Rampage Killer

Rampage Killer is a generic term referring to either a Spree Killer or a Mass Murderer.

 

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo

Don’t say anything. Just listen. Dearest police, Call me God. Do not release to the press. Five red stars. You have our terms. They are non-negotiable. If you choose Option 1, you will hold a press conference stating to the media that you believe you have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose. Repeat every word exactly as you heard it. If you choose Option 2, be sure to remember we will not deviate. P.S.-Your children are not safe.

— The Snipers

 

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, a.k.a. “The Beltway Sniper”“The D.C. Sniper”, and “The Washington Sniper”, were a pair of American snipersserial/spree killers, and robbers who murdered several people on the U.S. East Coast in October 2002.

 

History

 

Muhammad was born as John Allen Williams on December 31, 1960, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He and his parents, Ernest and Eva Williams, moved to New Orleans when Eva was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time of her death, he was three years old. After his father left him, he was mostly cared for by his grandfather and an aunt. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Louisiana Army National Guard and went on to volunteer for active duty in 1985. In 1987, he joined the Nation of Islam, changing his surname to Muhammad in 2001. During his time in the Army, he served as a mechanic, truck driver, and specialist metalworker and earned the Expert Rifleman’s Badge, the highest possible marksmanship medal for a basic soldier in the U.S. Army. He was married twice. When his second wife, Mildred, divorced him, a bitter custody battle over their three children ensued, culminating with him taking them and moving with them to Antigua in the Caribbean in 1999. Muhammad tried to establish himself as a businessman there but ended up making a living selling false identity papers to locals who sought entry into the U.S.

Around 1999, Muhammad met Una Sceon James and her son, Lee Boyd Malvo, in Antigua. Una, who became a close friend of Muhammad, later moved to Fort Myers, Florida using false documents and left Malvo in his care. In 2001, Muhammad, who claimed Malvo to be his stepson, moved to Bellingham, Washington and tried to enroll him and his three children in a school and was caught up by the authorities, who returned them to their mother. Malvo was reunited briefly with his mother in Miami, but they were arrested by the Border Patrol. Malvo was released on a $1,500 bond the next year and caught up with Muhammad again.   more

Spree vs. Serial Killers

“The validity of spree murder as a separate category was discussed at great length. The general definition of spree murder is two or more murders committed by an offender or offenders, without a cooling-off period. According to the definition, the lack of a cooling-off period marks the difference between a spree murder and a serial murder. Central to the discussion was the definitional problems relating to the concept of a cooling-off period. Because it creates arbitrary guidelines, the confusion surrounding this concept led the majority of attendees to advocate disregarding the use of spree murder as a separate category. The designation does not provide any real benefit for use by law enforcement.”

That being said, the FBI is not the only game in town when it comes to understanding the mindset of multicidal killers or evaluating the usefulness of the “spree” designation. Criminological researchers interested in developmental and psychological issues see value in retaining distinct categories to study their differences. Even subtle differences can be important for intervention, prediction, and situation management.   more