Staff Sgt. Robert Bales (June 30th, 1973 - ) is the former US soldier responsible for the mass slaughter of 16 civilians in Afghanistan in March 2012.
Born and raised in Ohio, Bales dropped out of college after studying economics and worked as a stockbroker. After Bales and his firm were found to have committed fraud, they were ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution to the man they defrauded. Bales never paid anything, as he enlisted shortly afterward, leaving the victim unable to locate him.
Bales joined the US Army shortly after 9/11. After serving three tours in Iraq, he was deployed to Afghanistan. Bales may have developed PTSD from his war experiences. According to his lawyer, he had witnessed a friend's leg blown off the day before the massacre.
On March 11, 2012, after drinking alcohol in violation of US military rules in combat zones, Bales went on a rampage through the villages of Balandi and Alkozai, murdering 16 civilians, including 9 children. He was arrested shortly afterward.
Bales was dishonorably discharged from the army and court-martialed. He confessed and plead guilty, and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth.