Sniper's Confessions on A&E Tonight

Lee Boyd Malvo opens up to actor William Shatner about the 2002 killing spree

By Arlene Borenstein
|  Thursday, Jul 29, 2010  |  Updated 6:46 PM EDT
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Sniper's Confessions on A&E Tonight

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Convicted D.C. Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo turns to a member of the Starship Enterprise to make, some would say, some out-of-this-world confessions.

William Shatner interviewed Malvo for a show airing tonight on A&E called "Confessions of the DC Sniper with William Shatner: An Aftermath Special." In a telephone call from a southwest Virginia prison, Malvo told Shatner that he and his partner -- John Allen Muhammad -- tried to recruit fellow shooters for their 2002 killing spree. Muhammad ended up killing one of them for backing out, according to the program.

Malvo's revelation came in response to questions about claims by a psychiatrist that the duo had had co-conspirators. The psychiatrist, Neil Blumberg, who worked with Malvo before his trial, also said Malvo had confessed to more shootings in addition to the spree that terrorized the Washington region in 2002. 13 people were hit and 10 of them died.

In the TV interview, Malvo initially denied his psychiatrist's claims that he and Muhammad had co-conspirators. Once pressured, he said someone in Arizona helped them get weapons and explosives and a man in New York was supposed to help them get out of the country "when it's all said and done.''

He said both later backed out of plans to help with the shootings.

"There was supposed to be three-to-four snipers with silenced weapons,'' said Malvo, who was 17 at the time of the shootings. "In this way we could do a lot more damage along the entire Eastern Seaboard.''

Blumberg said Malvo told him Muhammad made him shoot two of the co-conspirators once they backed out of the plan. Malvo told Shatner only one of the men was killed, and that Muhammad did it.

Blumberg also said Malvo told him there was a third co-conspirator who was supposed to have joined them in Washington but did not. Malvo does not mention that person during the interview with Shatner.

Previously, Malvo and Muhammad had been linked to as many as 27 shootings resulting in 17 deaths in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

Blumberg told the show Malvo had confessed to him to at least 42 shootings. When Shatner asked about the number of shootings, Malvo rattled off states where he claims he and Muhammad shot people but dids't give an exact number.

Malvo's statements have been inconsistent in the past, and authorities have cast doubt on some of his reported confessions since he was sentenced to life in prison. Muhammad was executed in Virginia last year.

The sniper-style attacks all but paralyzed the nation's capital, as people were shot at random while going about their everyday lives -- pumping gas, buying groceries and, for one young boy, as he went to school. The shooters used a high-powered rifle, firing from the trunk of a modified Chevy Caprice until they were tracked down at a Maryland rest stop.

Before Muhammad was executed last November, the prosecutor who put him on death row said it may be impossible to ever know how many were killed. Malvo has only confessed to authorities in jurisdictions that promised not to prosecute him.

"I don't know that you can trust anything Malvo says,'' Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert said.

Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, Shatner said he was fascinated by Malvo's turnabout, "the fact that remorse creeps into his life."

"He was a kid who was brainwashed. He was a malleable teenager and lacking love in his life," Shatner said. "John Muhammad supplies the love and influences him to become a killer, and he becomes a cold-blooded killer at the age of 17. Now he's in jail and now he begins the turmoil in his mind."

Malvo, now 25, said he has forgiven Muhammad, who at trial he accused of turning him into a "monster."

"This is going to be surprising, but I've had to forgive him in the same way in which I've had to, over time, gradually forgive myself," Malvo said. "... Every day I get up, somebody's wife, child, husband is not going to come home tonight. There is nothing that I can say or ever do that will ever change that fact.

"That is my constant reminder. Someone else cannot breathe for you. You can allow someone else to think for you, and when you do these are the consequences.''

Malvo, who lives in segregation at a maximum security prison, said he is filled with "hope and dread" for his future.

"It's a little bit of both," he said. "It's hope and dread because everything has to be repaid."

The FBI and Malvo's lawyer during his trial, Timothy Sullivan, were contacted for comment by did not immediately return the calls.

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