Self-proclaimed 'shaman' left custody and walked to Connecticut

Iron Thunderhorse walked to East Rock Park in New Haven, Connecticut, because he said his "ancestors" told him to go there. Photo by Rebecca Turcio / Wikipedia

A self-proclaimed "shaman" who walked away, literally, from his halfway house in Texas all the way to Connecticut is fighting an extradition request.

Iron Thunderhorse, whose birth name was William Coppola, admits he cut off the electronic monitor on his ankle in June. He claims his "spirit guides" told him to return to Connecticut to be with his alleged tribal ancestors, The Connecticut Post reported.

"Thus I began a slow, painful and arduous two-month trek home to Quinnipiac," Thunderhorse, 64, wrote in court papers quoted by the paper. "I arrived in New Haven with severe diabetic foot ulcers and a badly infected right hand. I walked all the way to East Rock, up the grand steps to a place no one else knows about and communed with ancestors -- spirits who assured me everything would work out and I would not leave home again."

Thunderhorse, who was born in New Haven, doesn't want to be extradited to Texas because he claims his constitutional rights have been violated. He is serving a 99-year sentence for kidnapping and rape, the Post reported.

Thunderhorse claims Quinnipiac ancestry. The tribe was based in Connecticut but is not currently recognized by the state or the federal government.

Get the Story:
Quinnipiac shaman fights extradition (The Connecticut Post 12/3)
Iron Thunderhorse: Wanted by the Law (Houstonia Magazine 7/2)

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