Mark Einerwold Friends, Family Debunk ANTIFA Ties, Cite Brain Tumor, Financial Woes
A Sioux Falls man arrested and found in possession of bomb making materials and guns has quickly been labeled an ANTIFA member or radical leftist sympathizer in police and media reports after clothing and other ANTIFA paraphernalia were allegedly found at his home. But those who know Mark Einerwold best say those reports are inaccurate and that Einerwold’s true intentions were likely to discredit the violent communist, Anti-Trump group, potentially through a false flag attack and possibly even suicide to escape massive medical debt and his own failing health.
Police arrested 43-year old Mark Einerwold Tuesday night at his east Sioux Falls home on charges of burglary, property damage, possession of a controlled weapon and charges pending. The discovery of a jacket bearing the word, “ANTIFA” led police and media outlets to quickly label Einerwold as a supporter of the left wing terrorist organization that has gained infamy for their violent protests and unprovoked attacks on Donald Trump supporters and members of religious and conservative groups. Those close to Einerwold say ties to ANTIFA are laughable notion and that they consider it far more likely that Einerwold wanted his own actions to discredit a group he openly despised.
“Mark was highly libertarian and had a very educated view of politics,” an anonymous source said.
“He was very much pro-Trump whenever we talked about him,” the man said.
The fellow employee who worked alongside Einerwold at a Sioux Falls hardware store for several years described the 43-year old as proud of his military service, very interested in guns and weaponry and often excited by the latest in firearms technology and contrary to published details in the early investigation, a staunch libertarian who supported the Presidency and ideas of Donald Trump and was vocally antagonistic toward socialism and the large government policies of the liberal left.
Most notably, the unidentified source spoke of Mark Einerwold as a brain cancer survivor who had undergone surgery to remove a large tumor and was unable to shoulder the mountain of debt created by treatment of such a catastrophic illness and who suffered visibly because of his near destitute financial predicament.
“He was just flat broke and he couldn’t pay his bills,” the source said. “He was destitute, really.”
“It was clear that that ate away at him and that he was in tremendous distress just at the circumstances of it and at being basically bankrupt because of his cancer,” the man said.
The man, who spoke with me only on condition of anonymity also indicated that Einerwold had recently been told by doctors that the cancer had returned and that the tumor was growing again inside his head. With no way to pay for existing bills and facing another sequence of expensive surgeries or chemotherapy to treat the returning tumor, his coworker says Einerwold was crushed by the news and had become depressed and withdrawn and that their contact and conversations had become sparse. He paints a bleak picture of a man on the edge who might have been looking to end his own life while casting blame or bad press on ANTIFA in the process.
“I honestly believe that due to his financial situation he may have been setting up for suicide by cop,” the man said.
“That’s just my opinion.”
The coworker spoke freely about Mark’s own descriptions of his military service and even post-military work as a civilian contractor in the mold of ‘Black Water’ or similar firms. The coworker said it was difficult to determine which portions of Einerwold’s background story were credible and which were fantasy. The coworker admitted openly that he doubted Einerwold’s claims to special operations service and ‘contract work,’ because of his own familiarity with other people in the special forces.
“Mark talked about it all too much,” the man said. “Having known Navy Seals and guys who were actually there and in the thick of it, those guys don’t talk except in general terms about any of it. They’re very reserved and quiet about most of their experience. Mark though, he wanted to talk about it all the time, especially about the weapons he’d used and his proficiency and that kind of thing. It just made it so that none of it really rang true, although I am confident he served in the military, probably in a more normal capacity.”
Picture on Mark Einerwold’s facebook page, showing burned hands. GOFUNDME account after accident mixing homemade tannerite.
Scattered among pro-military and pro-police posts and patriotic memes, Einerwold’s social media lays out a roadmap of clues to the desperation of his daily life, including several posts asking circles of friends and even the public for money and financial help in the wake of his sickness. Even more disturbingly, a photograph posted shows Einerwold’s hands, badly burned and blistered in a fire and small explosion at his home that apparently happened working with the very same materials confiscated by police. The picture links to a GoFundMe page established to help Einerwold defray the costs of his injuries. The coworker says Einerwold was known to enjoy making homemade tannerite, a perfectly legal recreational explosive often used by gun enthusiasts to create amplified explosions when incorporated with firearms and target shooting. Recipes for homemade tannerite are easily found online and the man says Einerwold accidentally ignited a batch while mixing it in his home, causing horrific burns to his hands and arms that only added to his already crushing medical needs and mounting debt.
“He needed skin grafts and reparative surgeries for that too, and his health was already in bad shape,” the man said. “I think eventually it all just broke him, mentally and otherwise.”
Others however wonder if Einerwold’s weapons talk and social media posturing might all have been an effort to infiltrate and penetrate South Dakota circles of patriot and liberty groups with intentions of violence or to distract from his actual intentions and frame an eventual outcome of a planned attack.
“It makes you wonder what’s real, these days,” an anonymous respondent who was also an Einerwold friend said.
“Unfortunate for all of us it’s like we live in a time when you don’t feel like you really know the truth about somebody, even if they tell it to your face. I can’t really say one way or another whether I truly knew what Mark was all about or what he was up to,” the source said.
“You think you know a guy, but all you really have to go on is what he says to your face and what he talks about during the time you’re with him. Makes you wonder too, if the tannerite accident and his fixation with it were maybe a coverup for actually making bombs or something else for a bad reason.”
“It’s a mystery at this point, I guess.”