A Killer Emerged Out Of The Darkness Of The Deep Web

May 30, 2022

We search for answers to another mass shooting by a young deranged killer, but politics and ideology are getting in the way.

The French historian, philosopher, and writer Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in part “America is great because she is good, if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Some might say post-modern America falls short in both respects; I would disagree and believe America is great and good, still. The trouble is some of her native sons and daughters are not; they can be destructive, ruthless, and at times deadly. Their actions and behavior insult and betray her, and have little if any regard for the great damage they do to her reputation. This is one of those times.

Out of the darkness of the malicious and often harmful social media, deep in the environs of the dark web, emerged a troubled young man. Payton Gendron (from this point on I will refer to Gendron as “the killer”18-year-old) is an 18 year old and a product of the toxic environs of the internet, and a culture steeped in moral relativism. On a Saturday afternoon, he traveled several hours to arrive at the Tops Friendly Supermarket in Buffalo, a location he had staked out days earlier to determine whether it was sufficiently populated by his intended target, black people. 

The killer arrived in Buffalo about noon. He was attired in camouflage and wearing body armor and a helmet, and immediately opened fire in the parking lot of the Tops Friendly Supermarket with a semi-automatic rifle, killing three innocent people and seriously wounding a fourth. His rampage continued unabated as he entered the store but was interrupted by a security guard, a retired police officer, Aaron Salter, who exchanged gunfire with the killer. What Salter did not realize was that the killer was wearing body armor and returned fire killing Salter.

The killer resumed his deadly assault and killed six other shoppers. When it was over, 13 innocent people were shot, all but two were black. When police arrived, the killer, who at first threatened to kill himself, eventually dropped to his knees and surrendered. Police were stricken by the carnage and death, many expressing sentiments such as “It was like walking into a horror movie, only this was real,” and “This was pure evil,” and another, “It is Armageddon-like, it is so overwhelming.” What makes this even more heinous was that attached to the killer’s helmet was a camera, which live-streamed his deadly deed on social media. 

Within hours information about this brutal young killer began to emerge. The killer referred to himself as a “white supremacist,” and that he was radicalized on the internet during the 2020 pandemic. In a 180-page rambling manifesto, much of which he created by cutting and pasting parts of other mass killers' thoughts, the killer's ultimate plan took shape. In particular were those of Brenton Tarrant of New Zealand who in 2019 killed 51 people in two mosques, Dylann Root who killed 9 black people at a church in North Carolina in 2015, and Anders Breivik of Norway who killed 77 people in 2011.

In his manifesto, the killer explains how his plan came together to the minutest of detail. He goes on to say ”Zip Code 14208 in Buffalo (where Tops Friendly Supermarket is located) has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live.” It also included numerous pages of anti-Semitic rhetoric. According to reports, an official at the school the killer attended during the pandemic explained how he arrived in a hazmat suit, covered from head to toe. He was also hospitalized for about a day and a half to undergo a mental evaluation for having threatened violence against his school.

According to the killer’s manifesto, there was one specific element of his depraved thinking that was the impetus for his deadly rampage; it is referred to as the “Great Replacement Theory.” Aside from what you might have heard or read in the news reports, Replacement Theory is not a new phenomenon created by some conspiracy theorist on the dark web or Q-anon. 

Replacement Theory was first introduced in the late 19th century and is based on the fear by Caucasians, white people of Western lineage, that people of color will eventually become the ruling class majority in America. The killer came to believe this theory that was readily available on the internet, mainly on dark sites, where the confused, impressionable, and credulous mind is nurtured and influenced. 

What makes this tragedy even more of an offensive and heinous event was how it is being used by the Biden administration, Democrats, and the media to inject into this tragedy their own narrative. The president visited Buffalo and stood before an audience of the victims' families, friends, and city and state officials, and began his speech with emotion and empathy, but then he could not help himself and became political with these words, “Evil will not win. I promise you hate will not prevail and white supremacy will not have the last word."  And without any regard for the victims and their families, Democrats began blaming Republicans, with the media’s biased reporting adding fuel to this deplorable and deadly situation.

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