Mark McCloskey’s family hates him because he’s an asshole.
He was an asshole to his parents and his siblings. He was an asshole to the law firm that asked him to resign. He and his lovely wife, Patricia, have been assholes to their neighbors wherever they have owned property. For years. They pointed a gun at a neighbor who passed through a piece of property in front of their home that they claimed they owned, but was actually owned by the homeowners association.
They are giant assholes. Always have been, always will be.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch took a deeper dive into the McCloskeys. What they found was ugly — and expected.
ST. LOUIS — When Black Lives Matter protesters marched up Kingshighway on June 28 and turned through an iron gate into the magnificent private street of Portland Place, they encountered a couple who have for years, nearly constantly, sued other people and ordered people off their property.
But public records and interviews reveal a fuller picture than emerged two weeks ago. They show the McCloskeys are almost always in conflict with others, typically over control of private property, what people can do on that property, and whose job it is to make sure they do it.
The McCloskeys have filed many other lawsuits. They sued a man who sold them a Maserati they claimed was supposed to come with a box of hard-to-find parts. In one trip to the courthouse in November 1996, Mark McCloskey filed two lawsuits, one against a dog breeder whom he said sold him a German shepherd without papers and the other against the Central West End Association for using a photo of their house in a brochure for a house tour after the McCloskeys had told them not to.
Mark McCloskey has run off trustees trying to make repairs to the wall surrounding his property, insisting that he and his wife own it. In 2013, he destroyed bee hives placed just outside of the mansion’s northern wall by the neighboring Jewish Central Reform Congregation and left a note saying he did it, and if the mess wasn’t cleaned up quickly he would seek a restraining order and attorneys fees. The congregation had planned to harvest the honey and pick apples from trees on its property for Rosh Hashanah.
“The children were crying in school,” Rabbi Susan Talve said. “It was part of our curriculum.”
And when a gay couple bought a house on the street in the early 1990s, the McCloskeys sought to block the sale by invoking a clause in the homeowners rules that said only married couples could occupy a home on the street:
One of the rules prohibited unmarried people from living together. Several neighbors said it was because the McCloskeys didn’t want gay couples living on the block. The trustees voted to impeach Patricia McCloskey as a trustee in 1992 when she fought an effort to change the trust indenture, accusing her of being anti-gay.
The former Portland Place trustee who was ordered off the trustee property said he had nothing good to say about the couple. “They’ve always been part of the problem, never part of the solution,” Robert Dolgin said.
And not only are they giant assholes, they are proud to be giant assholes:
Mark McCloskey sued a former employer for wrongful termination and his sister, father and his father’s caretaker for defamation.
The McCloskeys have filed at least two “quiet title” suits asserting squatter’s rights on land they’ve occupied openly and hostilely — their terms — and claimed as their own. In an ongoing suit against Portland Place trustees in 2017, the McCloskeys say they are entitled to a 1,143-square-foot triangle of lawn in front of property that is set aside as common ground in the neighborhood’s indenture.
It was that patch of green protesters saw when they filed through the gate. Mark McCloskey said in an affidavit that he has defended the patch before by pointing a gun at a neighbor who had tried to cut through it.
None of this comes as a surprise, of course. After all, these are people who felt they were entitled to point their guns at peaceful protestors while claiming, without proof, that the peaceful protestors broke down their gate.
The day after the incident, McCloskey told local CBS affiliate KMOV that this was the sequence of events:
"A mob of at least 100 smashed through the historic wrought iron gates of Portland Place, destroying them, rushed towards my home where my family was having dinner outside and put us in fear for our lives," Mark McCloskey said, and shared photos of the destroyed gate.
Despite his claims, video circulating on social media shows protesters opening and walking through the unbroken gate. It is unclear when it was actually damaged or who destroyed it.
The next evening, while appearing on CNN with Chris Cuomo, McCloskey said protestors ”came through the gate.” He made no mention of a mob “smashing” through the gates and “destroying them.” Interesting omission for a lawyer who was desperately seeking to portray himself and his wife as victims of a “mob.”
As the Post-Dispatch story notes:
The protest moved north on Kingshighway again. At Portland Place, protester Derk Brown’s live feed shows he is one of the first protesters to pass through the iron gate held open by protester Tory Russell.
Although the McCloskeys have displayed photos of a crumpled gate as evidence the protesters broke it down, the feed shows the gate is intact. It was not clear when it was damaged.
This begs the question: Did these assholes break the gate after the fact to cover their dimpled backsides? (The McCloskeys are the ones who supplied the photos of the damaged gates to KMOV.)
The Post-Dispatch story also highlights what appears to be another lie from Patrica McCloskey in a Fox News appearance with Sean Hannity:
Immediately, Brown’s feed captures Mark McCloskey under a massive portico on the east side of his mansion. “Hey!” he can be heard shouting. “Private neighborhood! Get the hell out of my neighborhood!”
None of the protesters are on his property — even the disputed triangle.
Brown zooms in on McCloskey, who is wearing a pink Brooks Brothers polo shirt, and narrates: “Y’all see? On my live feed … he got his rifle.”
Mark McCloskey shouts, “Get out! Get out! Get out! Private property!”
A chant builds: “Whose streets? Our streets!”
Moments later, Patricia McCloskey can be seen in her front yard in her bare feet with a silver handgun, waving it at the protesters.
“We’re gonna move, calm down!” someone yells.
“Put that gun away,” someone else yells.
She comes closer to Brown, pointing the gun left and right. “Go!” she yells. “Go!”
One of the protesters yells, “We got kids in here! We got children!”
A chant builds: “Eat the rich!” She keeps pointing the gun.
“Why are you threatening?” someone asks.
“You need to calm down!” someone else says.
“Put your goddamn gun down!” someone yells.
“You’re a coward, bitch!” a woman yells.
“Nobody wants to hurt you,” another woman yells.
About 13 minutes go by with the McCloskeys on their front lawn in bare feet and protesters mocking them or asking them why they are threatening them with weapons.
The protest moves on to its destination: Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.
Patricia McCloskey would later tell Fox News host Sean Hannity that protesters said “they were going to kill us … going to burn down the house, that they were going to be living in our house after I was dead. They pointed to different rooms and said that’s gonna be my bedroom, that’s gonna to be the living room and I’m gonna be taking a shower in that room ….”
None of what she claims is caught on the full video of the event. She lied.
Go read the Post-Dispatch story. It is unsurprising, but revealing, nonetheless.
The McCloskeys are the perfect representation of the Trump years. And, of course, they’ve have been portrayed as heroes by Fox News and the right.
But what are they, really? Giant assholes. Giant entitled, racist, homophobic, lying, gun-toting assholes. Just what one would expect of heroes of the Trump era.
All I can say is that I hope this is, indeed, true:
“My life has been ruined,” Mark McCloskey told CNN host Chris Cuomo two days later, as he defended his actions.