About - THE NIGHTSTALKER

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It is with regret and sorrow that we announce the passing of our friend THE NIGHTSTALKER ("Chris") after a long illness. THE NIGHTSTALKER is survived by his sister, Christine, his close friends Cheshire Catalyst and Delchi, as well as his brethren in the Cow.

THE NIGHTSTALKER joined the cDc circa June 1990 and had been an active member until his death.

Rest In Peace, Brave Follower of Cow.

Contributions

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The following is a list of THE NIGHTSTALKER's contributions that have been cleared for public release by the cDc Department of Public Affairs.

2002—2005 - Blog Posts
07-15-2000 - "RetroComputing Panel" at H2K featuring THE NIGHTSTALKER
10-22-1999 - "Bizzare [sic] Answers from Cult of the Dead Cow"
07-10-1999 - "Interview with Nightstalker of the cDc" at Defcon 7
07-15-1998 - 357 "Flag Rant" by The Nightstalker
02-15-1998 - 348 "When Cults Collide" by The Nightstalker
09-01-1997 - 339 "Political Rant #1" by THE NIGHTSTALKER
08-10-1997 - "cDc and World Domination" at Beyond Hope feat. THE NIGHTSTALKER
01-01-1997 - "Global Domination Update #21" by THE NIGHTSTALKER and GRatte'
06-01-1996 - Press Release: "CDC CELEBRATES..." by THE NIGHTSTALKER, et al.
07-01-1994 - 269 "Prophile: Future History" by THE NIGHTSTALKER
01-01-1993 - 206 "Power of Art" by THE NIGHTSTALKER
10-31-1991 - 198 "Some General Observations" by THE NIGHTSTALKER
07-20-1991 - 174 "Self Defense" by THE NIGHTSTALKER
01-03-1991 - 149 "Rural Hell" by THE NIGHTSTALKER

Tributes

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When Nightstalker passed, and I didn't know him as well as I would have liked, I kept thinking of the following poem by Timothy Donnelly:

 THROUGH THE WILDERNESS OF HIS FOREHEAD

You wager too much, small self, on the way you feel. Nothing 
     you have thought should last forever can’t be lost. 

Even the yellow wind that begins at once to strip the last of the 
     heart-shaped foliage from the tree across the way 

knows that feeling is a spell from which the mind can 
     rouse itself awake if it would only let itself be taken 

leaf by leaf apart. And you have felt this fear before, clung 
     as to a vapor misremembering what had stood to 

live through memory alone. Or was it afterwards among 
     fog folded into blankets of some self-erasing sleep. 

Or when, conversely, focused on the constancy of any given
     thing without dispersing, undissolved—an icecap-

white moon or clock-face on a tower—the mind intent on far 
     too fine a point to take in any more. You will outlive 

yourself again, and what you feel now, this adamantine 
     sorrow, will scatter its dicethrow behind you into swans.
My two cents. (Now four based on the rate of inflation of bitcoins)

                                                                                               — assrabbit

*I* heard that Nightstalker succumbed to old injuries sustained in his lifelong career as a the world's premier free-climbing base jumper / human cannonball.

Somebody told me that he was last seen attempting to swim the Bermuda Triangle solo subsisting on nothing but sharks he had punched to death and seawater filtered through a portable desalinization pack of his own design.

                                                                                               — The Deth Vegetable

I first got to know THE NIGHTSTALKER via Asmodeus Rex and his BBS, Alcazar. Asmodeus Rex was the first non-806 Cultee (Providence, RI) and then Chris was his buddy, local, and we chatted a lot on Demon Roach and I invited him in too. This would have been sometime '85-87.

I heard the story too, about how he was taking care of his mom, I thought it was, and then moved to Boston. He'd done some articles for computer mags (Compute?), and somebody told me that Chris was on disability for depression.

He was friends with Bootlegger, and had some sort of relationship with this lady his age he went to sci-fi cons with, and she came to a Defcon or HOPE once too. I can't remember her name.

He built an Altair kit and did ham radio, at some point.

So that's my NIGHTSTALKER true-facts braindump.

When I was a teenager, devouring photocopies of old 2600s and TAPs and trying to get up to speed on the roots of all this stuff, I was amazed that Chris had been there and done all that. He was always really patient and generous with me and all my dipshit questions and demands for storytime. That really meant a lot to me, especially at that age; Jedi Master mentor kind of thing.

                                                                                               — Grandmaster Ratte'

I just remember that he would always smile when he saw me.

It was just a true smile. A 'none of the shit you're going through really matters -- whether it's good or bad' type of smile that would make me stop for a moment and feel comfortable in my own skin. It really meant a lot to me.

