I, Sniper Series TIMELINE

Category: Press Pack

I Sniper: The Washington Killers

Tx: 24th January at 10pm

This six-part crime serial gives a minute-by-minute account of the 2002 Washington, D.C. sniper case - one of the most terrifying crimes in recent history. Lee Malvo, the surviving shooter, is heard in a series of phone calls from his Supermax cell at Red Onion State Prison in Virginia, where he is in solitary confinement. Featuring a wealth of testimony from victims, survivors, families and investigators, the series tells how a chance meeting between a vulnerable Jamaican teenager and a disaffected Army veteran set in motion a murderous road trip and how a chain of events led them to commit unthinkable acts of violence. Told from many angles, this definitive account of a shocking American crime story examines how Malvo came to be a mass murderer at the age of just 17.

I, Sniper Series TIMELINE





October, 2001


Lee Malvo (aged 16) runs away after talking to John Allen Muhammad (aged 40) and finding out he has lost his children. He takes a Greyhound bus across the country to Bellingham, WA to be with Muhammad. It takes several days. He arrives on October 20th. Lee said that the John who met him off the bus was “different”.


Malvo & Muhammad moved into the Lighthouse Mission shelter. Muhammad tells people Malvo is his “son”.

Bellingham, Washington

October, 2001


Muhammad starts to train Malvo to be a sniper. Taking him to the shooting range and getting him into peak physical shape.

Washington State

December, 2001


December 14: Una leaves Florida and heads to WA in search of Lee. Five days later, after talking to a police officer in WA, Lee is apprehended (by Border Patrol at the YMCA with Muhammad) and put in a child protection agency for two days until his mother comes to claim him.


BORDER PATROL TAKE MALVO’S FINGERPRINTS. THESE PRINTS ARE LATER USED TO MATCH HIM TO THE SHOOTINGS IN WASHINGTON DC. * The prints are entered into the immigration database not the police database, so a match isn’t initially discovered.



Bellingham, WA

December, 2001


Malvo runs away to go back to John Muhammad. The duo spend time in Tacoma and Bellingham, sleeping at the Mission and showering and working out at the YMCA.


Bellingham, WA



Keenya Cook, 21, is shot answering the door to Malvo at the home of her aunt, Isa Nichols, the intended victim. Isa is a friend of Mildred Muhammad's and helped her in her custody case against her husband.

Tacoma, WA






Lee Malvo turns seventeen.



“A little after lunch”

Shot on the Fred Enke Golf Course by Malvo who had stalked and camped out at the location looking for a victim. Malvo and Muhammad had been staying with Muhammad's sister Odessa Newell right before this killing.

The Fred Enke Golf course in Tucson, AZ

July – October 2002 (estimated date)


Malvo steals the Bushmaster AR 15 rifle from Bull’s Eye Shooting Range in Tacoma, Washington State. **The shop never report it missing.




Paul La Ruffa is shot in the parking lot of Margellina’s - the Italian Restaurant he'd operated for 16 years. He was carrying $3,500 and a computer and it was this money and equipment that funded Malvo & Muhammad’s killing spree. This killing took place just blocks from Mildred’s home.

Margellina’s Italian Restaurant in Clinton, MD



Nathaniel Osbourne (Camden NJ) takes Muhammad and Malvo to look at cars. Muhammad buys the Caprice.

Sure Shot Auto Sales in Trenton, NJ



Benny Oberoi, 22, is shot and wounded outside the Hillandale Beer & Wine Store in Silver Spring, Arnie Zelkovitz (the owner) was with him and saw the Chevy Caprice drive away.


Hillandale Beer & Wine Store in Silver Spring, Maryland





Muhammad Rashid is shot while closing Three Road Liquor. The location is only 3 miles from Mildred's home. Rashid was played dead while Malvo took his wallet and then when he was sure the gunman had gone he called 911 himself. The bullets were matched to the LaRuffa shooting.

