Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo, ‘Person of Interest’ in the Highland Park Parade massacre, is a rapper with spooky videos

HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois — The 22-year-old Illinois man identified as a person of interest in Monday’s parade massacre is an amateur rapper who has posted disturbing videos on his YouTube channel, including a crude animation depicting a gunman shows who is killed by the police.

In addition to videos full of violent images and mass shootings, Robert “Bobby” Crimo posted a video on his personal blog last year of Central Avenue in Highland Park – the main street of the parade route.

Another featured a headline referring to Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin. He reportedly posted a video of a beheading on a message board.

Crimo, who was taken into custody about seven hours after a sniper attack that left six dead and dozens others injured, took to social media under the moniker Awake the Rapper.

His social media footprint indicated that he is a video game enthusiast and professional wrestling fan. A photo posted to Twitter showed him wearing a Trump flag like a cape; in another he wore an FBI cap. There was a photo of him at a Trump rally dressed as Waldo, but he also liked a Twitter video of President Biden.

On most of Crimo’s social media pages and embedded in several of his videos is an icon somewhat similar to that used by Suomen Sisu, a Finnish far-right organization. However, Crimo doesn’t seem to mention the national group in his posts. He was also the admin of a Discord channel called “SS” which has since been shut down.

An Instagram account also owned by Crimo – whose family hails from the Highland Park area – shows several black-and-white portraits showing him with a tattoo of a number on one side of his temple and the word “Awake” above one of his Eyebrows. Crimo also appears to have hatches that add up to five under his eye.

A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous told The Daily Beast that Crimo would ride an electric bike around the neighborhood and nearby nature reserves, blasting heavy metal. He used to drive a car with “Pussymobile” written on the back.

“The family has been in the area for a long time,” she said, adding that his father is a small business owner who ran for mayor of Highland Park in 2019 and lost two to one to the incumbent.

“We don’t really know him, but we see him riding around the neighborhood,” she said. “We never had any interaction with him other than just seeing him drive around.”

His uncle Paul Crimo also told Fox 23 Chicago that he saw no “red flags” that would indicate Crimo could be involved in Monday’s shooting.

“I saw no sign of trouble. And if I saw any signs, I would have said something,” Crimo said, adding his nephew is a “YouTube rapper” who once worked at Panera Bread.

However, Crimo’s videos are full of dark themes.

In one, titled “On my Mind,” Crimo is seen in an empty classroom in tactical gear and holding the American flag. In another, he raps, “Like a sleepwalker, I’ll break through no matter what,” alongside clips of footage in which he appears to be armed.


The video titled “Toy Solider” is an animated film that begins with a student texting in class while Crimo hears “fuck this world” rapping. It cuts between images of a heavily armed gunman walking into a school and opening fire, then confronting police outside. The last scene shows the shooter lying in a pool of blood.

Crimo also appeared to have a blog where he posted several of his music videos and photos of himself. In a video titled “Smiley Face Solider,” Crimo records himself painting an armed soldier with a yellow cartoon smiley face on a brick wall while he war of stars Theme song plays in the background.

NBC News reported that Crimo had his own Discord channel, which was deactivated after the shooting, and that he frequents a forum dedicated to death, where he posted the beheading video.

A listing for Crimo on entertainment site IMDB describes him as a “six-foot-tall hip-hop phenom” who is the “middle child of three children and of Italian descent.” Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo, ‘Person of Interest’ in the Highland Park Parade massacre, is a rapper with spooky videos


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