I wish I could be there to return that peaceful smile.

fuck

                                                                                               — Mudge

I think that I may have sold myself short by not knowing a lot more about THE NIGHTSTALKER because a lot of my memories of him are much more superficial. I don't know that he talked an awful lot about his personal life, but I always got the impression that he was always fighting against bad situations and making the best out of each setback. Still, in my discussions with him, none of this ever directly came up. He was always there to unconditionally show support right when you needed it. My memories of Defcons past are somewhat fuzzy, but those were the only times I ever talked with him in person and he was always enthusiastic and good-natured. One thing I will always remember was at one of the Defcons Delchi was throwing a party for us but for some reason we never heard about it and nobody showed up to it except for Chris. So there was this party in our honor and it ended up with Chris and Delchi watching Tron. I wish that I had a lot more concrete things to say that would correspond to the way that I feel, but I don't have the words for them right now. All I can think about is how I'll miss the periodic updates from Chris about his latest battles with keeping his archaic systems up and running against the forces of entropy, or the results of his latest trip to the MIT Flea, and most importantly the little emails that just said that he was pulling for you. As we sometimes drift apart, those are the things that seem to matter most to me. So we're not just losing a friend, we're also losing a little bit of the glue that has held us together as a group over all these years. I think we probably owe it to him to try to carry on as best as we can to not allow cDc to dissipate. If we can manage to muster the energy and desire, maybe explore new territory and work toward a bright future.

Maybe the future could be a different and better place than we suspect.

He's riding shotgun with Dem0nseed now. Nightstalker was called to serve with Dem0nseed Elite after fully demonstrating his worthiness in the great arena of this life. Raised to glory, to rule at His side.

                                                                                               — Obscure Images

He lived many unhappy years stuck in Nowhere, Vermont, taking care of an ill relative (mother? grandmother?) My recollection is that it was only after that relative passed away and affairs were settled, that he was finally free to leave Vermont.

He moved to Boston in 1992 and WK and I met him for the first time during my last week living in Boston. I wasn't prepared for the age difference between us. He seemed much happier living in Boston, having access to MIT and the MIT flea.

                                                                                               — Omega

I joined the cDc in the spring of 1996 but didn't meet any of the herd in the flesh until summer of the following year. I struck up a friendship with longtime cultee Omega and asked him to brief me on the backgrounds of my new crew. He sent a number of emails detailing, as much as he could, little known facts about cDc members. I was particularly intrigued with The Nightstalker.

As a young man The Nightstalker had been a CIA contractor in Vietnam. I immediately conjured up images of a wet boy masterminding hit operations up country. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The Nightstalker was assigned to administrative support, not strangling Vietcong generals in their sleep. I'm sure the contracting job was a clever way of avoiding the draft and not returning home in a body bag.

I finally met The Nightstalker in New York at HOPE Con. He looked a lot more like the old school wrestler Haystack Calhoun than the fit CIA operative of my imagination. There would be other surprises. The Nightstalker had been a member of The Youth International Party Line or YIPL, later known as TAP for Technological American Party. The group had been started by Abbie Hoffman of the Chicago 7 and a phreaker from Long Island named Al Bell. TAP was the pioneer phreaker magazine.

Here was a guy I could relate to. Technology savvy and politically engaged. The Nightstalker was jovial, free spirited, and generous in support. And when I indicated my interest in working in hacktivism, and eventually formed Hacktivismo, The Nightstalker dove right in. He used his personal website to advance my interests and emailed me much valuable advice. The Nightstalker was also a very modest guy, never wanting to shove himself forward; very happy to remain in the background. He made a big difference.

I shall always have very fond memories of The Nightstalker as a friend and mentor. He will be sorely missed.

                                                                                               — Oxblood Ruffin

NIGHTSTALKER was proud of the cDc and his membership. And he brought a unique perspective to the group. He wasn't just the "Crazy Old Guy" -- he was clever and opinionated and contributed a lot. We are worse off without him.

                                                                                               — Reid Fleming

Now wait a minute, I'm pretty sure he died while implementing a novel successful proof of P = NP using a pebble bed nuclear reactor and forty-five hundred gallons of Johhnie Walker Infrared.

                                                                                               — Tweety Fish

Chris was one of the truly old school, golden era phreaks, but you would never know if unless you asked.

My favorite memory of Chris is of the time he took, in the middle of a party at the L0pht, to help me build out a Mac system for an old friend who was housebound and unable to afford a computer. I got to know Chris a bit better that evening, and wish we’d had more times like that that one.

In a subculture ripe with arrogance and bravado, he was a kind soul.

                                                                                               — White Knight

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RIP Tequila Willy

Tequila Willy
September 7, 1969 - May 25, 2015


RIP THE NIGHTSTALKER

THE NIGHTSTALKER
December 29, 1951 - June 14, 2012


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