The internet abounds with all sorts of theories about who the Austin bomber was. ClashDaily has got the 411 right here.
The Media (D) has reported that Mark Conditt was a homeschooled Christian racist. They cite his views on homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion as proof of his ‘extreme’ ideas.
Inside Edition suggested that assignments that he wrote for a U.S. Government course ‘reads like a Manifesto’:
It appears as though Conditt’s life wasn’t as cut and dry as the Media (D) makes it sound.
When Conditt died, interim Police Chief Brian Manley called him ‘a very challenged young man,’ which was widely criticized for being too sympathetic to the bomber that had terrorized Austin killing two people and injuring four others.
But a new report in the Austin American-Statesman reveals that that may indeed have been the case.
Conditt had renounced his Christian faith years ago and became isolated, even from his roommates.
PFLUGERVILLE —Several years before embarking on a bombing spree that terrorized Austin, Mark Conditt had turned against his family’s devout Christianity and declared himself an atheist.
It was the first of many steps that separated the 23-year-old from his oldest friends and set him on a course of increasing isolation. He lost his job in the tech industry less than a year before the bombings. Investigators have struggled for weeks to find a single confidant who could provide a window into his life.
He kept his bedroom door locked and wouldn’t tell his roommates why.
During the race to stop the attacks and in the weeks after, investigators also obtained information indicating that Conditt was questioning his sexuality. As a 17-year-old, he had written that homosexuality is “not natural,” echoing the teachings of his religious education, and raising the prospect of inner turmoil in his final months.
That certainly paints his former college assignments in a different light.
The Statesman article compares Conditt to Pulse Nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen.
The revelation that Conditt might have been struggling with his sexuality in some ways echoes the case of Omar Mateen, the 29-year-old who shot and killed 49 people at the Orlando gay nightclub Pulse in 2016.
Both men came from staunchly religious backgrounds that frowned upon homosexuality. Mateen’s attack, at the time the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, sparked debate over whether a socially engendered “internalized homophobia” partially motivated the attack. In recent months, evidence suggesting Mateen was not gay has come to light, and investigators have cast doubt on that conclusion.
The two men that lived with Conditt believe that he might have been gay. Forensic searches uncovered evidence that Conditt had been exchanging messages with gay men through Grindr, a social networking app for the LGBT community.
If he were gay, Conditt would have struggled with coming out, given his family and social circles, said Sierra Jane Davis, a transgender woman who also grew up in the Pflugerville home-school community and knew Conditt.
“It’s not something we talked about, but I do know that it would have been difficult for him and his family,” Davis, 23, said.
It’s unclear if Conditt’s family knew of the struggle with his sexuality.
His parents did try to help him find meaning in his life after he announced his atheism when he was 18.
Despite his rejection of their religion, Conditt’s parents tried to help him find a sense of purpose in his early adult years. His father bought a home nearby that Conditt lived in, and the two renovated it together. Conditt acted as the property manager for the home, which is at the end of a small neighborhood street. He was in charge of finding roommates and collecting the monthly rent.
The police have found no evidence of racism as a motivation for the bombings, and are still baffled by what the catalyst actually was.
The fact that the two people killed in the bombings, Anthony Stephan House and Draylen Mason, were black led many to believe the attacks were racially motivated. But investigators continue to say they have found no evidence of that in Conditt’s communications, online activity or in his home.
Investigators who have scrutinized the biggest clue in the case — a 28-minute confession Conditt recorded as he learned police were closing in on him— say he never identified what specifically drove him to harm others and spoke in the recording, which has not been publicly released, about the attacks with no sense of feeling or empathy for the victims or their families. The Statesman reported two days after Conditt died that he called himself a “psychopath” and says he felt as though he had always been one. He ended the tape saying, “I wish I were sorry, but I am not.”
After Conditt was identified as the bomber, the homeschooling association that he was involved with, issued a statement.
A statement by the Texas Home School Coalition shortly after Conditt was revealed to be the bomber, which put Texas’ home-schooling community on the defensive, emphasized he had stopped practicing Christianity.
“Raised by both parents in a Christian home, Conditt reportedly walked away from his faith several years ago,” said the statement from the group’s president, Tim Lambert.
After his homeschool graduation and his brief stint at college, Conditt landed a job with Crux Manufacturing, a semiconductor manufacturer in Pflugerville, where he worked for 4 years before being fired last summer due to restructuring.
He got another job with a garage door repair company.
But he always had to go back home to his relatively isolated life.
At the home he remodeled with his father, Conditt sometimes played video games with two roommates, one of whom detectives say he had met through a church organization. The roommates told police after the attacks that Conditt told various stories about why he wasn’t home for long periods when police say he was carrying out the bombings.
On the Sunday that he planted a trip-wire explosive device that injured two men in Southwest Austin, he told them he was baby-sitting his sisters at his parents’ house, they said.
But mostly, the roommates told authorities, Conditt was a man they didn’t really know.
Source: The Austen American-Statesman
To sum up, Conditt had renounced his Christian faith, said plainly that he was an atheist, and appears to have been struggling with his sexuality despite his previous writings. There is no evidence that he was a ‘white supremacist’ or a racist of any sort.
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