Birthday: December 31, 1960
Died At Age: 48
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Also Known As: The Beltway Sniper
Born Country: United States
Born in: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Notorious As: Serial Killer
Spouse/Ex-: Mildred Muhammad
father: Ernest williams
mother: Eva Williams
children: Lindbergh Williams
Died on: November 10, 2009
place of death: Greensville Correctional Center, Virginia, United States
education: Scotlandville High School
John Allen Muhammad was an American murderer who, along with Lee Malvo, was responsible for a series of sniper attacks, killing 10 people in and around Washington, D.C., in October 2002. Born in Louisiana, into a lower-middle-class family, John attended the ‘Scotlandville High School.’ At the age of 18, the year he completed his high-school graduation, he joined the ‘Army National Guard ‘of Louisiana. In the mid-1980s, he joined the ‘U.S. Army.’ In 1987, he joined the ‘Nation of Islam’ and changed his surname to “Muhammad.” He was infamous for defying orders and for not reporting on time. He was thus subjected to a few court-martials, too. He worked odd jobs after his discharge from the army. He was married twice in the 1980s: once in 1981 and then in 1988. He had three children from his second wife. When things turned sour in his second marriage, he ran away with his children. The children were eventually located a year later. It was said that John had lost his mental balance. He idolized Osama Bin Laden. In October 2002, he killed 10 people by carrying out sniper attacks, with an accomplice, in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Columbia. Following this, he was sentenced to death and executed in 2009.
Childhood & Early Life
John Allen Muhammad was born John Allen Williams, on December 31, 1960, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S., to Ernest and Eva Williams, into a lower-middle-class African–American family. His mother was later diagnosed with breast cancer, and the family moved to New Orleans for her treatment. His mother passed away when he was 3 years old.
His psychopathic behavior has often been attributed to that fact that he had grown up without a mother. His father was immensely depressed after his wife’s death, and he left John and walked away. John was thus mostly raised by his grandparents.
He completed his high-school graduation from a local school named the ‘Scotlandville High School.’ He was not a good student. Thus, joining the army seemed like a good option for him, as soon as he graduated high school.
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Life & Early Career
The year he graduated high school, at the age of 18, he joined the ‘Army National Guard’ of Louisiana. He was freed from active duty a year later and was permanently ousted from the ‘National Guards’ in 1985. Later that year, he enlisted into the regular army and participated in ‘Operation Desert Storm,’ a ‘U.S. Army’ mission to expel the Iraqi forces from Kuwait.
His service was later classified as “very weak” by his superiors, and they argued that due to his lethargic approach, he had barely made it to the rank of sergeant at the time of retirement. However, John’s colleagues from the army had another version altogether. They described him as a good soldier.
In 1981, he got married to Carol A. Williams, his girlfriend since his childhood years. The couple had a son together, born in 1982. However, John was not loyal to his wife, and they began having fights frequently. Apparently, John had started living with another woman. This led Carol to seek a divorce, and it was granted in 1987.
He loved his son, but his custody was given to Carol. John claimed that she did not let his son meet him and that she had been keeping his son undernourished.
In 1987, at the age of 27, he converted to Islam after joining the ‘Nation of Islam.’ The following year, he married Mildred Muhammad. She also converted to Islam after marrying John. The couple went on to have three children. By the mid-1990s, he had been honorably discharged from the army. He had gone through several court-martials for reporting late on duty and disobeying his senior’s orders.
Following his discharge from the army, he lived a normal life and started a car-repairing business. In the late 1990s, John partnered up with a friend and started a karate school. However, the business ended up accumulating losses.
By then, his domestic life had also begun to go downhill. He had started having many disputes with his wife and had also begun spending nights at the karate school. His wife filed for divorce, and he also started living with a friend. He had lost the custody of his son from his first marriage, and he did not want the same thing to be repeated. He also knew that he was unlikely to get the custody of the children this time, too.
Around 1999, he told his wife that he would pick his children up from their school. However, although he picked his children up from school, he did not return home. Mildred told police officials that her husband had threatened to kill her and that she had thus obtained a restraining order against him.
In August 2001, the police officials found his children in two different schools near Tacoma. The children had had their names changed. The children also claimed that they had an “older brother.” John asked for the custody of his children, but the officials denied, as he had taken them away improperly.
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In around 1999, John met Lee Malvo, a man from Kingston, Jamaica, and began living with him. Malvo was 17 years old back then. They both committed petty crimes in Washington, D.C.
The 9/11 attacks on the ‘Twin Towers’ had shaken the entire world. John, however, admired the attacks. He had also begun idolizing Osama Bin Laden by then. John controlled Malvo completely and dictated every aspect of Malvo’s life.
In December 2001, both John and Malvo were taken into custody by immigration officers, when they were found to have no official citizenship proofs. However, they were later released. John began teaching Malvo how to shoot a gun and used a tree stump for target practice.
By October 2002, they had moved on from tree stumps and had started shooting people. They once had barged into a liquor store in Alabama and opened fire. Following this, they moved to Washington, D.C. and embarked on a murderous spree.
John was a trained car mechanic, and he used his skills to make sniper’s nests out of the trunks of cars. He parked them in close proximity to their targets and shot them dead. They killed people doing everyday chores, such as filling gas in their car or taking a stroll in their neighborhood. Both John and Malvo took turns at shooting, killing 10 people and wounding three.
John was also reported to be stalking his ex-wife, Mildred, during his killing spree. John later claimed that the murders were part of his plan to kill his wife without being suspected.
John and Lee had been successful in carrying out 10 murders. They somehow became overconfident and began asking for money from the police in exchange for putting an end to the killings. However, the police linked them with the Alabama liquor-store shooting and the sniper incidents, through Malvo’s fingerprints. They were caught on October 24, 2002.
Trial & Execution
John Allen Muhammad’s trial began immediately, and he was the main accused in the murders that had taken place in three states. He and Malvo were tried separately. In 2006, John was found guilty of six counts of murder in Maryland. Malvo claimed in his trial that John had pulled the trigger in the first six murders.
In September, 2009, John was sentenced to death by lethal injection. His execution was carried out at around 9 a.m. on November 10.
His actions were later classified to be those of a psychopathic serial killer.