BAKERSFIELD, CA - Christopher Dorner posted a 14-page manifesto online vowing revenge for his 2008 firing from the LAPD. In it, he names people from the past who, he thinks, have wronged him.
Dorner, now a murder suspect, has been shown in a host of uniforms, from Army fatigues to the dress blues of the LAPD.
"I got a text message that said 'hey, can you believe that about Chris?'" But, a college football uniform is the one Ernie Lindley most remembers Dorner wearing. "I thought Chris? Who's Chris? Then it was on CNN, and that's when I put two and two together. I thought, oh, that's Chris Dorner," recalled Lindley.
Before moving to Bakersfield eleven years ago, Lindley lived in Cedar City, Utah, where he suited up and played football with Dorner at Southern Utah University.
"It was shocking, but I think the most shocking is that he never came across as that type of person who would do something like that, let alone so close to home here in Bakersfield," said Lindley.
So, Lindley dug through his mementos in the garage Thursday night, and there it was.
"I'm on the far left, and he's on the far right." The team photo, with Dorner sitting one row down and about twelve men away.
"He had his group of friends and I had mine. But, what from what I remember from practice, he was always respectful. He was always very nice. What you see from TV of those photos of him always smiling all the time, that was who I remember. So, he never came across as that type of person who would do something like this," said Lindley.
The 2000 Thunderbird roster lists Dorner as a 235 pound running back from La Palma.
"Just charismatic, very outgoing, very sociable," recalled Lindley.
Now, Dorner is wanted for shooting five people, killing three of them.
"He knew exactly what he was doing," said Lindley. "Yeah, knew what he was doing on the field. So, yeah when I read the manifesto, you could tell he put some time in that and the intellect came out."
It will take Lindley some time to reconcile the college jock he knew with the man police say Dorner has become.
"From what I remember of him, this is a total, total different person," said Lindley.