Next week, Special Investigations Unit revisits the DC Sniper. Can you believe that its been five years since this happened? Having lived in the area that nervously awaited an arrest in the shootings, I remember the undercurrent of fear that people had during those weeks.
Below are excerpts from the CNN Press Release:
The shootings began in early October 2002 and lasted for nearly a month – a series of sniper killings that exploited the fears of a nation still uneasy from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 only one year earlier. Five years later, anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports the CNN: Special Investigations Unit – The Mind of the DC Snipers about how two men, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, came to know each other and began their reign of terror. O’Brien also dissects exclusive video of Muhammad taken in prison.
The documentary reveals how Malvo spent most of his early years in the tiny Jamaican town of Endeavor. O’Brien learns through exclusive interviews with the boy’s aunt, Jean Lawrence, and his father, Lesley Malvo, that Lee Malvo was a gifted student, whose troubled years seemed to begin when his mother, Una James, assumed parental custody. James, who worked as an itinerant beach vendor, appears to have been neglectful and physically abusive to the son she ultimately abandoned when he was 14 years old. Soon afterwards, Malvo met John Allen Muhammad.
Muhammad, a former U.S. Army combat engineer, who converted, along with his family to Islam, was unpredictable and temperamental, and was, by now, a fugitive. According to his ex-wife, Mildred Muhammad, he abruptly left their home in Tacoma, Wash., for Antigua with their three children without informing her. In addition to these custody issues, Muhammad appears to have supported his children by selling counterfeit passports. Muhammad’s children, speaking for the first time and exclusively to O’Brien, describe how their father integrated Malvo into their family and began training him to be guarded, distrustful of authority and eventually, a killer.
DC Snipers features interviews with law enforcement investigators who worked to solve the case under intense media scrutiny, witness reports which led to dead ends, and mishandled and leaked evidence that may have enabled Muhammad and Malvo to evade detection. Charles A. Moose, former chief of Montgomery County Police Department and now a beat police officer in Honolulu, recounts the pressures investigators felt to deliver results in this case that captured national attention.
“We’re all people; we all make mistakes,” says Moose, in his first television network interview in more than three years about the subject.
O’Brien contacted both convicted killers during her investigation. Although Malvo retracted the interview offer, O’Brien speaks to his prison social worker about his stated remorse and his on-going fears of rejection and abandonment. From Muhammad, viewers get an exclusive look at the mind of a sociopath as he describes his continued struggle for freedom.
Mildred Muhammad tells O’Brien that Malvo never had a chance against her manipulative yet charismatic husband.
“That boy was a victim before he even knew it,” she says. “His life was over when he said, ‘Hi’.”
Jeffrey Toobin will be on BookTV on CSPAN2 this weekend talking about his new book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court. The program will air on Saturday, October 6, at 10:00 PM ET and Sunday, October 7, at 11:00 PM ET.
Let us know who you think it is and we'll reveal this journalist's identity in Sunday's post.