Update: How High Desert Rapist Suspect Abram Bynum Died
Updating our blog posts from the last few days, the bizarre killing by Columbus Ohio police of suspected High Desert Rapist Abram Bynum gets ever more convoluted. Columbus Dispatch reports that at least some time elapsed while Bynum, who veered into a big rig in a desperate suicide attempt (or so the police claim) sat, very much alive, inside the wreckage with the doors too crushed to be opened.
When the cops could not open the doors, they say, Bynum made a suspicious move, so they blew him away. Something seems off. Why were the police gathered so close, if they thought he was a threat? In LA, you use SWAT or you keep your distance. Bad guys bleed out, as happened in the blood-and-guts 1997 North Hollywood Bank of America shootout. In saving Bynum, they kill him? Here's the odder part, to me:
His Los Angeles-area friends left several Comments on the Weekly
blog post I did a few days ago, almost all expressing strong disbelief that
he was a rapist. Well folks, the DNA matched. So what's your theory?
I'm afraid you may have to accept the fact that the quiet, sweet-faced guy in the photo was a sociopath of the first order. Meaning, able to fool all into believing he was normal, even charming. Either that, or when Columbus police took his DNA swab at the request of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department several days ago, they screwed that up, too. And that's hard to do.
The hair stands up on my neck in reading the story by John Futty at the Dispatch. Futty writes:
The sample was sent to Los Angeles County, where it was used on Monday to link him to five
California rapes. A warrant was issued charging Bynum with 19 counts related to eight rapes.
The cases involved seven victims, one of whom was raped on two separate occasions, said Sgt. Dan
Scott of the special-victims bureau of the Los Angeles County sheriff's office.
Two Los Angeles detectives left for Columbus and asked police here to place Bynum under
surveillance until they arrived, Scott said.
Bynum apparently realized he was being followed and led police on a traffic chase that began on
the East Side about 3:45 p.m. Tuesday and ended shortly after 4 p.m. in the crash and shooting on
"We're still looking at other cases that could be linked to him," Scott said yesterday.
Bynum, 35, lived in California for about four years before returning to Columbus in June 2008.
Police said he is now a strong suspect in a string of rapes in Columbus about six years ago and two
attacks since his return to the city.
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