Robert -alias ‘Bobby’- Crimo had been posting violent messages on social networks on Discord, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter for some time before grabbing a semi-automatic rifle that would not be out of place in the battle of Donbas in Ukraine, dressing as a woman, climbing on a roof down the fire escape, and start shooting at their neighbors in the city of Highland Park, next to Chicago, on Monday at 10:15 in the morning.
He fired 70 times, hitting 30 people who, according to doctors who have treated them, have suffered “unspeakable wounds”, which are “typical of war”, and then ran away, blending into the fleeing terrified crowd. after seeing how a festive parade for the 4th of July, a national holiday in the US, became a mass crime. He murdered 6 people. Another 30 have suffered gunshot wounds. The youngest injured is 8 years old; the oldest, 84. The identity of most of the fatalities has not yet been made public.
Those are the data of the massacre that have been shared by the police authorities of Illinois, the state in which Highland Park is located. Apart from that, everything is speculation. Investigators believe he acted alone. Crimo, 21, fired randomly, without looking for specific victims, although he had been planning the massacre for weeks, according to police.
At the moment, the investigators have not informed about the possible motivation of the attack. On social media, Crimo has left an extensive trail of violent allusions. Although most of his messages have been removed by the different platforms, the ‘posts’ of the Highland Park killer show him attending a Donald Trump rally and a demonstration in support of the police under the slogan ‘Blue Lives Matter’ ( Blue Lives Matter’), which is used in opposition to ‘Black Lives Matter’ (‘Black Lives Matter’) on the left. He has also posted paraphernalia from far-right groups.
Finally, among the more than fifty songs that Crimo had recorded and posted on Spotify under the pseudonym ‘Awake the Rapper’ -which had more than 16,000 followers on Monday- there are two, ‘I Am the Storm’ and ‘Brainwashed’ that could contain references to the ‘QAnon’ conspiracy theory, which claims that Donald Trump is fighting alone against a network of pedophiles that controls the world. Crimo’s father, Robert Crimo ‘junior’, has been involved in local Highland Park politics, and his Twitter profile seems to suggest that he is a fan of Donald Trump.
Another element that has sparked speculation about the causes that prompted the killer to shoot his neighbors at point-blank range is that Highland Park is an upper-class suburb, very Democratic, in which two-thirds of its 30,000 inhabitants are Jewish. That has sparked fears that this is an attack against that community, which has been the target of several attacks in recent years, including a massacre of 11 people in a synagogue in 2018.
But the plausibility of these theories is questioned by the fact that Crimo attended these rallies and demonstrations dressed, literally, as Wally, that is, the character from the comic ‘Where’s Wally’, with a red and white striped shirt, a maroon hat and huge black glasses. There are also indications that one of his tattoos is a reference to a far-left group.
That raises the question of whether we are dealing with a neo-fascist or simply with a popularity-seeking moron armed to the teeth with weapons that he could buy without any problem. For now, the police ruling is that there is nothing to suggest that the carnage was caused by religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or “against any other group.”
What does seem likely is that the volume of information about the murderer will increase soon and most of the unknowns will be cleared up since, according to the Highland Park police, Crimo has refused to have a lawyer, and is collaborating with the investigation.
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