Lyndon McLeod, who police say killed five people during a deadly rampage in the Denver area, was an author dedicated to alt-right philosophies, including masculine supremacy, contrarian COVID-19 beliefs, and targeted violence against the “weak”—including those he killed.
McLeod appears to have operated a plethora of Twitter and Instagram accounts under the alias Roman McClay, which he used for his three-book series Sanction. The book series, with its first book described in an Amazon review as “eloquent reflections on dominance hierarchies, psychology, technology, nature, violence, anatomy and physiology, sexual morality, drug use, politics, and a whole mess of stuff,” follows a character named Lyndon McLeod, a persona named after its author who “commits 46 murders” in the book and one he seemed to allow to seep into his real life. The Denver Post reported Wednesday that McLeod named two of his five victims—Alicia Cardenas and Michael Swinyard—in his books and even described similar attacks.
The Daily Beast found that at least two Twitter users identified McLeod and McClay as one and the same months and even years before the shooting.
In his posts, McLeod seemed to frequently use excerpts from his work to comment on current events, such as a COVID misinformation meme on Twitter featuring Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The meme, posted on May 1 last year, featured the billionaires “discussing” their approach to the pandemic, with Gates being thanked for mandatory vaccinations while Zuckerberg was congratulated for an “injectable nanoworm.”
McLeod, who was killed by a Lakewood police officer Monday after shooting her in the abdomen, captioned the photo with a quote from one of his characters in his series: “It’s not really a worm so much, however I understand the point.”
He also gleefully indicated that some people required violence to be addressed. While discussing a 2014 YouTube video titled, “Mike Tyson DESTROYS Reporter!” on Twitter, McLeod, as McClay, blasted the “passive aggressive” reporter and praised Tyson for using “Direct Aggression”—all before hinting at threats of violence for the “WEAK.”
“This is basically the plot to my stupid book,” he wrote in April 2020. “Our entire society is made up of shitty little fucks who insult badasses & get away with it because law enforcement & social norms protect the WEAK from the STRONG. I’m over it.”
“The weak better buckle up... shit is about to get real,” he wrote.
McLeod also appeared in at least two videos on YouTube, one that was posted a day after the Monday rampage.
In it, McLeod is described as “aka Roman McClay” and an interviewer who is off camera speaks to him as the two prepare to meet with acquaintances at a Denver hotel in 2019.
After the interviewer notes that it’s Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, which commemorates a failed plot to blow up parliament in Great Britain, McLeod says the two have “different ambitions.”
“I don’t think we’re blowing anything up,” he said, before adding that “we are armed” and “could be dangerous.”
During a press conference Tuesday, police confirmed that McLeod, who records showed owned his own tattoo parlor called Flat Black Ink, targeted each of his victims.
Right-wing rapper and social media personality Nzube Olisaebuka Udezue—known as Zuby—hosted McClay on his podcast to discuss Sanction in 2019. The host claimed the book was “currently blowing up Twitter,” though he admitted he had not read it.
Police said Tuesday that McLeod had previously been investigated in 2020 and 2021, but they did not comment on what he was investigated for. A spokesman for the Denver Police Department told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that they knew of the McClay alias. “We are aware of the books written under the name Roman McClay, which are a component of our ongoing homicide investigation,” Jay Casillas wrote in an email.