Over the past few months, we have learned much about the violent, troubled life of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad. Whether or not he pulled the trigger - some recent reports have pointed to his 17-year-old companion Lee Boyd Malvo as the main shooter - there is no doubt in the minds of domestic-violence experts that this adult is responsible for these deaths.
While many pundits conclude that we will never know what motivated the sniper suspect, to domestic violence experts his is an all-too-familiar story of a man whose relationships with the women and children - possibly including Malvo - in his life fit the power-and-control dynamic so common to batterers.
It is a story that includes regular contact with the legal system as Muhammad's marriages dissolved and issues about his children came before the courts, showing that authorities had the opportunity to intervene and perhaps prevent these multiple deaths and injuries.
Domestic Terror, The Baltimore Sun, Perspective Section, December 29, 2002