A man in custody in connection with an investigation into a series of high-profile murders in Alexandria, Va., apparently owns a website that rails against mental health treatment and lambasts an Alexandria court that banned him from having contact with his son.
Charles S. Severance, 53, was arrested as a fugitive on a weapons charge around 2 p.m. Thursday at the Ohio County Library in Wheeling, W.Va.
Several sources say federal agents are investigating whether Severance -- a two-time former candidate for mayor in Alexandria -- has any connection to the deaths of three prominent community members.
According to WHOIS domain registration information, MentalDisorder.com has been registered to a Charles Severance of Oakton, Va., since 1999. The site's main page focuses on a card game called "Mental Disorder," while a subpage on the site says that Alexandria's juvenile court ordered Severence to have no contact with his baby son in March 2000.
On Severance's site, he is called "a nurturing fit father and strong parent with contempt for [A]merican psychiatry democracy."
Severance ran for mayor of Alexandria in 1996 and 2000; in the Washington Post's 2000 online voter guide he listed his occupation as "expert witness, principal investigator, mentaldisorder.com." On the MentalDisorder.com site, Severance is said to have finished second in the two-person race with 10 percent of the gun-owner vote.
On the website, written in third person, Severance is described a respected citizen who refused to submit to a mental health exam because it was an inexact science conducted "by secular (demon possessed) humanist-priests, democracy government regulated mad-doctors, agents of psychiatry, and other weak hypocrites."
The main page of site bills itself as "the internationally recognized on-line authority on mental disorder," but instead focuses on the card game, allowing would-be players to download and print out strategy cards and rules.
Imagine yourself, an eccentric psychopath, being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having the opportunity to submit to toxic lifetime maintenance medication every day for the rest of your life. Or how about sending someone you just met into an insane asylum because you as a licensed alienist have legitimate authority to clinically diagnose and scientifically influence judgment. These and many other fascinating scenarios, including "the care of Lunticks" await everyone who endeavors to journey into the hideous realm of Mental Disorder.
Several images on the site, purportedly of Severance, span from the 1980s through 2000 according to the captions.
According to the site, Severance studied physics at George Mason University in the early 1980s and made the dean's list.