Living with the Unsolved Mysteries of Modern American Life

by Jim Geraghty

Response To...

The Las Vegas Shooting Is ...

It’s fair to wonder whether the Las Vegas shooting is about to join the ranks of infamous crimes that are solved… but not quite explained.

In 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation formally closed the investigation of the anthrax mailings, having concluded the attacks were carried out by Bruce Ivans, an Army biodefense expert who killed himself in 2008. The mailings infected 22 people and killed five. Some lawmakers, including Rep. Rush Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, were less than fully convinced by the FBI’s final report. Two independent reviews of the investigation disputed that the bureau’s scientific evidence definitely showed that the anthrax came from the Maryland bioweapons laboratory of Ivins. There’s considerable evidence that Ivins was deeply mentally troubled, but why he chose to commit bioterrorism and how he chose his targets will probably never be answered.

Last year John Schindler reminded readers about the unsolved 1975 bombing of LaGuardia Airport that killed 11 people, and laid out the circumstantial evidence pointing to an obscure Croatian separatist group. The group’s leader was arrested on separate charges, paroled in 2008 and killed himself in 2013.

We know Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed and small pieces of wreckage washed up on Mozambique. We don’t know why the plane crashed, or what happened to most of it. We know what D.B. Cooper did (hijacked a plane and collected $200,000 in ransom) and why (greed) but not his true identity or his fate. It seems safe to assume the Zodiac Killer is no longer murdering people; or if he is, he’s not taunting police anymore. He sent his last known message in 1974.

Hopefully, the investigation in Las Vegas will turn up something clarifying soon. Otherwise, how will Americans come to terms with the most deadly mass shooting in the country’s history… being perpetrated by a man with no clear motive?

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