Former LNC Member Convicted of Murder


Former Libertarian National Committeeman convicted of murdering his wife

Steve Fielder has been convicted of murder in West Virginia. Fielder was found guilty of brutally murdering his wife Debra Ann Fielder. He cut her up in pieces and stuffed her into 3 large bags of luggage that he bought at Wal-Mart. Afterwards he weighted her remains down and sunk them in a lake.

Fielder used a hacksaw and a utility knife, but claimed the killing was “accidental.”

Fielder served on the Libertarian National Committee for 6 years in the mid-1980s. He was quite a rambunctious and loud-spoken LNC member. He even ran for National Chairman in 1985. He was a neighbor of Karl Hess, and a political ally of Baltimore Attorney and fellow LNC member Paul Kunberger. Fielder strongly pushed for Hess to be Editor of LP News. Fielder was also involved in the early stages of recruiting Ron Paul into the Libertarian Party to run for President in 1988.

Full story here: mainstreamlibertarian.com

20 Responses to “Former LNC Member Convicted of Murder”

  1. Jason Gatties Says:

    Austin, I beg you, please get rid of Joey. He has an ax to grind with the LP and is using your website to do so. You could find MANY better writers who could provide substance to this site. Why you continue to allow this idiot to post on what was once the best 3rd Party Political blog is beyond me.

  2. Joey Dauben Says:

    Jason, why don’t you use your real name, undercover anarchist? That’s who you are.

    I don’t have an ax to grind at all. I’m a member of the LP - I get their newspaper, and I’m listed as a member.

    Your just mad because you’re offended by the fact I have great skill in headline-writing.

    Or maybe it’s because I linked to MainstreamLibertarian?

    Jason, er, undercoveranarchist, you’re not innocent in this little debate either.

  3. Jeff Becker Says:

    This happened in the town next to me in Martinsburg. Fielder was a lawyer…go figure… and he was caught because of store survelliance footage of him purchasing the luggage and weights at WalMart as well as bar coding on them. Big Brother at our service. Hmmmm.

  4. Chris Bennett Says:

    Jason Gatties and Undercover Anarchist are two totally different people. Besides Joey is Eric Dondero’s special buddy!

  5. TPW/CD Reader Says:

    I did a Google news search and found nothing on Mr. Fielder. I also went to Dondero’s site and I see nothing about him. Is there an actual story somewhere I can read?

  6. Tom Blanton Says:

    There are at least two things wrong with this post. First, the “full story” does not appear on the bizarre crypto-fascist website linked at the end of this post. Second, Paul Kunberger, mentioned as a political ally of Fielder, is not a Baltimore lawyer and hasn’t been for quite some time. He is a Richmond lawyer.

    Could it be possible that Steve Fielder the murderer is not the same person as Steve Fielder the former LNC member?

    Facts are often an elusive thing for Mr. Dondero and apparently for Mr. Dauben as well.

  7. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Here’s a link to the story about the murder…

    http://www.journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/500862.html?nav=5006

    As far as his connection to the Libertarian Party, I’m just not sure how true that is. I don’t have any specific reason to doubt it, but I can’t find anyplace to confirm it either.

  8. Fred Mangels Says:

    I don’t really understand the big deal of someone being connected to a political party also being involved in a serious crime. Serial murderer, Ted Bundy, worked on at least one Democratic congressional campaign early on in his life. Does that mean all democrats are murderers or that their party encourages murder?

  9. matt Says:

    Austin,
    I, too am willing to go on the record requesting that you get rid of Joey. I don’t come to TPW for this kind of thing, and although he’s responsible for a lot of the content here, this article/headline is sadly representative of that content, and that isn’t cool.

  10. Tom Bryant Says:

    I have to second the request to discontinue Joey’s topics. They aren’t of much interest, except to cause arguments - see the rehash of Allen Hacker.

    Or his topic attacking unnamed Texas LP leaders. Which is in very poor taste. Since he doesn’t name the folks he is attacking, it’s impossible to defend or offer counter points. It’s just an outlet for Joey to attack people.

    And the topic that was rightfully deleted, where Joey got into an argument online, and posted mean things someone went him on this site. Publishing a private email is very poor taste, as the email was not meant to be public.

  11. Richard Winger Says:

    Stephen Fielder has had a tragic adult life. His 15-year-old son accidentally hung himself (while trying that technique to get a sexual high), and people say he was never the same afterwards; that had been his only child. Fielder also suffered from small strokes in his brain. His third wife (whom he killed) had emptied his bank account to buy illegal drugs. They had divorced, but when she re-appeared on his doorstep, and it appeared she might be trying to force him out of his own home (which they both still owned) with a protective order, probably he went berserk and probably he killed her without premeditation. He was on the national committee of the Libertarian Party many years ago. He was a talented ballot access attorney and he won an important case in the 4th circuit against Maryland’s petition deadline in special elections. He was a friend of mine many years ago and I would be willing to visit him in prison if I lived closer to West Virginia and if he wanted me to.

  12. Austin Cassidy Says:

    The story, as I’ve now seen, came through a MainstreamLibertarian.com email newsletter… which is why it’s not sourced on their site.

    I understand the concerns some of you have, and I appreciate them. Joey contributes a lot to this site and by his own admission he sometimes goes for the more controversial or sensational topics.

    If this guy was a member of the LNC, then that is (in my opinion) news worth at least glancing at. It doesn’t mean all Libertarians are killers… OBVIOUSLY. But if he was a party official, I think it falls into the realm of news.

    There’s about to be a big change announced relating to this site. But for the time being, everything is going to remain as it is. Everyone just hang tight and avoid topics that don’t interest you.

