What do I have in common with the ‘DC Sniper’? Virtually nothing, however, we did travel along the same path back in 2002.
Let me start from the beginning. In September of 2002 a liquor store clerk was killed during a robbery in Montgomery, AL. This was tragic, however, certain parts of Montgomery are not the safest places so one would assume that some cracked out person needed some money and the robbery went bad. Little did we know this was the start of what would be days of media coverage and fear due to an unknown sniper.
Around that same time my mom and grandmother were planning a trip to Virginia to visit long lost friends from back in the day. Eventually they convinced me to join them and in October of 2002 we embarked on a road trip.
We had our route mapped out. We would travel along I-85 through Atlanta and on through The Carolinas and then would hop on to I-95 in Virginia to finish out the day. It was going to be a long haul, a little more than 11 hours, so we had packed snacks to eat along the way. We planned to stop at a rest area here and there to stretch and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
We had no idea that we were traveling along the same route as a crazed sniper. We weren’t listening to the radio for “breaking news updates”- we were listen to a romance novel on CD, because that’s how we roll. Hell, I drove a good bit of the trip may have cut off that infamous blue caprice that the sniper was traveling in a time or two. Who knows?
When we arrived at our hotel we finally realized what was going on. Innocent bystanders were being killed in the Virginia area along I-95… someone reading a book on bench, someone waiting for the bus, someone innocently pumping gas. It’s just a blessing that the sniper didn’t stop off at rest area and shoot three innocent ladies from Alabama who had simply stopped to stretch and have a snack.
It is a coincidence that my mom, grandmother and I traveled along the same path from Alabama to Virginia and had no idea that we were ever in harms way, but neither did lady who was reading her book, or the man pumping gas. No one should have to be fearful of being shot while on a family vacation, or while doing his or her day-to-day tasks. However, in today’s times you don’t know what could be lurking around the next corner or in the blue caprice that you may or may not have cut off…. and that’s the scariest part of the world we live in.
Today the ‘DC Sniper’ is scheduled to be executed. I can only hope that this bring some closure to the families of his victims.