LAWYERS BLAME TV, MOVIES AND VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES FOR BELTWAY SNIPER
By Jon Christian Ryter
December 13, 2003
Society is always to blame. It's never the bad guys or bad girls. They are the victims of society's wrath. So sayeth the societal soothsayers of sociopathic societyese. Since the defense attorneys assigned to the "boy wonder" of the Washington, DC Beltway sniper crime duo have to blame someone for the 10 deaths caused by John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo along Interstate 95, they might as well blame their client's aberrant behavior on the same catalyst every other defense attorney in the world blames their client's crimes on society itself.
Lawyers for DC beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo treated the jury in Malvo's Chesapeake, Virginia trial to a video treat--minus the popcorn--on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2003. The jury got to watch a ten-minute clip of The Matrix. In the clip, Keanu Reaves and Carrie-Anne Moss enter a government building in a burst of gunfire and kill all the bad guys in sight. Following that gun battle, the jury was then treated to a twenty-minute clip of the X-Box version of The Matrix--theoretically Malvo's favorite movie. And his favorite video game. At least according to Malvo's lawyers. According to "expert witness" Dr. Dewey Cornell, Malvo and Muhammad played several video games with military themes, including Tom Clancey's "Ghost Recon," and "Rainbow 6: Covert Ops." And this, according to the "expert" incited them to kill.
Before treating the jury to The Matrix game--over the strenuous objections of the prosecuting attorney--the jury got a stiff dose of Malvo's baby and childhood pictures as his court-appointed lawyers did everything possible to humanize this little monster for the jury. Betcha the defense didn't show video clips of cute little Malvo bragging to the police shortly after he and Mohammed were apprehended about the rush he got when he shot his unsuspecting victims, and his personal decision (as the triggerman) at the Benjamin Trasker Elementary School in Bowie, Maryland by shooting a child just to teach Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose a lesson for not taking them serious enough.
Dr. Dewey Cornell, a clinical psychologist who testified as one of four expert witnesses for the defense, told the jury after the 30-minute video display of violence that "...exposure to entertainment violence desensitizes people to violence [and] makes it more acceptable...These people [those who watch violent movies, listen to violent movies, or play violent video games] have more violent thoughts and actions."
Do you think that statement came as a shock to any normal parent, or any normal teacher? Your pastor's been preaching that from the pulpit a lot longer than most of us can remember. And as he preached the need to ban violence on TV, in movies and in the music our kids listen to, the same goody-two-shoes lawyers that are now blaming Malvo's crimes on violent entertainment forms, defended the purveyors of sex and violence as a form of entertainment because they possessed a 1st Amendment right to indoctrinate our kids with poison.
In any event, the jury got to watch Hollywood violence on a large screen TV. Then they got to listen to the psychologist tell them that Malvo had watched The Matrix over 100 times, and that he idolized the character depicted by Keanu Reaves.
In fact, he told the jury, Malvo watched The Matrix just before he and John Allen Muhammad parked their car at the Home Depot Store at Seven Corners in Falls Church, Virginia where Malvo was the triggerman who killed FBI analyst Linda Franklin. (Of course, in the version of the story that Malvo's lawyers are now spinning for the jury, Malvo was the "lookout" and Muhammad was the triggerman.) This "testimony" contradicts Malvo's audio-taped confession in which he bragged he was the triggerman who brought Franklin down with one shot to the head. He added that he would have killed her husband instead, but he was bobbing around too much and Malvo couldn't get a clean shot. So, he killed the woman instead. Cornell admitted under oath that when he first interviewed Malvo, Muhammad's sidekick not only admitted to shooting Franklin (the crime for which he is on trial), he told Cornell that he was actually the triggerman in most of the killings since, due to his small frame, he fit in the back trunk and it was easier for him to fire through the portal Muhammad cut in the back truck of his Chevrolet Caprice. However, after a few interviews, Malvo realized he was talking himself into the gas chamber and changed his story. (That does not sound like someone who doesn't know the difference between right and wrong.) In the revised version of his story for his trial, he became the spotter and Muhammad--who is already under a death sentence--became the triggerman.
John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were killers before they started watching The Matrix in the Washington, DCV area. On September 21, 2002 a gunman killed 52-year old Claudine Lee Parker, the manager of a Montgomery, Alabama ABC store just off Interstate 85, and wounded a female employee in a botched robbery attempt. The killer escaped because of a bizarre event that caused an on-foot police officer to lose his prey. The killer--who has now been positively identified as Muhammad--ran around a fast food restaurant in his attempt to elude the officer who was in foot pursuit. The patrolman started to round the corner by the drive-thru when he was almost hit by a blue Chevrolet coming out of the drive-thru. Ignoring the driver and passenger in the blue car (whom the patrolman thought were merely purchasing burgers at the fast food restaurant), the officer--delayed only a moment--continued around the building chasing a killer he thought was on foot, but who had suddenly disappeared.
