This is what I read in the news today, minus the George Zinkhan part. But the interesting thing — as soon as I read it I wondered if it had anything to do with Professor George Zinkhan. Some back story.
In spring 2001 I took a Honors class about eCommerce. The class met weekly. What struck me as odd about Zinkhan were the following:
- He was very laid back in a “I’m burned out from my life and work” kinda way. I figured he was just tired from being in academia or having recently written a textbook on eCommerce.
- He wore flip-flops and shorts to class. It was strange to see a professor, especially a business professor, wear such laid-back clothes in class. Hey, I wear flip-flops and shorts to work, so I understand the appeal, but this was the first and only time I’d seen a professor do it.
- He had a long pinky fingernail. All his other fingernails were nicely trimmed, but his pinky fingernail was long. This would lead my classmates to joke that he used it to snort cocaine — as seen in any 80’s movie as the coke nail
- He always came to class and acted like he was under the influence of some drug. Disorganized, confused, scatter-brained. He was by no means violent or tempered.
So when I read the headline, I thought of Zinkhan not because he was a mean, malicious person, but because he was probably involved with drugs, rather heavily, and this just sounded like a “drug-trade-gone-wrong” kinda situation (i.e. behind a building near campus, involved non-students).
I don’t mean to disrespect the deaths of the three adults but if I were investigating this case I would look to see if any of them had a drug history.
update: since posting this blog, I have been kindly (and not so kindly) informed the shooting took place at a community theatre as part of an annual noon picnic. The victims were his wife (they have two kids) and two other community adults. This sounds less like a drug trade gone wrong situation, but the information may help investigators so I’m not deleting the post (despite being told to pleasure myself repeatedly & questioning my mental capacity).
update 2: I’m told that Zinkhan may have fled to his Amsterdam home. Seriously!? I’m telling you drugs may be part of the dispute
update 3: I gave an interview for 11Alive that went on the 11pm news. I hope I made it clear that he didn’t come off as dangerous, just…”peculiar”.
update4: Check out the reviews of Zinkhan’s teaching style at RateMyProfessor.com. One reviewer used the term “quirky” — mine is “peculiar”. His personality stood out enough that when I heard a UGA Professor was involved in a shooting (didn’t know he did the shooting at the time) I immediately thought about Zinkhan. When I discovered it was Zinkhan, I was compelled to post this blog and tweet about it, hoping the material may help capture him.
update 5: 24 hours after the shooting, investigators are saying they have few leads on the Zinkhan shooting case. If you were a student or knew Zinkhan, let me know and I can connect you to some reporters who want to understand what type of person Zinkhan was.
update 6: The AJC has posted a timeline of the events. Zinhan was reportedly arguing with an “unidentified man”, not his wife. He left, came back with two guns, and shot the three people repeatedly. He dropped his kids of at his neighbors, and hasn’t been seen since. Zinkhan is not using credit cards or cell phone at this time and has abandoned his home and kids. These actions don’t sound pre-meditated — they sound like the actions of an impulsive man.
update 7: AJC reports Zinkhan gave a copy of one of his books, a co-written work called “Consumers,” to one of the victims he shot — Ben Teagues — as a gift over dinner at a Lenox Square restaurant.
Update 8: Zinkhan has appeared on America’s Most Wanted, and is also being considered for the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Police ask that the public call 706-613-3888 with any information about suspect George Zinkhan.
Update 9: Zinhan’s profile: extremely intelligent and fiercely private individual who is well-resourced, well-traveled and obviously capable of murder. Neighbors paint the picture of the controlling type of an individual who is extremely private and aloof.
Update 10: Why my drug speculation may matter — In 2008 and the beginning of 2009, concealed carry licensees have committed more than 60 documented offenses. Most of them involve assaulting citizens while license holders are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or in a state of rage. They included assaults at sporting events, school campuses and grocery stores.
Update 11: No leads on Zinkhan except they found his car abandoned with his passport in it. Current theory by police is that this was somewhat pre-meditated due to his ability to live off no credit cards or phone. Some others close to Zinkhan think the same thing.
Update 12: Zinkan’s body was found, apparently suicide hours or days after the shooting. Also, motive appears to be his response to awareness of his wife’s affair with Thomas Tanner as he had recorded a conversation between him and his wife about the affair. Not clear yethow Ben Teague was involved.