Monday, October 21, 2002

Over the weekend, we visited Patty's mother and family in New Jersey, got to see everyone and visit for a little while. While there, we heard the news of the most recent sniper attack in Ashland, VA.

Apparently the victim survived, but has undergone several surgeries and needs still more. He was shot at around 8pm Sat night, in the back parking lot of a Ponderosa Steakhouse. Something different this time, however, was that authorities found a lengthy letter to them, possibly from the sniper. He left a number to be used in contacts, and in a news conference late Sunday evening the police asked the sniper to contact them at that number.

I have heard several commentators wondering why the police said in a short news conference "To the person who left us a message at the Ponderosa last night. You gave us a telephone number. We do want to talk to you. Call us at the number you provided. Thank you." . Only one commentator theorized that the number in the letter was a payphone, selected so that the sniper could call a neutral number to reduce the chance of tracing. I believe that he gave them the number of (most likely) a payphone, intending to call them on a cellphone from perhaps the immediate area, where he could watch the police official he was speaking too - and thus get his jollies by outsmarting them directly.

This just in (9:55am Monday) - Police have cordoned off a major intersection near where the city of Richmond meets Henrico County. According to media at the site, police surrounded a white van at a gas station and arrested a man sitting in the van a short time ago.

:) I can only hope that he outsmarted himself, by relying on 'knowledge' gained by watching too much TV, and underestimated the ability of the police to trace and locate a call. I sincerely hope that they got the right guy.