The elusive Washington sniper aka the serial sniper aka the suburban sniper has so far killed 10 people and critically injured 3 more in and around the Washington
area since October 2nd. Unlike similar killers of the past, such as Son of Sam
, the Zodiac Killer
and Jack the Ripper
he does not appear to have a cause to promote or a craving for publicity, some believe he is linked to Al-Qaeda
, others that he is simply a madman. He has communicated with the law enforcement officials by means of Tarot card
which had written on it "I am God mister Policeman", a letter and a phone call, on which according to the Police the audio was not altogether audible, and asked him to call back.
What makes this so difficult for the police is that his victims and the location of the shootings are seemingly completely random giving them very little to go on. He also targets civilians carrying out the most mundane of daily activities, such as filling their gas tanks or loading the car with groceries. This randomness and apparent indiscrimination of victims age, gender and ethnicity is causing major disruption in the lives of pretty much everyone in and around the Washington area, bringing some to describe the feeling as similar to that of the 9-11 attack.
In response to the shootings some petrol stations have taken to putting up large tarpaulins to shield customers from view whilst filling their tanks, at others the Guardian Angels have been on duty filling peoples tanks for them. Thousands of law enforcers from any number of agencies are now hunting the serial sniper, and even the military have been asked to help out with the use of various spy and surveillance aeroplanes.
Yesterday there was very nearly a critical breakthrough with the arrest of 2 men. One was dragged from a white van (the description given for getaway vehicle) parked next to a payphone outside a petrol station by armed police. The second man was later arrested at an address without incident. I for one thought they had apprehended the people responsible, but sadly these were simply illegal immigrants at the wrong place at the wrong time, and as if to make a point the sniper struck again today fatally injuring a man on a bus in Aspen Hill.
The shootings so far:
- 5:20 p.m. Oct. 2: Window shot out at a craft store in Aspen Hill, Maryland. No one hurt.
- 6:04 p.m. Oct. 2: James D. Martin, 55, of Silver Spring, Maryland, killed in a grocery store parking lot in Wheaton, Maryland.
- 7:41 a.m. Oct. 3: James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, 39, of Arlington, Virginia, killed whilst cutting grass at an auto dealership in White Flint, Maryland.
- 8:12 a.m. Oct. 3: Taxi driver Prem Kumar Walekar, 54, of Olney, Maryland, killed at a petrol station in Rockville, Maryland.
- 8:37 a.m. Oct. 3: Sarah Ramos, 34, of Silver Spring killed outside a post office in Silver Spring.
- 9:58 a.m. Oct. 3: Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, of Silver Spring slain as she vacuumed her van at a petrol station in Kensington, Maryland.
- 9:15 p.m. Oct. 3: Pascal Charlot, 72, of Washington, D.C., killed whilst standing on a Washington street.
- 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4: 43-year-old woman wounded in a craft store parking lot in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
- 8:09 a.m. Oct. 7: 13-year-old boy wounded as he is dropped off at school in Bowie, Maryland.
- 8:15 p.m. Oct. 9: Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, killed at a petrol station in Manassas, Virginia.
- 9:30 a.m. Oct. 11: Kenneth H. Bridges, 53, of Philadelphia killed at a petrol station in Fredericksburg.
- 9:15 p.m. Oct. 14: Linda Franklin, 47, of Arlington, Virginia, killed at a home improvement store in Falls Church, Virginia.
- 8 p.m. Oct. 19: 37-year-old man wounded outside a steakhouse in Ashland, Virginia.
- 6 a.m. Oct. 22: Conrad Johnson, 35, fatally wounded on a bus in Aspen Hill, Maryland, died later at hospital.
Oct. 23: The Washington sniper has demanded a ransom of $10 million (£6.5 million) dollars and has reprimanded police for failing to respond to half a dozen calls of his. The ransom note which was found at the scene of Saturday's shooting was three pages long, handwritten, wrapped in plastic and pinned to a tree.
Oct. 24: Two men are arrested. 42 year old John Allen Mohammad, who was wanted on a federal firearms charge, spotted by a member of the public and arrested whilst sleeping in his car at a rest stop, along with his 17 year old step-son Malvo. A high velocity rifle was also recovered from behind the driver's seat which matched the calibre of the murder weapon used in the fourteen shootings. John Allen Mohammad, who had changed his name from John Allen Williamson after converting to Islam, is a Gulf War Veteran and a trained marksman.