Three Road Liquor in Brandywine, MD















Million Woldemariam, 41, is shot three times and killed. Woldermariam was closing up Sammy's Package Store with its owner Mimi Taddesse. He'd told Taddesse he spotted a strange car outside. Taddesse warned him not to go out again. It was an isolated spot and no one else was meant to be out there. But Woldermariam went out to stand guard and Taddesse heard gunshots. She found Woldermariam collapsed. His wallet was missing



Claudine Parker and Kellie Adams were walking to their cars from the liquor store they worked at in Montgomery, AL when the shots were fired. Parker was hit in the back. The bullet severed her spinal cord – paralyzing her instantly. Adams was hit in the back of the neck - the bullet broke her jaw, exited her check and sheared off her front teeth. Parker died, Adams recovered. A gun magazine with Malvo's prints on it was left behind (but it was not ID’d until October when it was run through a Federal immigration database). This was the FIRST Known time the snipers had used the .233 rifle

Sammy’s Package Store in Atlanta Georgia i


ABC State Liquor Store #5 in Montgomery, AL



Hong Ballenger was in the parking lot of her Beauty Supply Store in Baton Rouge, LA having just locked up when she was shot. An employee spotted a dark car driven by a black man pull out of a lot and then stop to pick up another black man, who was holding the victim’s purse. Bloodhounds were called but they found nothing. 223 fragments were removed from Ballenger's body.

Beauty Depot in Baton Rouge is no longer active. The building at 3055 Florida Blvd.









Windows shot at Maryland craft store. No one hurt.






James D. Martin, 55, of Silver Spring, Md., killed by a sniper outside a Shopper's Food Warehouse in Wheaton MD





Portia Burch was a security guard at the White Flint Mall and spoke with Muhammad on October 2 (the day before the killing spree and after Martin was killed). He was polite (bare foot) and sleeping in his Caprice. She told him he could rest but the lot would be locked at 1am so he would need to be gone by then.

The Michael’s Craft Store in Aspen Hill, MD


Shopper’s in Wheaton MD.




White Flint Mall is now closed.





















































James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, 39, of Arlington, Va., killed while cutting grass at Maryland auto dealership.








Taxi driver Premkumar Walekar, 54, of Olney, Md., killed at Maryland gas station.












Sarah Ramos, 34, of Silver Spring, Md., is shot while reading on a bench waiting for a bus in a mall parking lot.


Early tips from eyewitnesses included reports of a white box truck with dark lettering, speeding away from the Leisure World shopping center, with two men inside. 









Lori Ann Lewis-Rivera, 25, of Silver Spring, Md., killed as she vacuumed her van at Maryland gas station.





Washington, D.C. Police Officer Henry A. Gallagher stopped the Caprice for running two stop signs. He ran the plates and found nothing of note. Let the car go.





Pascal Charlot, 72, of Washington, D.C, killed while standing on a street in the nation's capital (Georgia Avenue at Kalmia Road ).


Fitzgerald Auto Mall in Rockville is still active. 11411 Rockville Pike, Rockville MD 20852.










The gas station on 4100 Aspen Hill Road. It used to be a Mobil, it is now a Sunoco.






Leisure World Plaza in Silver Spring. The exact bench has been moved but many identical benches remain.



The Kensington, MD Shell station.



Street corner in DC



Caroline Seawell pulled

her minivan into the Spotsylvania Mall, about halfway between DC and

Richmond. She parked in front of a Michaels arts-and-crafts store. Seawall was shot but

lived. The investigation, once centered in Montgomery County, now moved to



A gray car was spotted speeding away after the October 4 shooting in Spotsylvania.


Police set up a tip hotline and offer a reward of $50,000. The reward eventually grows to $500,000.


By Friday night, October 4, the five shootings on October 3 and two on October 2 were forensically linked to the same gun

The Michael’s at Spotsylvania Mall in Fredericksburg, VA.




Investigators complete geographic profile of the killer. FBI works on a psychological profile.




Iran Brown, 13, was shot as

he walked into Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie MD


At this crime scene the authorities discovered a shell casing as well as a Tarot card (the Death card) inscribed with the phrase, "Call me God" on the front and, on three separate lines on the back, "For you mr. Police." "Code: 'Call me God'." "Do not release to the press."

Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie MD



A Baltimore police officer spotted the steamed-up windows of the Caprice and peered inside. Muhammad told the officer he was headed to New Jersey and needed a place to rest.

After a records check produced no hits, the officer sent Muhammad on his way.

