the white van theory
the white van theory
By now you know there's been another shooting. They haven't linked it to the sniper yet, but they are treating it as such. And, of course, witnesses spotted a white van at the scene.
Personally, I'm discounting any white van sightings. There's several reasons for this.
First of all, I hardly think that a person or persons as cold and calculating as the sniper(s) would drive the same colored, same type vehicle to and from every shooting. We are not dealing with some deranged serial killer here, who has no sense of reality. We are dealing with someone who knows how to plan and implement with a scary precision. A person like that would not be so sloppy as to use the same getaway vehicle each time, especially when there is a dragnet several states wide looking for him/her/them.
Second, does anyone realize how many white vans with ladders on top there are? I know that around these parts, every electrician/carpenter/painter, etc. drives a white box van. It's a very familiar site on the streets each day.
I do have a theory as to why witnesses see a white van each time. It's familiarity. Let me give you an analogy:
When I bought my blue Explorer a few years ago, I suddenly began to see a thousand blue Explorers a day. Why? Because that's what my mind's eye was set to. I was only seeing blue Explorers, not green or silver or black. Another way to look at it would be this: You are in a mall parking lot waiting for a friend to meet you. Your friend drives a white minivan. So as you sit there waiting, it seems like every minivan that pulls into the parking lot is white. That's because you are subconciously blocking out all other colored minivans - your brain is only set on white.
In the instance of the sniper, when witnesses hear shots, see someone go down, there subconcious is automatically thinking "look around for a white van." In a crowded place like a suburban strip mall parking lot, you are bound to see at least one white van. Even if it didn't have a ladder on top, when you are recounting the incident for investigators, you will imagine that you did see a ladder on top. Because that's what you were looking for. You weren't looking for a green mustang or a red pick up. Your mind has been trained to look for a white box van.
If this is the work of the killer(s), the area of concentration seems to be moving south. The sniper(s) has managed to instill fear in a wide, wide range of cities now, and it won't be long before the whole eastern seaboard is under a reign of fear. Quite an accomplishment for one guy with a rifle, don't you think? My theory is that the shootings are not concducted to kill people -that's just a means to an end - but to spread panic and fear among citizens and to put the local law enforcement in a frenzy. Mission accomplished thus far. The only question that remains is, how far will it go? How many states are going to be put under the sniper spell before this is over? And at this rate, will it ever be over?
Ok, that was more than one question. They just come into my mind as I write.
If you want an idea of how the shootings have affected the way people live, go read Meryl, who lives just twenty miles from last night's shooting. I can't imagine what it's like to have to carefully plan out where you will get your tank filled up, and to be afraid to conduct such an ordinary task.
And remember Meryl, walk in a zig-zag fashion.