Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Truck driver involved in capture of sniper suspects prayed with other truckers that the sniper would be caught.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2002]
Origins: There is much to admire in the actions of Ron Lantz, a truck driver from Ludlow, Kentucky, who pulled into a truck stop off of
Many of us would probably turn tail and run if we found out we were in close proximity to wanted serial killers. That
Ron Lantz is also the men's ministry director at the Central Church of the Nazarene in Fort Wright, Kentucky, and in press interviews he did indeed say that he had taken part in a gathering of truckers who prayed that the sniper would be caught (although in no interview we've come across yet did Lantz state that he believed "God was going to use him to catch the sniper"):
As they zigzagged across the country, dozens of truckers radioed each other agreeing to gather at a remote Kentucky rest stop to pray that the sniper would soon be caught.The claim that these events constitute a "clear testimony of the power of prayer" is a rather dubious one, however. Although Ron Lantz received most of the publicity, he was not the only person
Ron Lantz was one of them.
"We prayed for the families of those killed by the sniper," Lantz later told friend Larry Dillon. "We prayed that someone would stop him."1
As for the $500,000 reward, it's not yet clear how much Lantz or anyone else who assisted in the investigation might receive. He was not the first to call in and ID the car, authorities noted.Moreover, since the suspects were asleep in their car at the time and made no attempt to escape, Lantz's blocking of the rest stop exit was not instrumental in their capture. Although the humble
Rest stop attendant Larry Blank said another motorist also spotted the suspects and called police, the New York Post reported. Blank said he and the unidentified motorist watched as cops "surrounded the whole rest area and told us we need to stay put, that they was going to have ATF and all kinds of people coming through there."
Maj. Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, said investigators know the identity of the first person who called 911 and reported the blue Chevrolet Caprice in which John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, were sleeping.
"He was certainly a concerned citizen who had, not long before, heard a broadcast for the lookout and was alert and spotted that vehicle," Shipley said.
Shipley said the individual's name is being withheld because he is a witness in a criminal investigation. The man lives in a bordering state, but comes to Maryland regularly for work, he said.2
Perhaps the message we should be considering is not the sugar-coated surface message, but a more troublesome one it obscures: If the murders of ten people were used to tout the effectiveness of Bushmaster brand rifles or the reliability of the Chevrolet Caprice, the waves of condemnation from an outraged and disgusted public would be deafening
Last updated: 9 March 2007
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