The two young men above once dreamed of committing a truly dreadful act: poisoning Chicago’s water supply, in order to kill millions and further the ambitions of their revolutionary organization, R.I.S.E. Mainstream press accounts of their failed caper describe them as incompetent fools, but this case study gives them credit for developing some biological agents that at least had the potential to cause grave damage. More important, the case study delves into the specifics of the duo’s motives, which could only have been concocted during a drug-fueled bout of sexual frustration:
R.I.S.E. was apparently founded in mid-November 1971. The precise meaning of the group’s name is unknown, but one police informant indicated that the “R” stood for Reconstruction, the “S” for Society, and the “E” for Extermination (the source could not recall the meaning of the “I”).
Schwandner articulated the group’s ideology in a six-page “manifesto” that he kept in a binder in his apartment…The manifesto started with an assertion that mankind was destroying itself and the planet, and that the only way to preserve the environment was for the human race to be wiped out except for a select group of people who would live in harmony with nature. According to the document, the world would be a better place if it were inhabited only by a small group of like-minded people who agreed on how to address its problems. With the ultimate aim of repopulating the planet, Schwandner planned to recruit people into the group who would select a mate of the opposite sex. He reportedly envisioned that R.I.S.E. would ultimately include sixteen people, comprising eight male-female pairs.
Once their plan was foiled, the pair fled to Cuba, where they suffered through a predictably awful spell in prison. Stephen Pera was the lucky one, in that he eventually got to return to the U.S. and get off with a light punishment. Allen Schwandner does not appear to have been so fortunate; sometimes the wages of youthful idiocy is death.