Lyndon McLeod Gunned Down Five People

But First He Wrote a Book About It

Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.
5 min readJan 7, 2022


For some reason, mass murderers like to write. They keep diaries. They pen manifestos. They blog and tweet and spout off on videos and social media.

Forty-seven-year-old Lyndon McLeod, who killed five people and wounded three others in a one-hour rampage on December 27, 2021, kept up the tradition, but on a larger scale. He filled up three self-published books with his anger and hate and self-pitying, paranoid view of the world.

copyright free, posted on Lyndon McLeod’s instagram

Though he billed them as science fiction novels under the pen name Roman McClay, it is clear from the parallels between what he wrote between 2018 and 2020, and what he did in 2021, that they were more than that. They were a dress rehearsal. They were a foreshadowing.

Not only did McLeod use his books as a forum to rant about grudges and violence and alpha male superiority, but they also gave a sneak preview of what lay ahead. His recent murders mimicked the actions his fictional anti-hero had taken at least two years beforehand. Two of his eventual real victims — Alicia Cardenas (a fellow tattoo artist who took over the space of McLeod’s former business) and Michael Swinyard (McLeod’s former business partner) — were specifically named and symbolically killed by his books’ protagonist (who went by Lyndon James McLeod, our killer’s real name) at least two years before he gunned them down in real life.

Two of McLeod’s victims, posted on Alyssa Gunn-Maldanado’s Facebook

Clearly, McLeod had been thinking about this for a while.

We’ve Heard This Story Before

I haven’t read McLeod’s books. But, if he’s like most mass murderers, his life story can be boiled down into a single paragraph:

My life sucks. I’m angry and depressed. It’s not my fault. It’s everyone else’s. I spend my time stewing about it instead of trying to make my life better. I want revenge; someone must pay for this. Someone does.

Now, this self-pitying rhetoric is often dressed up in some fancy clothes. Sometimes they piggyback off a disgruntled group of outliers and throw a bunch of “isms” around…



Joni E. Johnston, Psy. D.

Forensic psychologist/private investigator//author of serial killer book. Passionate about victim’s rights, the psychology of true crime, and criminal justice.