Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Going Postal Again

The news reports are that a USPS ex-employee has killed six, and may have killed a neighbor before she began her rampage January 30-31, 2006.

The female ex-postal worker, Jennifer Sanmarco, shot dead six people at the Processing and Distribution Center in Santa Barbara, California, before dying by suicide herself.

She killed six plus herself (6+1=7), and allegedly may have killed another earlier (#8).

"According to witnesses from the scene, she had a 9 mm pistol and reloaded at least once during her rampage," Santa Barbara County Sheriff James Anderson said Tuesday.

The possible seventh victim was found dead Tuesday from a gunshot wound to the head at a Santa Barbara condominium complex where Sanmarco once lived, said Jeff Klapakis with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

“Evidence and circumstances of both crimes show distinct correlations between the two,” Klapakis said Wednesday.

Klapakis said the woman, identified by her brother as Beverly Graham, 54, died Monday.

As some media mentioned, this is the first woman postal employee (present or former) to be the shooter in a "going postal" event.

It is also being noted by the media that it has been eight years since a postal rampage.

Yes, there were several in 1998. But, while it was not technically a "postal shooting," on April 10, 2001, an Ethiopian immigrant walked into at a postal bulk transfer facility in New Jersey, and slashed three employees. He then was found in the locker room by police, wearing only his underwear, covered in his own blood because he'd cut his left wrist. Three Kearney, NJ police officers who found him were then approached by the man who had a knife and a gun.. They asked him to throw aside his weapons, but when he didn't, they all dispatched their firearms, killing the postal invader.

I've always wondered about the metaphoric twilight language in this 4/10 attack - an Ethiopian (who had been in the country since 1994) using a knife (like a boxcutter) to attempt a murder-suicide attack against a symbol of America (the USPS), five months before 9/11.

The media attention to this new 1/30/06 "going postal" event (somewhat lessened by the immediate replacement "breaking news" items, the death of Coretta Scott King) could cause a copycat effect ripple this Friday and/or Monday via another workplace rampage and/or a school shooting.

I have been predicting that this spring 2006 could be another time with a couple rather dramatic school shootings (with March 20th through April 20th, once again, being the key days). This event might speed up the timetable.

See Chapter 10, "Going Postal," in The Copycat Effect (2004), for more details about other postal rampage shootings.

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