The younger of the two men who terrorized the Washington, D.C. area a decade ago in one of the nation’s most notorious serial killing sprees says he had been sexually abused by his partner from age 14 until their arrests.
Lee Boyd Malvo, who along with John Allen Muhammad, was responsible for causing the shooting deaths of 10 people and serious injury to three others during a frightening 21-day span in October 2002, told the “Today” show that he was sexually abused by Muhammad, beginning at age 14 and continuing until they were arrested.
“For the entire period when I was almost 15 until I got arrested, I was sexually abused by John Muhammad,” Malvo told Matt Lauer during a phone interview, parts of which aired Thursday.
The revelation is a reversal of a previous Malvo account in which he told the Washington Post last month in which he flatly denied any sexual activity with Muhammad.
Malvo told Lauer that the reason he was speaking up for the first time about being abused by Muhammad “is because I am more mature. As far as the guilt that I carried around for several years, I dealt with that to a large extent for years. And now, I can handle this.”
Malvo also told Lauer there are victims of the pair’s shooting spree who have not been identified and indicated that he had reached out to the families of some of those victims. He has made such claims in past interviews, but they have not been verified.
Muhammad was executed for his role in the murder spree in 2009. Malvo, now 27, is serving a life sentence at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison in southwest Virginia.
Malvo told The Post he was sexually molested by a neighbor and by relatives as a boy in the Caribbean – he did not discuss specifics – but said he has been “celibate” throughout his life since. In the “Today” interview, he said he was sexually abused by a babysitter when he was five years old and by relatives a few years later.
Malvo also did not mention any such sexual contact with Muhammad in a recent book by defense mitigation expert Carmeta Albarus, in which Albarus provided a lengthy and detailed accounting of Malvo’s childhood and his reflections on the shootings.
The shootings appear to have erupted out of Muhammad’s fury at his ex-wife, who had moved away in secrecy from Washington state with their children and ended up living in suburban Maryland. Malvo told Lauer that he felt powerless to refuse Muhammad’s orders that he shoot at the victims they targeted.
“I couldn’t say ‘no’,” he said. “I had wanted that level of love and acceptance and consistency for all of my life, and couldn’t find it.”