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Ex-Cop Serial Killer Believed Dead In Burning Cabin

A former Los Angeles Police officer -- who attended college and played football in southern Utah -- accused of embarking on a murder spree and killing four people in acts of revenge, is believed to have died in a burning cabin in the California wilderness while surrounded by authorities, officials said Wednesday.
Aerial images of local and law enforcement vehicles are seen in the area where it is believed that fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner might be. (ABC News)
Aerial images of local and law enforcement vehicles are seen in the area where it is believed that fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner might be. (ABC News)
Flames from a fire in a cabin in Big Bear, Calif., can be seen in this overhead photo; ex-LAPD officer and fugitive Christopher Dorner is believed to have taken refuge in the cabin during a shoot-out with police, Feb. 12, 2013. (ABC News)
Flames from a fire in a cabin in Big Bear, Calif., can be seen in this overhead photo; ex-LAPD officer and fugitive Christopher Dorner is believed to have taken refuge in the cabin during a shoot-out with police, Feb. 12, 2013. (ABC News)
A cabin in Big Bear, Calif. is on fire; ex-LAPD officer and fugitive Christopher Dorner is believed to be hiding out in the cabin after a shootout with police on Feb. 12, 2013. (ABC News)
A cabin in Big Bear, Calif. is on fire; ex-LAPD officer and fugitive Christopher Dorner is believed to be hiding out in the cabin after a shootout with police on Feb. 12, 2013. (ABC News)
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (ABC 4 News) - A former Los Angeles Police officer -- who attended college and played football in southern Utah -- accused of embarking on a murder spree and killing four people in acts of revenge, is believed to have died in a burning cabin in the California wilderness while surrounded by authorities, officials said Wednesday.

Christopher Dorner, 33, was spotted in the area of Big Bear Lake on Tuesday before stealing two vehicles and barricading himself in a cabin. Officials surrounded the cabin and may have set it on fire by attempting to lure the suspect out with tear gas canisters. Dorner, who sparked a massive manhunt across southern California by killing three LAPD officers, remained inside the cabin as it caught fire. Charred human remains, believed to belong to the suspect, were discovered later in the ashes.

If the remains are Dorner's, it marks the end of an immense 10-day manhunt for the fugitive that started with the shooting deaths of three Los Angeles Police officers.

A furious shootout occurred at the cabin between Dorner and authorities, during which a sheriff's deputy was killed and another was wounded by gunfire. The cabin caught fire at one point during the confrontation -- possibly from police tear gas canisters.

Some officers could be heard over the police radio ordering the destruction of the cabin. At one point, officers could be heard saying, "burn it" and "the burners are deployed, and we have a fire."

Police say the killing spree began on Feb. 3 when the daughter of a former LAPD captain and her fiance were shot to death. Three days later, authorities linked the murders to Dorner after reading his manifesto online -- in which Dorner expresses disdain for the former captain, who represented him four years ago during disciplinary hearings when Dorner was a LAPD officer.
This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles officer. (Los Angeles Police Department)
This undated photo released by the Los Angeles Police Department shows suspect Christopher Dorner, a former Los Angeles officer. (Los Angeles Police Department)
Authorities said Dorner was seen several times in the San Diego area shortly after the couple's deaths, before he moved back north to the Los Angeles area. After several further sightings, police found their next clue in the area of Big Bear Lake when Dorner's pickup truck was found completely burned out.

Five days later, police say Dorner stole a vehicle in the San Bernardino Mountains along California Highway 38. A short time later, the vehicle was located by police and Dorner fled into the forest -- where he barricaded himself in a cabin. A subsequent shootout between Dorner and authorities left two sheriff's deputies wounded. One of them ultimately died from his wounds.

Finally on Tuesday, police surrounded the cabin and engaged Dorner in yet another firefight before the cabin caught fire. Dorner was not seen escaping the burning cabin, and the human remains were found later in the ashes. A medical examiner has not yet determined that the remains belong to Dorner, but authorities firmly believe they are indeed his.

Dorner was born in New York but raised in Los Angeles County. According to his online manifesto, Dorner was bullied as a child and he claims he was often the victim of racism. He attended Southern Utah University, where he graduated in 2001 with a major in political science and a minor in psychology. In 2005, he started the process of becoming a Los Angeles Police officer and, despite regular disciplinary issues, he received his badge in 2006.

Dorner was terminated by the police force in 2009 for allegedly filing a false police report -- in which he alleged that his female partner at the time repeatedly kicked a suspect being placed under arrest. A review board found those claims to be false and Dorner was fired. Dorner claimed in his long, rambling manifesto that he was the victim of racism and that the LAPD punished him for being a "whistleblower." 

Dorner alluded to the killings in the manifesto -- saying "when the truth comes out, the killing stops" -- along with many other, sometimes off-topic issues.

"It's kind of sad I won't be around to view and enjoy The Hangover III," Dorner wrote, referring to the upcoming goofball theatrical comedy. "(Director) Todd Phillips, don't make anymore Hangovers after the third. (It) takes away the originality of the foundation."

MORE:
FULL coverage of the Christopher Dorner manhunt (ABC News)
Twitter users cheer Dorner on (Breitbart)
Dorner's mother spotted drinking wine, watching son's coverage (CBS Los Angeles)
Dorner held hostages for days (Los Angeles Times)
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