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Cold blooded killers, p.7
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       Cold Blooded Killers, p.7

           R. J. Parker
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  A few of the escapees were said to be cornered in a residential two-story house within 120 feet of the gym. Whether or not they had hostages was unknown. The house was destroyed using tanks and flamethrowers by 11:00 p.m., on September the third.

  In the aftermath, Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Fridinsky believed that thirty-one of the thirty-two attackers had been confirmed dead, and one had been captured. One suspected hostage-taker was beaten to death by the fathers of hostages when he was injured and being driven to the hospital. Another suspected terrorist was assassinated on the scene, an event filmed by the Sky News crew.

  According to the official data, 331 civilians and eleven commandos died. At least one surviving female hostage committed suicide after returning home. Many other survivors remained in severe shock. Some injured survivors died in hospitals.

  The Russian government has been heavily criticized by many locals who, days after the end of the siege, did not know whether their children were living or dead. Human remains were even found in the nearby garbage dump several months later, prompting further outrage.

  During the operation, eleven Russian Soldiers of the special groups Alpha and Vympel were killed, among them the commander of Alpha. This was the highest casualty rate ever suffered in a single engagement in the history of these units. One of their members said they’d rescued children first, and the hostage-takers had then shot at their backs; that was why they’d suffered such high losses (another commando admitted shooting children used by the terrorists as human shields). In addition, many were accidentally hit by civilian militiamen, who either fired indiscriminately or mistook them for the hostage takers. Wounds of varying severity were received by more than thirty fighters of the OSNAZ Special Forces.

  In May, 2005, the only known accused terrorist to survive the Beslan massacre was Nur-Pashi Kulayev. All local lawyers refused to defend Kulayev. Albert Pliyev was appointed, reluctantly, as his lawyer. The local people at the time wanted to either lynch the defendant or sentence him to the death penalty. Over 1,340 people act as the injured party on the trial. Kulayev was charged with murder, terrorism, kidnapping, and other crimes, and pled guilty on seven of the counts. Kulayev is said to be incarcerated in a high-security prison on the small lake island of Ognenny Ostrov in the Vologda region.

  In May of 2002, the Secret Service published a report that examined thirty-seven school shootings in the United States. They published the following findings:

  * Incidents of targeted violence at schools were rarely sudden, impulsive acts.

  * Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.

  * Most attackers did not threaten their targets directly prior to advancing the attack.

  * There is no accurate or useful profile of students who engaged in targeted school violence.

  * Most attackers engaged in behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern, or indicated a need for help.

  * Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures.

  * Many attackers had considered or attempted suicide.

  * Many attackers felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack.

  * Most attackers had access to, and had used weapons, prior to the attack.

  * In many cases, other students were involved in some capacity.

  * Despite prompt law enforcement responses, most shooting incidents were stopped by means other than law enforcement intervention.

  According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the general definition of a spree murder is two or more murders committed by an offender, or offenders, without a cooling-off period – the lack of a cooling-off period marking the difference between a spree murder and a serial murder. Serial killers are different in that the murders are clearly separate events, happening at different times, while the attacks of mass murderers are defined by one incident, with no distinctive time period between the murders.

  Another common term for spree killings is ‘going postal,’ meaning becoming extremely and uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence, and usually in a workplace environment. The expression derives from a series of incidents from 1983 onward in which United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed managers, fellow workers, and members of the police or general public in acts of mass murder. Between 1986 and 1997, more than forty people were gunned down by spree killers in at least twenty incidents of workplace rage.

  - 11 - Rodrick Dantzler

  Grand Rapids, Michigan Massacre

  In Grand Rapids, Michigan, on July 7th, 2011, seven people were killed and others injured by Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, thirty-four, a building technician. His victims included his estranged wife, their children, other innocent people, and his former girlfriend. Dantzler had a rather shady childhood. In 1992, at the age of fifteen, he was convicted for burglary as a juvenile. He was raised by his stepfather who abused drugs, and his mother, but she kicked him out of her house when he was eighteen, allegedly over threats he repeatedly made. His mother would later say that he had an explosive temper and acted violently with thinking. After being kicked out of his mother’s home, he set fire to her house, and in 1997 was convicted of destroying property and domestic violence. From 2000 to 2005, he served time in prison for a road rage shooting incident. During his time incarcerated, he obtained his high school diploma and partook in anger management programs.

  Upon his release from prison, Dantzler was said to be under doctor’s care, taking prescribed medication for bipolar disorder, and receiving a disability pension. In 2010 he was sent back to prison for another year after being convicted of assault and battery.

  Just days before the shooting spree, Dantzler took his daughter and wife to Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon. His wife, Jennifer Heeren, was planning on separating from him, but it is not known whether Dantzler was aware of it or not. It is known that on the day of the shootings, he drank a lot of alcohol and used cocaine.

  The murdering began in the house of Dantzler's former girlfriend, Amanda Emkens. There, he killed Emkens, her sister, Kimberlee, and her sister's ten year old daughter, Marisa. He then went home where his wife, their daughter, and his wife's parents lived, and killed all of them too.

