Amish Killer Planned To Molest Girls
THE man who stormed an Amish school and killed five girls had confessed to
his wife he molested two girls 20 years ago, and police said he may have
planned to sexually abuse his 10 hostages.
Charles Carl Roberts, a 32-year-old dairy truck driver, was also haunted
by the death of his daughter who died 20 minutes after her premature birth
nine years ago, police said after examining suicide notes he left before
Roberts dropped his older children off at a school bus stop, then armed
himself with three guns, 600 rounds of ammunition and an array of tools
and headed for the Amish school.
He had planned for a long siege by preparing to barricade himself and his
hostages inside the one-room Georgetown School in rural Lancaster County,
100km west of Philadelphia.
Police say he chose the Georgetown School because it was an easy target
rather than out of any grudge against the Amish.
He also had two tubes of sexual lubricant and a set of boards, wire, tape
and bolts that could have been used to tie up and torment the girls,
Commissioner Jeffrey Miller of the Pennsylvania State Police told a news
Although there was no evidence of sexual assault, "it's very possible
that... he intended to victimize these children in many ways prior to
killing them and killing himself," Mr Miller said.
The third deadly US school shooting in a week shattered the calm of an
Amish farm community where there is virtually no crime. The town is
full of horse-drawn carriages, bearded men in straw hats and women in
The Amish, descendants of Swiss-German settlers, are a traditionalist
Christian denomination who place particular importance on the Gospel
message of forgiveness. They believe in nonviolence, simple living
and little contact with the modern world.
In Strasburg, Pennsylvania, 15km from the scene of the shooting, an
estimated 350 non-Amish people gathered at a candle-light vigil to
express their shock at the killings and to show support for the bereaved
"We are all Amish today," said pastor Mark Thiboldeaux of the Strasburg
Assembly of God. "The lines between the English and the Amish are down
because these are our children too."
Mary Jane Rutter, 73, from nearby Lancaster, said the Amish, who value
their privacy, would not have attended such an event with the so-called
English community, but she had come to show her solidarity.
"I'm here to show my support for the families," she said.
Roberts told his wife in a suicide note he had been dreaming about
repeating his purported molestation of two younger female relatives
20 years ago – events that police have not been able to confirm took
"This was a very deeply disturbed individual, but he wasn't disturbed
in the sense that people could pick up on that at the surface... It was
just a matter of time before he did something," Mr Miller said.
While Roberts meticulously planned the assault, he became distracted by
the police who gathered outside, and he opened fire seconds after
telling police to back off, shooting the bound schoolgirls in the back
of the head. They were aged 6 to 13.
That triggered a charge by police who came upon the carnage after Roberts
had already killed himself.
"But for the fact that the troopers were breaching the school, he would
have fired more rounds and tried to finish off all his victims," Mr Miller
Five girls – two aged seven, the others eight, 12 and 13 – were killed,
including two sisters, and five survivors – one six, two eight, one 11
and 13 – remain hospitalized, four of them in critical condition.