Reporters delve into the religion of Mark Conditt, the dead man identified as Austin’s serial bomber

By Bobby Ross Jr. | GetReligion

For residents of Austin, Texas, weeks of terror ended Wednesday when Mark Conditt — identified as the serial bomber responsible for killing two people and badly wounding four others — blew himself up.

As reporters began delving into the 23-year-old Conditt’s background, religious details — some more concrete than others — quickly emerged.

My thanks to GetReligion reader Deann Alford, a Texas-based journalist and author, who alerted us to crucial facts in an Austin American-Statesman story. The key: The religious questions linked to this story are valid hooks to investigate — right now. But authorities say they see no clues, so far, to motives in these acts.

The Austin newspaper interviewed Jeremiah Jensen, 24, who was homeschooled in the same community as Conditt:

Read the full column.

• • •

All of my GetReligion columns (March 2018):

• Friday Five:Big Godbeat news, Billy Graham’s casket, ‘sit and shiver,’ Oprah talks to God and more. Published March 2.

• Texas ghosts: Rural Democrats in Lone Star State don’t like Trump, but what issues do matter to them? Published March 5.

• Publisher declares this news story on Johnson Amendment ‘accurate and complete,’ but is it really? Published March 6.

• ‘Now let’s just pray it’s done’: A how-to guide for reporting on Sutherland Springs conspiracy nuts. Published March 8.

Friday Five: Award-winning religion story, Down syndrome advocate, free cars at church and more. Published March 9.

• White evangelical women reportedly tiptoeing away from Trump, but big questions remain. Published March 12.

• Washington Post attempts near-impossible: Profiling Virginia’s Tony Bennett without mentioning faith. Published March 13.

• In reporting on ruling against Down syndrome abortion law, this pesky detail seems important. Published March 15.

• Friday Five: March Madness miracle, faith at the movies, newspaper layoffs and more. Published March 16.

• Trying to figure out why a tiny Christian school’s financial problems are front-page news in Dallas. Published March 19.

• ‘God made me black on purpose’: Be sure to read Politico’s exceptional profile of Sen. Tim Scott. Published March 20.

• Reporters delve into the religion of Mark Conditt, the dead man identified as Austin’s serial bomber. Published March 22.

• Friday Five: Sister Jean’s rising celebrity, Bill Hybels’ #ChurchToo accusers, Pence’s bunny and more. Published March 23.

• Compelling topic, imperfect execution: About that article on rising number of ex-Muslims. Published March 26.

Key figure in Brown v. Board of Education case dies, and yes, there’s a faith angle. Published March 27.

• Holy Moses! Yet another religion correction for the ages, this one from Wall Street Journal. Published March 29.

• (Good) Friday Five: #MLK50, #ChurchToo, Sheep Among Wolves and, um, ‘Chris is risen?’ Published March 30.