State Department Killer Had History of Violence Toward Mother

From the Washington Post

Edward Steven Doster, the 20-year-old man who killed his mother and himself at the State Department on Friday, led a disturbed, often violent life, friends and relatives said Saturday. They said he had terrorized his mother, a meek woman unable to control him.

Arrested several times, most recently June 11 in Alexandria, Va., on a charge of beating his mother, Doster spent much of his adolescence being shunted from one youth detention home in Virginia to another.

His mother, Carole Doster, 44, “had become absolutely petrified about what he might do to her,” said her brother, David Speck, a northern Virginia district manager for a plumbing supplier.

Carole Doster, who the Washington medical examiner said Saturday died from a gunshot wound to her neck and multiple stab wounds to her arms and legs, recently had kicked her son out of her Alexandria apartment and changed the locks and her telephone number to keep him away, a relative said Saturday.


On Thursday, Carole Doster sent an urgent, written communique to the State Department security office, requesting that her son not be allowed into the building.

Her plea received no action, and her son was able to skirt the metal detectors that should have noted the collapsible rifle he carried in a canvas gym bag. He went to the office of State Department Counselor Edward J. Derwinski, down the hall from where Secretary of State George P. Shultz was working, killed his mother and then shot himself. Within hours, the State Department tightened security, adding two metal detectors and forcing all but a few persons to pass through them.

Speck said his nephew had been unruly and difficult to handle since he was 3 years old, the year his parents divorced.

Carole Doster, who had been working for the State Department as a secretary since 1969, was “a loving mother, but she was also very meek and discipline was hard for her,” Speck said.


Doster had once been arrested for stabbing a man who had picked him up hitchhiking and regularly used drugs, Speck said. He said he believed that his nephew had been in three separate juvenile detention centers in Virginia, including one for the emotionally disturbed.