There is societal unrest in America, big time: A perceived notion exists that shooting and killing African-Americans is unchecked.
On June 20, 2015, 33-year-old Travis Boys shot and killed a New Orleans Police Officer, Daryle Holloway, when he was transporting Boys to jail. While earlier in the week, Dylann Roof, 21, cooly gunned down nine churchgoers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.
President Obama jumped into the fray, announcing better, more stringent gun laws must be enacted; but, really, does that feel-good answer solve the problem of killings?
In 1989 and 1990 Aileen Wuornos, a hitchhiking prostitute along Florida’s highways, thumbed rides to turn tricks. Always traveling with a loaded pistol, her sole intent was to rob — then kill her victims. Florida’s state attorney John Tanner, one of the prosecutors at her trial said, “She was a homicidal predator. She was like a spider on the side of the road, waiting for prey — men.” Unfortunately, seven middle-aged men fell into her wicked web before she was stopped.
Also hailing from Florida, Danny Rolling sexually assaulted, decapitated one victim, mutilated, and then strategically posed each of his five victims to intensify the horror for those who found them. They were college students from Gainesville, FL, and these twisted, horrific acts occurred in August, 1990.
On the other side of the world, in March, 1995, Tokyo’s subways sustained five coordinated attacks by members of the religious movement, Aum Shinrikyo. They released Sarin Gas, which killed 12, severely injured 50 and caused temporary vision problems for nearly 1,000 other everyday people.
On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The blast killed 168 and injured over 680 others. Their weapon of choice: Nichols purchased forty, 50-pound bags of fertilizer ammonium nitrate. McVeigh, a Gulf War veteran, hated the government and reasoned, “You learn how to handle killing in the military. I face the consequences, but you learn to accept it.” He believed his actions were necessary to prevent more lives from being lost at the hands of the U.S. government.
Who can forget the Heaven’s Gate group from California? Led by Marshall Applewhite, he convinced his followers to commit suicide so their souls could board an alien spacecraft which was following Comet Hale-Bopp. On March 26, 1997, all 39 members dressed in identical black shirts, sweat pants, brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic sneakers, and drank a deadly potion. Twenty-one women and 18 men covered themselves with purple sheets awaiting their rendezvous with the great beyond.
Students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris took Columbine High School by storm on April 20, 1999. A fire bomb was detonated to divert firefighters, and propane tanks were converted to bombs and placed in the cafeteria. An arsenal of additional explosive devices, and bombs rigged in cars rounded out their attack. Heavily armed with guns, knives, and an assortment of bombs, they walked the hallways of their Colorado school. Twelve students and one teacher were killed, 21 others were injured. These angry, hate-filled individuals then committed suicide.
How much hate exists in the human mind?
We soon found out. It was on September 11, 2001, when 3,497 people initially died in the Al-Qaeda terrorist attack on our country. Weapon of choice: Our airplanes. Since then, many first responders have succumbed to diseases attributed to being exposed to the toxic environment at Ground Zero, and our country continues to be affected by thousands of American military deaths and injuries sustained throughout the Middle East.
Arrested in 2001, DNA advances were able to link Seattle’s Gary Ridgway to at least 49 murders. The killings took its name from where the first bodies were found in 1987; hence, the Green River Murders.
April, 2002, the fourth homicidal attack at a school in Germany in less than three years occurred. The un-named murderer used a pump-action shotgun and a revolver to shoot and kill 15 adults and two students before killing himself.
In October, 2002, Washington, DC, and the great Commonwealth of Virginia found themselves victims of the Beltway Sniper. Ten people were killed and three were critically injured by John Allen Muhammad and 17-year-old Lee Boyd Malvo. But their inhumanity preceded the Beltway Sniper moniker: In February, 2002, the murderous duo killed seven and injured seven as they traversed through the states of Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Washington.
On October 23, 2002, 40 Chechnen militants claimed allegiance to the Islamist separatist movement in Chechny. They armed themselves with a variety of explosives, and took 850 hostages in Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater. The siege, officially led by Movsar Barayev, lasted 2-1/2 days, and culminated in the death of all of the Chechnen attackers and 130 hostages.
Six people were killed in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, in July, 2009, when a suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a theater as a crowd gathered for a performance. The second Chechnen bombing that month.
On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Brelvik killed eight people in the section of Olso, Norway, where government buildings were, then picked off 69 people at a Workers’ Youth League summer camp on the island of Utoya. He didn’t like the direction Norway’s society was going.
On July 20, 2012, James Holmes was well-equipped with multiple firearms. He dressed in military attire, threw tear gas grenades and shot aimlessly into a crowded Aurora, CO movie theater. Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others. Knowing his apartment would be scoured through by police, he rigged it with explosives, hoping to add to his kill list. Holmes is currently on trial.
