Facts and Argument

Impact is discussed very briefly in the “Overview” section. However, here will be a more in-depth discussion on the Impact to Northern Virginians specifically as well as the argument and so interesting facts.

Gas (in detail)

The DC Sniper shootings impacted many lives for not only the month of October, but beyond for some time. The shooters themselves went after people going about their everyday lives, so to avoid the risk, people stopped doing many everyday activities and stayed indoors. Like stated in the overview, Gas Stations were one of the primary targets for the shooters. So, there were ways people combatted this by not leaving their homes at all to avoid using gas, going really far distances to get gas, or taking the risk. Gas stations also helped out greatly by putting tarps down to deter the shooters and protect people. Not only this, but people were advised to run in a zigzag line to be a more difficult target. This was just some quick information about the difficulties of getting gas at the time. Unfortunately, gas is a necessity and many people still had to drive regularly, so they had no choice. (Washington Post “Terror”)

White Vans

Something not discussed throughout this website are how white vans were a prime target for law enforcement and people. The reason for this was because on the series of shootings that occurred on October 3rd, a white van was near a few of the scenes causing people to automatically assume that white vans were really the shooters. This caused police to put white van drivers on the top of their list of suspicion. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Overall Lifestyle

The argument here is that the quality of life for the people in the area diminished because of this event and that Virginia faced this issue for a few months. People didn’t leave their homes, kids didn’t go to school, even the police were helpless as this was a very challenging case to solve. Grocery shopping, lawn mowing, or going for walks, everybody’s lives changed or were affected during this time. Nobody thought it could get any worse until the snipers targeted a young boy (13 years old) at a middle school (survived). After that, tensions got even worse as the snipers really sent their message, showing they were willing to go after anybody. Luckily, the shooters were captured a couple weeks later, but tensions were still high for a little while. Something to think about are the victims’ families. Justice was served relatively quickly but during the time it wasn’t, the families had no idea who the murderers were or anything about them. Thier livelihood was affected the most just under the actual victims if anything. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Tarot Death Card

A very interesting and creepy fact about these shootings is that a Tarot Death Card was found at a few of the shootings purposefully placed there by the snipers. The reason the card is creepy is because there was a code word written on the card purposefully to the police saying “Call Me God” most likely implying that they have control over people’s right to life or death. Two other messages are seen on the card. “For You Mr. Police” as stated before that the cards were for the police, and “Do not release to the press”. The police tried to cooperate with the shooters. However, the media found leaked images of these cards and it made headlines on the Washington Post which was said to have really impacted the case in a negative way. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

The Snipers Nest

A more in-depth discussion of the vehicle used in the shootings. This is a better camera shot. The vehicle is a 1990 Blue Chevy Caprice registered to Muhammad. It was described as a “Rolling Snipers Nest”. Firstly, it was stated that the back windows were tinted way darker than the legal limit. This strategy is simple to understand because the darker windows make it harder for people to see the setup in the back. This leads us into the second aspect. The trunk had a hole cut out to stick the gun out to shoot. It was actually discovered that the shooter would lay down in the back and fold the seats, this helped them so that they never had to leave the car. That is how they got away with their crimes for so long. The design was very well thought out and designed to be a rolling snipers’ nest. Literally. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

The Bullet was Meant for Me

A book that was used as a secondary source for this website was called, “Genesis the Bullet Was Meant for Me D.C. Sniper Story Untold.” this book was about the shooter and his personal relationship with the author. This is the reason why the book is so significant and a fact. It is based off of the first shooting in Tacoma, Washington of a woman named Keenya Cook. (Farrington-Nichols, “Genesis”)

The Motive

As discussed in the overview, Muhammed had his children taken away from him. It turns out that his ex-wife moved away from the area they lived in and moved to the Washington DC area. This makes sense as to why he would come to the area and commit all these crimes. Case observers think and still believe to this day that this was the motive and a way to get back at her would be to try and kill her during the shootings along with everyone else they killed. If this is true, that means all the innocent lives taken before they got to the DC area were simply a way of distraction for this sole incident.

(Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Concentric Circle Plan

As the shootings happened throughout the area, police noticed that all the shootings were only on major roadways with the least amount of traffic. The police tried to create a response team on purpose to trap these shooters and called it the “CCP” or the Concentric Circle Plan. However, it didn’t work at all. Every shooting, the suspects would get away before the response team would inevitably get there unfortunately. If this plan worked once when intended, many lives could have been saved. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Terrorist Group

As we know, the DC Sniper shootings occurred in the year 2002 which is one year after the September 11th attacks which killed 2,997 people. Because of the timing and the situation, some people theorized or speculated that the suspects were a terrorist group by the name of “Al-Queda”. People believed that terrorists were hunting down innocent Americans, and these two events were what got them into that way of thinking. What made things even worse and for people to believe in it more was that this theory appeared on the front pages of Washington Post as “Snipers and Al-Queda”. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Caroline Seawell

Caroline Seawell was one of the DC Sniper victims and the first victim to survive an attack here in the DC area. Seawell was shot at and hit on October 4, 2002, in Fredericksburg, Virginia while loading her car. She claims, “God saved her for her family and mainly her two children.” The bullet hit her lung and liver, luckily it passed through without permanently injuring her fatally or worse. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Capture (In Depth)

The overview talks about their capture briefly, here we will discuss a very detailed way that the capture of the suspects took place. It all began in Ashland, Virginia of the shooting to another victim. At the scene, a note was left that was demanding over ten thousand dollars. Even worse, the note threatened the lives of all the children in the area. The most important bit of information that was left, was about the Montgomery, Alabama shooting that took one person’s life and injured the other. This case was unsolved as the snipers were easily able to get away from the scenes due to their strategy. However, this is where they messed up and this chain of events led to their capture. The authorities looked more and more into the Montgomery, Alabama shooting and found the Magazine fingerprint of Lee Boyd Malvo. This is how they linked him to Muhammad as they were very close. The authorities discovered his origin from Antigua Island and tied him to Muhammad. Muhammad was the one who helped Malvo get into the United States from the Carribean Island. After running Muhammad’s name through the database, they found his car registration and put that information out to the public. Eventually, they were found in a rest stop in Maryland and captured. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)

Antigua Island

Antigua Island is the origin from where Malvo comes from and where Muhammad fled to with his children for a while. The Island itself is located in the Carribean and is a popular vacation or honeymoon spot. Muhammad met Malvo here and became very close to him. It was thought that Muhammad saw Malvo as his son. Eventually, Muhammad got Malvo and his mother out of Antigua when he moved back the United States.

Fake Calls and Non-Cooperation

Back when the police sent information of the DC Sniper to news and media, it got out and people were either claiming it to be someone or a person claiming responsibility for the attacks in fake calls. This overall messed the case up very badly as people were continuously interfering with the 911 help lines either claiming they know who it is or that they are behind the crimes. The source states that the police had well over 100,000 tips into the calls. People were very uncooperative and unhelpful during this time with the police. Many witnesses claimed, “White Truck” or “White Van” which we discussed before. All of these wrong statements or fake allegations caused this case to drag on longer than it should’ve which costed more innocent lives. People followed lots of stereotypes as well, claiming it to be one shooter and that the shooter is a white male. A great example of this is a man named Matthew Dowdy. Dowdy was giving wrong statements to the police when they asked him about the statement for what some believe “attention”. The statement was that the shooter had an AK-47 and held it up to his shoulder. This is just an example of what the police had to deal with which was ruining the case. The Police had no choice but to listen to these people who were all wrong in the end. (Nuamah “10 Facts”)