William Tager

William Tager

William Tager (born November 9 1947) is a Charlotte, North Carolina man who allegedly assaulted Dan Rather and later murdered Campbell Montgomery because of his belief that television networks were watching him and sending him signals.

On October 4, 1986, Rather was attacked on Park Avenue by one or two men, presumed to have been mentally disturbed, who repeatedly yelled "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" The assailant or assailants were not apprehended or identified at the time. This event was the inspiration for the song "What's the Frequency Kenneth" by the band R.E.M..

On August 31, 1994, Tager shot and killed Campbell Theron Montgomery, a technician employed by NBC, outside of the stage of the "Today" show. Psychiatrist Dr Park Dietz interviewed Tager. During these interviews, Tager stated he believed that television networks were monitoring him and beaming messages into his head and revealed he was Rather's assailant.

In 1996 Tager was sentenced to a maximum of 25 years imprisonment for 1st degree manslaughter in the case of Montgomery's murder. As of 2005 he is incarcerated in Sing Sing prison in New York state. Tager was denied parole in 2007, and can reappear before the parole board in December 2008. [ [http://nysdocslookup.docs.state.ny.us New York State Department of Correctional Services Inmate Population Information Search and Inmate Information] ]

Some have questioned Tager's involvement in Rather's assault. In their initial reports, Rather and two other witnesses stated that Rather was assaulted by two men. When Tager was later identified as a suspect, Rather confirmed he was his assailant and explained that a second man had been present during the assault but had not participated in it. In the December 2001 issue of "Harper's Magazine", writer Paul Limbert Allman concluded that Professor Donald Barthelme (who died in 1989) had somehow orchestrated the attack through other unnamed persons, and theorized that Rather went along with the William Tager theory because he was interested in putting this episode behind him. [ [http://www.harpers.org/archive/2001/12/0075777 "Dan Rather is the sphinx of our time, and his riddle is 'Kenneth, what is the frequency?'"] , Paul Limbert Allman, "Harper's Magazine" 2001]


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