By the time Muhammad and Malvo began the DC sniper shootings, they had already killed four people. The first victim, Keenya Cook, who was shot in the face on Feb. 16, 2002, was killed by Malvo. He required no "Matrix" prodding to do the deed.
Cornell, whose full time "day job" is Professor of Education at the University of Virginia, testified that Malvo was brainwashed by video games and violent movies (based not on any scientific evidence that his opinion was fact, but on Malvo's statements that video games and violent movies made him want to kill). Neil Boothby, another part-time "expert" whose "day job" is Professor of Public Policy at Columbia, testified that even though he had never met or spoke with Malvo, he was convinced that Malvo had been indoctrinated much the same way children in Cambodia and Vietnam were brainwashed to inform on their parents, or they used as weapons of violence against American troops. Boothby, a psychologist who has interviewed child combatants in Rwanda and Sierra Leone, was touted as an expert on how terrorists recruit children to wage war against society. Commonwealth attorney Robert Horan fought to exclude the testimony of the psychological experts who hoped to mitigate Malvo's guilt by blaming his crimes on society itself.
Malvo told his police interrogators that Muhammad said that by watching The Matrix movie, Malvo would come to understand Muhammad. Apparently Muhammad saw himself as the Keanu Reaves character in the movie. Now that might make Muhammad nuts, but not Malvo. And the fact that Malvo willingly shot Cook in 2002 before the unholy duo began their cross-country murder trek suggests that Malvo did not need to be prompted by video games and movies to kill. Somewhere along the way from Tacoma, Washington to Tacoma Park, Maryland the duo devised the scheme that would provide them with the financial means to go to Canada and live in luxury for the rest of their lives by randomly killing people and blackmailing the government to make them stop.
It is only when those with a callous disregard for human life are caught that they begin to blame everyone else for their deviant behavior. Up until the moment of their arrest, they arrogantly threaten their victims--the community-at-large--with promises of more violence to come.
That type of aberrant behavior did not come about because they had bad childhood's. Half the people in America--even from its wealthiest families--had pathetic childhood's. And they somehow managed to grow up and become normal adults and parents. That type of aberrant behavior comes from greed and a lack of caring about human life. Nothing else.
Most normal mature adults today (those 50-years of age or older) were raised with mom's willow switch or dad's belt raising welts on their buttocks when they violated the rules of the household or society's norms. (More than upon those for whom the switch was not spared, it's society's liberal misfits who are generally raised with "timeouts" instead of discipline that has real consequences. It is those who have been spared the rod who ultimately grow up to become "society's problem.") Shocking as it may seem to the myriad of liberal, equally sociological psychiatrists and psychologists who are generally called upon to testify for society's miscreants at their murder trials, and who point their bony fingers accusingly at society, the children of traditional parenting homes who endured the most "corporal punishment" growing up [i.e., spankings when they smarted off to their elders, or whose unpunished childish pranks and misdemeanors generally led to tomorrow's guiltless felonies] matured into responsible, moral and ethical adults.
In the case of Lee Boyd Malvo, defense lawyers attempted to show that as "...a soldier in Muhammad's war against America..." Malvo did not possess the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Baloney. When Malvo called Montgomery County, Maryland Police Chief Charles Moose and threatened to kill more people if the State did not cough up the ransom demanded by the demented duo, he very clearly knew what he and Muhammad was doing was wrong. They didn't commit their crimes out of some demented logic in which they were role playing The Matrix. They killed in order to try to extort money from the government.
Granted, you could surmise they're nuts in a stupid sense if they really thought the government was going to cave in to their extortion demands. But being stupid is not the same as being insane. Society is only to blame to the extent that we have allowed liberals like Hillary Clinton to promulgate an agenda in which our children are perceived to have the legal right to disobey their parents--and the right to have their parents jailed if they attempt to discipline them for their wrongdoing. In that sense, society is to blame. We allowed liberals elitists like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean to gain control of our legislatures and our courts and write into law the concepts of social justice that are currently destroying the rule of law in America.
Yes, in that sense, society is
to blame for the likes of Lee Boyd Malvo.
© 2003 Jon Christian Ryter - All Rights Reserved
Jon Christian Ryter is the pseudonym of a former newspaper reporter with the Parkersburg, WV Sentinel. He authored a syndicated newspaper column, Answers From The Bible, from the mid-1970s until 1985. Answers From The Bible was read weekly in many suburban markets in the United States.
Today, Jon is an advertising executive with
the Washington Times. His website, www.jonchristianryter.com
has helped him establish a network of mid-to senior-level Washington insiders
who now provide him with a steady stream of material for use both in his
books and in the investigative reports that are found on his website.
" Before treating the jury to The Matrix game--over the strenuous objections of the prosecuting attorney--the jury got a stiff dose of Malvo's baby and childhood pictures as his court-appointed lawyers did everything possible to humanize this little monster for the jury."