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Five explosions in 18 days: the main thing about the business of the serial demolitionist in Texas

FBI agents are studying the neighborhood of the blast site in Austin, March 19. Reuters photo

In early March, in Austin (the capital of Texas), a series of explosions began: people discovered a parcel in front of the house, which immediately detonated at the opening. The search for the perpetrator soon stalled, and in the meantime he continued to make explosions in different parts of the city. Although initially the investigation suspected that a racial issue was involved in the case, both the blacks and the white inhabitants of the region were affected.

Soon the FBI joined the case, and in total 350 people participated in the investigation. More than two weeks after the first murder, they managed to figure out the suspect: they turned out to be a young American, who had never been noticed offenses before.

Series of explosions

On the morning of March 2, 39-year-old Anthony House noticed a small box on the porch of the house. When he picked it up, the explosive inside worked and killed the American. He remained an 8-year old daughter.

On March 12, a packet with an explosive device was opened by 17-year-old Dreilen Mason: he died instantly. His mother received shrapnel wounds, but her life is not in danger. As writes ABC, the teenager was fond of music and planned to connect with it the future. In the past, local authorities awarded him for an essay on the topic of racism.

Dreilen Mason. Photo from the personal page of the deceased on Facebook

On the same day, there was a second explosion, in which a 75-year-old woman was seriously injured. She came to visit her sick mother when she saw a parcel with a strange address on the porch. On March 18, the bombing set off in another area of ​​Austin near two men: they were seriously injured, but in a stable condition. Unlike the previous cases, the disguised device was on the road, and the stretch triggered it.

The reaction of the authorities

After the third explosion, the police admitted that a serial demolition man had appeared in the city. Investigators suggested that the attacks could be committed on racial grounds (the first two dead were blacks). As it turned out later, the families of 39-year-old House and 17-year-old Mason were familiar, although the dead themselves did not meet each other. The version of racial motives is no longer considered a priority, since the third victim was a Hispanic, and the fourth blast wounded white men.

After the first attacks, the police warned Austin residents to beware of parcels left on the porch. Over the next two days, the hotline was called 265 times with a message about a suspicious object. None of them was dangerous or related to the demoman’s business.

A series of explosions occurred at the annual musical and film event in Austin South by Southwest (“South through the Southwest”), during which people from all over the country come to the city. On March 17, the organizers of one of the concerts at the event received a message that somewhere nearby a bomb had been laid. Sappers never found an explosive device, but the show was canceled.

The police are questioning potential witnesses of the explosion. Holiday pictures AP

Operatives noted the integrity with which the attacker acted. None of the locals saw him and did not know how he might look. In the design of the first four bombs, investigators (the rest are still being studied by specialists) discovered similarities, with all devices having an equally complex mechanism of operation.

Journalists compared the Texas blaster with the American Theodore Kazinski ( Unabomber ), who from 1978 to 1995 sent out bombs by mail, which led to the death of three and injured 23 people.

Austin police chief Brian Manley called on the suspect to contact the police and tell them what prompted him to go on undermining. “The events in Austin have attracted the attention of the whole world, and we assure you that we are listening,  Manley said .

On March 20, US President Donald Trump, during a speech at the White House, called the demolition “a very sick man,” but admitted that a group of people could be behind the explosions. By this time over the case of the serial demolition 350 people, including FBI agents, were working.

Tracking the suspect

At noon on March 20 in a branch of the courier company FedEX in the city of Sherz (Texas), the parcel exploded, wounding the employee. The parcel should have been sent to a home address in Austin. A little later that day, another suspicious item was found at the FedEX branch in south Austin. It turned out that both parcels were sent from the town of Sunset Valley with a population of less than 700 people.

After checking checks and store entries, the police suspected of undermining 23-year-old Mark Conditt. On recordings of CCTV cameras in FedEX investigators noticed how a white young man put explosive devices in the parcel. Police tracked the suspect’s way to the hotel in Round Rock in the north of Austin.

Mark Conditt in 2013. Photo from the American page on Facebook

On the morning of March 21, a police patrol spotted Conditte’s car on the road and ordered him to stop, which he did. When the capture group approached the car, the suspect was shot in the car, slightly injuring one of the members of the special forces.

“A regular guy”

Previously, for Konditom there were no offenses. Judging by the findings, he studied “at Austin Community College,” but for some reason he did not finish his studies. In the blog, which, presumably, led the demolitionist, many posts about politics. One of them – with the title “Why gay marriages should be outlawed”. In a conversation with NBC, the neighbor of the Condit said that Mark was an “ordinary guy” and his family was “very good.”

It is not known what the demolition motives were. The police advise Austin residents not to lose their vigilance, as in the city can still remain camouflaged explosive devices. Nevertheless, Trump has already congratulated the law enforcement agencies on the success of the operation. For information about the demolition, the authorities offered 115 thousand dollars, but it is not known whether someone will receive them.

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