Originally posted on November 1, 2012
In an article, Lee Boyd Malvo claims that John Allen Muhammad sexually abused him:
D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo claims he was sexually abused by John Allen Muhammad, his older accomplice in a 2002 killing spree that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area, according to NBC News.
“For the entire period when I was almost 15 until I got arrested, I was sexually abused by John Muhammad,” Malvo said in a prison interview broadcast on NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday.
“I felt a sense of shame, and I just said, ‘That’s just something I’d never tell anyone,’” Malvo said. “And to a certain extent, up to that point, I really couldn’t handle it.”
I always suspected as much. People who have as much mental control over others as Muhammad had over Malvo tend to exercise physical and sexual control over them as well. It is part of the brainwashing process, making the person completely dependent on the manipulator. It also exploits the person’s emotional needs, as Malvo later explained:
Malvo said he had confessed to Muhammad that he had been sexually abused as a child by a babysitter and relatives, and said he allowed Muhammad to abuse him because he sought the older man’s approval.
“I couldn’t say no,” Malvo said. “I had wanted that level of love and acceptance and consistency for all of my life, and couldn’t find it. And even if unconsciously, or even in moments of short reflection, I knew that it was wrong, I did not have the willpower to say no.”
Of course, it is possible that Malvo is simply saying this to get attention. In another interview, Malvo denied Muhammad sexually abused him. He also did not mention it in a recent book about his childhood and the shootings. He may be lying or Muhammad’s control over Malvo may be finally dropping away.
People may recall that Malvo initially took total responsibility for the shootings, claiming that Muhammad had nothing to do with them. Later, Malvo stated that Muhammad kept complete control over every aspect of his life, from what Malvo ate to when he slept. That level of brainwashing does not go away quickly. It can last years, even decades, depending on how thorough it was.
So it may be that Muhammad sexually abused Malvo. That does not excuse Malvo’s actions at all, although it does shed some light on just how much control Muhammad had over the boy. That is something people need to understand, because it is very easy to take a cynical view about what Malvo did and write him off as evil and a monster (he calls himself such in the interview) without ever acknowledging what Muhammad did to him.
This is someone who was groomed to behave as he did, and it is completely unrealistic to think that he could have broken the control when the control was built around Malvo’s desperate need of a father. Cutting off Muhammad, who went out of his way to make himself Malvo’s whole world, would be the hardest thing for Malvo to do, and if the sexual abuse happened, that may explain why it took ten years for him to admit it.
A part of him still probably likes Muhammad. A part of him still feels that bond that he wanted so badly. This is, for lack of a better phrase, the mind fuck that results. Malvo, now free of Muhammad’s constant control, now feels or at least shows some guilt remorse, but the effects of the brainwashing are still there, and that is coupled with all of the good moments Malvo may have had with Muhammad before things turned for the worse.