Three weeks of terror comes to a close when the Austin bombing suspect, Mark Conditt commits suicide by detonating one of his own creations in his vehicle as the swat team approached. This should be the end, right? No. Along with the bomber’s death comes more questions. Why? How? Are there more bombs waiting to detonate?
Austin is known for the slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” but now this saying seems inappropriate. Nails tearing through human beings is not the definition of weird Austin was looking for. Random targets ranging from fathers to teens, to elderly women was not the definition of weird. One victim’s grandfather described how nails were embedded in his grandson’s kneecaps. This is not weird. It’s sick. How can someone slaughter a 39-year-old father on his front porch? Neighbors say they have never seen so much blood. What about his daughter? I hope to God she wasn’t there to witness her father torn to shreds by this monster. No. This isn’t the end of the terror.
After researching online, I have assembled a crude timeline of these events. I will try to relate the facts and minimize my emotions, but I will not guarantee anything.
March 2, 2018 – 6:50 am – 1100 Block of Haverford Dr. Austin, Texas:
Anthony House, a 39-yr-old father, steps out of his front door and notices a package left overnight on his porch. It’s a beautiful Friday morning in Austin. He doesn’t know the moment he leans over to pick up the package that his life is over.
A loud explosion rocks the neighborhood and rattles the windows across the area. Nails shoot everywhere. Neighbors rush to help the man but to no avail. Paramedics arrive on the scene, but Mr. House dies shortly afterward. He leaves behind an 8-year-old daughter and a legacy of a loving father.
House was the stepson of Rev. Freddie Dixon, former pastor of the United Methodist Church for over 22 years. At first, police think of this as an isolated event.
March 12, 2018 – 4800 Block of Old Fort Hill Dr. Austin, Texas:
Draylen Mason, 17 and his mother stood over their kitchen table as they opened a package that had been left on their porch. No thoughts of death entered their minds. Moments later the bomb exploded killing the teenager and severely wounding his mother.
Mason was an accomplished bass guitarist with the Austin Youth Orchestra. He traveled with his music and competed with his oversized instrument. His conductor was quoted as saying, “Draylen could have accomplished anything.” The talented musician was set to attend the University of Texas in the fall. His mother is in bad shape, but doctors believe she will survive.
March 12, 2018 – 6700 Block of Galindo St. Austin, Texas:
A press conference is held to relate the events of the murder of Draylen Mason. Within moments of the conference, another package explodes wounding Esperanza Herrera, 75.
Herrera was visiting her mother who required care daily. Without a thought, she picked up the package as she entered the house. Nails exploded through the poor woman in an instant. She would survive the terror, but without several fingers and a leg. It was later discovered the package was intended for another address and had been delivered to the house by mistake.
By this point, police are wondering if the bombings are a hate crime. The first two victims were African American, and Herrera was of Hispanic descent.
March 18, 2018 – 4800 Block of Dawn Song Dr. Austin, Texas:
Two unidentified white males in an affluent part of town are walking along Dawn Song Dr. and accidentally crossed a tripwire. The bomb detonated sending the two men to the hospital, but they will survive. The officials told everyone to stay inside their homes and kept the neighborhood under lockdown until 10 am. Even school buses weren’t allowed in.
This bombing occurred six hours after the authorities held a press conference pleading with the public for tips and information. Some wonder if this was a response to the police.
March 20, 2018 – FedEx bombs:
Two separate packages were left at separate FedEx facilities one in San Antonio and the other in Austin. As a package traveled along a conveyer belt it detonated and wounded a FedEx employee. The package had been addressed to Austin.
The second package was discovered in an Austin facility but was removed by a HazMat team without incident.
This is when the bomber made a critical error. He was not only seen on surveillance videos delivering the packages, an outdoor surveillance camera recorded his license plate.
March 21, 2018 – Red Roof Inn, Round Rock, Texas:
As authorities close in upon the 24-yr-old suspect, Mark Conditt he jumps in his vehicle and takes off down the road a short way. As the police box in his vehicle and the SWAT team move in, he detonates yet another bomb and takes his own life.
This should be the end, but as more information becomes public, the more questions are raised. Conditt seemed to be raised in a normal Christian family. He was homeschooled then attended a local community college. His family is in shock upon hearing the news. Police found a 25-minute confession video Conditt recorded the night before his death. It seemed he was more interested in detailing his bomb-making skills than he was about his motives. He professed to be a psychopath and said, “I wish I was sorry, but I’m not.”
Another disturbing twist:
Conditt graduated in 2013 and his proud mother posted it on Facebook like any mother would. She also stated he was considering going on a Missions trip before attending college.
How does a boy go from a mission trip mentality to slaughtering people with bombs? I will keep you posted on this case as it progresses.