Not since “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski’s 35,000-word manifesto in 1995 has a document generated as much fearful fascination as alleged Los Angeles cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner’s written ramblings.
Alternately horrific and pathetic, they reveal a man consumed by vengeful bitterness over perceived slights and injustices ranging from racial slurs in grade school to his firing as a Los Angeles police officer in 2008 for – in his telling – blowing the whistle on corruption and abuse in the police department.
By Friday morning, police officials in southern California had yet to find the man they say has killed three people, including one police officer and the daughter of a former police captain.
Mr. Dorner promises to bring "unconventional and asymmetrical warfare" to police officers and their families, stalking them "where you work, live, eat, and sleep" and vowing to "utilize every bit of small arms training, demolition, ordinance and survival training I've been given," the manifesto reads. In addition to his police training, Dorner had been a Naval Reserve officer who trained in military weaponry and who had been cited as a rifle marksmen and pistol expert.
The most recent physical evidence of Dorner’s whereabouts were the tracks leading away from his burned-out Nissan Titan pickup truck near the mountain community of Big Bear Lake, Calif., about 90 miles east of Los Angeles.
At a Friday morning press conference, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said officers were able to follow those tracks for about a half mile before the ground became frozen.
Because of the snowy weather, law enforcement helicopters with thermal-imaging systems can’t be used at the moment. But some 100 officers and FBI agents are using Sno-Cats and military-style armored personnel carriers with wheel chains to search an area that includes many abandoned cabins where Dorner might have sought shelter.
“We’re going to search regardless of the weather,” Sheriff McMahon said as the snow fell heavily around him. “Our primary concern is to make sure people in this community are safe.” As of Friday morning, ski resorts in the area were open but schools remained closed – because of security concerns as well as the weather.
In Los Angeles, meanwhile, police had set up more than 40 security details to protect law-enforcement officials and others threatened in Dorner’s 11-page manifesto.
Dorner’s writings are a reminder of Mr. Kaczynski’s manifesto of 18 years ago; both were linked to killings, and both made bizarre demands. (Kaczynski is serving life imprisonment without parole for killing three people and injuring 23 others in mail bomb attacks.)
But there are major differences in the two documents as well.
Kaczynski’s diatribe was against modern society and technological development that threatened the environment and personal freedoms. He had no apparent intention of publicly acknowledging authorship, and he was tracked to his remote Montana cabin only when his brother recognized the rhetoric in the manifesto and reported it to the FBI.
While Dorner includes the names of police officers he appears to target for their involvement in his being fired from the LAPD, he also threatens lesbian officers who “degrade male officers” and certain Asian officers who failed to back him up, warning that they are “high value targets.”
But he also extols gun-control legislation, specifically citing Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) of California for wanting to reestablish a federal ban on assault rifles.
Dorner’s letter seems to implicate him in the deadly attacks so far.
"When the truth comes out, the killing stops," he wrote in his Facebook posting. "The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence. PUBLICLY!!! I will not accept any type of currency/goods in exchange for the attacks to stop, nor do I want it. I want my name back, period. There is no negotiation."
There is no indication that Dorner expects to give up or be captured alive, which adds to police warnings that he is heavily armed and very dangerous.
"Unfortunately, I will not be alive to see my name cleared," he wrote in his manifesto, noting that, "Self-preservation is no longer important to me. I do not fear death as I died long ago."
[Editor's note: The original headline was changed to make clear that the case against Christopher Dorner is an allegation.]