The Newsobserver website is running a a summary piece on Jack Keith Idema (aka Keith, aka Black Jack, aka Sargie’s Pal), the former owner of Idema Combat Systems, puncher-outer of Eddie Dovner, convicted felon, hunter of Bin Laden, torturer of Afghan civilians, paintball ad model, and now, apparently, renter of pirate boats off the Mexican Caribbean coast. Kinda.
Idema Combat Systems was a manufacturer of various paintball products and publisher of the short-lived Paintball Planet magazine back in the early 90s. The company arguably produced the best player’s vest on the market and its owner quickly rose to prominence in the industry with his showmanship and over-the-top antics.
Famously, ICS handed out the ‘Sargie Awards’ at events across the country, awards named for Idema’s (very well trained and intelligent rare breed) dog (and in the interest of full disclosure I must admit that my team received a “Coolest Team” Sargie Award after giving Sarge a prime rib dinner – which he promptly threw up all over Idema’s hotel room…so much for “class”) and, of course, for the famous “Riot at the War Games Festival”.
Eddie Dovner, owner of Ultimate Sport Inc (USI), was well known for making low-cost alternatives of various paintball products. At the time, there was a very strong “anti-pirating” meme running around the industry. When USI made a vest similar to Idema’s, right down to a small player silhouette patch on the breast, Keith went ballistic. During the 1990 (maybe ’91) Lively Masters Tournament in Nashville, the two confronted each other, got into a tussle and were carted off to jail. The incident was called into 911 as a “riot at the war games festival”, which resulted in about fifty cops showing up with drawn weapons.
A few years later Idema was indicted and eventually convicted of wire fraud (according to court records he was purchasing his materials using faked credit references), among other things. Idema counter-charged that he was being set up by the FBI and claimed that it was retribution for having revealed some kind of nuclear weapons transfer scheme – or for failing to reveal the information, or something.
Idema then showed up in Afghanistan, shooting a reality TV show and purportedly hunting for Bin Laden. He was eventually arrested for kidnapping Afghani civilians and torturing them and spent three years in an Afghani jail, from which he communicated via satellite and internet, posting on PBNation among other sites, and once again proclaiming that he was a victim of a feckless government.
Now, according to the article in the NewsObserver, Idema is in Mexico, styling himself as ‘Black Jack”, working off of a Pirates of the Caribbean theme and supposedly hunting narco-terrorists.
Will someone please give this guy a movie deal so we can all move on to other things? Heck – even if NOTHING he says is true, his life story is certainly entertaining enough. Although it will be pretty difficult to decide whether to film it as a comedy or a tragedy….
Read the VERY comprehensive article on NewsObserver HERE