The Doomsday Prepper's Daughter

The Doomsday Prepper's Daughter

All he wanted was a bunker for the end of the world.

He didn't have money. He didn't have connections. What he had was a particular set of skills. After getting kicked out of the army for assault, Shannon Gilday knew there was only one way.

He'd have to take someone else’s.

Convinced that a Russian invasion of Ukraine would trigger a nuclear war, Gilday started researching bunker homes across the country.

One day, he stumbled across a Zillow listing.

It was perfect.

The $6.5 million mansion had everything, including an underground fallout shelter with steel-reinforced walls and blast doors — not to mention three Swiss air filtration systems, two natural gas wells, an 8,000-gallon water tank, three backup generators, and two escape tunnels.

The listing also showcased a fully stocked prepper pantry with enough freeze-dried food to last for decades. You accessed the bunker through a secret entrance located behind a bedroom closet. The seller described the property as “the most secure home on the market in this country.”

In short, it was a luxury fortress.

Gilday started stalking the owner and his family, including their two daughters. He did surveillance on the home and studied its layout.

He learned their sleep schedules.

He tested their security.

He waited.

The owner was a corrupt politician named C. Wesley Morgan, who made his fortune in the liquor business after working a stint at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms.

He was a bourbon baron.

Morgan built the luxury bunker after Barack Obama’s election, thinking his administration would lead to social collapse and “roving bands of gangs.” He filled it up with food, riot gear, and guns.

Then he decided to go into politics.

Backed by Trump, Morgan won election as a Kentucky state representative in 2016 by just 76 votes. After trying to pass a number of bills to benefit his own liquor stores, he expressed support for laws that encouraged teachers to carry guns in public schools and protected drivers who ran over protestors. Soon, Morgan started fighting with his own party.

He ran against Mitch McConnell in 2020, calling him a “deep-state traitor” and throwing his support behind QAnon.

As you can imagine, he lost.

After his senate primary defeat, Morgan decided to leave Kentucky and sell his mansion. Despite keeping the luxury bunker quiet for a decade, he decided to make it the key selling point. He put the compound on the market while his family still lived there. That’s when the trouble started.

Morgan didn’t expect his Zillow listing to go viral. It wasn’t long before strangers were showing up to gawk. Even realtors admitted that he’d gone overboard on the entire project.

The mansion had three kitchens and a saltwater pool.

All the attention unnerved his oldest daughter, a 32-year-old lawyer named Jordan. She didn’t feel safe anymore.

She made plans to move.

She was right.

Shannon Gilday launched his plan in late February, on the eve of Russia’s invasion. He was more convinced than ever he would need a shelter for his friends and family. According to people who knew him, he talked about it all the time. Armed with an AK-47, Gilday tried to sneak into the bunker through one of the escape tunnels. When that didn’t work, he climbed to the mansion’s second floor. He found Jordan asleep in her bedroom.

He shot her eleven times.

Morgan rushed to his daughter and emptied a pistol at the invader, but he escaped and wounded Morgan in the process.

He evaded police for days.

During interviews, Morgan rejected the explanation that an unhinged ex-soldier simply wanted his bunker. He believed the CIA or another government agency planned the attack to punish him for his political work on second amendment rights.

It’s sad but predictable that someone like Morgan would find comfort in a conspiracy theory. After all, nobody wants to believe they played a role in their child’s death. Even if you don’t hold him directly responsible for his daughter’s murder, his actions undeniably contributed.

It looks like Morgan finally managed to sell the bunker.

Currently, it’s being run as an AirBnB.

There’s video tours on TikTok.

You can go down there.

(I wouldn’t.)

Prepper communities know all about C. Wesley Morgan. They consider him a cautionary tale. Morgan did everything a prepper shouldn’t. Instead of cultivating ties with his neighbors and helping them build a sustainable community, he moved to a remote location on his own and tried to build a fortress to keep him safe from all the people he was screwing over.

Then he bragged about it.

Most survivalists don't spend their time hoarding food and guns in underground bunkers. They focus on learning how to grow food, honing their skills, and developing relationships. The rich do the opposite of all this. They think they can hide in steel boxes from all the chaos they created.

Morgan's story shows us how well that turns out. The rich aren't really planning. They're indulging in survivalist fantasies. At least Morgan admits he was wrong. He used to believe he would die in his luxury bunker.

Instead, his daughter did.

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