What Happened to the Guy Who Killed Chris Kyle?

March 16, 2024

After surviving four tours in Iraq and becoming the most lethal Navy SEAL marksman in military history, Chris Kyle had begun doing charitable work helping other veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. He was gunned down on February 2, 2013 on a rural Texas shooting range by a former Marine who was supposedly seeking help. The murder made headlines and led to the 2014 film American Sniper, which starred Bradley Cooper.

But the real-life story behind the killer of Kyle, Eddie Ray Routh, is much more complicated. The man who murdered Kyle and fellow veteran Chad Littlefield acted coldly and deliberately when he ambushed them, prosecutors told a jury in the town of Stephenville. "That is not insanity," prosecutor Jane Starnes said. "That is cold-blooded capital murder."

On the day of the killings, Kyle picked up Routh and Littlefield in his pickup truck to take them to a shooting range after the defendant's mother approached him for help. She had heard about how Kyle was spending his final years helping other veterans readjust to civilian life.

But by all accounts, the last year of Kyle's life was a disaster. He had trouble holding a job, began behaving erratically and saying crazy things like that there was a tapeworm in everything he ate. He also had panic attacks and talked about how he wanted to kill himself. He was eventually taken to a mental hospital by his family.

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