Another ‘Crazy Mike’ Facebook Page? Jerks.

by Bill Brenner on October 30, 2012

Last year, I found a disgusting Facebook page making fun of someone with a serious mental illness. The site was taken down, but now there’s a new page dedicated to the man locals call Crazy Mike.

I want the creator and those who like the page to know something. By embracing such a page, you are making a much broader statement: either that you don’t understand the suffering a person experiences from mental illness or that you do understand but think it’s perfectly fine to tear down a human being who is seemingly weaker than you are.

Mood music:

[spotify:track:55OkffR8hBBf3QnqJAU2gY]

A couple weeks ago, I got an email from someone calling me a scumbag for defending Mike. He scares women and children and should be off the street, the writer told me. What really disgusted him, though, was the idea that Mike is a Vietnam veteran who is sick because of what he experienced there.

More recently, I heard from someone claiming to me Mike’s brother. I have no reason to disbelieve him, but since I haven’t been able to verify it yet, I’ll keep him anonymous. He actually alerted me to the new Facebook page and verified that Mike is a vet.

“Mike is indeed a Vietnam War Vet, serving as a field medic during his tour,” the man wrote. “He was born in May 1950, putting him squarely in that unfortunate group that was drafted or enlisted during the height of the war.”

Now that I’ve captured two different sides, I’ll say this:

  • Whatever his past, the fact is that he’s a human being who suffers from severe mental illness. I tend to believe that he was in Vietnam based on information I’ve received over time from multiple sources. But the reason for his illness isn’t what matters to me. It’s that he is sick and suffering and that people find it OK to make fun of him. It’s not OK.
  • Many people have chimed in about their own run-ins with the man, and I have noticed that some folks feel genuine affection for him. As stupid and sad as it was for people to latch on to a page that simply made fun of Mike (some of the comments on the page are nasty and pathetic), I think most people are decent, have good hearts and mean no harm.
  • I’m no saint. I’ve made my share of fun of people like this, and in the rearview mirror, looking back at my own struggle with mental illness, it makes me feel ashamed. It makes me the last guy on Earth who would be fit to judge others for poking fun at someone less fortunate.

We can do better than this.

True, to those who don’t know him, it can be disconcerting to walk into a store with Mike hanging around outside the door yelling at people. Sometimes, fear is justified. Part of my motivation for this post is to make more of you aware that he’s harmless.

To those who want to haggle over whether Mike was in Vietnam, I’d suggest you stop getting sidetracked and remember that no matter what makes a person sick, they deserve compassion and help, not this bullshit.

The jackass who created the new Facebook page should shut it down. And the hundreds of people who liked it should feel some shame.

Crazy Mike

This post is an update of an early post, “A Final Word on Crazy Mike.”

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jon Gore October 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Bill,

I suggest Joan Goodchild (as well as yourself) , especially as a member of the CSO Magazine staff, perform one of the most basic functions in the world of journalism – eheck and confirm facts. Mike is indeed a Vietnam War Vet, serving as a field medic during his tour. Her inaccuracy is based on age? He was born in May 1950, yes putting him squarely in that unfortunate group that was drafted or enlisted during the height of the war. Please correct your story and educate Ms. Goodchild. I should know the facts, he is my brother….and yet another Facebook page has popped up, further jeopardizing the poor man’s safety, with all the yahoo kids and teenagers that want to grab and post a You Tube video or worse. He was recently assaulted and sent to the hospital on October 5th, sucker punched (in this case an MMA fighter – Rick Pistone of Haverhill). Some will scream free speech, but when it endangers those that cannot defend themselves, who is it free for?

Renee Costa October 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

Ive witnessed, twice, the mistreatment of this poor man. It makes me sick to my stomach to see people treat him so badly. Why won’t they just leave him alone!?

Michael Carnevale February 23, 2013 at 2:00 am

As being born and raised in Haverhill, and being a Vietnam Vet myself, it has been my honor & pleasure to have met Mike. I won’t call him “CRAZY”. for the simple reason we all left a little of ourselves over there, but some just left a little more. And he deservers the respect as any other soldier gets. And to Mr. Brenner Mike does have a brother whom I work with. I think instead of people critisizing Mike we should pray for him daily to make that trip home and get his life back.

Dale Warren March 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Mike is a town terror, he was also known for yelling and cursing at people, but now hes going a step further and actually gets right into people faces and causes trouble..dont act like hes some innocent old man! if people care so much about him keep him off the streets! hes a danger to himself and other people..people are only going to take so much of his bullshit…hes a trouble maker! out harrasing people outside of Market Basket and lounging out in front of the liquor store downing vodka and beers! such a lovely portrayal of a human garbage can!

Jc Hewitt May 31, 2013 at 7:41 pm

That is the same guy “Crazy Mike” we called the police on about 3 hours ago…he was in front of Merrimack savings bank over where the gym is and he had his pants down to his knees taking a piss right on the sidewalk…there happened to be a woman with 3 of her kids that got my attention about it… what an piece of work this guy is… talked to a few people down there about it and they claim he has been kicked out by the cops but comes back 20 mins later…that is an arrestable offense!! he needs to be removed from the streets! and who the fuck is this guy John Gore? his brother? that guy Mike could have his pants down with his prick in some child’s ass and scum bags like you would defend him…whether or not he’s mental is beside the point…he needs to be taken off the street period!!

Jc Hewitt June 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm

This is the same Crazy Mike guy that we called the Police on yesterday he was standing over in front of Merrimack Bank next too the gym, he has his pants down to his knee with his prick out taking a piss right on the side walk!! last time I checked that is an arrestable offense….but who gives a fuck, right? its just “Crazy Mike” and who the hell is this guy Jon Gore claiming to be his brother? hey bro let me tell you something! stop making out this guy to be some hopeless old man! you could have caught him with his prick in some child’s and people like you would still defend him! he needs to be OFF the fucking street…there was a woman that was screaming at him who was walking with 3 small children, that’s what got my attention…what a complete scum bag this guy is!!

Helen August 9, 2014 at 7:27 am

I have bought him a coffee which made him smile. I have called crisis for assistance 978 521 7777 then the police. This is in hopes that someday his symptoms and trauma can be managed . Be careful how you treat others. What goes around comes around. Someone you love dearly can also develop schizophrenia. I educate myself to things I do not understand. It works better than evil ignorance people in this community have shown!

Denise August 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm

If any of you negative people have a heart, compassion or understanding please read what I wrote on “A Final Word on Crazy Mike” OCD site.

His family and I, and yes, his real brother Jon would love to see Mike in a facility that would take care of him. He is a Vietnam Veteran and I am the fiancée you may have heard about. It is very sad for his family as they all have tried to help him to no avail.

Most veteran facilities have closed due to budget cuts and the ones that are available you wouldn’t want your animal in. Recent news told us of veteran hospitals letting sick veterans die because doctors in an existing facility made them wait for almost a year for an appointment. So, if you really want to get sick individuals off the streets, call your local representative instead of passing judgment and posting negative remarks on the internet. Only weak, uneducated and callous individuals do that.

For those of you who have witnessed the terrible side of Mike, how about explaining to your child or neighbor that “this is a very sick person and cannot help what he does”, instead of passing judgment. After all, we do not live in a perfect world.

Michael R Christiani November 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

I’ll be 1st to say that I am crazy mike from Seattle Washington. I am Fucken crazier than the Crazy Vet.

Joey G May 4, 2015 at 2:40 pm

I’d like to give a big pat on the back for all who has defended Mike on this page and to all the others who has done so publicly. I’ve worked in Haverhill for over 8 years and yes he has yelled at me, walked up to me with an angry face and walked away and I have always treated this man with much respect. Unfortunately today in the morning hours before noon Mike was found lifeless beside some bush’s on Main street. which breaks my heart to know this man died alone and helpless. to all who made fun of him and picked on him, well those days are now over and you all should be ashamed of yourselves. Today I’ve saluted the flag in his name and memory for what he did for our country and freedom. May god bless him.

Steve P May 4, 2015 at 7:14 pm

I am saddened to hear about Mike’s passing. I enjoyed talking to him from time to time. He had hidden talents such as his handwriting which resembled calligraphy, his colorful words, AND his tirades. He did have a big heart too, you just had to spend time with him, talk to him and listen. So long soldier, I’ll miss you.

Kathleen Stevens May 4, 2015 at 9:49 pm

RIP Michael Gore. Thank you for your military service to our country. It’s a shame you were so misunderstood. It’s a shame so many ignorant people like some of those abve know nothing of mental illness. Walk a mile in his shoes folks. Yes he frightened some people but he could not help himself. He was ill. I hope none of you who judge him so harshly ever have to know the confusion, fear & scorn he must have felt all these years. I hope you never have to know the worry helplessness of having a loved one you can’t help with mental illness. He joined the military a handsome intelligent sane young man & returned a different man. Mental illness is thought to be a biochemical imbalance that causes structural & electrical changes in the brain. Extreme stress can trigger it or contribute to its severity. Why is it so hard for people to empathize?
RIP Mike.

sheila May 8, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Mike will be missed who’s crazy the man with mental illness who served his country or the “normal ” people who are cruel out of choice?

James R. June 25, 2017 at 2:30 am

I remember Mike from when I was very young. As a kid he did scare me. Mainly because I didn’t know anything about mental illness. I’d heard he had been in Vietnam. Some years ago after Mike had evidentially been hospitalized I remember seeing him at Northeast Behavioral Associates. He was on medication and very stable. The doctor said to him that the hope was that Mike would stay on his meds.
Obviously he didn’t remain on them. Often people will stop taking psych meds because they feel better and don’t think that they need them. Or the meds will make a person face the reality of having been so sick. I wasn’t aware that Mike had urinated on Merrimack Street. That was wrong and the police should’ve done something about it. I couldn’t get over the hatred that some of these vicious and cold hearted people had towards Mike. Mike was severely mentally ill.
He wasn’t thinking properly. To verbally attack his brother was uncalled for. It amazes me that there are so many cruel people around. I’m sure these ignorant have gone on to harass and be cruel to another person in the city who’s mentally ill. Mike probably wasn’t going to get any better. At least now Mike’s free of the daily
hell that he went through. He’s found peace at last. R.I.P. Michael Gore. Thank you for your service to our country.

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