Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

April 18, 2007

Breaking: VA Tech Shooter Sent Package to NBC

This just in from MSNBC:

Sometime after he killed two people in a Virginia university dormitory but before he slaughtered 30 more in a classroom building Monday morning, Cho Seung-Hui mailed NBC News a large package, including photographs and videos, lamenting that “I didn’t have to do this,” the network said Wednesday...

The package included an 1,800-word manifesto-like statement diatribe in which he expresses rage, resentment and a desire to get even...

Among the materials are 23 QuickTime video files showing Cho talking directly to the camera, Capus said. He does not name anyone specifically, but he mentions “sin” and “spilling” his blood and talks at length about his hatred of the wealthy...

The package also includes 29 photographs. He looks like a normal, smiling college student in only the first two. In the rest, he presents a stern face; in 11, he aims handguns at the camera that are “consistent with what we’ve heard about the guns in this incident,” Capus said.

Other photographs show Cho holding a knife, and some show hollow-point bullets lined up on a table.
NBC immediately turned the package over to the FBI.

The report also mentioned that as early as 2005, police obtained a temporary detention order against Cho after two female students complained of "annoying" messages and calls from him.

ABC News reports that a court actually found him mentally ill:

The evaluation came from a psychiatric hospital near Virginia Tech, where Cho was taken by police in December 2005, after two female schoolmates said they received threatening messages from him, and police and school officials became concerned that he might be suicidal.

After Dr. Crouse's psychological evaluation of Cho, Special Justice Paul M. Barnett certified the finding, ordering followup treatment on an outpatient basis.

On the form, a box is checked, showing that Cho "presents an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness."

Immediately below it was another box that is not checked: "Presents an imminent danger to others as a result of mental illness."
This raises a lot of questions:

1. Why was this young man let loose after being deemed dangerous to himself and others? Correction: I misread the quote above. He was not deemed a danger to others, but was still a danger to himself. If not detention, that should warrant at the very least, some supervision.

2. Why was psychological care not mandated and carried out?

3. Why did this information not turn up during the background check when he purchased the gun in Roanoke, Virginia?

4. Were the school and his parents informed? If so, what action did they take? If not, why not?


posted at 4:02 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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