Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:November 20th, 2014 15:41 EST
The I-35, Serial Rock-Throwing Culprit Strikes for the 14th Time, Here in Austin!

The I-35, Serial Rock-Throwing Culprit Strikes for the 14th Time, Here in Austin!

By John G. Kays

Who is responsible for throwing all these rocks off of small bridge-walks, that are common sites to I-35, in mid-town Austin? The 12th Street bridge (we use to call them cat-walks) is a good example of one of these types of bridges, that unfortunately become good locations to perpetrate a crime (one might compare them to a sniper`s nest) against motorists. 

I was aware of several of these rock hurling episodes (the first one was on June 14th) when watching KXAN last night, but jolted back in my chair violently when the anchor announced a new case had just occurred Thursday morning, making it the 14th such rock throwing incident this year (from the same general area). 

First of all, I have to wonder whether this is just one disturbed individual who`s responsible for all 14 crimes, or whether there is a group of sickos working in cahoots with one another, and sharing a common motive or grudge. As for myself, I favor the notion it`s only one person working alone; this is only an intuitive itch, since I don`t have any hard facts that would tend to support my instinctual theory.

Local hunches are pointing the police in the direction of a large body of homeless people, who seem to live under some of these Interstate 35 bridges, mainly around the downtown sector of Austin. I haven`t heard whether they have any real suspects in mind yet, that might be represented (or mingling) amongst these sizable populations of hobos and stragglers (or if you`d prefer, the less fortunate), who tend to congregate in these pockets of concrete some call their home. 

On the other hand, perhaps Austin investigators have some viable bits of information, or maybe an informant or two, and they`re working with this until they can nab (what I`ll call) this Rock-Throwing Serial Culprit. As is usually the case, they can`t disclose to the public or to the press, what they know, since this would tip-off the guilty party, who would then high-jacket it out of Dodge, vacating the premises! 

This is a reasonable assumption, and nobody is blaming these dedicated investigators; they need to build up a good case based on real, physical evidence, not just hearsay (which is, I suspect, all they got a grip on so far). The only problem is, so far, nobody`s yet gotten a good gander at this Phantom of The Opera character (that`s the image that keeps popping in my head, so pardon me)!

I realized this morning, this story has a great deal of depth to it, since so many news reports have been filed since last June. I also realized, I didn`t have nearly as firm of a grip on all the different incidents (as I should), where innocent people have had a rock hit their car, when they were just going about their normal business. As such, I put in the hours, sifting through a vast body of reports, trying to reconstruct what we have here, and perhaps looking for a pattern, applying the usual questions that would lead me to the how and why. 

I`m fond of KXAN, so I started off with their report from yesterday, then worked my way  backwards, especially noting what happened to Kenneth Johnson on June 14th, which resulted in significant brain damage for Kenneth, when a large rock crashed through his windshield. I am looking at other sources as well, including,, and; who knows, maybe even the Austin American Statesman has posted a few stories. 

I would like to see one of these news outfits systematically list all 14 cases, including in their list the date and time of each incident, exact location, the victim`s name, then perhaps a quoted recollection of the victim`s take on what happened exactly (as best they could remember it). I do recall seeing a few television interviews, but I`d like to see this data bundled, since now it`s morphing to a serial crisis-like situation. 

We may be to a point where people won`t drive on this midtown sector of I-35 anymore. Let`s hope the APD can catch this person very soon, before somebody is killed by his/her rock! This Phantom is never seen and seems to vanish in the night before someone can get IT; this is what makes it so scary!