(born November 9, 1947) is a Charlotte, North Carolina man who
assaulted television journalist and newsreader Dan Rather and
later murdered Campbell Montgomery because of his belief that
television networks were watching him and sending him signals.
Attack on Dan
On October 4, 1986, Rather was attacked on Park
Avenue by one or two men, presumed to have been mentally disturbed,
who repeatedly yelled "Kenneth, what is the frequency?" The
assailant or assailants were not apprehended or identified at the
time. This event was the inspiration for the song "What's the
Frequency, Kenneth?" by the band R.E.M.
On August 31, 1994, Tager shot and killed
Campbell Theron Montgomery, a technician employed by NBC, outside
of the stage of the Today show. Tager had attempted to
enter the Today studios carrying a weapon; Montgomery died
preventing Tager access to the studios. Police apprehended Tager
after the shooting.
Tager stated he believed that television
networks were monitoring him and beaming messages into his head
and that he had assaulted Dan Rather. Prosecutors brought first
degree murder charges against Tager.
On November 29, 1996, Tager was given a
sentence of 15 to 25 years. As of 2007 he was incarcerated in Sing
Sing prison in New York state. Tager was denied parole in 2007; he
was released on parole in October 2010.
Some have questioned Tager's involvement in
Rather's assault. In their initial reports, Rather and two other
witnesses stated that Rather was assaulted by two men. In Dr.
Welnerís examination, he confirmed Tagerís involvement by
eliciting admissions that would have only been known to the
defendant and then investigating the assault scene.
After reviewing Dr. Welnerís discoveries, Dr.
Dietz interviewed Rather, who identified Tager as the assailant
and said that a second man had been present during the assault but
had not participated in it.