Written by Matthew Harper. Media by Bobby Williams.
Now that some time has passed and the remains found in the cabin in the Bernardino Mountains have been positively identified, it’s safe to say that the story of 33-year-old former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner is one of the oddest things to have happened in any of our lifetimes.
The saga began when Dorner posted what most have described as a “manifesto” online. The enormous document, over 20 pages in length, was mostly abstract rambling about things Dorner either hated or liked about the world, and about his “unjust” firing. He claimed that he witnessed an act of brutality by another officer and, when he spoke up about it, was forced out of his job. This would have been far more understandable had Dorner not continued on to threaten the lives of everyone involved in “covering up” the incident, but that’s just what he did. When he actually acted on these threats, taking the lives of four people, the largest manhunt in the history of the Los Angeles area began (Reuters). This search included several days where the trail simply died off, in addition to other unfortunate happenings, such as the accidental (but thankfully nonfatal) shooting of two women in a pickup truck that somewhat resembled the one belonging to Dorner. The truck was a different make and model entirely and an investigation is under way to find out what exactly happened in that incident.
After carjacking and holding a couple hostage in a mountain cabin in an area known as Big Bear Lake, Dorner was eventually tracked down by police. The location had been a focus for the LAPD and other law enforcement officials since Dorner’s actual truck was found abandoned and burned there days before the climactic events at the cabin. The kidnapped couple freed themselves, and, having escaped the crazed Dorner, alerted the proper authorities. When the cops moved in, things got out of hand. A shootout erupted at the cabin. It was during this shootout that Dorner injured a deputy of the Bernardino Mountains’ local police force, who later died. This was the final of Dorner’s four victims.
The shootout came to a close when, after the police threw tear gas canisters into the cabin in attempts to get Dorner to emerge, the building caught fire and burned to the ground. Dorner never did come out of the cabin, and charred remains were found inside. These remains were finally identified as Dorner’s and the cause of death is believed to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Dorner took his own life either just before or during the fire, and it would seem that this is where the highly unusual tale of the former cop came to an end.