Suspect in Homeless Killings Is Iraq War Vet
Calif. man talked of hallucinations
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2012 4:38 PM CST
FBI special agent in charge William O'Leary speaks at the podium before several police chiefs for a news conference to announce the arrest of Itzcoatl Ocampo.   (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

(Newser) – A suspect detained for killing homeless people in Southern California is a mentally unstable Iraq war veteran who complained of hallucinations, the Los Angeles Times reports. When Itzcoatl Ocampo returned from service in 2010, "he was sick," his uncle says. But Ocampo never went to therapy appointments made by his uncle; mostly he sat in a bedroom rented with his mother and sister and played video games.

Mexican-born Ocampo had joined the US Marine Corps to get away from his family, but didn't like it: "I feel alone in the middle of the desert," he said in a phone call home. After returning, he complained of seeing and hearing things. His conditioned worsened after he learned of a friend's death in Afghanistan. Anaheim police say they are "extremely confident that we have the man" responsible for the killings, and plan to seek four counts of murder against the veteran.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
Jan 16, 2012 11:05 PM CST
There should be a deprograming and psycological help for our vets. I don't know however if it would have helped in this case.
Jan 15, 2012 9:43 PM CST
Jan 15, 2012 9:42 PM CST
Obviously a psycho. Another very good reason why countries should not initiate the use of force half-way around the world. Military service leaves a lot of ex-GIs very messed up and unable to cope in the private sector.