A San Francisco man wanted by the FBI for allegedly possessing explosive materials at his home in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood is in custody tonight, according to police and FBI officials.
Ryan Kelly Chamberlain II, 42, was taken into custody by San Francisco police officers and the FBI in the vicinity of Crissy Field and St. Francis Yacht Club this evening following a manhunt over the weekend, according to the FBI.
Chamberlain posted a suicide note via his social media websites this morning following a raid at his home Saturday morning that blocked portions of Jackson Street, Polk Street and Van Ness Avenue.
Chamberlain was considered armed and dangerous and was thought to potentially have explosives on him, according to the FBI.
After a search warrant was served at his home Saturday morning, FBI agents, San Francisco police, firefighters and a hazardous materials team entered the building.
Crews wearing hazmat suits were seen coming in and out of the apartment for about two hours that morning.
Alex Clemens, founder of San Francisco-based Barbary Coast Consulting, said he has known Chamberlain for about a decade and worked with him at his firm when Chamberlain was hired as a contractor for about a month in 2009 to work on a public affairs social media effort for a client in North Carolina.
This morning, a timed post was released on Chamberlain’s Facebook page, which Clemens said he has access to as a connected friend.
In the letter, written on an iCloud account, Chamberlain talks about dealing with depression, issues with his family and trouble with his relationships and career.
He details his downward spiral, which came to a head in 2013 when he lost a job with a sports event management company.
“When 2013 came, it did me in. I’ve been fighting and fighting to get out of it. But it wrecked me. And it led to what happened today,” the letter reads.
It appears the note was written after he was contacted by the FBI.
“I got dark. I got real dark. I explored myriad ways I could put an end to what I was going through. I binged-watched dark TV, sometimes didn’t get off the couch for days, and scoured the Internet absorbing fuel for morbid fantasies. Some of that activity seemed to attract the attention of some visitors today…who have made it rather evident that this is the end of the line for me,” his letter states.
He ends the note, “the time’s up.”
Around 10:20 a.m. this morning an update went out on his social media accounts.
A panicked update to my letter that should have posted by now. Nothing they're reporting is true. No "stashes." Not "armed and…
— Ryan Chamberlain (@poliholic) June 2, 2014
Chamberlain posted, “A panicked update to my letter that should have posted by now. Nothing they’re reporting is true. No ‘stashes.’ Not ‘armed and dangerous.’ No car ‘rigged to explode.’ I explored some ugly websites, a year-ish ago. I was depressed. I let Walter White get to me. I thought I was done. That’s it. No one was ever in danger. And recently I was all better. I owe my friends and my girlfriend for that. But I guess I did enough for the damage to be done. I’m so sorry everyone.”
On his social media pages, Chamberlain says he received a degree in journalism and political science at Iowa State University in 1993 and went on to obtain a master’s at the University of Florida in political campaigning in 1997.
He taught a grassroots mobilization course at the University of San Francisco as an adjunct professor for one semester in spring 2011, school spokeswoman Anne-Marie Devine said.
He has since not been affiliated with the university, Devine said.
Chamberlain was posting links, photos, and short quips on his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media pages up until Friday. His Twitter handle is @poliholic, which on his website he uses to describe himself as a political junkie.
Clemens said Chamberlain is a “familiar face in the world of San Francisco political campaigns. He’s worked on a campaign most every cycle.”
According to Chamberlain’s website and online resume, he worked on Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s San Francisco mayoral campaign and many other city political campaigns in the past 15 years.
Clemens said Chamberlain had slowed down in recent years and Clemens last saw him at an event about a year ago but had been following him on social media.
Clemens clarified that he is not close with Chamberlain, but he was “hoping to see he had turned himself in.”
News of the raid and search this weekend was surprising and the political consulting world is “all collectively quite shocked,” Clemens said.
Hannah Albarazi/Sasha Lekash, Bay City News