Riverside police officers walk towards the Acheson and Graham Mortuary, where a procession that includes multiple police agencies, veterans organizations, including the Patriot Guard Riders and the American Legion Riders, for Michael Crain will begin.
It appears as if the manhunt for Christopher Dorner is finally over. Dorner, an ex-LAPD cop, published a manifesto with names of his targets online, before wreaking havoc in the Southland. He is connected to four homicides, an attempt to steal a boat, firing on personnel from several different law enforcement agencies, carjacking, and holding innocent people hostage.
The drama met a fiery end at a cabin outside of Big Bear Lake that Dorner allegedly holed himself up in. After a lengthy standoff with the police, resulting in the death of a deputy from Riverside, the cabin (which did not belong to Dorner) burst into flames. Due to the heat, ammunition which Dorner had been stockpiling began to explode. Then, law enforcement had to play a waiting game, as the cabin was still too hot to enter and investigate even after the shooting had stopped. Once possible, the cabin was entered. An unidentified body was found, as well as several possessions belonging to Dorner.
While it is likely that these are the remains of Christopher Dorner, the LAPD and those targeted in his manifesto are waiting for scientific confirmation before making an official statement. While it seems like this story is coming to an end, there are still mysterious aspects to the case and several questions left unanswered. For instance, how was Dorner able to effectively hide in plain sight in Big Bear Lake? How long will it take for his body to be identified?
What tactics were law enforcement and Dorner using during this prolonged manhunt? What’s going to happen to the $1 million reward? And how do you explain the support Dorner received, mainly online, during this past week? With what looks like Dorner’s spree coming to an end, do you finally feel safe?
Phil Willon, Inland Empire bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, in Big Bear
Ben Bergman, KPCC Reporter
Mary Ellen O'Toole, Former Senior Criminal Profiler for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Fellow, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Frank Stoltze, KPCC Reporter, in Big Bear
Mary Plummer, KPCC Reporter, at the funeral of Riverside officer Michael Crain
David Schmid, Author, “Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture;” Professor of Cultural Studies (and more) in the English Department of SUNY, Buffalo