The owner of a Christian surf school in California who has admitted to killing his two young children because he believed they’d inherited serpent DNA from their mother told the FBI he was radicalized by the former BBC sports presenter-turned-conspiracy theorist David Icke.
Matthew Coleman, 40, told FBI agents last August that in the days before he killed his children, he’d been having visions and seeing signs that revealed to him that his wife, Abby, “possessed serpent DNA” and was potentially a “shape-shifter.”
Coleman said he believed his wife had passed the reptilian DNA on to his children—2-year-old Kaleo and 10-month-old Roxy—and that his children now possessed “corrupted DNA” that would spread if something wasn’t done about it, according to a new court filing reviewed by VICE News.
Ultimately, Coleman drove his two children from their home in Santa Barbara to the Mexican resort town of Rosarito. He told FBI agents that in the early hours of Aug. 9, 2021, he killed both children by stabbing them through the heart with a spearfishing gun. He then dumped their bodies by the side of the road.
Coleman said they were going to “grow into monsters” and killing them was the only way to “save the world.”
Based on his social media posts, Coleman was living an idyllic life on the California coast, as the owner of a successful surf school, a devout Christian, and a loving father and husband.
But court documents have revealed that he and his wife had become radicalized by conspiracy theories and both had begun researching QAnon online. However, Matthew Coleman became more paranoid, seeing signs and symbols everywhere leading him to conclude that everyone from his closest friends and even his wife were part of a conspiracy.
People who knew Coleman previously told VICE News that his radicalization took place within the evangelical Christian community in Santa Barbara, where he and his wife were well-known members of several churches.
It remains unclear exactly how or when Coleman first began his descent into conspiracy theories. But a search warrant filed this week, seeking access to Coleman’s Instagram account, provides a new clue about the origin of Coleman’s radicalization.
Two days after Coleman was arrested, he was being transported from Ventura County Jail to the United States Marshals Service and began talking to FBI Agent Joseph Hamer, who was accompanying him. Coleman told Hamer about his beliefs and explained that he first learned of “lizard people” on Twitter from “that British guy with white hair.”
In the search warrant, Hamer said he concluded that Coleman was speaking about Icke, who has helped spread the lizard people conspiracy to tens of millions of people.
Icke’s core beliefs center on an interdimensional race of reptilian beings, called Archons or Anunnaki, who have invaded Earth and created a genetically modified human-Archon hybrid race of shape-shifting reptilians known variously as the Babylonian Brotherhood, Illuminati, or simply the “elite.”
According to Icke, this group manipulates global events—including the climate crisis, wars, and the COVID-19 pandemic–keeping the human population living in fear so that the Archons can feed off the resulting “negative energy.”
Icke, who was briefly a professional footballer before becoming one of the BBC’s best-known sports presenters in the 1980s, has spent decades spreading this conspiracy theory, but the emergence of social media platforms in the last 10 years has helped supercharge his ability to spread these lies.
Icke, who once became a joke figure for declaring himself the “son of God” on national television, amassed millions of followers on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. A report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, published in March 2020, slammed social media companies for facilitating and profiting from Icke’s conspiracies.
It is unclear when Coleman began tracking Icke’s conspiracies, but it was certainly prior to November 2020, which is when Twitter permanently banned Icke from its platform for spreading COVID-19 disinformation.
Most reports of Coleman’s radicalization have painted it as something that happened relatively recently before the murder of his children, but his reference to Icke in his conversation with the FBI agent suggests that his conspiratorial thinking had been germinating for some time.
Indeed, some of the comments Coleman made to the FBI during interviews appear to be taken almost verbatim from one of Icke’s own books, called Children of the Matrix, which describes “interbreeding between the reptilians and the blond-haired, blue-eyed, Nordic peoples,” “reptilian DNA,” and their relation to the “Illuminati.”
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