The North Hollywood Shootout and Bank Robbery: A personal story, supernatural in hindsight
Through a lens Darkly – 1 Corinthians 13
Emil Matasareanu was a client, an acquaintance and a friend for many years. (He was an aspiring programmer and designed an early DOS accounting program I purchased from him around 1992). I did not learn about him being the 2nd shooter until several months after the Bank America robbery and shoot out in North Hollywood. It was about 6 months later when my former business secretary called me in Minneapolis and asked me what I thought about Emil’s death and him being the 2nd shooter? I was shocked, I had no idea and yet this answered one of the strangest (supernatural in hindsight) events in my life.
I was taking a break in my office and several staff members were having coffee and talking about the shooting on the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune to which I gave my insights on the gun shop the police had to visit in order to commandeer appropriate weapons. I often visited this shop when I lived just a few blocks away and had grown up next door in Burbank. I am what people label a conservative – pro death penalty, pro gun, pro life – I am sure I said something like “they got what they deserved” and yet as I looked down at the photo on the front page of the Minneapolis Tribune taken from a helicopter & showing a police officer with his boot on the shooters shoulder as he looked up into the sky. Though no more than a few pixels made up his face on the grainy photo (the image is still burned into my mind ) I was overtaken by emotion and began to weep, I excused myself from the table and went to the bathroom and continued to sob and empty out the contents of my stomach. I had no idea what was happening, I was “feeling” emotion over this unknown killer? several months later I got my answer.
I had owned a pioneering computer animation and digital video studio and Emil was my office director – Tony’s “good” friend and also a friend of my sales manager (they were all ham radio buffs). This is how I met him – after several years when Tony moved on to another company Emil continued visiting me about once a week at my Glendale office just to chat, he had his quirks – always wearing flip flops and sweat pants no matter what time he came by. He always talked about his future in grandiose terms and showed me his baby’s pictures every week as if for the first time, he was always polite and asked how my family was. He even surprised me with a visit to my home to wish me the best before moving to Minneapolis and offered help moving all my office equipment to storage. He was just an acquaintance, on that day I considered him a friend.
Emil would spend his time at my office questioning me on matters of Faith and Philosophy. Heaven and Hell. God or Evolution. I was young in the Christian faith at the time but well versed in most world philosophies and science from my own research trying my best to disprove all those feeble minded “Jesus people” with my sacred science. Research that ultimately brought me to my knees with an improbable decision for Christ. I was more than willing to spend hours with him discussing these important topics. He would quite often ask me if I “really” believed in an afterlife, heaven and hell, creation over evollution – to which I am sure I shared the good news of Christ’s sacrifice on at least one occasion?
I once asked Emil when he overstayed a little too long and my office manager gave me a “stare” that said Get Back To Work! – “how the heck are you making a living anyway, I’m the only person who has purchased your software” he once answered with a straight delivery – I rob banks. I did not believe him.
One of the great miracles about the North Hollywood shootout was that their were no deaths other than that of the two bank robbers! Even though it is considered the #1 shootout in American History. Emil lived and laid on that North Hollywood street for an hour and a half prior to his death, the police department made a choice that it would be his last – It was more than enough time for him to revisit some of our conversations about the gospel and the lamb of God? Emil could have chose any subject to talk about all those years, but he didn’t. Was I clear in my representation of the Gospel or did I spend too much time with science factoids and meaningless trifles?
Milton Thomas X
Can a bank robber who terrified so many people and is responsible for great pain and suffering of several victims be forgiven by God? Christian philosophy teaches that those who have heard the good news must make a choice here in this life? Did Emil ever make that choice? His sins are surely grave and yet by some miracle no one died on that infamous day.
Jesus Christ Applied what I like to call a “digital” law to our Analog world when he told his disciples that All sins were equal when it comes to being in the presence of the Father – If you have broken one law, you have broken all of them. Zero’s and One’s 0101010. On or Off. There is no gray areas when it comes to programming digital systems on earth either. Software works or it doesn’t – that’s why the simplest of errors in a piece of code will bring down an entire system! Think about it…. Any error, big or small can bring the system down. Murder, Stealing, Infidelity – It does not matter – each one can “corrupt” the system. It’s as if the creator of the universe must have developed a “Logic / Interface” in order to allow imperfect analogous life to take part in a perfect “digital” world / Dimension we call Heaven. Interestingly both the Jewish and Christian holy books speak of an interface required for conversion and entrance into the spiritual world. Yeshua, Jesus, which the scriptures refer to as the “Logos” simply means “the Logic”. Interesting. Strange. Incredible.
At first glance most people put this requirement of a Logic/Interace conversion for entrance into heaven as Christian dogma and biblical unreasonableness. Yet heaven is almost always equated with being in the presence of the Father who is described throughout the entire old and new testaments as “Spirit” – when you think of spirit in digital terms and look at it with these concepts and a modern scientific and digital understanding you will realize that the differences between analog and digital is somehow analogous with what is being spoken of in our 2000 year old new testament! Even the terms used 2000 years ago by the apostle Paul for conversion and transition from this world to the next are still being used today in the Audio and Video digital conversion industries.