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As investigators in Texas closed in Mark Anthony Conditt amid his series of deadly 2018 bombings, the young serial killer walked around the Texas capital with a pipe bomb in his pocket and contemplated blowing himself up and killing inside a random busy establishment, a detective who hunted the killer told the audience at CrimeCon presented by Oxygen on Friday.
Over 19 days in March 2018, Conditt terrorized Austin with a series of bombings that killed two people and injured four others. At CrimeCon in Austin, Detective David Fugitt of the Austin Police Department detailed for attendees and online viewers the dragnet that led investigators to Conditt — right up to the moment in the early hours of March 21, 2018, when the cornered killer detonated a bomb as SWAT officers approached his vehicle.
Just prior to his death on the side of a Texas interstate, Conditt had recorded a 25-minute manifesto where he declared himself a “psychopath,” as authorities told reporters, and described with a “level of specificity" each bomb he’d constructed; this led authorities to declare the recording his confession.
“He liked the thrill of killing, and [said] that he intended to continue,” Det. Fugitt told the CrimeCon crowd. “And he said that in the days after we identified him that he actually walked around in Austin with a pipe bomb in his pocket. He was contemplating places to walk into that were busy — where he was just going to take out the entire place.”
At CrimeCon, Fugitt showed video footage of the moment Conditt was pulled over on I-35. SWAT officers had rammed his vehicle in the process of pulling him over.
“So, it's very, very scary when they actually rammed him. He knew he was coming close to an end,” Fugitt said.
In the video confession, Conditt allegedly had said he would blow himself up inside a crowded McDonald's if police closed in on him. He also reportedly admitted, “I wish I were sorry — but I am not.”
The manifesto recording has never been publicly released. Austin police chief Brian Manley controversially described the video as "the outcry of a very challenged young man talking about challenges in his life that led him to this point."
Conditt's tactics for delivering his bombs varied — the first three explosive devices were placed on the doorsteps of the victims; it was his trip to a FedEx that soon led detectives to discover his identity.
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