On Wednesday, a mother from Roseau sat in her car, opened up Facebook, and started recording. Her eyes were watering and red at the rims.
“I went back after I found the no trespassing order I got from the school,” she said. “Want to hear something?”
There was a rustle of paper, and she withdrew a piece of paper from somewhere offscreen. “I’m suing the fucking elementary school,” she said.
She was talking about Roseau Elementary in northern Minnesota, promising that she was was “shutting down” the place, and that Principal Amy McGuire – whom she called a “fucking cunt bitch motherfucking psychopathic principal” --would never work in elementary education again.
Her words grew to a shout. She threw down the paper.
“I just fucking broke my bracelet, that’s how fucking angry I am,” she seethed. “Do you want to know fucking why, Miss McGuire? Do you?” A gob of foamy spit began to bubble at her mouth.
This video has received over a million views. Prior to it, the other videos on her Facebook page – under the username “Cassandra ‘Rain," Medical Intuitive, Psychic, Family and Spiritual Healing” – had been getting a few thousand apiece. But after the car video, she’s been getting between 13,000 and 30,000 views with each installment.
There are upward of 17,400 comments on her Roseau Elementary video alone, offering a range of what can only be described as “feedback.”
“Couldn’t watch.. the spit was making me nauseous.”
“I think she has rabies….”
“How dare you walk into the school where MY kids are and act like a damn lunatic!!!”
“I really hope this school is hiring round the clock security after this. This woman is going to kill people.”
Here’s what happened, according to Cassandra’s video. She’d visited her children at school, and the school served her a “no trespassing” order after she supposedly wandered where she shouldn't have been, and didn't notify the office in advance. She’d also taken photos and video – just of her kids, she said. The sheriff’s department then served an order to stay away.
There is obviously more to the story than this, since such behavior generally doesn't rise to police intervention. Neither the school, the sheriff's department, nor Roseau police are willing to go into detail. But according to Roseau police, she's had a few legal dustups before, though they won't say exactly what those involve. All we truly know is what we can gather from the viideo.
“[I’m] suing you fucking big for fucking serving this to me,” she said as she clenched the letter in her fist. “In front of my fucking son! …A sheriff fucking put his hand on me in front of my fucking baby!”
The internet has since devoured Cassandra whole, watching her meltdown first, then moving on to new videos where she placidly stares at the camera and reads the comments streaming in live from viewers. She assures them, over and over, that she’s not out of her mind, and that it's the commenters who are the "psychos."
The feedback falls into three categories. One camp is watching because they think her distress is funny -- the way she punctuates her sentences with a derisive “duh,” her claims of spirit healing.
Then there are those who watch out of fear. They speculate about the safety of their kids – and of hers. They tell her – sometimes lovingly, sometimes less so – to get help. They float theories about having her checked for rabies or schizophrenia or post-partum depression.
Then there’s the third camp: those who hate-watch. In a later video, she describes her inbox and her voicemail “literally flooding” with messages of both “love” and “hate,” of shadowy people threatening to harm her kids, of photoshopping pictures of them with devil horns.
She even posted texts from someone going by the name “Dr. Josef Mengele,” the nightmarish doctor of Auschwitz, who desired to “requisition” her children for “experimentation.”
Cassandra didn’t respond to City Pages' interview requests. Her voicemail, true to her word, was full. Her Facebook message box delivered only an automatic reply:
“If your [sic] concerned for me and my well being, I have the BCA and the Feds and other countries working with me. I am not mentally unstable or crazy. I have been seen by a psychologist. Spread truth and awareness. I am targeted for human trafficking.”
Whether or not that's true, her video doesn't exist in a vacuum. Sheriff Steve Gust says she hasn’t yet filed suit against the department. Besides her language, nothing she’s been doing has been threatening, let alone dangerous, he adds. After being served, she’d “walked out” of the school office, albeit “not very happy.”
Gust’s main concern is the fact that Cassandra has some “prior medical issues that she’s not taken care of.” He didn’t specify what those exactly were, but did say his department is “working on that to see if we can get her some help.”
Roseau Police Chief Ward Anderson can't say much more than that. The situation is "currently under investigation," but he believes his department has had run-ins with Cassandra once or twice before, for unspecified reasons. (Roseau Community Schools didn’t respond to interview requests.)
In the meantime, many of those intently following her posts have ceased to think of her as a scared, angry mom, and begun to see her as a cartoon villain or an enigma to be solved… or diagnosed.
Regardless of what happens, any resolution that results will likely not come from Facebook.