Ex-wife of Beltway sniper shares story of domestic abuse on Valentine’s Day

On Valentine’s Day, the former wife of Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad shared her story of domestic abuse in one of the communities where Muhammad and partner Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 strangers in 2002.

Mildred Muhammad said she hopes recounting her story will prevent future tragedies.

She was the featured speaker in a Prince George’s County community center event called “Love Shouldn’t Hurt: A Celebration for Survivors of Domestic Violence,” hosted by Council member Jolene Ivey, D-District 5, and the county’s Family Justice Center.

John Allen Muhammad and Malvo terrorized the D.C. area for three weeks in October 2002, in which 10 people were killed and three others injured.

Mildred Muhammad, author and ex-wife of Beltway sniper John Allen Muhammad, was present at TV One’s D.C. premiere of “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story,” in Mitchellville, Maryland, on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Mildred Muhammad and her children were taken into protective custody until her husband and Malvo were caught.

“Law enforcement informed me I was the intended target,” Mildred Muhammad said. “The theory was he was targeting innocent people to cover up my murder, so that he could come in as the grieving father and get custody of our children.”

After John Allen Muhammad and Malvo were caught, and law enforcement revealed she was the intended target, Mildred Muhammad said she was blamed, despite being a victim of domestic violence in her own relationship.

“I began getting the comments of, ‘If you would have stayed with him, he just would have killed you,’ and, ‘How dare you bring this drama into this quiet community?'” she said.

Prince George’s County and other communities now have procedures in place to help victims of domestic violence get themselves out of dangerous relationships, said Ivey, the council member who hosted the event. The county’s justice center even provides a place for a victim to testify, to avoid having to confront an abuser in court.

Ivey and Mildred Muhammad said a major goal is for abuse victims to know they are not alone.

“Eighty percent of victims do not have physical scars to prove that they are victims,” said Mildred Muhammad. “I am in that 80%.”

She offered advice to women in abusive relationships: “Document, document, document — date and time, and if you had others there to witness. What we have to do is build our case, in order to show law enforcement that it’s a pattern of abuse.”

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2020 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up