October 17, 2002

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if living in his car was not so bad after all? Did you hear about the restaurant manager in Virginia who phoned it in the fake sniper sighting? Apparently he was trying to get the day off from work, so he made an anonymous 911 call. He told police that he had spotted a man with a rifle on top of a nearby shopping center in anticipation that the law enforcement response would be to evacuate the nearby businesses, including the restaurant.

But when the responding swat teams and law officers descended upon the area they apparently stopped short of the restaurant when setting up the perimeter. So this guy calls 911 back and asks if he should send the restaurant workers home. Apparently a second call from the same phone made the investigators a little suspicious.

Needless to say officials were a little upset by the hoax after spending hours at the scene disrupting the community. I imagine the prankster was not a real popular guy in the interrogation room. That may have been one of those interviews where the cameras and recording equipment mysteriously quit working.

Well according to published reports, the caller, a 25-year-old man, indicated that he was working long hours and had been living out of his car. Evidently he called in the bogus sniper sighting so he could get the day off from work in order to look for a place to live. It seems he took care of both those problems with just two calls. He got the rest of the day off as he sat in the police station. Now he has a place to live too, and unless he has one of these fancy SUV's his jail cell may actually have more room to stretch his legs out than he had in his car. Odds are he won't need to look for a new place to live for a couple years at least.

While the false report took some of the attention away from the real shooter, the Beltway Sniper, as he is being called by the media, definitely has not gone away. Pieces of the puzzle are slowly being put together, but I for one, am not sure it will do any good. So we know that the shooter is driving a white truck or a white van? If he watches CNN, he or she (got to be politically correct even when describing cowardly psychopaths) knows that the police are looking for a white vehicle, so it may be left in the garage now.

It's easy to speculate on what's going on here. Personally I believe that there is more than one shooter. No I'm not talking about a grassy knoll conspiracy, but it does make you wonder if it is not some form of terrorism, possibly with a small group of individuals attempting to disrupt our country's national security. I have faith in our law enforcement, FBI and others working on the case so I believe we will know shortly who is behind this cowardly act. If it is one insane serial killer they will be caught soon. However, if it is as I fear, a small group of terrorists, then I suspect they will pick up and relocate to a different area of the country and start all over again.

Maybe I'm just paranoid about the recent increase in threats and the rise in terrorist activity around the world. I hope I am wrong. Wait, what am I saying, that I hope it's not terrorist and instead is an insane serial killer? I guess what I really wish for is that this were some sort of bad dream that our nation could awake from and find a couple big old towers still standing in New York City and people not afraid to get out of their car and pump their own gasoline.

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