What the Hell is Happening at Fort Hood?

Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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16 Responses

  1. Dark Matter says:

    Hard to say. Exclude what reads like a suicide, sex crime, and drowning, and we might have a multiple murderer preying on soldiers (or that demographic). Be interesting if there have been a rash of other robbery-shootings. Also be interesting to know if any of this is drug related.

    Having said that, bad rolls of the dice do happen.Report

  2. Em Carpenter says:

    Which one sounds like a suicide? Morales or Sawyer?Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Em Carpenter says:

      Sawyer, since he was found dead in base housing. Unless the serial killer has base access.Report

      • Em Carpenter in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

        Unless another soldier is responsible…
        I don’t believe there is a serial killer, really. The strip club shooting sounds like, well, one of those things that happens at a bar sometimes? I’m surprised there isn’t more info on that one; surely someone saw something.
        One was a robbery.
        The triple murder seems like maybe it was drug related, but that’s a wild ass guess.
        Guillen was so different than the rest in M.O., and probably unrelated.
        Agree Sawyer seems it might be suicide.
        Morales is a mystery. Suicide possibly, but if he shot himself in the face and then laid undiscovered for months, where is the gun? I suppose someone could have happened upon him, took the gun and didn’t say anything- and then maybe was the tipster that later led to the body?
        It is just so odd that it all happened in such a short period of time.
        Someone on Twitter pointed out that, annualized, Chicago has 12 murders per 100,000 people, and Fort Hood currently is running at 42 per 100,000 annualized.Report

        • Dark Matter in reply to Em Carpenter says:

          For Morales they found his skeletal remains. That’s another way to say “eaten by animals after dead”. Stuff ends up missing in that situation.

          It’s being investigated as a homicide so there’s that.

          RE: 42 per 100k.
          Fort Hood has about 53k people so that rate may be misleading. Morales shouldn’t be counted in this year. Some of the others may not be murder.

          Maybe more importantly, Chicago’s murder rate would be MUCH higher if you picked it’s most violent 50k people, or even if we just narrowed it to people who go to strip clubs for drug deals.Report

        • Brandon Berg in reply to Em Carpenter says:

          Someone on Twitter pointed out that, annualized, Chicago has 12 murders per 100,000 people

          If we’re talking about the city proper, Chicago’s homicide rate is in the 20s and hasn’t been below 15 in a very long time, if ever. Maybe the Chicago metropolitan area? And Chicago, as bad as it as, is far from the most dangerous city. Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit are around 50 per 100k, and East St. Louis reaches 100 on occasion.

          In general, homicide rate for small populations can fluctuate wildly, especially if you’re looking at annualized rates for quarters, instead of whole years.

          Fort Hood has a population of around 50k, and Killeen has a homicide rate of about 10 per 100k. Young men tend to get killed at rates well above the population average, so it wouldn’t be surprising if 10+ Fort Hood residents were killed in an average year. This is a few months instead of a whole year, but they may not all be murders, and it’s expected that clusters happen now and then. If exactly one Fort Hood soldier were killed in each two-month period for years on end, that would be much more suspicious than a cluster of six in a couple of months.

          On the other hand, there are some reasons to expect domestically stationed military personnel to have lower rates of homicide victimization than the general population. I don’t think many are in gangs or otherwise involved in the drug trade, and my understanding is that there’s screening to keep out troublemakers. Plus they spend a lot of time on base, which should be relatively safe.

          To know whether this is suspicious, I think we’d want to know the usual homicide victimization rate for personnel stationed at Fort Hood.Report

          • veronica d in reply to Brandon Berg says:

            If we had the data, it wouldn’t be too hard to do a simple statistics thing to see if this string of murders could just be random. Maybe a chi-square thing of some sort.

            I wonder if someone from the media should do that — she says ironically.

            (It’s funny that I know a lot of really advanced machine learning stats, but I’m utterly helpless with the kind of basic stats people learn in undergrad.)Report

        • Eric in reply to Em Carpenter says:

          So many murders at Fort Hood, Texas. What the hell is going on? Aaron Robinson murdered Vanessa Guillen. His girlfriend helped dispose of the body. High ranking officials at Fort Hood did not cooperate in the investigation for weeks. Why cover for for a soldier that murdered another soldier? Such terrible people. GEEZReport

    • Dark Matter in reply to Em Carpenter says:


      “…officials stated that while foul play was not suspected, neither had it been ruled out.” I guess that leaves room for OD or Stroke, but it’s clearly not ‘shot in robbery’.

      Morales is harder to place. “A day before discharge” seems important. It could mean “someone didn’t want him to walk away” and shot him. It could also mean “suicide”. If the later then this is looking a lot more like “bad roll of dice”, maybe in combo with lifestyle activities that are destructive.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Dark Matter says:

        Suicide right before discharge would be a tough sell without some strong evidence (like he was despondent about returning to civilian life, or had been refused re-enlistment, etc.). Most people are happy about discharge when it’s honorable.Report

  3. veronica d says:

    There is a lot of frustration about there from dealing with Covid-19, so a higher murder rate wouldn’t surprise me.

    This came across my Twitter feed the other day: https://twitter.com/joncoopertweets/status/1285907470712545283

    Let me add, I haven’t verified the content of that Tweet. I’m not sure how I could.Report

    • Dark Matter in reply to veronica d says:

      That tweet is a little weird.

      The guy on the ground is relaxing outside in great weather which is a fine “quarantine” for a young fit guy who clearly isn’t dying nor even coughing.

      The guy ranting it talking about how he should be in the hospital (huh?) or at home (exposing his family)?

      Having said that it seems reasonable that Covid is creating the issues you mentioned and that the murder rate might be up… although with the lack of mobility it might also be down so IDK.Report

  4. MLR112 says:

    Methamphetamines, benzos, and opiate abuse are rampant in that area of Oklahoma, Oklahoma is a traffic hub for most things and drugs are no different. Since medical cannabis became legal the black markets flooded with more of the “hard” drugs. Ive noticed the unstable moods more and more in areas that have legal pot. It’ll fix itself as time wears on but the war on drugs is still claiming lives. Maybe off base but reading that, I couldn’t help to draw a parallel between the erratic life of drug addicts and the erratic and seemingly unexplainable crisis that have played out in short time.Report

  5. Perhaps renaming the place after a non-traitor would improve its karma.Report