Tacoma gunman – “The journey of one lone wanderer”

Feb 26, 2010, 8:00 PM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

The journey of one lone wanderer…Raised an only child borne into this desolate wilderness, Jed Waits has traversed the globe in search of wisdom and elusive insight. Pen in hand and notebook by his side, our intrepid author has set out to explore vast, uncharted realms within the world of the graphic novel.

So begins a glimpse into the mind of the gunman who police say stalked and killed Jennifer Paulson, a 30-year-old special education teacher in Tacoma.

34882A beautiful picture emerges of Jennifer. Her parents talked about her with reporters outside Birney Elementary School.

Ken Paulson, her dad, says, “She was a kind, merciful, loving person. That’s probably why she was a special ed teacher, because she loved so much. What happened today was evil, a terrible thing. Jennifer would want you to know she loved the Lord and she’s in heaven with her grandparents. I think Jennifer would say the world is getting more evil and the person who did this was evil.”

The picture of the gunman, Jed Waits, comes from court documents, his own writing, and his father.

Paulson made several statements about Waits in documents filed when she obtained a restraining order against him. She said he repeatedly called her, sent her flowers, and visited her workplace when she asked him not to. Police shot and killed Waits after he ambushed and killed Jennifer and drove away from the scene.

We don’t learn much about Waits from his own drawings and stories.


Jonah Spangenthal-Lee of the SeattleCrime blog was the first to discover the self-published graphic novel online.

The hand-written print in “A Captain’s Tale” is difficult to read, but Waits writes of “forbidden truths.” He describes objects as being “submerged in shadow.” The character in his story “encounters various seemingly-insurmountable obstacles in his relentless pursuit of truth.” The word “truth” is used repeatedly

Paulson’s family, friends, co-workers and students are now dealing with the horrifying, heart-breaking truth that she is gone.

Dennis Waits, father of the gunman, has reached out to the Paulson family. He described Jed as a “good kid” and had no idea something like this could happen.

“My wife and I just want to express our deepest sympathy to the family of the girl. We didn’t know this was coming. We are as shocked as you are. To be quite honest, I wished he’d used the gun on us, instead of your daughter. That’s how terrible we feel.”

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Tacoma gunman – “The journey of one lone wanderer”