The Beltway Snipers. Washington, D.C. October, 2002. Fear grips the beltway as random people are shot dead in public by a hidden shooter. Parking lots and gas stations were no longer safe. A single gunshot would be heard and then someone would fall. Five were shot dead on October 3rd alone. The threat caused people to look around and to be on guard. Men, women, and even kids were targets for whoever was behind the attacks. For more than 20 days the attacks and even taunts from the killer continued until a call from a man alerted authorities to the location of the two responsible for the crimes. But the Beltway attacks were not the whole story. The pair had shot others before October and the reason behind the spree killings seemed to be rage. John Allen Muhammad and his teenage co-conspirator Lee Boyd Malvo wanted to terrorize the public and bring the system down. For Muhammad, losing his children in a custody battle with his ex-wife may have been the last straw.