Christopher Dorner’s Anger Began Seven Years Ago

Christopher Dorner's Anger Began Seven Years Ago

The Story Behind the Story

Fugitive Chris Dorner, the man suspected of murdering 3 people, is still evading authorities.  His emotional problems are documented as far back as 2006.  It may have begun with a former relationship.

Court documents from 2006 show that an ex-girlfriend called him, “severely emotionally and mentally disturbed”.

Friday, the Associated Press obtained documents showing ex-officer Dorner unsuccessfully attempted to secure a restraining order against his former girlfriend Ariana Williams.  Dorner was angry with her for posting his badge number on a website called “,  In the posting she called him “twisted” and “super paranoid”, and told other women not to date him.

But the incident that, according to his “manifesto”, began his killing spree, happened on a ride-along in 2007.  He was a probationary officer, riding patrol with a veteran officer, when they were called to the Double Tree Inn in San Pedro, California.  A man by the name of Christopher Gettler was sitting in the lobby, and refused to leave.  Court documents report he had a “glazed look in his eyes”.  The two officers asked him to get up and come speak with them.  He refused.  When Dorner and his training officer, Teresa Evans,  attempted to arrest him, he “took a swing at them”.  Dorner wrestled with him, and they tumbled into a planter in front of the Double Tree.  Evans readied a Taser, and when he continued to resist, she fired the device and subdued him.

From this point on, their stories became quite different.  These differences led to a hearing, his eventual release from the Los Angeles Police Department, and a long court battle to clear his name.

Now, the subject of a manhunt, Dormer wrote in a letter revealed by CNN,  “The attacks will stop when the department states the truth about my innocence,”

It was two weeks after the encounter in San Pedro, when Dorner went to his commanding officer and claimed Evans had kicked Gettler while he was handcuffed, and laying on the ground.  The internal investigation dismissed Dorner’s complaint In 2008 when three hotel employees who witnessed the incident called the accusation untrue.  The investigator’s report now turned its attention to Dorner:  “The delay in reporting the alleged misconduct coupled with the witness’ statements irreparably destroy Dorner’s credibility, and bring into question his suitability for continued employment as a police officer,”  The report found Dorner had made false statements to a superior and recommended his dismissal.  In January 2009, the department’s ‘Board of Rights recommended his termination.  Dorner sued, but lost in both the trial court and the court of appeals.

In his lawsuit, Dorner argued that the Board had ignored statements by both Gettler and his father that he had been kicked twice in the upper body and once in the face.  But Gettler’s father’s statements conflicted with his son’s, and Gettler’s mental illness “affected his ability to give an accurate account of the incident,” as the Court of Appeals of California put it in October 2011.  The Board added that Dorner may have had an ulterior motive for his complaint.  According to Evans, he was going to receive an unsatisfactory review.  Evans’ statement read:  “He was going to receive an unsatisfactory probationary rating if he did not improve his performance,”

High School and College friends, as well as neighbors are surprised at the turn of events.  They all described him as quiet, respectful, and a nice man who was always smiling.  (I had coffee once with O.J. Simpson over 40 years ago, I described him the same way.)

Dorner’s release from the LAPD, eventually cost him his career with the U.S. Navy as well.  “This is my last resort,” he wrote. “The LAPD has suppressed the truth, and it has now led to deadly consequences.”

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express