Pain fills diary of deputy's killer

A profiler says the entries from Angilo Freeland’s journal expose an angry, antisocial personality.

Published October 6, 2006

TAMPA — In hindsight, the words are chilling.

There’s talk of waging battle with an enemy, of destruction, of intense pain.

When a Polk County deputy pulled over a speeding driver on Sept. 28, there was no way to know the tortured, violent inner thoughts of the man behind the wheel, Angilo Freeland.

“I do feel pain, and the pain is real,” Freeland had written in his diary. “It is the kind that makes you what to destroy every and anything in your path.”

That sunny afternoon, Freeland, 27, sent the Lakeland community into a panic when he killed a deputy and sheriff’s dog and shot another deputy.

A journal kept by Freeland in recent months offers clues into his emotions and thoughts.

Investigators found the journal, 16 pages in a spiral-bound, lined notebook, during a search of a home near Lakeland. They also discovered an AK 47 assault rifle, an SKS assault rifle and a .380-caliber handgun, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

In handwriting that switches from large, curly letters to small, slanting words, Freeland wrote of a plan dictated to him by higher forces. Some words are misspelled. Others are missing. There’s not much punctuation. Entries end with a curvy line.

The Times is running Freeland’s words as he wrote them.

None is dated, but investigators say the lines were written in the last few months.

Freeland doesn’t specify what the higher power asked him to do. But he writes in the language of war.

“The only way a soldier can see his way out of a mission from a higher authority to go out in a moment of berserk madness forcing the enemy to play the end game,” he wrote.

The journal and guns surfaced Thursday, when authorities from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Lakeland police searched a home where Freeland had stayed during the days before the shootings.

They declined to release the location of the house or names of other residents, citing a pending investigation.
News of the diary came the day after Freeland’s mother, sister and brother held a news conference, calling on Gov. Jeb Bush to open an independent investigation into Freeland’s death.

The Freeland family’s attorney, Grady C. Irvin Jr., declined to comment on the latest developments.

“There will be nothing else said about this matter from me and this family other than we will direct our efforts to the office of the governor, we have nothing to say at all,” Irvin said. “And we hope to get the right response from the governor, and if not, we’ll ask the Justice Department.”

A SWAT team shot Freeland 68 times, killing him. Investigators say he was hiding in the woods and raised a gun at them,  prompting them to shoot.

The Freeland family questioned the number of shots fired. They came to Tampa for his funeral, a private service. He will likely be buried in Miami.

He doesn’t talk about his family in the diary, but he does mention his personal life.

He writes about mundane frustrations, his concern that he is poor, that he is not reading enough or getting exercise. He writes about his earliest memories. He discusses his boyhood and his schoolmates and teachers.

But even these musings have an undercurrent of anger.

He says he needs to read and exercise to stay competitive, writing that it is “not good when your enemy is your physical and mentally superior to you.”

And he remembers feeling ostracized as a child. He was unpopular with classmates. He felt teachers unfairly punished him.

His diary reinforces the idea of Freeland as an antisocial person, someone who felt the world was against him, said Pat Brown, a criminal profiler based in Minneapolis.

“You don’t see him showing any interest in the world,” Brown said after reading the diary. “It’s pretty rambling. It’s kind of hard to follow. Some might say there’s a schizophrenic edge to it.”

The diary fits in with the other information about Freeland’s life, she said. He did some boxing, and fought rough. He was heavily into drugs and kept a detailed log of his transactions.

“His behaviors in the world, added to his writings, point to psychopathic personality,” she said. “You don’t wake up overnight and do this. This thought that a person snaps is just garbage.”

A psychopathic person has decided that others are the enemy. Such a person feels that the world is deeply hypocritical, that there is no hope. At some point, such a person could decide to end it all, Brown said.

“You decide to end it all in some kind of battle,” she said. “One of the reasons a battle is so attractive to many men is that a battle is cool. If you’ve already determined everyone else is your enemy, whether it’s your family or your school, you want to take them down. Cops were his enemy.”

Times staff writer Jamal Thalji contributed to this report. Abbie VanSickle can be reached at 226-3373 or vansickle@sptimes.com.