Can We Count on The Police Sketch of The Killer of Russell Sneiderman?


At 9 AM last Thursday, on the 18th of November, a man in dark clothing, a knit hat, and with a beard walks up to Russell Sneiderman, and without saying a word, shoots him several times at point blank range. He flees the scene of Dunwoody Prep school in a gray or silver late-model Dodge minivan. No one actually saw Russell get shot. Or did they?

How many shots were there? Several is all I’ve heard so far. Early reports said the killer fired from the vehicle. This was corrected. He got out of this minivan with no license plates and approached Russell on foot. And I wonder what witness provided the info for the sketch? The sketch of the suspect is detailed enough with an implication that the witness got a very good look at him.

Russell Sneiderman
Russell Sneiderman

I must voice some skepticism about this sketch. I remember last year the authorities published a clear sketch of a man seen talking to Paula Sladewski down in Miami. You may remember this case. But no man was ever brought in that fits the sketch that was provided. I would recommend caution in a perception of the accuracy of this sketch, one of a ‘mysterious bearded man donning a cap.’

I agree with those who are saying this was a disguise. The beard appears to be a fake and the minivan must have been stolen. And yet they haven’t found it yet? Dunwoody, Georgia, Police Chief Billy Grogan makes a crystal-clear statement about the nature of this killing. “From our initial investigation, this case seems to be a cold and calculated murder.”

And why did the ‘hired assassin’ choose to carry it out in broad daylight, and in a public place with some sense of decency to it, a preschool parking lot. Russell Sneiderman was dropping off his two-year-old, Ian, at the Dunwoody Prep, and was walking back to his car, when he was approached by the assailant. I suspect this man had been following Russell for some time, to get an idea of his habits.

police sketch of killer
How accurate is this police sketch of Russell Sneiderman’s killer? Is this a disguise? Was the beard fake? Who was the witness who provided the description? How close a look did they really get of this assassin?

Someone had an awfully strong motive to do this sort of thing. Money is the only motive-provider I can think of that could drive a body to do something this drastic. Love can do it too, but that doesn’t seem to be a fit with this case. The brother, Steve Sneiderman, has given a press conference where he has described his brother in a most favorable light.

“My niece and nephew will never know their father. My sister-in-law had an entire lifetime of dreams ripped from her. Our whole family has lost its brightest light, and we don’t know why.” The intensity of feeling in Steve’s face, when he gave his statement, was obvious. A tremendous outpouring of regard for his brother was present. His choice of words was befitting the sorrowful occasion.

Rusty appears to be a generous, virtuous man, a family man, an accountant, ambitious, well-educated, creative, resourceful, you name it. The brother Steve failed to mention any character flaws, and that’s okay given the occasion. But Rusty must have ticked someone off at some time in his complicated career. A few outlines of his career have appeared in the papers, such as the Daily Mail or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

No complete career resume, mind you, but some mention of his business dealings. Russell’s current job was one as a chief operating officer of a company involved in managing and franchising day care centers. He had lost his previous job (in 2008) providing financial advice to “high-end” clients of the Atlanta division of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Private Bank. Is it a possibility that one of these clients may have lost a substantial sum of money as a result of a particular bit of advice given by Mr. Sneiderman?

As I sip my morning coffee this possibility pops up in my little brain. Or could the trouble be due to more recent business dealings? What’s the back story to this product that Russell was developing for the entertainment industry? Could he have stepped on someone’s toes during these dealings? And is there at least one example of Russell having a conflict with someone, either in business or in his personal dealings?

Family or friends tend to cast their departed one in a positive light. The shadows or character flaws are discretely omitted. This is mere social convention, given the shaky circumstances. And Russell may have been in life equally as virtuous as he was so portrayed. His mistake may have been a result of coming in contact with an individual oh so powerful, someone who had too much to lose, and who in fact, did lose too much.

Did this powerful individual then hire someone to kill Russell? This would involve another party, and this hitman could spill the plot, if ever identified by the police. Therefore, I am suggesting that the hitman is the very party who thought he was wronged by Russell. He did it himself. This way no one could ever finger him once he made a clean getaway. And he’s already accomplished that. This culprit is probably laughing his head off as he looks at the inaccurate sketch that’s making the rounds.