Neighbours describe Robert Bowers as ‘normal.’ People who know Cesar Sayoc say he was a ‘nice guy’. But normal people are strange, as we all know. Online, they can turn very odd indeed. Take for instance, Bowers, whose social media accounts were heavily scrutinised in the hours that followed his killing of 11 people in Pittsburgh. His last ‘I’m going in’ message was widely circulated as evidence of his psychopathy. There may be more to Bowers’s internet habits, however.
On the day of the attack, a Discord user called Indy tweeted the following:
— indy (@indiplav) October 27, 2018
Is Indy right? Is based_bower Bowers? The name ‘based_bower’ may reference a term from the 4chan/Gamergate vernacular. It’s hard to verify. But Cockburn spoke to Indy (who wished to remain anonymous) and she (if it is indeed a she) sent over screen grabs:
At one point Indy teases him about being a lonely weirdo, an incel, and based_bower’s response is somewhat chilling:
Perhaps feeling he has gone too far, based_bower rolls back:
In these screen grabs Cockburn received from Indy, based_bower seemed somewhat too eager for feminine company. He called Indy repeatedly despite the fact she refused to answer him.
This could all be a hoax, of course. Cockburn can’t confirm with Bowers. based_bower might be someone else altogether. Indy probably won’t be in a condition to confirm it either: