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ben tikvah notes (son of hope)

notes on the beltway snipers

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by david berkowitz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         On or about October 2, 2002, I began to enter into one of the darkest periods of my life--a time of sadness, anguish, pain, and grief.  This was when the Washington, D.C. area killer snipings began. 
     When I began to hear the news reports about someone who was going around the Washington, D.C. , Maryland, and then Virginia areas shooting people, I didn't know what to make of it.
     For a few days I really didn't pay much attention to these events as news reports about violent acts and crimes go over the radio, TV, and wire services everyday.
     However several days later the situation began to escalate.  The media became abuzz with reports about the shootings.  Then there was a point, I'm not sure exactly when--that the ugly "Son of Sam" moniker and my name began to get enmeshed with this case.  This grieved me and troubled my mind.
     Now, two weeks  later, this has become a nightmare.  First for the families who lost a loved one as a result of these crimes, then for the citizens of the affected areas, and lastly for me.
     Thus as a result of the terrible tragedy now unfolding, and because my crimes have been publicly compared with what is happening at present, I am making this statement expressing my feelings about the sniper shootings even though, at this juncture, no one in the media, the general public, nor even anyone with law enforcement knows who is doing this or why.
     I want to say how sorry I am for those who lost a loved one or who were seriously injured during these shootings.  Their pain and grief must be  enormous and beyod description.
     My heart goes out to them and my prayers go up to heaven in their behalf.  I am sure that millions of Americans are praying for these people too.
     I also pray that whoever is doing this is quickly apprehended.  what they are doing is wrong and there is absolutely no excuse for their actions.
     There are also no excuses for my own criminal actions of some 25 years ago.  God only knows how many times I have cried out in sorrow over the terrible things that  I did during a very dark and seemingly hopeless period of my life.  I only wish I could undo it all, but such a horrible series of actions can never be undone.
     And like everyone else in America, I can only speculate as to why these killings are happening.  I do not know if it is only one person or more than one.
     I do not know if it is a troubled and tormented man who is angry at the U.S. Government, or at some other law enforcement organization.  Or if this man is a genuine terrorist from a foreign land, or a man who is being influenced by some kind of political propaganda and/or militia literature published by those who hate the United States' present government, even thought they are currently enjoying America's comforts, freedoms, and benefits.
     It is so easy to hate and to have this hatred fester in one's soul until such a person comes under a strong delusion that commiting
a violent act is the answer.  That taking lives is necessary, and that justice can only be achieved by violence.
     So in light of this, I pray, therefore, that all of those who have lost a loved one in these recent terrorist attacks, will find their peace, solace, and comfort in having a personal relationship with God.  That each individual man, woman, or child will come to see God as a loving and compassionate heavenly Father who wants to take up each grieving person in His arms.
     My prayer today is, in part, that many will find the spiritual path that leads them to hope and healing.  Also, may each person who is suffering pain and loss at this time, still have many good things in life to be happy about.
John 16:33

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