John Allen Muhammad (December 31st, 1960 - November 10th, 2009) along wih Lee Malvo were the Beltway snipers that terrorized the Washington, DC metro area in October 2002.
Born John Allen Williams in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Ernest and Eva Williams, he and his family moved to New Orleans when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer; she died when he was three years old. After his mother's death, his father left. Williams was mainly raised by his grandfather and an aunt. In 1987 he joined the Nation of Islam, and changed his name in 2001. After high school, Muhammad got married to Carol Kaglear and joined the Louisiana Army National Guard. They had a son named Lindbergh. At first, his military career seemed promising. He was described as personable and outgoing by one of his commanders, but by the early 1980s cracks were beginning to show in his fade. He got into trouble twice—once for failing to report for duty and another time for hitting an officer. Muhammad kidnapped his children and brought them to Antigua around 1999, apparently engaging in credit card and immigration document fraud. It was during this time that he became close with Lee Boyd Malvo, who later acted as his partner in the killings. Williams changed his name to John Allen Muhammad in October 2001. After his arrest, authorities also claimed that Muhammad admitted that he admired and modeled himself after Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and approved of the September 11 attacks. Malvo testified that Muhammad had indoctrinated him into believing that the proceeds of the extortion attempt would be used to establish "a camp in Canada where homeless children would be trained as terrorists.
The first killing takes place when Keenya Cook, 21, is murdered. Her aunt was a former friend of Muhammad's ex-wife. Million Waldemariam, 41, is shot three times and killed at a liquor store in Atlanta. Ballistics on a .22 caliber handgun links both the Atlanta and the Montgomery shootings. Shooting at a Montgomery, Alabama, liquor store. Owner Claudine Parker is killed and clerk Kellie Adams is seriously injured. Ballistics are a match to Bushmaster .223 rifle and eyewitness accounts link to the D.C. snipers. Capital murder charges are filed against Muhammad and Malvo. Sixty-year-old Jerry Taylor is shot and killed on a Tucson, Arizona, golf course.Shooting outside a beauty shop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, kills the 45-year-old Hong Im Ballenger, the shop manager. 55-year-old James D. Martin, a program analyst for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is shot in the parking lot of Shoppers Food Warehouse in Wheaton, Maryland. On the same day police are called to a crime scene and find James L. Buchanan, a 39-year-old landscaper who has been fatally shot while mowing a lawn at a commercial establishment near Rockville, Maryland. Then later that day Premkumar Walekar, 54, a part-time cab driver, is killed while pumping gas into his taxi at a station in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County, Maryland. Sarah Ramos, 34, of Silver Spring, Maryland, is killed at a post office near Leisure World Shopping center. A witness reports seeing a white van or truck speed from the post office parking lot immediately after the shooting. On the same day Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, of Silver Spring is shot dead at a Shell gas station in Kensington where she was vacuuming her van. In the only killing in Washington and the first one to occur at night, Pascal Charlot, 72, is shot in the chest as he walks along Georgia Avenue. He is taken to a hospital, where he dies less than an hour later. In a Michael's parking lot in Fredericksburg, Virginia, Caroline Seawell, 43, is shot as she puts her bags inside her Toyota minivan. She is released from a Fairfax hospital on Monday, October 14. Iran Brown, 13, is shot and critically wounded outside Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Maryland's Prince George's County. A tarot card is found near the scene of the shooting at the school. CNN sources say it is the "Death Card" with the message "Call me God" for police. Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is killed while pumping gas, the same way as Premkumar, at a station in Manassas, Virginia, dying the same way as Premkumar in the same area. A white minivan seen in the area was first thought to have some connection with the shooting but was cleared by police. Kenneth Bridges, 53, a Philadelphia businessman, is killed at an Exxon station just off I-95 near Fredericksburg, Virginia. Police enforce a huge roadblock, trying to find a white van-like vehicle (similar to a Chevy Astro) with a ladder rack on top. Linda Franklin, 47, of Arlington, Virginia, is killed by a single gunshot in a Home Depot parking lot in Falls Church, Virginia. Jeffrey Hopper, 37, is shot in a parking lot at a Ponderosa Steakhouse near I-95 in Ashland, Virginia, 83 miles south of Washington. Doctors remove the bullet from the victim during surgery on October 21 and connect him to the others by ballistics. Police surround a white van at a pay phone at an Exxon gas station in Richmond, Virginia. They arrest one man in the vehicle and a second man "in the vicinity" but later say that they cannot be connected to the sniper shootings. Bus driver Conrad Johnson, 35, of Oxon Hill, Maryland, is shot as he stands on the top step inside his commuter bus in Aspen Hill, Maryland. He later dies at a hospital in Bethesda. Investigators confirm on October 23 that his death is connected to the sniper. Later that month John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are arrested.
Aftermath of the Killings
After they are both arrested Muhammad receives a death sentence and is executed on November 10, 2009. Malvo receives life in prison without parole. Muhammed declined to make a final statement, and the execution began at 9:00 p.m. EST at the Greensville Correctional Center, Greensville County, near Jarratt, Virginia. According to the official statement of the prison spokesperson, the actual lethal injection process started at 9:06 pm EST. He was then pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m. EST. His body was cremated and the ashes given to his son in Louisiana.