Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Some Closure, I Suppose

Back in 2002, the D.C. area was terrorized by two crazy people who were randomly killing people. At the time, it was thought that it was one killer, dubbed the "sniper", who was driving around in a white van targeting people for no reason. Victims were being shot as they pumped gas, walked along the roadway and sat on benches. It was really scary! It seemed like every night I'd turn on the TV and the sniper would have struck again. He was hitting his victims from a distance, so people had no clue if someone was watching them from afar, just waiting to shoot.

It turns out the white van was a myth, and one night we turned on the TV to find coverage of a backyard in Washington State being dug up as part of the investigation. A suspect was in mind, and now the job was to find him. Then, just as suddenly as it started, the sniper was caught by an observant truck driver who spotted the suspected vehicle in a rest area parking lot.

The sniper turned out to be a team of two -- one man, and a teenage boy he'd taken under his wing. They were tried and convicted in both Maryland and Virginia, ensuring that any legal loopholes that could get them off the hook were essentially closed.

I explain all of this to share the news that John Allen Muhammad -- the mastermind and adult male sniper -- is set to be put to death by lethal injection on November 10. When I first heard the news, it almost took my breath away.

To be honest, I don't know why. Maybe it's because every time I pumped gas, I held my breath. I'd be nervous walking out to my car at the mall, wondering if the sniper was nearby. My heart would beat faster when I'd turn on the news and see another shooting. I guess it was just natural that the news of his execution give me the same reaction.

For the families of the victims, November 10 will bring some closure. I guess it will bring some for me, too.


Leann said...

I had the same reactions during that time and I had almost a gleeful reaction yesterday when I saw that they had set a date for his execution. As I sit here now, I think how odd it is to have a gleeful reaction to someone dying, but at the same time I can remember watching coverage of his capture and conviction and never seeing any remorse on his face for what he'd done.

He made this place, in my opinion, scarier than the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Robin said...

It was definitely a scary time. I remember wondering if I should duck behind my car while pumping gas in DC. And I remember our families wondering why in heck we had moved to DC in the first place...thank you for sharing the latest news. I hadn't kept up at all with what was going on.

I feel sorry for all the victims and their families. And I actually feel very sorry for the sniper, too. What a waste of a life.


Andrea said...

What a scary thing that was, and we weren't even living in that area. Among all of the depravity in this world, that one is memorable. I agree with Robin, what a waste of a life.