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John Allen Muhammad became an infamous figure as part of a sniper team that terrorized the Washington, DC, area for several weeks in October 2002
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Born John Allen Williams on December 31, 1960, in Louisiana, John Allen Muhammad became an infamous figure in American culture as part of a sniper team, with Lee Boyd Malvo, that terrorized the Washington, DC, area for several weeks in October 2002. Making a sniper nest out of the trunk of his car, he and Malvo killed 10 people and injured 3. Muhammad was executed in November 2009.
Mass murderer. Born John Allen Williams on December 31, 1960, in Louisiana. John Allen Muhammad became an infamous figure American culture as part of a sniper team that terrorized the Washington, D.C. area for several weeks in October 2002. He was raised by an aunt in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after his mother died when he was 4.
After high school, Muhammad got married to Carol Kaglear and joined the Louisiana Army National Guard. They had a son named Lindbergh. At first, his military career seemed promising. He was described as personable and outgoing by one of his commanders, but by the early 1980s cracks were beginning to show in his faade. He got into trouble twice—once for failing to report for duty and another time for hitting an officer.
Muhammad changed his life around in 1985. He separated from his wife, converted to Islam, and joined the U.S. Army. He was stationed in Washington State and later married Mildred Green. The couple had three children. The army seemed to be a good fit for Muhammad, at least for a time. He became a skilled marksman and served in Germany and the Middle East during the Gulf War.
Becoming restless, Muhammad left the military in 1994. He tried to start his own business twice, first with an auto mechanic shop and then a karate school, but both ventures failed. In 1999, his second wife Mildred filed for divorce, and the next year she got a restraining order against Muhammad because the threats he made against her.
Shortly after the order was issued, Muhammad fled with the couple's three children. He took them to Antigua. It believed that this is also where met his future accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo. Muhammad later returned to the United States settling in Bellingham, Washington, with his children. Soon, however, police officers found him and returned the children to their mother's custody. She moved with them to Maryland.
Enraged over the loss of his children, Muhammad began to fixate on Malvo who had moved to Bellingham with his mother, Una James, that October. They together lived in a homeless shelter and developed a disturbing father-son dynamic. Muhammad seemed to control every aspect of Malvo's life, imposing an exercise program and a special diet, one that reportedly consisted of honey and crackers at one point.
Malvo and James were taken into custody by immigration officials in December 2001 for being in the country illegally. But they were released while waiting for a hearing, and Muhammad was soon reunited with Malvo. He began to teach Malvo how to use a gun, and they used a tree stump in a friend's yard for target practice.
By the fall of 2002, Muhammad and Malvo had moved on from tree stumps to real-life victims.
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Armed and ruthless, spree killers become infamous for turning a flash of anger and resentment into a deadly rampage. Columbine killer Dylan Klebold introduced America to the horrors of school shootings when he killed 13 students and teachers in 1999, and in 2007 Seung-Hui Cho made us relive the nightmare when he murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech. In the end killers like these often become their own victims, when they turn their weapons on themselves.
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