Ala. kidnapper's motive unclear
MIDLAND CITY, Ala. — Authorities never may know why an Alabama man killed a school bus driver and held a boy hostage for six days in an underground bunker, a prosecutor said Friday.
Jimmy Lee Dykes, 65, wanted to go on live television to make a statement, said District Attorney Kirke Adams, but he never told negotiators exactly what he wanted to say.
“He never let on what his message was going to be,” Adams said.
Dykes never clearly stated a motive for his actions, Adams said, but the man was due in court on the day after the standoff began.
He was set for a hearing on a menacing case filed in December for allegedly firing a gun at neighbors.
The district attorney said officials are not sure that the menacing case was the reason for the standoff.
“We had no contact with him since his arrest before this happened,” Adams said.
Neighbors said Dykes often went on rants against the government. A longtime acquaintance, Roger Arnold, said Dykes believed the government used electronic shocks to control the racing dogs at a track that he frequented.
Dykes fatally shot bus driver Charles Albert Poland Jr., 66, and grabbed a boy identified only as Ethan off the bus. He then retreated to a handmade underground bunker where he held Ethan for six days.
Dykes died of what the coroner said were multiple gunshots during an exchange of gunfire with FBI hostage rescuers on Monday.
The now-6-year-old boy is safe and back with his family.