  Dantzler called his mother and told her what he had done. His mother, in turn, contacted the police, who dispatched units and subsequently discovered the bodies. The police closed down the area and told neighbors to remain inside their homes, as they didn’t know at this time where the killer was located. At this point, Dantzler was near Godfrey Avenue, where he shot and injured a man in an apparent road rage incident before abandoning his Town Car and taking a Suburban from another person – who luckily jumped out of the vehicle. At 7:00 pm, April Swanson, a friend of Dantzler, called police on her cell phone to report that Dantzler was following her in a Suburban. He shot her from his vehicle at Fulton Street and Division Avenue. She suffered a serious but non-life-threatening arm injury. Police intervened by ramming Dantzler's vehicle. They exchanged gunfire, but no officers were shot. The suspect was chased by police who attempted to disable his vehicle as he drove through downtown Grand Rapids. Dantzler turned onto eastbound Interstate 96, where he crossed the median and continued eastward in the westbound lanes against the flow of traffic, and crashed into a freeway ditch around 7:15 pm.

  Dantzler ran from his vehicle and entered the residence of Joyce Bean on Rickman Avenue. He held her, her boyfriend Steve Helderman, and Meg Holmes hostage. At 9:30 pm, after receiving Gatorade and cigarettes from police, he released Ms. Bean. Two more hours of negotiations ensued with police, then Dantzler released the other two hostages and shot himself in the head. It is believed by police that Dantzler was hunting his former girlfriends in retaliation for his wife leaving him.

  - 12- Michael McLendon

  Geneva County, Alabama Massacre

  In Kinston, Geneva and Samson, Alabama, on March 10th, 2009, Michael Kenneth McLendon, tw
enty-eight, killed ten people, literally wiping out his whole family.

  By all accounts McLendon had a normal childhood. He was quiet, likeable, a straight ‘A’ student in school, never got into trouble, and was close to his family. He was also, however, a failed Marine and auxiliary policeman who had lost his job, and he had become embroiled in a bitter dispute over a family Bible in the weeks leading up to the killing spree.

  The shooting spree began in Kinston, Alabama, when he shot his mother in the head, placed blankets soaked in gasoline over her, and set the house on fire. Before leaving, he shot his mother’s three dogs and arranged them at her feet. He then went to a relative’s home in Samson where he shot several family members, and a neighbor and her daughter. The neighbor was the wife of a Sheriff’s Deputy.

  Mclendon then killed a pedestrian along the side of the road before stopping at a gas station where he killed a random customer. From there, he headed towards Geneva along Highway 52, and killed another man who attempted to subdue him. McLendon was chased by police and he shot at several cars during the pursuit. Arriving at a Geneva metal products plant where he used to work, he got into a shootout with the police. Several people were injured, including Police Chief Frankie Lindsey, who was shot in the arm. McLendon eventually shot himself in the head and died instantly.

  Detectives later discovered a hit list in his home targeting several corporations, and a letter confessing that he meant to murder his mother and then commit suicide. The letter mentioned a disagreement over a legal issue with his family.

  One day after this massacre, a school shooting causing fifteen deaths took place in Winnenden, Germany. Whether the massacre in Geneva County was an actuator for the Winnenden killing could not be determined.

  - 13 - Tim Kretschmer

  Winnenden School Shooting

  The day after the Geneva Massacre in Alabama, another school shooting took place in Winnenden, Germany. Tim Kretschmer, seventeen, killed sixteen and injured another eleven people at the Albertville School on March 11th, 2009.

  Kretschmer did not have a criminal record, but in 2008 received treatment as an inpatient at the Weissenhoff Psychiatric Clinic near the town of Heilbronn. After being discharged, he was supposed to continue his treatment as an outpatient, but did not follow through. According to a psychiatric report prepared for the prosecutor's office, Kretschmer met five times with a therapist and talked about his growing anger and violent urges; the therapist then informed Kretschmer's parents.

  Kretschmer was described by a friend as a lonely and frustrated person who felt rejected by society. Another friend described him as a quiet student who began to withdraw from his peers. Media reports said that he enjoyed playing the video game, Counter Strike, and playing with air soft guns. He also shot his guns in the forest behind his home and in the basement of his house. After the shooting spree, inspecting his computer, officers found that he was interested in sadomasochistic scenes where men are bound and humiliated by women. He viewed such a movie the evening before the crime.

  Just hours prior to commencing his killing spree, Tim Kretschmer posted the following message on the internet: “I've had enough. I'm fed up with this bloody life. It's always the same thing, everyone laughs at me, and no one recognizes my potential. I mean this seriously – I've got a weapon here and tomorrow morning I'm going to go to my old school and give them hell. Maybe I'll escape and you will hear from me tomorrow morning.”

  After stealing a 9mm Beretta semi-automatic from his parent’s bedroom, Kretschmer went to the Albertville-Realschule at about 9:30am. He ran quickly to the top floor classrooms and chemistry laboratory and started shooting students. Most were females, and shot in the head. He fired a total of sixty rounds in those classrooms.

