Ten years to the day after their random spree began, the surviving D.C. sniper spoke with remorse on the tragedy that still hangs over the lives of many in the Washington area. Lee Boyd Malvo, the 27-year-old now serving life in prison for his role in the shootings, speaks of himself like a different person.
"I mean I was a monster. If you look up the definition, I mean that's what a monster is. I was a ghoul. Iwas a thief. I stole people's lives," he told the Washington Post Sunday. "I did someone else's bidding just because they said so ... there is no rhyme or reason or sense."
For three weeks in 2002, Malvo and John Allen Muhammad shot random citizens, often from a distance with high-powered rifles out of the back of a modified vehicle. The two shot 13 and killed 10 in parking lots, gas stations, and other public places across the district, Virginia, and Maryland.
After they were caught, Malvo and Muhammad were tied to 11 more shootings across the country, including five deaths.
The shootings paralyzed the area, as residents kept their children home and themselves out of public as much as possible. On Oct. 24, police caught up to the elusive shooters sleeping in a car at a Maryland rest stop.
Muhammad was sentenced to death and eventually executed in 2009, while then-17-year-old Malvo recieved life in prison. Malvo, who laughed about the crimes during interrogations, struck a different tone in his interview with the Washington Post.
"I am sorry. I am sorry. And it sounds...there is no way to express, there is no way to express that. I mean what am I going to tell them? I'm sorry I murdered your only child. I'm sorry I killed your husband. I'm sorry I murdered your wife."
Malvo is serving his sentence in a maximum-security prison in the Appalachian Mountains, where he is confined to a cell 23 hours a day. Asked what he would say to the victims and the victims families if he could, he says he would ask that they move on.
"There's nothing that I can say except don't allow me and my actions to continue to victimize you for the rest of your life," he said. "You and you alone have the power to control that. And you take the power away from this other person, this monster."
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Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News & World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter