The Hostage Negotiator

There’s a special power in saying what you’ll do and doing what you’ve said. Action is everything and words just connect actions. That became clearer than ever for me today.

After Greg White stole the balance due on my frame fixture, $1901 due on the $4000 sale, I was in a pickle. After three weeks, he still had my frame fixture and no reason to pay me anything more. He’s a (I know now) career con-man, liar, and thief. He had what he wanted, a great frame fixture. He had no interest in making me whole. He made that obvious in his actions, or lack thereof.

I would text him, he would lie, I’d get nothing. For weeks…. Things can go wrong in an exchange of goods for money. Checks can bounce even when written by the most honest of people. It’s what then happens that tells you what’s going on. Honest people make you whole as soon as humanly possible with no excuses. Dishonest people find endless ways to not pay. If you’re getting put off, you’re getting fucked over.

Early in this process, I made Greg a promise and I made it very clear;

“If he failed to make me whole, everyone I knew, from Bend to Boston would hear about this. Others that just know me on the internet would hear about it. I would keep a link and blog post circulating about what he’d done. I would make sure that it’s the first thing people start talking about when his name or face shows up. If he imagined that this wouldn’t come at a cost, he was very wrong.”

As I said in my previous post, and proven by that post going up, that day had finally arrived. I had put it off as long as I could. It went live and I started sharing it at 11:30 last night.

War had begun for me and Greg was suddenly not the only player.

I lit a match and threw it to the pyre. What started with a small flame became an inferno as people came from everywhere to throw more fuel on it. So many people saying publicly that Greg had stolen from them. Still others contacted me privately with some heartbreaking tales of loss at his hands.

The flames got higher and higher. It was clear that not a single person was defending him and many more people each hour would share a story of pain.

Greg suddenly had a change of heart. It’s not fun when the predator becomes the prey.

Early in the afternoon, an online good samaritan that lives in Bend read my post about the predicament and offered to help me via FB Messenger. Let’s call this nice person, Ishmael. I don’t know Ishmael at all. He barely knew who Greg is. He was a person on the ground in Bend, could have the fixture surrendered to by Greg. He was the perfect middle man. 

I presented this to Greg and he was suddenly interested in meeting with a neutral party at a neutral location. He seemed quite anxious and scared. The virtual angry mob was taking it’s toll on him. He wanted this to go away. He wanted that bad.

I was now in a hostage negotiation.

Greg was very concerned that I was laying a trap for him. He wanted all kinds of assurances of his safety and that I wasn’t going to rip him off. I said what I needed to.

For agreeing to this exchange, where Greg would surrender the fixture, I would return his $2099, electronically, both mutually secured at a moment, I would also remove my posts about him and the social media campaign that I’ve waged against him. I promised him I would.

“Never say no to a hostage taker, it’s in the manual. Now, are you going to tell me no again?”


7:30pm was the meet. It was a tense hour, waiting for texts in Fairfax while 500 miles away one stranger and one thief were meeting in a rainy parking lot in Bend, Oregon. We heard Greg was in the parking lot with Ishmael. Photos of the fixture on the ground arrived. Money was transferred back to Greg (Venmo: @Greg-White-35). The fixture was inside Ishmael’s car.

As Ishmael drove away, I called him. “I’ve sent you an address. Please drop the fixture off there. Someone is waiting for it. He transferring the fixture to a friend of mine, Then, to reduce any way that Greg could track it down, I had that friend deliver the fixture to another friend.

The fixture was now in my possession…but 500 miles away and a million miles from Greg.

This was like out of some movie. It was fucking stressful. Fuck, it sucked. I’ve been through something like this before, when my dog Maggie was dognapped years ago. That was far more traumatic but I got her back. The trick is to keep the goal ahead of all else.

I’m really grateful for those people that helped me today. They are the right kind of people in a world gone mad.

Here’s the thing about this. I told Greg a lie. One lie. One tiny little teardrop of a lie against the ocean of bullshit that he fed me…

There was no way in hell I was going to erase the record. Nothing was going to be deleted. I would report what happened, Greg stole from me and I only got my property back when it got uncomfortable for him. ANYONE THAT KNOWS ME KNOWS – I DON’T ERASE THE RECORD!

Greg has hurt people. He was trying to hurt me. He wasn’t trying to do the right thing, he could have done that weeks ago. Me getting my property back isn’t the same as him doing the right thing. It was amazing how good he got with online money movement this afternoon but was totally perplexed for those long weeks on the basics. No. Greg was not misunderstood. I think today a lot of people understand Greg exactly as he should be – as a thief.

Hell, I’m not even whole. I’m down a tank of gas, 9 hours of driving, a tire repair and time in the shop, 3 weeks of anxiety and worry, hours of texting, and countless missed bike rides because I was ‘bummed out’. Now, I need to get the tool back to me from Bend. This the blood he took from me and I need that blood back. Greg has to bleed.

I was going to make sure that there was a lot of pain in Greg’s life. The thing he seems to want most is that records of his wrongdoing don’t exist. He needs that to keep hurting people. The more sunlight on this guy, the more he hurts.

There are a lot of people looking for Greg. He’s got judgments against him and folks that want to prosecute him. They need to know where he is to pursue legal action. The need to document his crimes. If anyone can help with his location, these people need you. His victims are real. I was almost one of them.

For now, I’m back to selling this great Anvil Journeyman 3.1 frame fixture. $4,000 with a rolling stand and 3 head tube pucks. It’s got some provenance now that few others things in this world do, it was stolen by Greg White….and it was returned.