HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois—The 22-year-old Illinois man identified as a person of interest in Monday’s parade massacre is an amateur rapper who posted disturbing videos on his YouTube channel, including a crude animation depicting a heavily armed shooter being killed by police.
Authorities in this wealthy Chicago suburb announced Monday evening that they are hunting for Robert “Bobby” Crimo III, who is considered armed and very dangerous.
A photo they released matches the person who runs the YouTube channel and goes by the stage name of Awake the Rapper, and a law enforcement official announced they are the same person.
On most of Crimo’s social-media pages, and embedded in several of his videos, is a symbol that roughly resembles that used by Suomen Sisu, a far-right Finnish organization. Crimo, however, does not appear to mention the national group in his postings about him.
An Instagram account also belonging to Crimo—whose family is from the Highland Park area—showcases several black-and-white portraits that reveal him with a tattoo of the number on one side of his temple and the word “Awake” above one of his eyebrows. Crimo also appears to have hatch marks that add up to five under his eye from him.
A neighbor who requested to remain anonymous told The Daily Beast that Crimo who would ride around the neighborhood and nearby nature preserves on an electric bicycle, blasting heavy metal. I have used to drive a car with “pussymobile” written across the back of it.
“The family’s been in the area for a long time,” she said, adding that his father is a small business owner who ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019 and lost in a two-to-one margin to the incumbent.
“We don’t really know him, but we see him riding around the neighborhood,” she said. “We never had any interaction with him, other than we just see him driving around.”
His videos, however, are full of dark themes.
In one, titled “On my Mind,” Crimo is seen inside an empty classroom in tactical gear and holding the American Flag. In another, he raps, “Like a sleepwalker, I am breaking through no matter what” alongside snippets of footage in which he appears to be armed.
video titled “Toy Solider” is an animated cartoon that begins with a student texting in class while Crimo can be heard rapping “fuck this world.” It cuts between images of a heavily armed shooter going inside a school and opening fire and then engaging with police outside. The final scene shows the shooter lying in a pool of blood.
Crimo also appeared to have a blog, where he posted several of his music videos and photos of himself. In one video titled “Smiley Face Solider” Crimo records himself painting an armed solider with a yellow cartoon smiley face on a brick wall while the Star Wars theme song plays in the background.
A listing for Crimo on the entertainment site IMDB, describes him as a “six foot Hip hop phenom” who is the “middle child of three and of Italian descent.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism