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Mentally ill Holiday man's threats reveal violent plans

HOLIDAY — Gordon Gary Barse was a 20-year-old jail inmate when he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Barse, now 56, struggled with the disease for years, and recently told his sister via phone that he would kill her, her fiance and her children, said April Kingsbury, Barse's sister.

He also threatened to burn down the home of Kingsbury's friend, authorities said.

After a standoff last month involving a SWAT team at Barse's deceased mother's home in Holiday, Kingsbury and her fiance found evidence of Barse's intended rampage underneath a tarp in his van.

Among the items they found: 16 empty 5-gallon gas cans, hazmat suits, latex gloves, hats with miner's lights, bags of shredded newspaper and two hoses.

"For someone to say something is one thing," Kingsbury, 45, said Tuesday. "Seeing it is another thing. Seeing it makes it real."

Barse's anger stemmed from an incident on Nov. 14 at a bar Kingsbury owns called Double Dee's Saloon, according to a report from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Kingsbury's friend, Tammy Mather, was at the bar. Mather's husband got into an argument with Barse, who shoved Mather, the report said.

In her defense, Mather's husband shoved Barse to the ground, the report said. Kingsbury had her brother removed from the bar.

The next day, on Nov. 15, Barse started showing up at Mather's house in New Port Richey, "threatening to put screws into her and her husband's head," the report said.

Then, Barse threatened to burn down his sister's house and Mather's house, the report said. He also alleged that Mather and her husband were spies, the report said.

Barse called his sister repeatedly, leaving threatening messages on her cell phone saying things like, "tomorrow will be your last day" and "women will be in the streets eating their babies," Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury told authorities about her brother's threatening cell phone calls, which she documented using a tape recorder.

Kingsbury got a call from Pasco authorities saying her brother had greeted authorities with a machete on Nov. 17 and then barricaded himself inside the house at 3447 Odom Drive in Holiday.

Standing outside a few blocks away during a SWAT team standoff, Kingsbury wondered if authorities could help her brother.

"I believe a lot of people take mental illness lightly," said Kingsbury, who lives in Tarpon Springs. "People should be concerned and seek help. There is an imminent danger if it progresses to this stage."

On Nov. 18, after Barse was taken into custody under the state's Baker Act, Kingsbury and her fiance went back to the home on Odom Drive, which Kingsbury inherited when their mother died. They discovered the gas cans and other items in his van that was parked in the driveway. They also found three knives in the living room.

Barse was charged with aggravated assault and is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Land O'Lakes jail.

Even as he sits behind bars, his sister still fears for her life.

"I am afraid," she said. "I don't want to be afraid anymore. I want my life back."

Camille C. Spencer can be reached at or (727) 869-6236

Mentally ill Holiday man's threats reveal violent plans 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 9:13pm]
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