Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Shawna Forde

Who is Jason Bush?

Jason Bush
Jason Bush

It is unclear exactly when Jason Bush met Shawna Forde, but the two had much in common: checkered pasts, exaggerated accomplishments, and a passion for Minuteman activities. According to Forde's Minuteman American Defense group's website, Jason "Gunny" Bush served as the group's Operations Director. His online bio called him an army veteran of six overseas tours and a recipient of a Purple Heart and Silver Star. Subsequent research by various media outlets have not found any record of Bush's service in the U.S. Army or Marine Corps.

The truth about Jason Bush was much less noble. His criminal history stretched throughout his teen and early adult years. At the age of 15, Bush was accused of property crime felonies in his native Idaho. He was later convicted of burglary and charged with assaulting a female corrections officer and attempting escape from a Kansas jail. In Washington, Bush had been imprisoned for stealing and assault and was also accused of beating another inmate in jail. In a 1998 court filing, Bush stated he suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

By 2009, Bush was living with his girlfriend Melinda Shelton in Meadview, Ariz., a small city near Kingman. The two had met on the job at the Grand Canyon Skywalk, where Bush had regaled Shelton with stories of his fictional past in the military. When a probation violation led to Bush being fired from his Grand Canyon job, he told Shelton that he was going to re-enlist, and in the last week of May 2009 a friend drove by to pick him up. That friend was Shawna Forde. Shelton would not see Bush again until June 10, when he was dropped off by Shawna Forde. Only now he had a bullet wound in his leg.


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