Monday, November 5, 2007

From Jack the Ripper to John the Sniper

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals affirmed the six first-degree murder convictions of “Beltway sniper” John Allen Muhammad today.

In the 152-page opinion, retired Judge Charles E. Moylan Jr. (specially assigned) likens the October 2002 shootings to the 1888 killings in the Whitechapel district of London.

Moylan (pictured at right) writes:

“For 22 days in October of 2002, Montgomery County, Maryland, was gripped by a paroxysm of fear, a fear as paralyzing as that which froze the London district of Whitechapel in 1888. In Whitechapel, however, the terror came only at night. In Montgomery County, it struck at any hour of the night or day. In Whitechapel, all of the victims were prostitutes. In Montgomery County, every man, woman, and child was a likely target. The body count in Whitechapel was five; in Montgomery County the death toll reached six. The name of the Whitechapel terrorist has never been discovered. In Montgomery County, their names are John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo.”

The judge concludes:

“All six of the appellant's convictions for first-degree murder are hereby affirmed. Jack the Ripper has never yet been brought to justice. The Beltway snipers have been.”

Read the full opinion here (PDF) and let us know what you think.

—CHRISTINA DORAN, Assistant Legal Editor

1 comment:

Edda said...

Good for people to know.