Pyrate(pi`-rat)na sea robber; a vessel manned by such; a publisher etc. who infringes copyright; v.t. and act as a pyrate, to plunder, to infringe copyright.[GK. peirates, FR.peiraein- to attempt]
Punk(pungk)ncrumbly, decayed wood; a.Worthless.(slang)young criminal. Criminally oriented rock and roll .[Etymology uncertain]


October 13th, 2002 2:02pm

What stalks the land?

I think it is obvious The Tarot Sniper is a former or current cop. Possibly even a swat sniper. The weapon used, the tactics and the elusivenes all point to this. First of all he is taking most of his victims in the head and upper chest area. This is consistent with police tactics. An army trained sniper shoots for mid chest, that way if you dont get the heart you go high and get the head, or go to either side and wing the target. Army snipers are ususally shooting for officers and technical staff to disrupt command and control. In this way it isn't as important if you kill, just hitting a Capt. or Col. will mess things up good. Besides, sniping tactics arent in vogue anymore with our army. They havent been for more than 30 years.

Police snipers want to outright kill the target. They are employed in hostage or standoff situations. Head shot or heart shot. Also .223 is a weird caliber for sniper shooting. Most .223 guns are select fire, which is inherently inaccurate. For a really accurate gun you want nothing moving but the firing pin into the back of the cartridge. Select fire weapons use some of the discharge from the round firing to eject the current round and load the next round. While there may be nothing actually moving in the rifles action when the firing pin hits the casing, the bolt is also not locked down as tightly as it would be in say, a bolt action Mauser. As such, each round you fire, the bolt will sit a little differently. This may seem like small differrence, but small differences multiply out at 100 yards. The only reason you would use .223 for sniping is if its what you trained on and are accustomed to shooting this for years. It also helps if you are former military and have been indoctrinated into the cult of the little black lower(M16).

There are many other weapon platforms that are more accurate and do not cost nearly as much. A good example is the Dragunov/Romak category. You can get yourself into one of these for under a grand with a scope! This compares with .223/M16-AR15 which starts at a grand and and goes up(I am ignoring mini14s and other consumer rifles). Dragunovs and their derivatives shoot everything from .308 to 7.62 54r. Widely available rounds, but maybe more traceable. This gets back to the rogue cop theory. A lot of police snipers use M-16/AR-15 variants. I dont know why. Just open any Shomertec catalog and there you go. They also usually are dealing with targets in the sub 200 yard range where .223 is still an accurate round. Think of a hostage in a bank robbery, cop sniper is on the roof a block away at most. Out past 300 yards you would again want to be shooting a bolt action rifle or rolling block. I do not know of any serious .223 bolt actions or rolling blocks. Advantages of .223 is that it is a relatively quiet round. It is also readily available in many configurations, from many manufacturers, which may complicate tracing him/her through ballistics. Another advantage is if you already own the gun you wouldn't be looking at any out of pocket expense. again here you might be tempted to posit that he could be shooting a Mini-14. It is a relatively cheap gun which can be found in many sporting goods stores. It does shoot .223. I feel that it is a consumerized Garand of inferior accuracy. The Tarot Sniper has shot 10 people and killed 8. With one shot each time. I don't think that kind of ratio could be achieved with off the shelf ordnance.

Angel of Death

The real clincher in the cop theory is the way he has avoided capture in one of the most heavily policed areas in our country. This would speak to the idea that it is someone with a passing familiarity with police tactics and methods. Its a lot easier to beat the other team it you already have their playbook memorized. The D.C. greater area is home to the metro D.C. police, CIA headquarters is right over there in Langley, FBI I believe is in D.C., and then there is the Secret Service which has a quite formidible presence in Washington for obvious reasons. I am pretty sure they have some sattelite surveilance going on too. Somehow the Tarot Sniper has managed to elude capture. We also have yet to hear anything but the most general of descriptions. A white box van? There must be 300,000 of those on the east coast. A white male with medium brown hair in his 20's-30's? Ok that narrows it down to a little less than one third of the east coast. Unlike most serial killers, this individual doesn't seem to feel the need to interact with his victims sexually. He also doesn't have the penchant a lot of previous serial killers have had for using more intimate means to take his victims. IE: he shoots at range instead of strangling, garroting or stabbing. While you could spend a long time analyzing this psychologically, I think it is a tactic which prevents him from leaving behind any inadvertent evidence. this also speaks to the rogue cop theory as he would have familiarity with forensics/pathology. What is very interesting is the randomness. It seems that he is purposely going out of his way not to give them too much info about his motives. I think the Tarot card was just a deliberate red herring to make it seem like he is a crypto-psychotic. The killings dont seem racially motivated, and they arent just men or just women, or as is more common, they are not sex workers, homosexuals or some other marginalized class. I discount the notion that this is some kind of Al Queda terrorist action. Islamic extremists place a high importance on honorably fighting for the Jihad against the infidels. Shooting people who cant see you isnt as brave as detonating a bomb wrapped around your torso in the middle of a crowd. I think it will be a long time if ever before they catch him/her. This may eventually have to go into the same file cabinet as the Anthrax Envelope guy.

P.S. My ex-army muslim cleric buddy pointed out an interesting factoid. The CIA has the largest percentage of rogue agents of any espionage agency in any country. His theory? They are just so corrupt and used to black budget/black book ops that they are bound to go over to organized crime/the other side. The espionage agency with the least rogue agents? Mossad of course.

Calaveras Grande

booty Comix Photos Tunes Archive Home