December 14, 2012, unveiled Adam Lanza, 20. He killed his mother then proceeded to kill more innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The New York Daily News wrote. “A mass murderer executed his mother with her own gun and then slaughtered 20 helpless kids and a half-dozen staffers in a ghastly killing spree at a Connecticut elementary school.”
December, 2012, also unveiled Christopher Krumm, 25. He stabbed his father’s live-in girlfriend to death at home, then used a high-powered bow and arrow to kill his father at Wyoming’s Casper College.
Two pressure-cooker bombs were concocted by the brothers Tsarnaev: Dzhokhar and Tamerlan, to detonate near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Three people were killed and 264 were injured. Mayhem followed as the brothers’ spree continued in their quest to escape. They killed an MIT policeman, and an MBTA police officer survived even though he suffered severe blood loss.
And, there’s more. The 1970s and ’60s apparently weren’t the decades of love, peace and understanding either.
Throughout the 1970′s abortion doctors and health facilities were selected for bombings, while the Una Bomber, Ted Kaczynski, delivered his brand of murder via the US Postal Service because he opposed modern technology.
The Chicago weirdo who worked birthday parties dressed as a clown, John Wayne Gacy, Jr., killed at least 33 teenage boys and young men between 1972 and 1978.
During this time period our country was also exposed to Ted Bundy, who confessed to killing 30 women in seven states between 1974 and 1978. He decapitated at least 12, and kept some of the severed heads in his apartment for a period of time as mementos.
Speaking of dismemberment, between 1978 and 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer committed rape, murder and the dismemberment of 17 men and boys. He also ate body organs of some of his victims. He had a personality disorder . . . you think?
And, between 1974 and 1991, Kansas’ Dennis Rader, otherwise known as the BTK monster, was on the loose. He was convicted of killing nine women and one male. His weapons of choice to Blind, Torture and Kill his victims were plastic bags, ropes, a knife, a belt, bare hands, and nylon stockings.
November, 1978, introduced the world to Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple. Jones relocated his temple to Guyana due to increasing scrutiny of his practices. He renamed his paradise, Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, to what is now known infamously as, Jonestown. An astonishing number of willing and unwilling followers — 909 — died by cyanide poisoning and / or gunshots, while an additional five people were gunned down at a nearby airstrip.
Andrei Chikatilo, or Citizen X from the Soviet Union, was also coined the Red Ripper. His reign of terror lasted from 1978 through 1990. Chikatilo confessed to sexual assault, murder and mutilation of 56 women and children.
The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, paralyzed and reduced the city to fear during the 1960s. Thirteen women were selected for sexual assault, rape and ultimately death. His predominant weapon of choice was the victims’ silk stockings . . . hence the murders were coined the “Silk Stocking Murders.”
Eight student nurses from South Chicago Community Hospital were tortured, raped, and murdered on July 14, 1966, because Richard Speck said, “It just wasn’t their night.”
On August 1, 1966, police found a note Charles Joseph Whitman wrote, “However, lately (I cannot recall when it started) I have been a victim of many unusual and irrational thoughts.” He then stabbed his wife and mother to death, proceeded to the University of Texas at Austin where he killed 14 people, including himself, and wounded 32 others. This gruesome event is known as the Texas Bell Tower Murders.
And today, while bodies of 17 prostitutes popped up sporadically on Long Island’s Gilgo Beach, the Suffolk County police believe they have a serial murderer in their midst.
Throughout the world, Sarin Gas, Citizen X types, IRA, PLO, cults, bombs, beheadings, rapes, and torture attacks take place on a regular basis. Whether personal, religious or political reasoning — as if any reason could apply — bows and arrows, stockings, machetes, bare hands, knives, plastic bags, ropes, bombs, explosives, potions . . . and guns . . . are used to control others through power.
Oh!, I could sadly go on and on citing instances of cruelty, inhumanity and depravity hoisted upon fellow man from the beginning of time. We can never forget the creativity involved in crucifixion, burning at the stake, the guillotine, or gas chambers erected to snuff out millions in the Holocaust camps.
That being said, isn’t it naive to think new gun laws will ever be able to legislate empathy in the human minds of angry, hate-filled, twisted individuals? So, after reading this brief listing of murders with all sorts of weapons, do you think the feel-good remedy of enacting new gun laws will once and for all put an end to killings?
What about passing rope laws, stocking laws, bow and arrow laws, plastic bag laws, poison potion laws, etc? Do you think any of these sickos cared about laws . . . they didn’t care about people — what’s a law?
The fact is, there’s no rhyme, no reason, no pattern, no particular weapon of choice, no particular group, no particular race, no particular religion, and no particular country that owns atrocities.
Sadly, senseless killings will continue because humankind is neither human — or kind.