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View Full Version : The Dutch highway shooter: real or hoax?


Eddie Dane
28th September 2011, 03:45 AM
There have been quite a lot of exploding backwindows in cars on the Dutch roads recently.
The media started to report that a "highway shooter" is active, who targets cars.
it became an almost daily news item for a while.

So we have:
-exploding back windows on certain roads.
-no people hit.
-no bullet holes found, ever.
-no projectile found.

Then, nothing happened for two weeks until this morning. (http://www.geenstijl.nl/mt/archieven/2011/09/snelwegschutter_slaat_weer_toe.html#more)

Could this be just stones coming lose from a bad road, combined with media induced panic?

Big Les
28th September 2011, 04:58 AM
Rear windscreens (tempered glass) do spontaneously shatter from time to time (http://www.mini2.com/forum/first-generation-mini-convertible/79384-rear-window-shattering-fault-dealers-aware-fault.html) (another example here (http://www.fiatforum.com/500/207976-rear-windscreen-shattered.html)). Badly made glass being the main culprit I think. The presence of glass on the *outside* of the car might support that theory, though I suppose a bullet causing the stressed screen to shatter might still do the same.

I would imagine that people (the media) are just paying more attention to the phenomenon, and therefore finding more instances of it. Is there any consistency in make/model of car? Because SEATs seem to be no exception (http://www.google.co.uk/search?gcx=w&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=rear+windscreen+shatter+seat#hl=en&safe=off&q=+site:seatcupra.net+rear+windscreen+shatter+seat&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=b989e85a456fe5ed&biw=1280&bih=909).

Either that, or someone with a reasonably powerful air rifle. Might explain the lack of found bullet/bullet holes. I think it unlikely though.

aggle-rithm
28th September 2011, 05:15 AM
There are MANY things that could shatter a window. It is fairly common for people on the highway to be injured or killed by debris kicked up by other vehicles.

I heard the story of a man driving by a maintenance crew mowing the side of the highway with a tractor. The mower expelled a piece of metal that went through one window of the car, through the driver's head (killing him, of course), and out the other window.

WildCat
28th September 2011, 05:21 AM
My first car was a '74 Camaro. It had a little blue sticker on the back window the prevous owner had put there. One day I was driving down the road, and in my rearview mirror I noticed the sticker getting smaller and smaller, and I suddenly realized the window had blown off. It gave the illusion of hovering in the air for a moment, and then fell to the pavement and shattered into a million pieces.

Eddie Dane
28th September 2011, 05:26 AM
I wonder if the police contacted a glass-repair company to compare how often back windows shatter usually.

Bikewer
28th September 2011, 06:44 AM
Side windows are pretty fragile. Most back windows are a little tougher as they often acommodate defroster units.
I would not be surprised to learn this was some jerk (or jerks) with an air rifle. Mythbusters showed that air rifles shatter rear-window glass quite efficiently, and if if the weapon is shooting steel BBs, they normally do not penetrate. Rather, they shatter the glass but bounce off; leaving little trace.

Safe-Keeper
28th September 2011, 06:48 AM
Happened to my parents' car once. I suppose someone was trying to assassinate the caged family dog in the back of the car.

BushRanger
28th September 2011, 10:33 AM
Maybe i missed it, but are all of the vehicles the same make/model?

Checkmite
28th September 2011, 10:39 AM
It doesn't make sense to me that road debris kicked up by a vehicle could shatter its own rear window. It would have to go outwards, upwards, then back toward the window with enough speed to break the glass.

TX50
28th September 2011, 03:43 PM
It doesn't make sense to me that road debris kicked up by a vehicle could shatter its own rear window. It would have to go outwards, upwards, then back toward the window with enough speed to break the glass.

A vehicle passing by going in the other direction maybe? I dunno.


ETA: We had a nutter going around here shooting cats with a .22 air rifle a while ago. I wouldn't put it past that sort to shoot at cars too.