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Bombings in Austin!


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https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/03/19/594956969/investigators-say-austin-serial-bomber-may-have-used-tripwire-in-latest-blast

 

"The belief that we are now dealing with someone who is using tripwires shows a higher level of sophistication, a higher level of skill," he said, adding that if residents see suspicious objects that look out of place, "Do not even approach it, but instead call 911."

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Military training?

That I do wonder about. The first three were packages left at a door that were hand delivered. The fourth was a trip wire bomb left near a place where people walk or ride past. The last may have been the mistake that gets him/them as it happened before it arrived and blew up at a FedEx facility. I have driven past that FedEx facility a lot of times though. It is somewhat secure but if you want you could sneak in.

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I actually was working near Olympic Park in '96 when the bomb went off there. It was crazy. It was so hard to get out of the city and took me over three hours to get home that day/early morning. I worked in a Taco Bell then downtown in what used to be the CNN Center's food court and the park was just steps outside the door. People actually stopped for a ten pack of tacos to go and I was like WTF? I wanna close and go home.

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It's recess so I haven't gotten the full information but I think they found the guy and it's the same guy who was taking pot shots at people driving on i-35.

 

Also my students informed me that if I get a strange package to poke it with a really long stick.

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It makes a big difference. Terrorism is purposeful and trying to use that nervousness to change a population's behavior. To take an American example, if some blacks were murdered randomly after the Civil War, it would have made the population nervous surely, but wouldn't have changed behavior beyond making people more cautious. What happened, though, was the targeted murder of black politicians, voters, and white people helping them. That changed behavior and kept black people from the voting booth. Evil, but purposeful. In that case, it changed history.

 

Spree killers might be targeting a group or not, but they're just out causing pain, not trying to change things. And they're doing it in rapid succession, with less care about being caught.

 

And since we're talking about what happens when we catch such a person, a difference in mindset makes a huge difference. Kaczynski, in particular, was a highly organized and methodical killer despite his appearance. Comparing him to this Austin guy, who probably would have kept killing one after another until he was stopped, doesn't work. The two are mentally in totally different places. Even less organized terrorist bombers like Eric Rudolph (Olympic bomber plus some abortion clinics) take the time to get away and try not to get caught between attacks.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Well, to be fair, we don't know if this Austin bomber had some sort of manifesto that just hasn't been made public knowledge yet, which could qualify him as a domestic terrorist. But, agreed, so far, he doesn't seem to be a terrorist. His actions are definitely terrorist-like, and he may actually qualify as a serial killer, if nothing else.

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Well, to be fair, we don't know if this Austin bomber had some sort of manifesto that just hasn't been made public knowledge yet, which could qualify him as a domestic terrorist.

 

I mentioned the possibility a few posts back. His confession video doesn't seem to indicate any motive like that though.

 

 

 

he may actually qualify as a serial killer, if nothing else.

 

No, he's definitely a spree killer. Serial killers have a cooling off period so that each murder is its own event. Spree killings are basically one extended event.

 

The definition sometimes gets muddied, but this one's easy to categorize.

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It ended right quick. That's surprising. Bombers I think do actually give themselves away.

I can't think of any other spree bombers in the United States. So there's not exactly a playbook here.

 

George Metesky

Luke Helder

Eric Rudolph

And sorta The Weather Underground

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

Well, to be fair, we don't know if this Austin bomber had some sort of manifesto that just hasn't been made public knowledge yet, which could qualify him as a domestic terrorist.

 

I mentioned the possibility a few posts back. His confession video doesn't seem to indicate any motive like that though.

 

 

 

he may actually qualify as a serial killer, if nothing else.

 

No, he's definitely a spree killer. Serial killers have a cooling off period so that each murder is its own event. Spree killings are basically one extended event.

 

The definition sometimes gets muddied, but this one's easy to categorize.

 

Well the thing is, sometimes the police hold things back until the investigation is complete. I was just leaving room for that to be the case here. It may be unlikely there is some manifesto beyond the video you mentioned.

 

As for spree VS serial, even within those who study such things, there is controversy. Some see them as one and the same, others see a distinct difference. It's all down to interpretation, really. Regardless what type of killer he was, the world is better off without him, and it won't bring the dead back.

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George Metesky

Luke Helder

Eric Rudolph

And sorta The Weather Underground

 

I used the word "spree" deliberately for why I said there wasn't a playbook on how this would end. Obviously, I knew that there were other people who have bombed multiple times (I even later brought up Rudolph myself to draw a distinction). So, just to touch on each.

 

George Metesky is kinda on his own island. At first blush, he'd be serial, even stopping during WWII out of patriotism. Except he went out of his way to never actually kill anyone. Mass/spree/serial killers obviously don't do that. It's kinda in the title. Maybe terrorist since he thought he had his own brand of justice against a company he thought had wronged him, but he was also mentally ill and... yeah, just a weird case.

 

Eric Rudolph was a terrorist. He was also serial.

 

The Weather Underground is obviously terrorist, and a group to boot. Being a terrorist group places them not only in a different category, but in a whole other chapter in the textbook.

 

Good call on Luke Helder though. He would certainly qualify as a spree killer brought on by his mental illness. I'd forgotten about him completely.

 

 

 

It may be unlikely there is some manifesto beyond the video you mentioned.

 

I'm not closing down the possibility either. But it doesn't look like one is coming to light.

 

 

 

As for spree VS serial, even within those who study such things, there is controversy. Some see them as one and the same, others see a distinct difference.

 

True. It has a lot to do with how spree killers are sort of step between mass killers and serial killers and how the cases don't always fit neatly into a box and we're talking about a conception, not a hard fact.

 

This one, though, fits really neatly into every single definition for spree killer that I've ever seen.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

 

This one, though, fits really neatly into every single definition for spree killer that I've ever seen.

Is there evidence that these bombs were sent all on the same day? Just asking because I don't know.

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