Lee Boyd Malvo, also sometimes named John Lee Malvo in some reports, was arrested along with John Allen Muhammad
and accused of carrying out a series of sniper killings in the Washington DC and Virginia
Lee Boyd Malvo was born in Kingston, Jamaica in February, 1985. His father, Leslie Samuel Malvo is a Mason and his mother, Una James, is a seamstress. His parents never married and separated when he was a toddler. Lee rarely saw his father after that. His mother often travelled to find work and Lee was left for long amounts of time with relatives and friends.
When Lee was about 14, he and his mother left and went to the island of Antigua. His mother later told a reporter that she went there to find a better life for her son. While they were living there, in 2000, they met John Allen Muhammad. She denied ever having an intimate relationship with him, but said that he and her son had formed a strong bond; Lee had spent most of his life seeking a father figure.
Lee's mother eventually left for Fort Myers, Florida, illegally travelling there on false papers. She left Lee with Mr. Muhammad because her son was supposed to join her a few months later. In 2001, he joined his mother for a short time, then left and went with Mr. Muhammad to Bellingham, Washington, where they lived in a homeless shelter. He briefly went to high school there, for about three months. Classmates said he was studious, polite, and well dressed, but did not make any friends. "He would speak up and he would tell his opinion. You don't get that from many high school students," said a girl who went to a writing class with Malvo. "I thought that was cool."
Lee and Mr. Muhammad would spend their evenings at a local coffee house playing chess. People who remember him describe Lee as being a friendly teenager and respectful to the man who they assumed was his father. He was also traced to a house in Tacoma, Washington. They left in Summer 2002, and later turned up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where one of Mr. Muhammad's ex-wives lived.
Malvo seems to have fit the profile of a troubled kid. He shot stray cats with a slingshot, was abandoned by his father, beaten by his mother and bounced from home to home and school to school. Two months before the Washington-area sniper attacks, Malvo wrote to a friend: "I tried to be a friend, a brother, a lover, a man and yes I've always failed. I have tried to treat women the way they should be treated, like the queens they are. I play, joke, be stern, be appreciative, but I receive the opposite in return." A few months later, he was arrested in Maryland on suspicion of being one of the snipers that the police were searching for.
After the sniper shootings, Lee was sent to jail in Fairfax County, Virginia. He was charged by the state of Virginia for two capital crimes: the murder of FBI analyst Linda Franklin "in the commission of an act of terrorism" (an addendum to Virginia law that was added after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks), and the murder of more than one person in a three-year period. He was also charged with the unlawful use of a firearm in the murder of Franklin. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. After nearly 14 hours of deliberation, a jury in Chesapeake, Virginia convicted him of both charges on December 18, 2003. On December 23, 2003, a jury sentenced Malvo to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Franklin. On March 10, 2004, a judge agreed with the verdict and formally sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
Lee Boyd Malvo is still a mysterious person. Despite all the "analysts" on 24-hour News channels competing for time to show their theories, it's still not completely clear. Lee, by all accounts, seems to have idolized John Allen Muhammad, considering him a father figure. Newspaper tabloids alleged some sort of child-molester connection, but there is nothing to support that. It's not completely certain why Lee took part in the sniper attacks still.
Money seems to have been a motivation. Prosecutors point to a note left at one of the crime scenes demanding $10 Million for the shootings to stop. Malvo was interviewed by many mental-health experts. His "mission" was allegedly incite a racial revolution over the "continued oppression of black people." Various defense witnesses said that Mr. Muhammad had indoctrinated Malvo into sharing his rage over white American society. He had taken the teenager on trips across the country to speak with blacks in slums and homeless shelters. He had Malvo listen to tapes of anti-American speeches, using headphones to deliver the message even while the teenager slept. A psychologist who spent 54 hours interviewing Malvo said the teen told him that "white people are devils." Malvo, he added, "came to believe there would be a revolution." Using the extorted money, they planned to set up a Utopian black colony in Canada based on racial and social justice.
The Fairfax County courthouse did a really cool thing, they scanned in and posted all the evidence of the trial on their web site. The Defense submitted over 130 drawings made by Malvo in jail, in an attempt to show that their client was not mentally healthy. Looking at all of them is...intriguing, to say the least. It looks like Malvo really got hooked on lots of racial propaganda. He draws images of himself, of Mr. Muhammad being arrested, scenes from The Matrix, a sprinkling of quotes by Thomas Jefferson and Hobbes and Locke about freedom. I also see lyrics from Bob Marley songs (he's Jamaican). There are even drawings of himself with a sniper crosshairs aimed at him.
Also, a little creepy, he sprinkles in some religious stuff in lots of his drawings. His religion was never publicly reported, but judging by what he wrote, I'm positive he got influenced by Mr. Muhammad, a Nation of Islam convert. (which is Nothing like Islam. Their beliefs are very very different, similar in name only, really) The drawings portray racial struggle, with religious words surrounding the pictures. As more evidence of a NoI connection, he calls Elijah Muhamamd, Louis Farrakhan, and even Osama Bin Laden a "prophet." And another thing, he says "Allah Akbar" a lot, which isn't how Muslims say it.
He drew a portrait of him and Mr. Muhammad, with the caption "Father and Son." He captions Muammar Ghadaffi as "the Liberator" and Saddam Hussein "the protector." He also drew lots of battle scenes, city being attacked, lots of aircraft in a dogfight. The White house in crosshairs with the words "Sept. 11, we will ensure, will look like a picnic to you," Malvo coldly declares. "You can count on the above statement with every drop of my blood, being and soul. Welcome to the new war. You are not safe anywhere at any time." A number of his drawings have him write what looks like code. I haven't heard anyone mention it, so I think I am the first person to crack parts of it; he writes "Allah Akbar" a few more times in code.
To back up that insane theory of starting a black utopia, there are drawings to back that up too. Malvo had quite an imagination, he drew up whole neighborhoods, with the caption "Our Own state. someday" He says that he's going to get rid of the "Uncle Tom's." One says "If you are the black man in skin and white in mind then you are 'white,' you are my enemy and I will destroy you. I don't want and will not kill you, I will destroy you utterly!" Another drawing has, "Stand up black men, just stand up together."
The Judge ruled that the drawings aren't enough evidence to prove insanity. However, there is something fascinating about them. He's obviously got some very messed up ideas in his head if he's spouting off quotes and verses in that fashion. Perhaps it is the Nation of Islam stuff, a lot of very heterodox stuff goes into that specific group, so I don't know how much of his writings we can attribue to it. Still, he does have some drawing talent, for someone who's involved in multiple murders of course.
http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/courts/cases/malvo_defendant_exhibits.htm (the drawings)