- Lee Boyd Malvo gunned down 10 people with John Allen Muhammad in 2002
- Malvo, now 27, only just revealing he was molested ‘as I couldn’t handle it but now I am more mature’
- Muhammad put to death by lethal injection in 2009, aged 48
By LYDIA WARREN
PUBLISHED: 07:41 EST, 25 October 2012 | UPDATED: 07:44 EST, 25 October 2012
The sidekick who helped the Washington D.C. sniper slay 10 people and wound at least six more in a 2002 rampage has claimed he was sexually abused by the killing spree’s mastermind.
Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 when he indiscriminately shot his victims over a period of three weeks, claimed John Allen Muhammad molested him for more than two years.
Speaking to Today in what he said would be his last interview about the crimes, Malvo said: ‘For the entire period when I was almost 15 until I got arrested, I was sexually abused by John Muhammad.’
Malvo, who is now 27, is serving a life sentence in a south Virginia prison without the possibility of parole. Muhammad was put to death by lethal injection in 2009, at age 48.
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Killers: Lee Boyd Malvo (left), who was 17 when he went on a deadly rampage with John Allen Muhammad (right) in 2002, has claimed that the older man sexually abused him
Today host Matt Lauer quizzed the murderer about why he had made the molestation claims now, when he had previously denied a sexual relationship between the pair.
‘I felt a sense of shame, and I just said, “That’s just something that I’d never tell anyone”,’ Malvo explained in the interview which aired on Thursday morning.
‘And to a certain extent, up until that point, I really couldn’t handle it. The main reason I’m coming forward now is because I am more mature.’
He added that solitary confinement has forced him to deal with the past on his own.
‘In here, there’s no therapy,’ he said. ‘Rehabilitation is just a word. In solitary confinement, in a cell by yourself, I am priest, doctor, therapist. So it just worked out that I just took it off piece by piece.’
Malvo was born in Jamaica and moved to Antigua with his family in 1999, where he first met Muhammad.
Friends: Malvo, then 17, and Muhammad are pictured together in Louisiana the year of the killings
On the stand: Malvo is brought into court to be a witness for the capital murder trial of Muhammad in 2003
Speaking to Today, Malvo said that Muhammad, who he described as a ‘good listener’, quickly gained his trust by being the loving figure he had craved.
Malvo claimed he was sexually abused by a babysitter at the age of five and then relatives at the age of eight before he came Muhammad’s victim aged 15.
Boy: Malvo, pictured in 1997, met Muhammad in Antigua in 1999 and the man took him under his wing
On October 2, 2002, the pair began their killing spree, gunning down people in the D.C. area.
‘I couldn’t say no,’ Malvo explained. ‘I had wanted that level of love and acceptance and consistency for all my life and couldn’t find it. I didn’t have the willpower to say no.’
The terror ended on October 24, 2002, when police caught Muhammad and Malvo as they slept at a Maryland rest stop in a car they had outfitted for a shooter to perch in its boot without being seen.
When they were hauled into custody, Malvo said his first thought was not for himself.
‘I was intent on protecting Mr Muhammad as best as I could,’ he said. ‘Death is not what I feared the most. I feared letting him down more than I feared death.’
Malvo was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing Linda Franklin, a 47-year-old FBI analyst who was shot as she and her husband loaded supplies at a Home Depot in Virginia.
The men were also suspected of fatal shootings in Louisiana, Alabama and Arizona.
Malvo, who said he has forgiven himself for his heinous crimes, said his punishment of solitary confinement has been effective, calling it ‘complete deprivation’.
The motive for the attacks remains murky. Malvo said Muhammad wanted to extort $10 million from the government to set up a camp in Canada where homeless children would be trained as terrorists.
Muhammad’s ex-wife said she believes they were a smoke screen for his plan to kill her and regain custody of their three children.
Mastermind: Muhammad, pictured in 2003, was put to death by lethal injection in November 2009
Vehicle: The killers cut a hole in the trunk of their car, pictured, to shoot their victims undetected
Malvo claimed in a Washington Post interview last month that Muhammad had ‘brainwashed’ him.
Lauer asked Malvo if they had gunned down other people who had never been identified and he responded that there were – and that he had admitted as much to police.
He said he has contacted the families of five of these victims, ‘but there was a point in time where psychologically, I couldn’t handle it. I cannot afford to break down psychologically in here, because there will be no help.’
When Lauer asked him what advice he would give to his victims’ families, he responded: ‘Please do not allow my actions and the actions of Muhammad to hold you hostage and continue to victimse you for the rest of your life. Do not give me or him that much power.’