Diary reveals fugitive's fears and hardships

More notes shared from notebook Frein allegedly kept during the seven-week manhunt


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  • A Pennsylvania State Trooper walks into the woods on Sept. 14, 2014, in Blooming Grove Township, Pa., in the early days of the manhunt for Eric Frein (AP Photo/The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys)



The case in outline

Eric Matthew Frein, 33, of Canadensis, Pa., is being tried for the murder of Corporal Bryon K. Dickson II and critical injury of Trooper Alex T. Douglass in a shooting ambush at the Pennsylvania State Police barracks at Blooming Grove that occurred late on Friday, Sept. 12.
After a massive manhunt through the woods of Pike and Monroe Counties, Frein was captured by U.S. Marshals on Oct. 30, near an abandoned airport hangar at Birchwood-Pocono Airpark in the Tannersville area.
The capital trial began April 4 at the Pike County Courthouse in Milford with a jury selected from Chester County, near Philadelphia.
Frein is charged with:
Murder in the first degree
Criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree
Murder of a law enforcement officer in the first degree
Criminal attempt to commit murder of a law enforcement officer in the first degree
Assault of a law enforcement officer
Terrorism (two counts), Weapons of mass destruction (two counts)
Discharging a firearm into an occupied structure
Recklessly endangering another person
On Jan. 29, 2015, Frein pleaded not guilty to all charges.
County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin is prosecuting the case. The defense attorneys are Michael Weinstein and William Ruzzo.

By Marilyn Rosenthal

— What's it like hiding in the woods as more than a thousand officers swarm the area looking for you?

More of the flip spiral notebook allegedly belonging to Eric Frein was presented in court Wednesday, as his capital trial continue through its second week. The jottings, which prosecutors say is in Frein's handwriting, revealed the writer's fragile emotional state and the physical discomforts he endured as the days grew colder and food more scarce.

Trooper Gerald Gustas Jr. lead the forensics team that documented evidence found in the abandoned hangar where Frein was captured. He read from its pages:

"Had to run. Jeep got stuck. Tracked SW to stream."

"Made bridge, got lost in development, took PL (Promised Land) trail up to 84. too much activity to cross."

"Slept all day in abandoned camp."

"Ate for the first time in three days."

"Rang home twice to let them know I'm still alive." (He had a cell phone with him.)

"Sept. 24, got a bath. Slept like a human for first time in two weeks. Spent hour listening to classic music on laptop — made me cry."

"Oct. 1 — claims there are 1,000 searchers."

"Massive search — Cannot last forever. Too much activity."

"Tried fasting today till 9 p.m. Temp 38. Too cold. Had to eat something hot."

"Oct. 7 — Lasted longer than I expected."

"Jesus Christ, Son of God. Have mercy on me, a sinner."

"Tried to get some food tonight. Good chance I'll get caught."

"Oct. 25 — I broke into a place today. Tried not to damage anything. Got some beans. Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy!"

Three pages ripped from a notebook attributed to Frein were presented as evidence on Monday. Its notes alluded to an escape: “Ran back to Jeep, hit a road block, pulled into a development I knew had a half–finished access road. Disaster!”

Tubs of evidenceMore items, in addition to the notebook, were found in the hangar at the defunct Birchwood-Pocono Airpark, where Frein was found and arrested by U.S. Marshals on Oct. 30, 2014.

The evidence was first presented in a series of photos of the hanger, where Frein allegedly slept, ate, cooked, shaved, cleaned his guns, did calculations, and hand-made conversion tables from meters to yards. There was also a mil-dot table, which is used to calculate sight ranges — how far away something or someone is — for rifles, scopes, and binoculars.

Many of the items were presented in the courtroom. First Assistant District Attorney Bruce DeSarro kept going over to two huge plastic tubs containing the actual physical items previously shown in photos. For example, he took out two carefully boxed rifles and showed each to the defense team, then asked Gustas to open each one separately. This continued with other items, such as a tarp, compass, and radio.

Some of the items Gustas showed photos of include:

Electric tape

Twine

Candles

Pistol and holster

Binoculars

Magazines for rifles

Bullets

Two rifles (found in hangar's loft)

Flashlight

Batteries

Gloves

Propane element for cooking

Rice

Beans

Shaving kit

First aid kit

Buckets of water

Water bottles

Nail clippers

Bed

Camouflage tarp

Camo jacket

Several hats

Portable radio and weather

Band receiver


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