The tenth anniversary of the the sniper shootings in Washington, D.C. has brought renewed attention to John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo’s killing spree, which terrified the city. Two people with an especially close relationship to the case are Carmeta Albarus and Jonathan Mack authors of The Making of Lee Boyd Malvo: The D.C. Sniper. On October 3, Politics and Prose in Washington D.C. is hosting an event with the authors.
Carmeta Albarus was called in by the judge to serve on Malvo’s defense team and instructed by the court to uncover any information that might help mitigate the death sentence the teen faced. Albarus met with Malvo numerous times and repeatedly traveled back to his homeland of Jamaica, as well as to Antigua, to interview his parents, family members, teachers, and friends.
In a recent and much-discussed interview with The Washington Post (see below), Malvo credits Albarus with restoring his identity and sense of self. He explains that before he met her he was unable to understand what he had become and what he had done.
In the interview, Malvo also details his relationship with John Muhammad and the process in which he was brainwashed and the events leading up to the killings. Malvo points to his difficult upbringing, lack of a steady home life, and how his sense of abandonment made him “ripe” to fall under Muhammad’s control. However, Malvo also expresses a sense of guilt and takes responsibility for what he did, “I was a monster. If you look up the definition, that’s what a monster is. I was a ghoul. I was a thief. I stole people’s lives. I did someone else’s bidding just because they said so. . . . There is no rhyme or reason or sense.”