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Under the cover of darkness early this past Easter Sunday, a seemingly ordinary young man set out on an extraordinary mission – to kill pedophiles in the state of Maine.
Armed with two handguns and an assault rifle, 20-year-old Stephen Marshall from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, set his sites on more than two-dozen registered sex offenders in that State. By 8:00 am he had murdered two and passed by the homes of four others. Identified by a witness to one of the shootings, Marshall fled. He boarded a bus for Boston and later that evening at a police barricade turned his Colt 45 handgun on himself, ending his life with a single gunshot to the head.
As the first conflicting reports began to trickle out about the quiet, likable young man from Cape Breton, the fifth estate began to ask the questions -- who was Stephen Marshall and what drove him to this horrific act? Our investigation trailed Stephen's life journey from Nova Scotia to Idaho to Maine.
Thirteen months before the shootings Stephen Marshall reconnected with his Idaho school friend Derek McFarland in this email. (pdf file)
The correspondence reveals a young man bitter about being rejected by the Canadian military, without a home or a job and the tense relationship at the time with his step father.
For a brief moment, in the final months of his life, Stephen had what appeared to be an emotional crisis, fainting at work in January and falling into a deep depression. But just as fast as he fell into a funk, he snapped out of it. Stephen began to find a focus, committed to religion and seemed happy. As his friends in Nova Scotia revealed to the fifth estate, Stephen seemed normal.
"You see a little more than that if you look closely," Chamberlain tells the fifth estate. "You get a flavor of over control, of an excessive degree of smiling and pleasantness and no sign of turbulence at all. These kinds of kids tend to overvalue ideas. Ideas motivate them more than their feelings."
In the end Stephen Marshall left scant clues as to what ideas possessed him to kill last Easter Sunday.