Subway parking lot, Jones Falls Expressway. Unclear if it’s still there.



Dean Harold Meyers, 53, of Gaithersburg, Md., shot dead at Sunoco gas station in Manassas, Va., about 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.

Sunoco at 7203 Sudley Rd .




Kenneth H. Bridges, 53, shot while pumping gas at Exxon gas station in Massaponax, Va., just south of Fredericksburg on his way back from a business meeting.

Exxon in Massaponax (just off 95 at 5326 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA).



Police release composite images of a white box truck similar to the one witnesses said they saw near some of the shootings.




Linda Franklin, 47, of Arlington, Va., was shot in the head and killed as she and her husband loaded packages into their car outside a Home Depot store in Falls Church, Va. (Fairfax County).

Falls Church Home Depot..




Dispatcher Amy Lefkoff receives a call from Malvo at the Rockville City Police Department admitting to the crimes and trying to set up negotiations. He says they have tried to make contact three previous times.




Police announce evidence from Home Depot witness (Matthew Dowdy)  is "not credible."


From Tacoma, WA Robert Holmes, Muhammad’s old friend, calls the FBI tip line to say he thinks he knows who the sniper might be. His information is entered into the agency’s Rapid Start database but it’s five days before he is interviewed.




Officer Baliles takes two calls from Malvo. It is in these calls that Malvo gives the police the clue about the 9/21 Alabama shooting.


Malvo then calls Monsignor William V. Sullivan, Pastor of St. Ann's Church in Ashland VA and gives him details of the 9/21 shootings in Montgomery, AL. But Sullivan never calls the police as Malvo had instructed. It was only after the letter from Malvo was found at the Ponderosa restaurant (naming the priest), and the police interviewed him that he recalled the call.



Police arrested Matthew Dowdy, 37, of Falls Church, Va., for providing false information to authorities. He had told police he saw the shooter driving a cream-colored van and firing an AK-74 assault rifle at the Home Depot incident.




Jeffrey Hopper, 37, was shot in the stomach and critically wounded while leaving a Ponderosa steakhouse with his wife in Ashland, Va.


At the Ponderosa shooting a letter is found tacked to a tree. It began with a cover sheet that said "Call me God" and demanded $10 million in extortion money in "unlimited withdrawal" around the world, law enforcement sources say.

Ponderosa Steakhouse in Ashland, VA.




FBI Agent Jackie Dalrymple took a call from Malvo after Ponderosa shooting and Moose press conference where he asked them to call back. Malvo plays a tape for 00:38 and asks the police to say “we’ve caught the Sniper like a duck in a noose”.


6 minutes after Dalrymple takes Malvo’s called, USMS Inspector Tim Hein traces the call to a pay phone outside of an Exxon gas station in Richmond, VA.


SWAT goes in and grabs the wrong guys. Later they realize it was the wrong phone booth and that the call was made by the Snipers on the other end of the gas station.


Exxon in Ashland still active on East Parham Road and W Broad Street.






Conrad Johnson, a 35-year-old bus driver, was fatally wounded on a commuter bus in the Aspen Hill area of Montgomery County, Md. Ballistics evidence confirmed that it was the work of the sniper.

Montg. County Ride On is still in service:






Around 7pm
















Acting on a phone tip, authorities serve warrants at the Tacoma, Wash., home where Malvo and Muhammad once lived. Neighbors had complained in January that Muhammad routinely did target practice in his backyard. Police remove items from the yard, including a tree stump, for forensics tests.



Montgomery, Md., Police Chief Charles Moose announces an arrest warrant had been issued for Muhammad on charges not related to the sniper case, and that Muhammad might be traveling with a juvenile.


Authorities issue a nationwide alert for a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice, with New Jersey license number NDA-21Z.

3310 Proctor Street Tacoma, WA











































Whitney Donahue pulls into a rest area

in Frederick County and spots the blue Caprice. He dials 911 and stays

on the phone with dispatchers for two hours


Police arrest John Allen Muhammed, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, while they're sleeping in their car at a rest stop in Frederick County, Md.


Police confirm arrests and say a warrant is being sought to search the vehicle. Reports say a search warrant has been issued in Alabama.


