherhood thing.
As of this posting, she is still on the lam (though I would call her a sheep), but I suspect that she will be nabbed soon. She wasn't quite clever enough to evade the amateurs who sussed out her identity, I doubt she will fare better with the professionals on her tail.