This has got to be one of the most bizarre stories ever. Im... speechless...
Cole Ford came to Las Vegas to find justice.
Instead, the former pro football kicker found what he believed was a global conspiracy involving his father, famed magicians Siegfried & Roy, and the spread of disease, according to a psychiatric evaluation report.
"While watching Siegfried and Roy, he had a sudden realization that what was wrong with the world was linked to the illusionists' treatment, dominance and unhealthy intimacy he saw them having with their animals," psychiatrist Norton Roitman wrote in the report. "He saw their illusions as their power to distort and change reality. He felt they threatened (the) world, and he began trying to figure out how he could stop them."
The evaluation was performed Nov. 10, a week after Ford was arrested and charged with firing several shotgun blasts at the Jungle Palace home of the magical duo.
Ford told the psychiatrist he never intended to harm anyone and that his actions were enough to "warn the world of the illusionists' unhealthy danger to them and to animals," the report said.
Ford, 32, has been ruled incompetent to stand trial and sent to a mental health facility in Sparks for treatment.
During his evaluation, Ford told Roitman that he thought the magicians' contact with their animals was related to the development of viruses, such as AIDS, the report says.
Ford also drew a connection between the magicians and and his father, who killed the family's 28-year-old horse while Ford was in college.
Ford was close to the horse and viewed the killing as sadistic and part of a global conspiracy, the report says.
"Mr. Ford was completely unguarded in his report of his beliefs of unhealthy sexual contact being committed by the illusionists against their animals, and the assertion that they were under the authority of his father," Roitman wrote.
Ford was raised on a farm in a "strict and physically accountable fashion," the report says.
As he grew up, he excelled on the football field. His accomplishments in Tucson, Ariz., led him to the University of Southern California, where he played for a time under former University of Nevada, Las Vegas coach John Robinson.
Ford's pro football career began in 1995 with the Oakland Raiders. He was successful in his first two seasons, but his performance took a turn for the worst in 1997. He was cut after that season.
The next year, he played one game with the Buffalo Bills before disappearing from professional football.
Around the same time, he grew reclusive and drifted from his family until they had no idea where he was.
Ford moved to Las Vegas about three years ago to pursue a lawsuit against casinos which Ford believed were exploiting athletes by making money off sports bets, the report states.
He sued the Monte Carlo in January 2004, demanding $5 million in damages. The lawsuit was dismissed.
While in Las Vegas, Ford also "went to local events to continue with his search for a reality that made sense to him," Roitman wrote.
Police have said Ford spent his time in Southern Nevada working as a day laborer. Sometimes he lived in various short-term motels. Sometimes he drove to wilderness areas and slept in his Chevrolet Astro minivan.
Ford's minivan was seen driving from the scene of the Sept. 21 shooting at the Jungle Palace, prompting police to identify him as their suspect. They arrested him in November after an employee at a Kinko's store recognized him and called police.
At a court hearing in January, District Judge Jackie Glass ruled Ford was unable to stand trial because of his mental illness.
Ford insisted he was competent and wanted to plead guilty to the charges.
In his report, Roitman said Ford was not paranoid schizophrenic but had shown symptoms of the illness.
When asked if he heard voices, Ford denied that he did and appeared insulted by the question, Roitman wrote.
Because Ford's symptoms did not fit into any one mental illness, Roitman said he would be difficult to diagnose.
Ford has been sent to Lakes Crossing in Sparks, where doctors will treat him in hopes he eventually will be competent to face the charges. However, Ford told Roitman he would not take medications.
In his report, Roitman described Ford as warm and likable, but he also recognized the potential for danger.
"At the time of this examination, Mr. Ford did not constitute a danger to himself or others," Roitman wrote.
"An argument can be made, however, for grave disability that could again lead to dangerousness."