Montgomery, Ala., police confirm that sniper task force called them on Sunday to see whether a September shooting at a liquor store there is related to the sniper shootings. A caller to the sniper investigation tip line claimed responsibility for both the sniper shootings and the Sept. 21 shooting outside ABC Beverage. Malvo's fingerprint was reportedly found on a gun magazine found at the Alabama crime scene.


Reports say a gun was found in the car in custody and that Muhammad is being charged on a federal gun violation and Malvo as a material witness.


Bellingham, Wash., officials say suspects in custody are working alone and not with an organized group. The officials add that authorities first had contact with Malvo Dec. 18 after noticing "suspicious activity." Malvo said he came to the area to finish high school.


The blue Caprice is towed to Gaithersburg, Md., and described as a "wealth of evidence." Reports say a rifle found in the car shoots .223 caliber bullets.


Reports say police found a gun, a scope and a tripod in the car as well as a hole in the trunk of the car police suspect was used to point the gun.


Authorities confirm that a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle found in Muhammad's car has been linked by ballistics to 11 of the 14 shootings, including one in which no one was injured.


The Maryland I-70 West Welcome Center at South Mountain.






Malvo and Muahmmad are tried separately. After much wrangling Virginia not Maryland is granted the trials because Virginia is a death penalty state.


January 15, 2003


Fairfax County, Virginia Juvenile Court Judge Charles Maxfield rules that Malvo will be tried as an adult in the October 14 shooting death of FBI analyst Linda Franklin. This decision will make him eligible for the death penalty if he is convicted.


Fairfax County, Virginia

October 13, 2003


Malvo’s trial gets underway

Chesapeake, Virginia

October 14, 2003


Muhammad’s Trial Begins

Virginia Beach, Virginia

November 17, 2003


The Jury find Muhammad guilty in Virginia on all four counts in the indictment against him; capital murder for the shooting of Dean H. Meyers, a second charge of capital murder under Virginia’s anti-terrorism statue, homicide committed with an intent to terrorize the government or the public at large, conspiracy to commit murder, and the illegal use of a firearm. The jury unanimously recommended that Muhammad be sentenced to death.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

December 18, 2003


Malvo is found guilty of terrorism, capital murder and the use of a firearm during the commission of murder in the October 14, 2002, murder of Linda Franklin.

Chesapeake, Virginia

December 23, 2003


A jury recommends a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Franklin

Chesapeake, Virginia

March 9, 2004


A Virginia judge sentenced John Allen Muhammad to death.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

March 10, 2004


Malvo is sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of terrorism, capital murder, and the use of a firearm in the commission of a murder. He is currently in the maximum-security Red Onion State Prison, Virginia.

Chesapeake, Virginia

May 23, 2006


Malvo takes the stand in Muhammad's second murder trial in Montgomery County after agreeing to plead guilty to the Montgomery County, Maryland, murder charges and testify for the prosecution. He did not make a plea deal.

Montgomery County, VA

May 30, 2006


A Maryland jury found John Allen Muhammad guilty of six counts of murder in Maryland. In return, he was sentenced to six consecutive life terms without possibility of parole on June 1, 2006

Montgomery County, VA

November 11, 2009


Muhammad was executed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 9:11 PM. He declined final words.

Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Virginia.







The Supreme Court cases of;


Miller v. Alabama and Jackson v. Hobbs, 132 S.Ct. 2455 (2012)

Montgomery v. Louisiana 136 S.Ct. 718 (2016)

Have made mandatory life-no-parole sentences unconstitutional for those under 18. This does not guarantee release, only the possibility of a parole hearing.


October 2018


The Supreme Court of the United States hears Malvo’s case for appeal of his Virginia life no parole prison sentence. Case is abandoned after Virginia voted to ban life no-parole sentences for Juveniles.  This means in 2023 Malvo should be eligible for a parole hearing. He is not guaranteed parole.


January 2022


Malvo is appealing his multiple life no parole sentences in Maryland.




Malvo spent 16 years in solitary confinement. In 2019 he was allowed to move out of solitary confinement into a slightly less restrictive status which allows for contact visits.


He has several uncharged murders against him. If he were to be granted parole, he would be immediately re-arrested and charged with those murders. He will very likely die in prison.