This week commemorates the tenth anniversary of the Beltway Sniper Attacks. Two individuals planned and carried out the shooting deaths of close to a dozen people over the span of three weeks in October 2002. In total, ten people were killed and three others were severely wounded in several locations throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo began their killing spree with the first victim on October 2, 2002. The very next day five others were killed by a single shot from several yards away. It would take investigators over 20 days to find the two sleeping at a rest stop. Their murders shocked the nation, people were afraid to go outside, and by their own admission no one was safe. The terror last just three weeks, but the impact is still with many of us ten years later.New interviews of the then 17-year-old accomplice to the mass murders are recently being released by the Washington Post. Lee Boyd Malvo, now a young man in his late 20s, recalls in the taped interview his cold nature and his heinous actions under the direction of John Allen Muhammad. A veteran of the United States Army, Muhammad was reported by his younger partner as to have “snapped” after he lost custody of his children. It has been report in various media reports that the shootings in the fall of 2002 were a way to disguise the potential murder of his ex-wife. In the in-depth interview by the Post Malvo describes in detail how he became under the control of Muhammad and what led to the pair committing hundreds of crimes including dozens of shootings, many being fatal.
During the span of the attacks, the American public watched day by day as a new shooting happened. The next victim more random than the last. Panic was on the faces of law enforcement as the investigation waged on into late October. Because of the little to no descriptions on suspect information fear griped an entire region. It is known to this day that shootings were indeed random, but the fact that the victims were more targets rather than mere victims, as described by Malvo, does not do anything to comfort the families of those lost. Apprehending the two of them was the only solace that America would be able to find to prevent any further mayhem of their master plan.
Not for nothin’ but the mind of a psychopath could never be explained. John Allen Muhammad was put to death in 2009. Lee Boyd Malvo, whose life was spared, lives to tell his tale. It’s a tale that many did want to hear explained in his own words. It’s a tale that thousands of people lived that October ten years ago, terrorized if you lived and frequented the Beltway area. From a retired senior to a teenager on his way to school, anyone could have easily been a target in the innocent battlefield of murder. Being under the influence of Muhammad does not explain or excuse the deaths on Malvo’s behalf. He admitted to being a monster, that he stole people’s lives. Even if you’re brainwashed into a murderer, you have to live knowing what you did. That evil has to stay within you forever.