By Chris Parker
By Jesse Marx
By John Baichtal
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Jesse Marx
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Tatiana Craine
By Judy Keen
Jonathon "The Impaler" Sharkey has big ambitions. The self-described king of the vampyres just got out of an Indiana jail cell after cooling his heels on a conviction for threatening a judge. He's resting up in Tampa before heading home to New Jersey.
Come spring, he plans to move back to Minnesota to run for governor on the Vampyres, Witches, and Pagans ticket.
"I've got my Rochester apartment all set," he said. "I should be back in the state by February."
He's banking on the press showing up in huge numbers when he formally announces his candidacy. He plans to chomp the neck of a youthful female assistant, with cameras rolling.
"Let's just say I prefer to sink my fangs into younger women," he says.
Sharkey wants to run Minnesota with medieval tough-on-crime efficiency: Child molesters, rapists, terrorists, and drug peddlers will join the likes of George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, Mike Tyson, and Paris Hilton on his "impaling list."
"They'll be tried by me, beaten, tortured, dismembered, decapitated, impaled, and their heads will be put on display," Sharkey says. "This is the Viking state. Start acting more like Vikings. You got a problem? Take it to the streets. People need to get a set of balls and a spine."
The time might be right for a vampire governor. Vampires are everywhere. Author Stephenie Meyer has sold 45 million copies of her Twilight book series in the U.S. alone. The first movie based on the books grossed $350 million, and New Moon is close on its heels. On television, vampire lovers have their choice of True Blood on HBO or The Vampire Diaries on CW.
Sharkey says his own vampiric awakening came as a kid in New Jersey. He remembers going to the fridge for a snack at his uncle Louie's house one day. There on the shelf next to the beer he found a bottle of blood.
"I've been feeding since I was five years old," Sharkey claims.
After high school in New Jersey, a stint in the Army during which he ripped up his knees on a bad parachute jump, and a foray into pro wrestling, he says, he developed a taste for politics. He served as a Republican district leader in his hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the 1980s, and tried and failed to win the GOP nod for a congressional race there in 2000. Over the years, he's also registered to campaign for a congressional seat in Florida, a Senate seat in Indiana, and the U.S. presidency.
Politics brought him to Indiana in October 1999. While attending a Reform Party dinner, he met one of his seven former wives. The relationship soured, and she won a permanent protective order against him in 2001. For the next eight years, a sheaf of court documents shows, Sharkey refused to take "no" for an answer. He insists he was trying to get her help for various addictions; she called it "stalking."
It was then that he decided to run for Minnesota governor. After alerting the media, he walked into the back room of K-Bob's Café in downtown Princeton on Friday the 13th of January 2006. In front of a small mob of reporters and photographers, he laid out his platform: impaling, tax breaks, and prescription drug coverage.
A few weeks later, cops showed up at Sharkey's Princeton home and arrested him on two outstanding warrants from Indiana, including fleeing the state in violation of his plea agreement. Once again, he found himself back in Marion County, this time serving out a suspended sentence
He decided in 2007 to run for U.S. president. A few hours before his announcement, in Elizabeth, he made a move to boost his vampire street cred. After hanging his floor-length cloak on a peg at a local lunch spot, he sat down at a table with a reporter and buried his fangs in his own forearm for a snack.
Once cable caught wind of his act, the bookings piled up. At one point, on the Fox News morning show, he was squeezed between a Martin Luther King Jr. scholar and supermodel Kathy Ireland. At another appearance, MSNBC's Tucker Carlson grilled him on public policy.
In the middle of this circus, a staffer at the Speedway Public Library in Indianapolis walked past Sharkey as he was typing at a public computer. The librarian saw what she considered a threatening message to Indiana judge David Certo, who had presided over one of Sharkey's cases.
The message, according to court papers, read: "I promise this court while I am executing Certo his family will violate one of his offenses punishable by death, and I will then execute his loved one as punishment, from the youngest (baby) to the oldest."
That same year, a teenage girl from Rochester accused Sharkey of harassing her on the internet. She had contacted him on his MySpace page to support his presidential campaign, and they began dating online, she later told police. When she tried to break off the relationship by claiming she was a member of an elite vampire-hunting organization, the threats began.