Covid-19: I remember the Washington DC sniper.

Washington DC.
It all started as a routine killing. Somebody was shot somewhere in Washington. No one knew who did it because no one saw the shooter. Bystanders did not even hear the sound of a gun. But a man went down and he didn’t make it. It was a perfect shot.

Law enforcement agencies went to work as they always do. Most of Washington did not pay any particular attention. Homicide was part of their daily lives just as it is in most of American cities.

Then a second killing occurred. Not a second killing in number but in modus operandi. Perfect shot, no sound and a death. Law enforcement agencies were quick to speculate that a serial killing may be developing.

By the third killing, it was now firmly established that indeed a killer was on the loose.

But who?
The race was on. Who is doing it and why? Pundits hit the news cycles reeling out likely profiles of the killer. Washington began to pay attention. Serial killers get attention very quickly. Some actually do it for the attention. They kill and them go into hiding to watch the news about themselves on television. I wonder whether covid-19 does that. Yeah, kill and watch the coverage on CNN with a pizza, Coke and a wryly smile on its face.

One thing the profilers took off the table quickly was that the killer had an elite military background. Probably a serving or retired officer. That would turnout to be true eventually. But a surprise awaited everyone.

Who was this killer? Male or female? White or black? Profilers settled for a white male probably in his 30s or early 40s.

A killer with a voracious appetite.
There was something about the killer that defied and derailed profilers. Serial killers often have a discernable pattern of victims. Some kill prostitutes. Some kill young ladies with a certain hair pattern or built. Some kill only blacks or whites. Others kill homeless people. The Washington sniper had no such pattern. Like the covid-19 virus, it was taking everyone down.

The gas station angle.
Soon, from shooting people taking a walk or just sitting in their patios, the killer began to target people buying fuel at gas stations.

Enters, the stand or walk like a Jagger.
Soon everyone was moving or standing like Jagger. Sniper are great shooters. But their victims have to exhibit a certain predictability of movement to be taken down. Therefore, to increase our chances of not been shot, we were asked to move like Jagger, erratically.

When you drive into a gas station, don’t do the normal of coming out of your car and standing up. Bend down like you are going to take cover. And once out, zigzag your movements both sideways and up and down. Make sure you would not be a sitting duck when pumping gas into your car. Position your car in such a way that you can use it as a shield from the sniper’s deadly nozzles. At some point, gas station owners began erecting trampolines to make patronizers invisible to the sniper line of sight.

My former residence at 1604 Q Street NW DC

The normal was out.
The normal life of residents of the American capital city was suddenly disrupted. Dupont Circle which was a stone throw from my apartment complex became a shadow of itself. Usually it was a beehive of activities. Joggers, open air musicians, panhandlers, gamers, dog walkers, etc would be there doing their own thing. All other public places like Dupont Circle were deserted.

Dupont Circle, where we used to hangout but became deserted

The white bronco brouhaha.
A man claimed he saw a white bronco leaving the scene of another killing. And the hunt for all bronco owners and drivers began. Hundreds of sitings were reported and investigated. It was a false lead.

The killer remained elusive and continue the killing spree with so much ease that police officers became disturbed about what they were not getting right.

Finally, after days of terror and fear and uncertainty, there was a break. A Caprice was suspected to be the vehicle used by the killer. A car matching the description was sited at a rest stop, I think, some where in the state of Maryland one early morning. A search revealed a man, a teenager and a rifle positioned in the booth of the car with a hole through which the shootings were done.

The decrepit Caprice car used by the killers

The man, John Allen Mohammed, was an ex military officer. A desert Storm war veteran. But he was not the shooter. His adopted son, 14, who was identified as Boyd Malvo was the fella doing the shooting. He had been tutored on how to kill from a distance by his father who was a sniper in the army. Both were black. Serial killing is mostly done by white dudes.

Malvo and John Allen during trial.

Anyway, Why the rage against Washington DC. The man’s wife left him with a child. He wanted his child back. He wanted to rattle Washington and demand that his child be returned to him. Nothing the scruffy man said made sense. But the feeling was eerie and apocalyptic as 10 people were gravely injured of gun shot wounds and 17 innocent people lost their lives within days.

An illustration of Malvo inside the Caprice booth.

Talking apocalypse, what if the covid-19 outbreak was the beginning of the apocalypse? Only a few people who witnessed the Spanish Flu are alive today. For most of humans on Earth, this virus experience is the first of a life time.

Covid-19, the one taunting us.

So, what if there were 10 or 15 or even 100 virus types attacking from different parts of the world? What if the banking system shuts down. What if all markets, financial, goods and services shut down? What if there was nothing to buy let alone eat? What if some humans, hungry and desperate, start cannibalizing other humans. What if the sun closes its fiery eyes and the ocean start breaking their boundaries.

An illustration of the apocalypse.

Scare mongering? Not exactly. The Egyptians were said to have experienced a caricature of an apocalypse when their king challenged the Creator of the Universe and we all know how it all ended.

How would the world respond to such an indescribable catastrophe? The answer is obvious given just how one virus has sent terror into man’s world and everyone scampering for answers in hiding.

All things considered, Fear God.

About author
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Newspackng.
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