John Allen Muhammad

Date Of Birth:
31 December 1960
Date Of Death:
10 November 2009
Place Of Birth:
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Best Known As:
The killer who shot 10 people near Washington, DC in 2002

Name at birth: John Allen Williams

Known as the "Beltway Sniper," John Allen Muhammad killed or helped kill 10 people in and around Washington, DC during a three-week shooting spree in October of 2002. He was eventually captured, convicted of murder, and executed by lethal injection in Virginia on 10 November 2009. Named John Williams at birth, he served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978-85 and then in the U.S. Army from 1985-1994. He converted to Islam in 1985, changing his last name to Muhammad, and later joined the religious organization Nation of Islam. Muhammad's life after leaving the Army was increasingly erratic: he opened two failed businesses, his second marriage collapsed in 1999, and he took his three children from that marriage to Antigua and then to Bellingham, Washington before police found him and returned custody of the children to his ex-wife. Muhammad also became a friend and mentor to a Jamaican teen, Lee Boyd Malvo. In 2002 he took Malvo to Washington, DC, in a Chevrolet Caprice which Muhammad had modified so that a rifle could be fired in secrecy from the trunk. They began shooting people at random on October 2nd, each of them pulling the trigger at different times; many of their victims were pumping gas or doing other everyday activities. 10 people were killed, and 3 more wounded, before Muhammad and Malvo were captured at a highway rest area three weeks later. Malvo, age 17 at the time of the shootings, was convicted on multiple charges and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Muhammad was convicted of murder in both Virginia and Maryland, and executed in Virginia in 2009.

Extra Credit:

Muhammad was married and divorced twice. He married his high school sweetheart, Carol Kaglear, in 1981. They had one son, Lindbergh, (b. 1982) and were divorced in 1987. Muhammad married Mildred Green in 1988, and they had three children (John Jr., Salena and Taalibah) before divorcing in 2001… The gun used in the killings was a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle… While in the Army, Muhammad served in the Gulf War… He was executed at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.

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