Suspect’s Juggalo Status Unclear, Say Juggalo Experts

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Alleged JuggaloJust because somebody's wearing clown makeup doesn't make him a clown, and as Rod Blagojevich proves, not all clowns wear makeup. This is also true of Juggalos. So police may have jumped to conclusions earlier this month when they speculated that a hit-and-run suspect (right) may have been a Juggalo because his face was arguably painted in Juggalo fashion.

"Juggalo," for those not expert in this field, is a term used to refer to a male fan of Insane Clown Posse, a rap act known for its elaborate live performances, "wicked clown" personas, and love of professional wrestling. (Female fans are "Juggalettes.") The clown bit apparently leads to face-painting.

Whether it leads to running people over is another story. Witnesses to the May 10 incident said a black car swerved towards the victim, then hit and dragged him about 100 feet before speeding away. Two men were in the car and the driver was wearing black-and-white face paint. When police later stopped a black car with two men in it, and noticed the driver was wearing black-and-white face paint, they thought they might be on to something. (Luckily and surprisingly, the victim somehow suffered only "abrasions.")

At the time, police speculated that Davis might be a Juggalo because of the makeup, the presence of other Juggalos in the area, and a report that the "occupants of the vehicle were yelling 'woop woop'" during the incident. (This is apparently a Juggalo greeting.) But by May 19th, police were telling a different story. "We don't have any evidence to support him being in the Juggalos," said Bartlesville's police chief, Tom Holland. Nor, he said, would they necessarily expect this kind of behavior from their local Juggalos.

"There is a group of Juggalos that gets together here locally," Holland said. "[T]hey have their own slang [and] their own signs." Other Juggalos may have misbehaved, but not the Bartlesville branch, according to Holland. "We know our Juggalos here," he said. "They've always been law-abiding and, for the most part, keep to themselves. We've never had problems with them in the past."

The majority of commenters on the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise's site didn't seem pleased with this. "Excellent Chief [sic]," wrote "Citizen91." "Juggalos never go 'woop, woop' [said sarcastically]. Shoutldn't [sic] you retire?" "Guess What" offered a similar analysis. "juggalos use the term woop woop and wear the same make up. so he was just acting like a juggalo? Nice work detective."

Inevitably, somebody brought up Steely Dan.

"Why would he be wearing the stupid Juggalo makeup if he wasn't a Juggalo," wrote "Lets do better." "So if a group of people who like Steely Dan are hanging out and one of them hits someone with a car," he reasoned, "is that guy not a fan of Steely Dan?" 

It doesn't seem likely that Bartlesville has a problem with roving gangs of Steely Dan fans. So far as I can tell, that band has never visited Oklahoma, at least not since websites were invented. On the other hand, if there are such people in Bartlesville they must be both fanatical and extremely frustrated. If the victim ever expressed disdain for "Deacon Blues," for example, that might explain a lot.

Davis has since been released on bail and has a preliminary hearing on July 19. Coincidentally – or not – Steely Dan begins a tour this summer in which it will play not one but two dates in Oklahoma, both during the week before Davis's hearing.

Bartlesville may need to go into lockdown.