Mark Anthony Conditt died on Wednesday morning when he exploded a device in his car as police attempted to take him into custody. Less than 12 hours later, information about who the Austin “Serial Bomber” is beginning to emerge.
The man described by his former employer as “quiet and introverted” went on a three-week rampage that left two people dead, five people injured, and people across Austin, Travis County, and FedEx stores and processing facilities terrorized.
Conditt’s family homeschooled him before he graduated and attended Austin Community College. He attended the local college for about two years, but did not graduate, KVUE reported. His formal education at the school ended in 2012.
During his college years, Conditt appears to have written some conservative blog posts as part of an assignment, NBC News reported. The blog, “Defining My Stance,” provided a platform for a host postings ranging from anti-gay marriage to his positions on free abortions to why sex offender registrations should be ended. The posts were allegedly authored by a Mark A. Conditt, but NBC News said they were unable to confirm with school officials if the bomber actually wrote the posts.
Conditt does not appear to have any kind of military or law enforcement service in his background. He worked for Crux Manufacturing for about four years, overlapping the time he spent at Austin Community College, the Austin ABC affiliate reported. His former boss said he hired the then-19-year-old because he “seemed like a smart kid who showed a lot of promise.” He reportedly worked in sales and purchasing and “did a little bit of everything.” However, after his performance slipped and he received several unheeded warnings, Crux Manufacturing let him go in August 2017.
His former employers described him as a “quiet and introverted” man who would “prioritize things in his own way,” KVUE reported.
Conditt listed work as a “computer repair technician,” according to his profile on a job recruiting website, the Austin American Statesman reported.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told KXAN’s Phil Prazan that Conditt was unemployed when he died and had no military background.
The college blog posts allegedly written by Conditt paint a picture of a politically conservative person.
“I am not that politically inclined. I view myself as a conservative, but I don’t think I have enough information to defend my stance as well as it should be defended,” the blog page’s profile states. “The reasons I am taking this class is because I want to understand the US government, and I hope that it will help me clarify my stance, and then defend it.”
Again, NBC could not confirm is the same Mark A. Conditt authored the posts on this blogsite.
Some of the headlines on the 2012 blog read:
- Why Gay Marriage Should be Illegal
- My View on Free Abortions
- Why We Might Want to Consider Doing Away with Sex Offender Registration
- An Argument for the Death Penalty
Conditt’s neighbors paint a picture not dissimilar to that of his former employer. Jeff Reeb told NBC News that Conditt was a “very normal kid” and that his family was “extremely nice.”
Reeb told the Statesman that he struggled to wrap his mind about Conditt’s actions. “I know this is a cliché but I just can’t imagine that,” he explained about Conditt’s involvement in the bombings. He said his grandson grew up with Conditt and they played together.
He is reported to be the oldest of four children.
There is no reported criminal history in Conditt’s past, several news outlets reported. That clear recorded ended on March 2 when Conditt allegedly delivered a package to the northeast Austin home of Anthony House. The package exploded and killed the 39-year-old black man.
On March 12, Conditt struck again by killing 17-year-old Draylen Mason in East Austin when a package exploded after he brought it inside his home. Mason’s mother was also injured in the attack. A few hours later, Conditt also injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman after she picked up a package on her front steps.
On March 19, two other young men were injured when Conditt changed his tactics. This time a tripwire bomb exploded — sending the two men to a local hospital.
Austin Interim Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters that investigators believe the use of a tripwire in the fourth bomb shows a higher level of sophistication than already been demonstrated. He said it also indicates a shift in the “serial bomber’s” strategy of targeting specific people to a more random style.
The randomness expanded when a package exploded at a FedEx processing facility in Schertz, Texas. A woman suffered ringing in her ears after the package exploded on an automated conveyor belt near her work location. Police tracked down a second package at a FedEx Ground facility in East Austin. Police later determined that package was an unexploded device.
The packages appeared to have been shipped from a FedEx store in Sunset Valley, Texas, near the location of the fourth bombing.
U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) told the Statesman that federal investigators obtained videos that “could possibly” show a suspect connected to the Schertz bombing.
McCaul told reporters that he hoped the bomber’s biggest mistake “was going through FedEx.”
Less than 24 hours later, law enforcement officials tracked down Conditt through a variety of techniques and identified the young man from Pflugerville as the suspect. Using cell phone technology, police tracked Conditt to a motel parking lot in neighboring Round Rock. A few hours later, Conditt killed himself by exploding a device inside his car.
This is what we do not know about Mark Conditt. Police are continuing to investigate the young man’s background and his Pflugerville home to search for clues as to why Conditt would suddenly launch a bombing attack that would kill two people, injur six others, and eventually take his own life.