BEREA, KY—After a lifetime of anonymity, Charles Wayne Knox, a gun-wielding 33-year-old standing in the parking lot of a Berea Hardee's, is at long last poised on the brink of international fame.
"By this time tomorrow, everyone will know who I am," said the unemployed Berea native, surveying the Hardee's restaurant and surrounding area one last time. "From Australia to Austria, people all over the world will be reading and talking about Charles Wayne Knox."
According to media insiders, with his 9mm Taurus automatic pistol and two extra 10-shot clips, Knox—who has never done anything noteworthy in his life, with the possible exception of a 1983 fifth-highest score on a pizzeria's Sinistar video game—has the potential to be a worldwide household name just hours from now.
"All signs point to major renown for Charles Wayne Knox," CNN Headline News producer George Petrakis said. "He's got the drive. He's got the ammo. And his timing couldn't be better: The 12 p.m. lunch rush should guarantee an extra-large crowd, which will likely be full of dozens of students from the nearby junior-high school. Everyone here at CNN thinks this guy is going to be huge."
According to NBC Nightly News executive producer Jim Kannell, network coverage of Charles Wayne Knox-related issues will increase dramatically over the next few days.
"Expect to see a great many more stories about Charles Wayne Knox in the near future," Kannell said. "Look for everything from probing, in-depth looks at his troubled year in the Marines to exclusive interviews with his parents, Gordon and Ethel Knox, whose 1977 divorce shattered the shy, awkward boy who dreamed of one day becoming a pilot."
"If things go right in that Hardee's," USA Today managing editor Bryant Reynolds said, "Charles Wayne Knox could be bigger than the guy in that Scottish elementary school a few years back. We're talking big."