What is this about?: This is the story of the investigation into the DC Sniper investigation, with insight from the agents who worked the case.
What else is this about?: It is compelling listening as it takes you behind the scenes of everything you thought you knew about the investigation.
Wednesday, October 2, 2002.
Aspen Hill, Maryland. Northgate Plaza.
Inside Michael’s craft supply store, cashier Ann Chapman rings up another customer. Then it happens. A loud crack; a gust of wind; the light in register five goes dark.
Over the next 23 days, the entire DC area will be thrust into a reign of terror unprecedented in American history. Sniper attacks targeting and murdering everyday citizens will bring the entire region to its knees, as a nation still reeling from the recent attacks of 9/11 and the anthrax scare, are forced to confront a new type of brutal assault—this time in their own backyard. As law enforcement grapples with the mass carnage and chaos, media’s ravenous 24-hour cycle amplifies the very real fear, while steadily pumping new theories and bad leads onto a paralyzed public desperate for it all to end.
But who can stop it? And exactly how?
Call Me God is the never-before-told story of the fascinating and turbulent investigation that led to the diabolical and elusive killers’ capture; one that pitted protocol against instinct, sacred institutions against individual insight. Told firsthand by those few who had the vision and expertise to solve it, and including a fascinating look into the behavioral, ballistic, forensic, and electronic analysis vital to cracking the case, FBI agent brothers Jim Clemente (former FBI behavioral profiler) and Tim Clemente (former FBI counter-terrorism expert) take us through every facet and flaw of a nationwide manhunt that pressure tested nearly every aspect of law enforcement capabilities—and its glaring vulnerabilities.
Anchored by harrowing accounts from victims, intimate conversations with family members of those deceased, as well as candid accounts from those who knew the perpetrators best, relive the haunting events of the DC Sniper attack and piece together a true crime phenomenon that’s impact can still be felt today.
Call Me God is utterly compelling listening in that it takes you behind the scenes into the investigation of the DC Sniper. The audio introduces listeners to Tim Clemente and his brother Jim Clemente (both former FBI agents), as well as Jim Fitzgerald, the FBI’s first forensic linguistic profiler.
I don’t quite know how to do this audio justice. It’s the kind of show that gets under your skin, and won’t let you go. It’s hard to listen to in some parts, and yet I couldn’t stop listening to it.
The audiobook is more an audioshow or a podcast, taking listeners through the investigation and the frustrations of the FBI agents with the lack of evidence as more people were killed. There are parts of it where the FBI agents are back in locations they once investigated, relating what happened, putting the listener in scenes that you probably never thought you would be.
Interestingly, the show also shows just how feared the snipers were by describing how people’s behaviour changed, how their parking habits changed, as well as how aware the agents themselves were of the risk to the public and their their families as well — they worried, just like everyone else, when their families went out to do the simplest of things like get gas.
The audio also doesn’t shy away from the families of the victims that were left behind, and how much they lost, and how that lost still cuts so deep.
It also unexpectedly delves into the trials after — I thought it would end with the capture of the two men — but instead, we learn about how Malvo, the younger of the two, considered his relationship with John Allen Muhammad, and how he turned against him.
The show also explores Muhammad’s history — and his controlling behaviour when it came to his wife and his children. His trial revealed that his goal was to kill his wife, and get his children back.
This isn’t going to be for everyone, but it is nonetheless kept me hooked from beginning to end.