    I’ll have more to say in a couple of days… :)

  13. Robert Milnes Says:

    Austin, for what it is worth to you. This is a very good blog. You have impressed me as very fair. This story would evidently have not been publicized much if it weren’t for JD. RW provided credible relative personal content. Count me with those who are against discontinuing JD contributing topics.

  14. Cody Quirk Says:

    I do not like Cody Quirk. He has personally attacked me in the comments and disparaged my wife, no less. But as a journalist doing blog entries, Mr. Quirk does a fine job. In fact, he is one of the better bloggers here. The same cannot be said for Joey.

    =You’re welcome, but the reaosn why is that I didn’t like your comments previously when you were sugesting sexual tention with the CP, and yes, I do have a temper and fight dirty when provoked. But I do keep my head in writing and posting articles here.

    And I know you’re not Jason Gatties.

  15. Eric Dondero Says:

    No, no, no, Tom, this is definitely the same Steve Fielder. I knew the guy. I served on the LNC with him. The photo in the article in the Charleston, WV newspaper is definitely him. This is not new news. Many of us oldtimer Libertarian Party members have known about this case for months now, and knew that Fielder would get convicted. It’s just now reaching statewide West Virginia papers.

    I personally am stunned by this news. The brutality of it. I can’t believe this is the same guy I knew in the 1980s.

    And yes, Paul Kunbergerger is now in Richmond, VA, but he was an Attorney in Maryland for many years.

    And Joey made a slight error. He linked to my website at www.mainstreamlibertarian.com I try to keep the website very positive, so I won’t put a story like this up there. MainstreamLibertarian.com is for newbies to the libertarian movement. I don’t want to scare them off.

    Rather Joey got this from the Libertarian Political Report, which is far more bombastic, anything goes, and even a bit of an insider libertarian rumor mill. If you’d like to subscribe for free send me an email at [email protected]

  16. Eric Dondero Says:

    Austin, not only was Fielder a member of the LNC, he was one of the LNC’s most ardent and entertaining members for almost a decade. He was extremely controversial. And I gotta admit, I even aligned myself with him from time to time. Once I even attended a bonfire beer-drinking fest with Karl Hess and Libertarian National Chairman Jim Turney at his home.

    Fielder ran for Libertarian National Chairman himself against Turney in 1985 at the Convention in Phoenix.

    Anybody know what ever became of Turney?

    Why is this especially newsworthy? Fielder was one of those pushing for the Party to attract a high profile candidate for President after the Bergland dissaster of 1984. I believe he even was on the recruitment committee of the LNC to find a candidate. That high profile candidate for ‘88 ended up being Ron Paul.

  17. timothy west Says:

    I would like the practice of allowing any pseudonyms here to be banned, from bloggers and commenters alike. I also have no problems with agreement to a terms of service statement, which is standard practice on most blogs now and would be on mine if I still published.

    I have never posted or commented anywhere during my LP days except using my true identity, and instantly discount whatever anyone says under a false ID. There is no such thing as being anon on the net in any case; whomever wants your true identity can find it out in less than 3 minutes at any time. The fuzz even quicker than that.

  18. matt Says:

    Well, so the story seems to check out. It’s tragic. I’m glad this got covered, but the way it was covered was outrageous. From the undignified headline all the way through, this is NOT the way I like to get my news.

  19. Paul K. Says:

    Since my name is mentioned, I thought I would respond to this thread. I have known Steve for 35 years, although I have not seen him much for the past 10. I have never known him to be violent, even under extreme stress he would seldom raise his voice. Steve indeed has had a tragic adult life. He was never the same after the loss of his son and had several minor strokes that left him unable to play in his Band. The last time I saw him in April 06 when I enticed him to visit with John Prine tickets, he seemed very depressed and not his normal enthusiastic self.

    This whole matter has been very upsetting to everyone who knows him. I remember him telling me about the circumstances of his divorce from Debra. It is substantially what Richard Winger said. All I can figure is she showed up broke and probably strung out (according to the press, she had been kicked out of the motel she was living in) and he took her in -god knows why.

    I don’t have any first hand knowledge of what actually happened, only the press, but I think Steve was (more or less) telling the truth. He discovered she was planning to - or had - ripped him off again and things got out of hand.

    In hindsight, he should have just called 911 and taken the consequences. His disposal of the body was just plain stupid and Steve was anything but stupid. The shear stupidity of buying luggage and weights at WalMart in my mind proves it wasn’t premeditated. Nevertheless, the thought of actually dismembering someone is very disturbing to me.

    Depite this horrible event, Steve was a pivotal figure in LP history. In addition to his legal work on ballot access, he was the first Chair of the Ballot Access committee, which was organized on his initiative after the disasterous Bergland Campaign. Another major accomplishment was his recruitment of Karl Hess to edit the LP News. Only the “oldtimers” may remember but when Turney was elected in 1985 the LP News had not come out for several months, membership had tanked and Party morale was in the toilet. Convincing Karl Hess, who had not been previously involved in the LP, to become Editor of the LP News worked wonders to restore morale, increase fundraising and membership. In retrospect, I think the Party may have collapsed without Karl coming on board when he did. To Turney’s credit, he jumped on the opportunity and made it happen.

    I “retired” after the ‘89 Convention to follow Karl’s advice: “to become successful in your personal life and be a good neighbor”. Steve served, I think, as LNC Treasurer from ‘89-91 and then “retired” as well. Someone asked about Turney. He’s been living in Cyprus for the past 5-6 years and doing well.

    Regards. Paul

  20. Joey Dauben Says:

    My apologies to Gatties. I meant to say Jason Seagraves=undercover_anarchist.

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