  The school’s principal immediately broadcasted a coded announcement, “Mrs. Koma is coming,” which is ‘amok’ spelled in reverse. This code was introduced in all German schools after the Erfurt School Massacres in April of 2002. It alerts teachers to lock their classroom doors. Just minutes later, the police were notified by several students who called emergency services from their cell phones. Three officers arrived at 9:33 am, interrupting the killing spree. Kretschmer, however, shot at the officers, and killed two female teachers in the hallway as he was running out of the building, where he shot and killed a janitor in the parking lot.

  A huge number of police officers secured the school and searched for Kretschmer all over Winnenden for hours without success. In the meantime, at about 10 a.m., Kretschmer carjacked a Volkswagen at a car park. From the rear seat, he ordered the driver, Igor Wolf, to drive towards Wendlingen, approximately twenty-five miles away. Igor Wolf later reported that when he asked Kretschmer why he was carjacking him, Kretschmer replied, "For fun, because it is fun.” The gunman reloaded his magazines and inquired about finding another school. At about noon, when Mr. Wolf saw an approaching police car at the highway, he steered the car towards a grassy median and jumped out.

  Kretschmer also left the car and ran into a Volkswagen dealership showroom where he demanded a key for a car. He shot and killed a salesperson and a customer before police descended upon him. The first officer on the scene fired eight shots initially, hitting Kretschmer in both legs. Kretschmer returned to the showcase, fired at the police, and then ran out the back door to a business complex. While doing so, he injured two officers situated in an unmarked car.

  According to witnesses, Kretschmer was firing at random. He then reloaded his gun and shot himself in the head. This last part was captured by on a cell phone video. In total, he fired off 112 rounds of ammunition.

  In the aftermath following this horrific crime, Police indicted Tim Kretschmer’s father on charges of negligent homicide for not having the 9mm Beretta safely stored. Another fourteen weapons were found in the house, all of them locked up in a gun safe. All of his guns were confiscated.

  On February 10th, 2011, the state court found the father guilty of involuntary manslaughter in fifteen cases of bodily harm caused by negligence, and the negligent abandonment of a weapon. He received a suspended sentence of one year and nine months, but has since appealed the verdict.

  The families of five of the victims wrote an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Horst Köhler, Minister Baden-Württemberg, and President Günther Oettinger, with demands for consequences. They called to prohibit youth from accessing guns in gun clubs, less violence on TV, and a cessation of violent video games. They also called for the reporting of these incidents to be toned down with relation to highlighting details of their crimes, so as to minimize the chance of copycats.

  - 14 - Nidal Malik Hasan

  Fort Hood Shooting Spree

  On November 5th, 2009, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot and killed thirteen and wounding another twenty-nine on the most populous U.S. military base in the world, Fort Hood, Killeen, Texas.

  Born in Arlington, Virginia, to Muslim-Palestinian parents, Hasan immediately joined the United States army after graduating high school and spent eight years in the service while earning a bachelor’s degree at Virginia Tech in Biochemistry. He went on to earn his Medical degree in 2003, and completed his residency in Psychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

  He was promoted from captain to major in May of 2009 after completing a fellowship in Disaster and Preventive Psychiatry at the Center of Traumatic Stress. Before being transferred to Fort Hood in July of 2009, however, he received a meager performance evaluation.

  It was later understood, post killing-spree, that Hasan was greatly influenced by the killing of two recruiters in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad.

  Hasan made peculiar statements against the American military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, stating that "the Muslims should stand up and fight against the aggressor," referring to the US. While he had expressed optimism that President Barack Obama would end both wars, he became increasingly agitated and frequently argued with soldiers. Hasan seemed happy about the shooti
ng in Little Rock, but didn’t like how the suspect was treated as a criminal. Hasan made statements saying that the U.S. army should get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, and said that more people like Muhammad should “strap bombs on themselves and go into Times Square."

  Hasan was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan on November 28th. Preceding the shooting spree, Hasan told a local store owner that he was stressed about his forthcoming deployment as he might have to fight and kill fellow Muslims.

  In the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood on November 5th, 2009, Hasan shouted ‘Allahu Akbar,’ meaning ‘God is greatest,’ and then opened fire, killing thirteen and injuring another twenty-nine. It was the worst shooting ever on an American Military Base, even though the incident, from start to finish, lasted just ten minutes.

  As Hasan was running out of the building he exchanged shots with Sergeant Kimberly Munley who he hit twice in the legs. Civilian Police Officer Sergeant Mark Todd also fired on the gunman, hitting him in the spine, subsequently paralyzing him from the waist down. Once down, Officer Todd approached Hasan and kicked his gun away before placing handcuffs on him. Hasan was formally charged with thirteen counts of premeditated murder and thirty-two counts of attempted murder. Military prosecutors sought the death penalty, but Hasan’s lawyer, however, said it was likely that he would plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

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