Tarot Card May Give Sniper Clues

ByABC News
October 8, 2002, 10:23 PM

B O W I E, Md., Oct. 9 -- A tarot card of death found near a suburban Maryland school where a boy was shot Monday could provide investigators with a valuable clue in their search for the serial sniper who has shot eight people in the past week.

Meanwhile, authorities in Virginia tonight are investigating a fatal shooting at a Sunoco gas station in Manassas, a suburb of Washington, D.C. No information was available on the victim's condition or if the shooting was connected to the string of sniper attacks.

Most of the attention today was on the discovery of the tarot card. The card, recovered in the woods approximately 150 yards away from school entrance, had a chilling message scrawled on it, which said, "Dear policeman, I am God."

Police did not say whether they thought the card was a hoax, or a genuine message from by the person (or persons) responsible for killing six people and wounding two others in a string of attacks that has terrorized Washington, D.C., and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia.

Detectives were visiting magic and novelty stores to ask about people who had recently bought tarot cards, sources told ABCNEWS.

"They were just trying to see if I noticed anyone in particular that might have come in to buy tarot cards," said one store owner, Barry Taylor. "I didn't see anyone coming in here with camouflage paint and a rifle."

Police Chief: Stop the Leaks

In Maryland, Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose who has been the public face of a team that includes local and state police as well as of the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Secret Service was angered that news of the tarot card had been leaked to reporters. He repeatedly lashed at the media today for potentially damaging the investigation.

Sources told ABCNEWS that Moose was particularly miffed because there was more written on the card than was reported, and FBI profilers believed the message could have led to a dialogue between the sniper and police. Moose, sources said, appeared to be trying to open a coded dialogue with the killer on Tuesday by making a reference to "God."