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It Looks Like the Highland Park Shooter Tried Repeatedly to Create His Own Wikipedia Page
There is at least strong circumstantial evidence that Crimo himself or someone close to him was trying to boost his profile with the site.
In the aftermath of Monday’s mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois, which left seven people dead and dozens more wounded, law enforcement, journalists, and interested civilians alike have been reviewing the shooting suspect’s entire online history. Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo, the 21-year-old who prosecutors say has voluntarily confessed to the shooting, frequently posted online content that showed his disturbing interest in violence. Thus far, a substantial amount of press coverage has focused on Crimo’s YouTube videos, including his most recent post, which showed him draped in an American flag following a school shooting; his Spotify music, where he used the rap alias “Awake the Rapper” to upload albums that had been listened to millions of times before the streaming service took it down (though it’s unclear how many people were listening before he was named a suspect); or his Discord channel, where he shared a photo of Budd Dwyer, a politician who killed himself during a live press conference in the late 1980s. Besides those websites, investigators are also poring over Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok accounts that are believed to be associated with him.
Now a Slate investigation conducted together with Wikipedia volunteers reveals a further connection between the alleged shooter and the internet: For years prior to the shooting, someone was very interested in creating a Wikipedia page for him. In fact, in the five-year period leading up to the shooting, someone repeatedly tried to make Crimo a wiki entry.
“It’s common for people like Crimo to have tried their hand at Wikipedia,” said Andreas Kolbe, a Wikipedia volunteer on the editorial team of the Signpost, the site’s community newspaper, who also contributed to the reporting of this piece. Due to Wikipedia’s privacy practices and policies, it might not be possible to prove conclusively that Crimo and his attempted Wikipedia authors are one and the same. But there is at least strong circumstantial evidence that Crimo himself or someone else in his inner circle was trying to boost his profile with the site.
Here’s what we know so far.
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