Columbus Deaths: Thrill Murders By Teenagers?


Who is shooting people on Columbus, Ohio, highways? Once again, experts are speculating. The Cleveland Plain Dealer says it may be young people seeking an evening thrill. “This will most likely turn out to be the work of young people, probably more than one, playing a game for the thrill, for the excitement, to feel important,” said Jack Levin of Northeastern University. “I don’t think killing is the main motive. The real motive is to hold the community in the grip of terror, to play a cat and mouse game with police, to get into the 11 o’clock news.”

James Alan Fox, a colleague of Levin, said the shootings appear to be the work “of a sniper who seems to be enjoying shooting from afar. People want to compare this with the D.C. case, but this is very different. In the D.C. case, John Allen Muhammad targeted people intending to kill. If this person’s motive was to kill, he wouldn’t be shooting at objects” such as a parked car.”

In the Columbus area, four of the freeway shootings are from the same gun and all 12 shootings are linked.

Charles Bahn, forensic psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, said the case seemed to follow the pattern of a young person, perhaps in the 20s, not a teen. “Teenagers engage in random violence at times too, but doing it with a gun is a little more serious, a little more sophisticated,” he said.


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