Monday, August 5, 2013

Nathan Louis Campbell: Why?

Who, what, when, where, and why – the classic 5 W’s of journalism. We know who, what, when, and where for Nathan Louis Campbell, but not the why. Campbell at 6:00pm on Saturday casually got into his Dodge Avenger parked on Dudley Ave in Venice, California, drove up on a sidewalk to circumvent 5 street barriers, and then accelerated to 60mph into the crowd by the Venice Boardwalk. The videos showed he deliberately drove into the crowd, tossing them asunder like bowling pins. He killed Alice Gruppioni from Italy on her honeymoon and injured 16 others. He turned himself into the Santa Monica Police Station an hour later. The police have charged him with 1st Degree Murder. The question we don’t know is why. The usual questions do not seem to apply. 1) Was he off his meds, such as Steven Kazmerczak at Northern Illinois on February 14, 2008 when he killed 5 and injured 21, Seung-Hui Cho who fatally shot 32 and injured 17 at Virginia tech on April 16, 2007, or the bi-polar David Attias on February 23, 2001 drove his car through a crowded street at 50-65mph in Isla Vista a few blocks from the University of California Santa Barbara campus. Attias called himself the “Angel of Death?” He had stopped taking his meds, but had been on Ecstasy. 2) Should he have been placed on meds, such as Jared Lee Loughner, who fatally shot a federal judge and five others and critically wounded Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords and 11 others in Tucson, Arizona on January 11, 2011, or Steven Allen Abrams who intentionally rove his 1967 Cadillac into Costa Mesa, California day care center on May 2, 2004, killing two children and injuring four others plus a teacher? He had long fantasized about killing children. He said “I was going to execute those children because they were innocent.” 3) Had the assailant fried his brain through substance abuse, such Jared Loughner? 4) Was it perhaps a psychopath whose violence may have been triggered by medications, such as Zoloft or Luvox as with Eric Harris at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, killing 12 students and one teacher while wounding 24 students? Harris’ partner, Dylan Klebold, suffered from depression.. 5) Could it have been anti-government animus, as with Timothy McVeigh truck bomb which kiled168 and injured close to 700 at the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on September 19, 1995? 6) Did a wife discover her husband was cheating on her, such as Clara Harris, who ran over her husband three times in a Houston Hilton parking on July24, 2002 lot with her Mercedes-Benz, parked the car on his body, and said “It was an accident?” 7) Is it an old driver, who claimed to have accidentally placed his foot on the accelerator rather than the brake, such as 86 year old George Russell walker on July 26, 2003 whose car mowed straight through Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade into the Framers Market, killing 10 and injuring 63? He reportedly said to the surviving victims “If you saw me coming, why didn’t you get out of the way?” 8) Was it perhaps a case of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome,” such as Mohammad Reza Taheri-Azar who drove his Jeep Grand Cherokee in a crowded student courtyard on March 3, 2003 at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, injuring 9? He then phoned the police and turned himself in. 9) Was he seeking his 15 minutes of infamy, such as James Eagan Holmes who fatally shot 12 and wounded 70 in an Aurora, Colorado theater on July 12, 2012? 10) Was it a gangbanger asserting turf or undergoing initiation? None of these apply, which is not to say on the information presently available Campbell that Campbell did not have an alcohol or drug problem. His acts, as caught on video, showed a well-considered act. Perhaps a different theory, my far out theory, might answer the question of why. Reports this morning were that he was a homeless transient living out of his car. He also is reported to have asked “How many did he injure?” Let us assume in his warped mind, perhaps not criminally insane, that he figured that if drove into a crown and injured a few bystanders, then the people of California could provide him room, board, and medical cade, perhaps for life.

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