What Led Chris Dorner to Go Off the Edge: Workplace Abuse, Racism, and Unfair Firing
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What these cases show is that workplace abuse and retaliation is rampant in the LAPD. Not only that, but confronting the abuse can be enormously costly to the challenger in terms of time, effort, money and health.
That said, none of the other plaintiffs started murdering fellow police.
As I argued in Going Postal murder is about the most basic definition of mental illness, whatever the justification — and society has allowed for very few justifications outside of warfare.
But as I also tried to demonstrate, rebellion against injustice is rarely clean and cinematic. Nat Turner, the slave rebel glorified by a culture that uniformly agrees on the evils of slavery, was no Bruce Willis or Dirty Harry. Most of the victims of Turner’s murder spree were what we would call innocent and defenseless white women and children, slaughtered in their homes and in their beds. The first victim of John Brown’s failed insurrection at Harper’s Ferry was a freed black man, Hayward Shepherd.
But there was something more going on with Dorner. He had to cope with creeping paranoia, problems with women, a cinematic sense of self-importance as the world’s protagonist for justice, and plain old shit luck.
His problems with women went beyond the usual trials and tribulations. In seven years, he would file restraining orders against at least two ex-girlfriends, and have a marriage end in abrupt divorce.
In 2006, a woman Dorner dated in Los Angeles named Ariana Williams posted a vicious anonymous review of Dorner on dontdatehimgirl.com posting Dorner’s name and badge number and writing, “This man really hated himself because he's black” and “stay the hell away from him.”
Dorner went to court to get a restraining order against Williams, but he was soon afterwards called up for duty and sent to the Persian Gulf.
A year later, in 2007, Dorner married. The marriage ended in one month. His ex-wife was reported to have said she was “embarrassed” by the brief marriage.
And yet even this story of a failed brief marriage, and what that implied about Dorner's character, fell apart under scrutiny, after an LA Timesreporter visited his ex-wife's neighborhood:
A neighbor of the ex-wife of Christopher Jordan Dorner, the former LAPD officer accused of killing three people, said he often saw the suspect at the woman's Long Beach home.
"I've seen him here. I've said hi, I've bumped [fists] with him a couple times," said 24-year-old Oscar Gonzalez.
"He seemed like a regular guy. He was doing landscaping here in the front for her. He was heavy-built, always in military-style boots," Gonzalez said.
Dorner frequently visited -- until the end of last year.
“He was here for a while, and then he was just gone. It just kind of stopped all of the sudden, two or three months ago,” Gonzalez said.
Other neighbors with a less favorable view of the ex-wife were not so forthcoming and worried for their safety if they spoke up about Dorner, who is the subject of a massive manhunt.
After his divorce, Dorner was involved in a four-year, on-off relationship with an LAPD crime lab employee — which also ended in a restraining order.
Last April, a day after Dorner tried breaking off the relationship, his ex-girlfriend threatened to kill herself, and came to his house, banging on his door and ringing the doorbell. Police reported they told her not to come near Dorner again, and he filed a restraining order against her to keep her away.
Dorner was discharged from the Navy on February 1 — two days before he began his murder rampage — for reasons that have not yet been fully explained (though Dorner blamed his break with the Navy on the LAPD firing). He seems to have been under great pressure, which he even kept from his friends. Getting fired under highly questionable circumstances brought that pressure to bursting point. Dorner’s first two victims, the only two he intentionally targeted — Monica Quan, daughter of his LAPD attorney Randi Quan, and Keith Lawrence, Monica’s fiancé — were chosen to deny his police attorney a happy family life.