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But some crimes are so unfathomable, such as killing your own spouse and child, that a jury may have a hard time believing anyone could do such a thing. The prosecution must explain bizarre behavior to a jury of 12, explain the unthinkable, and show how anyone could, and especially why anyone would commit such an offense.
It was a frightening time to live and work in the Washington, D. Bus stops, school yards, shopping malls, and gas stations were all places where the shooter or shooters selected their targets, their victims to be.
During those days in October, someone, some domestic terrorist, pulled a blanket of fear over tens of thousands of people from Maryland to the District of Columbia and down through Virginia. Unlike other spree killers multiple victims with no emotional cooling off period in between victims or serial killers four or more victims, usually with an emotional cooling off period between victimsthis shooter showed no particular choice in his quarry.
Profilers call someone who chooses one kind of victim to target a preferential killer.
And the shooter had no reason to stop shooting. Most investigations require six basic questions to be answered. Readers have known these questions for most of their collective lives. What he did, when he did it, where he did it, and perhaps how he did it, are usually self evident after the crime.
Most lawyers who go on television to discuss a crime will say that motive, the why of a crime, is not important. In fact, motive is not a legal element of a crime. Motive is the reason, the why, sometimes the darkest chapter in the darkest book in the massive library we call the human mind.
This can, unfortunately, be a very long journey. Such was the case with the infamous Unabomber. In May the first of a series of bombs exploded that signaled the beginning of an almost two-decade long run by a serial bomber. The why of these acts was a continual source of frustration for investigators.
Why had someone begun to send or just leave random explosive devices across the country, someone who was smart, with the ability to travel across the country — a trait usually associated with someone older rather than younger?
The unknown bomber was angry at someone, probably an authority figure who exerted control over him somewhere between his home and a subsequent academic or business setting, but why?
Years after his first bombing the now much-older bomber finally made a demand we could respond to. Was this all there was — almost twenty years of murder and mayhem so a frustrated academic could get a dull and boring thesis published in a way to guarantee that the world would read it?
It was the winter of and I had just retired from the FBI. The men and women who worked with me had over years of combined analytical and investigative experience.
I was fortunate to work with these people, the best in the world in the area of threat assessment and behavioral analysis. On an otherwise slow December day I was called by a private investigator from the Chicago area. She had a client who had a question.
We suggested to our unidentified client that the person who wrote the letters—the exemplars we were provided to review—and the writer of the Manifesto, were the same person. He made the decision on who to bomb and there was no one to vote against him.
His vote always carried, his decision was always final. Most remember the massive hunt for a lone white male in a white van, neither of which proved to be the case. Most profiles are based on statistics. Most snipers are lone white males.
As an analyst for television news, I offered that this was the normal profile for such an offender, but I further indicated that this was more likely a team vs.
I also indicated that — even in the face of so-called eye witnesses—because every white van between Maryland and southern Virginia that was being driven by a lone white male had been stopped and checked out by troopers and FBI Agents, I felt that the shooters were neither white nor driving around in a white van.
That is, if you shoot any man, you threaten every man. And how and why did he or they target their victims? It was, after all, almost God-like for the sniper to look at a group of adults and children through the sights of his rifle and get to decide who would live and who would die in the next second.
But another reason to target a wide range of victims could be that the shooter had a specific victim in mind. But were he to kill that lone victim, likely someone close to him, it would be obvious to the authorities that the person closest to the victim could be the likely killer.
You might, you just might, get away with it, as you would no longer be the obvious suspect in a lone homicide. This is what the former wife of John Allen Muhammad believes to be the case.
Maybe not an element that must be proved in court.Stephen Paddock gambled large sums of money, kept child pornography on his computer and purchased more than 55 weapons in the year leading up to the largest mass shooting in modern American history.
Motive, means and opportunity, but no crime October 23, When a prosecutor is trying to establish guilt in a murder trial in most cases he will try to show that . (a) Character Evidence. (1) Prohibited leslutinsduphoenix.comce of a person’s character or character trait is not admissible to prove that on a particular occasion the person acted .
Nearly two weeks later, investigators have yet to announce a potential motive behind the Las Vegas massacre, which killed 58 concertgoers and left hundreds more wounded. Austin police search for bombing motive, say explosives made with ‘skill and sophistication’.
Did you know? In , Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated the incumbent President Herbert Hoover, who once called Prohibition "the great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far.