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Friends not surprised by Millcreek man's erratic behavior, arrest

Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 6:19 p.m. MDT

"He said over and over again, 'Do you believe me? Do you believe me that I'll burn your house down?' He said this three times," she said.

Ulmer believes Baker wasn't expecting her to be home, and it prematurely triggered the string of events that played out Sunday.

"I think he was planning on this happening at some point, but I don't think he was planning on this happening today," she said.

A bomb squad and hazardous materials crews responded to Ulmer's house on Thousand Oaks Drive. They found a briefcase wrapped with zip ties and wires. They blew up the briefcase in her driveway to discover that it was filled with pornography and Bibles.

While that was happening, Baker returned to his house and was seen putting a box near the neighbor's garbage can while carrying a shotgun, according to a jail report. When police arrived, he placed "mock explosive devices on the front lawn and trees surrounding his residence," the report states. Investigators were eventually able to determine that none of the boxes or devices were actual explosives.

When the SWAT team finally coaxed Baker out of his house and arrested him, he was wearing an orange dress.

Personality change

Ulmer and Baker met 20 years ago at Snowbird. He was from Vermont. On his Facebook page, Baker said he graduated from the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College.

Ulmer said she was the person who performed the marriage for Baker and his current wife, Kelli, at the Burning Man festival in Nevada in 2008. It was Baker's second marriage.

"He was definitely one of the more interesting people I've ever met. He was really funny, and totally fun. He would just get on these rants and talk about this and that, and I could sit there for five hours and not say a word and leave completely entertained by the guy," she said. "From what I can tell, he's just always been just a crazy, eccentric, at first self-absorbed and later narcissistic man — and very highly intelligent. Fun, funny, and all that. And then suddenly there was just a tipping point.

"He went from being kind of a charismatic, narcissistic, fun, crazy, funny guy to being what we all consider a sociopath," she said.

Other former friends, who wished to remain anonymous, similarly described Baker as a man who was fun to be around, until things changed. That tipping point came about a year ago, Ulmer said. She attributes it to several factors.

Several friends have said that Baker will inherit a large amount of money when his mother dies.  Ulmer said at one time Baker's mother was sending him about $14,000 per month.

Baker hasn't really had, or needed, a job for awhile, she said. He ran his own computer support business out of his house, called Baker Digital Corp. But Ulmer said he only did it half-heartedly, even using the slogans, "I cost less because I know less" and "Committed to almost meeting your expectations."

His behavior was always a little different, she said. She noted the time he would weed his lawn using a flame thrower or a recent incident in which he was stung by a wasp and reacted by burning the entire bush where the wasp had landed.

Increased concerns

About a year ago he made comments to friends that led them to believe he was growing impatient waiting for his fortune. He began making comments against family members in Vermont, including his mother, Ulmer said, and his monthly allowance was subsequently cut off. According to a police report, Baker currently has a "stalking injunction" against him by someone in Vermont.

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