Olympic Stabber Attacks Coach’s Family

A bizarre and shocking crime has turned the opening day of the Olympics into tragedy.

A knife-wielding Chinese man attacked two relatives of a coach for the U.S. Olympic men’s volleyball team at a tourist site in Beijing, killing one and injuring the other on the first day of the Olympics on Saturday, team officials and state media said. The man then committed suicide by throwing himself from the second story of the site, the 13th century Drum Tower just five miles from the main Olympics site.

The brutal attack shortly after midday was all the more shocking because of the rarity of violent crime against foreigners in tightly controlled China, which has ramped up security measures even more for the Olympics.

The stabbing came only hours after what by many accounts was the most spectacular opening ceremony in Olympic history and it has already dampened some of the enthusiasm.

One would hope.

UPDATE:  The team won their first match only hours after learning of this tragedy.

The team took the court Saturday after learning of the stabbing death of Todd Bachman, father of former Olympian Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon. He was attacked by a knife-wielding man at a popular tourist site in Beijing. Her mother was seriously injured by the attacker, who jumped to his death from a balcony of the Drum Tower, an ancient landmark the Americans were visiting.

“It’s hard to put it in words,” a tearful U.S. player Logan Tom said after the match. “That’s not something that’s supposed to happen.”


Bachman McCutcheon is the wife of U.S. men’s indoor coach Hugh McCutcheon.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DL says:

    Too much MSG?

  2. Bithead says:

    Perhaps the White House Press Corps isn’t the big problem that the authorities there need to be tending.

  3. Spoker says:

    I wonder how many similar acts of random violence occurred in LA, DC, Philly, NYC, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Baltimore, or Detroit during that same news cycle? Why didn’t the media make such a big deal about any of those?