Thursday, April 19, 2007

Profiles of a Serial Killer--Virginia Tech Part Deux

There's been so much information that has become available to the public since my last post. I felt the need to fill-in the pieces that were all so foggy before.

So we actually have the identity of the lunatic serial killer, Cho Seung-Hui.

We have news that he'd thoroughly planned out his attack. We know that he killed the first two victims and then brazenly walked into the Blacksbury Post Office to mail some 27 tapes and pictures to NBC.

We've heard of the discussions from one of his former teachers, Giovanni, that requested for him to be removed from her class. We know that he'd stalked two of his female classmates, or that there were allegations that he did. We know that he was declared an imminent danger to himself in 2005 (yet he was able to purchase assault weapons--scary).

His classmates, based on behavior and a few disturbing stories, had him pegged as the prototype for such an event.

We have his Manifesto where he's making some kind of convoluted statement about elitists.

So with all of this information it still doesn't make any sense. His reference to the Columbine shooters in such a familiar manner--first names only, and others of the same cloth--the mindless ranting--the pictures--he has what he wanted a bigger voice now than he ever had alive. He's got the media spinning, the sensationalism is beyond belief, the public is still in shock, families are morning.

The University's security and contingency planning will come under even more scrutiny. Perhaps we'll have tighter gun control, not allowing an imminent danger to themselves or others to purchase weapons would be nice.

An institution known for its heralded football program will now be known for the killings. How do those students go on? How can they go back to the campus? Or is the return to normalcy the best reaction to this case of mindless violence.

I find this whole situation even more disturbing. I just hope that we can learn from this, because it won't be the last time. You can bet that.

The worse thing we can do is to sensationalize this--because it's just breeding another group of killers that don't have a voice--that are maladjusted--ticking time bombs--that are looking for their 15 minutes of fame--or to have their own twisted legacy.

I might sound harsh, but I really hope he burns in HELL for what he did. I'd like to see what you think. Please feel free to comment.


Al said...

wow. interesting post. I don't think I want to write about him at all personally, but it's interesting to see this. I'm not sure I can visit your blog til his face is in the archives though, I really hate seeing his face.

The thing of it is, this kid was never committed, nor was he declared mentally incompetent, which are really the two mental things that will prevent you from buying a gun. In this state you have to have a letter from a psychologist, in VA you don't. Even though he was declared an imminent danger to himself, his medical record is protected under HIPAA, a law passed by everyone's friend Bill Clinton (not that this is in anyway connected to him, just putting it out there). Any psychiatric evaluation or medical record is 100% confidential under law. His roommates were angry that they weren't told he was mentally unstable - legally, they can't. The repercussions for violating HIPAA are so great - job-losing great, that the college may not have even known if the killer didn't disclose his medical issues. True someone in college health services may have had some idea maybe, but short of the killer saying that he's actually going to hurt someone, it's legally binding that all medical professionals abide by the law and keep this information private. If it's any consolation to anyone or to the VTech kids, I don't think anything, and I mean anything, would've stopped this from happening, unless someone else in the situation had had a gun and shot the killer before he had a chance to gun down so many people. Someone who has planned this carefully (6 weeks or more) has a plan B, C, D, and E, if not more. Short of being Fort Knox, the campus was 100% penetrable one way or another. The beauty of most college campuses is that they're open societies - even if VT wasn't, the shooter would've found a way. I think of Smith and Tufts or even the hospital where I work, or the hospital down the street - there are security measures taken at each, but there's always a weakness somewhere. I guess my point is that when you're dealing with someone this crazy and mentally unstable and determined to kill, they're going to find a way.

It is very sad what the media is doing. Firstly, they are criticizing everyone and their mom for doing something wrong. Yeah, if I went to VT I'd want to know why it took them 2 hours to tell me about a shooting, though it did present itself as an unfortunate domestic dispute. Besides that, what was anyone supposed to do? Legally, you can't tell anyone about this kid's medical issues. His roommates who lived with him thought he was "weird" and "freaky" but did it cross their minds that he would ever go on a murderous rampage? I doubt it. It's easy looking back at things saying "yeah, this kid was f*cked up and disturbed and everyone missed the signs, or those who saw them didn't push the issue enough to do something" because that's the beauty of hindsight. No one really knew of what this person was capable. What is also annoying is that the media, which tends to be pretty leftist if you ask me, is critical about how this case was being handled, yet if the average citizen's records/schoolwork/mental health history were being looked over without permission, there would be such outrage. What about civil liberties??! they'd be screaming. They'd bitch about invasion of privacy and the Patriot Act and everything, yet when something like this happens, they shake their fists at everyone and say "why didn't YOU do something?" SO annoying.

Secondly, I think airing stills from the video would've been sufficient. We all get that any person capable of killing 32 people in cold blood is a f*cking psychopath. We don't need to see him in action, that's what he wanted. He's like all those terrorists who air sh*t on Al Jazeera - they get off on it, they want people to see it and be afraid, or see it after they've died in the name of terrorism and have people know that they're martyrs now, and that's exactly what I think is going on here. This boy knows how the media works, um HELLO he made a video to send to NBC, he knew this was going to happen, that his face would be streaming through the televisions of millions of homes throughout the world (maybe that's why he targeted so many international students?) and on the internet and that he would be immortalized forever. By playing these videos over and over again, we're giving him what he wants.

I don't know if I believe in hell. I do think there is a special torment for murderous cowardly people like this. More than anything it makes me sad that there are humans on this earth, living in this country with priviledge laying at their feet, with boundless opportunity, who are so disturbed, alone and angry that they feel that killing others and themselves is their only option. I feel so bad for the poor students, those who died and those who are going to live with the guilt of surviving, for the parents and families who so senselessly lost their loved ones, and for the gunman's parents and family, who are going to have to live with the most disgusting crime their priviledged and disturbed son committed for the rest of their lives. Everything about the situation is just sad.

Ok I'm stopping now.

Anonymous said...

I think what happen was wrong and no matter what anyone say it will never make sense to me. That said this event could not be prevented if someone wants to die it is very hard to stop them. Maybe not that day, but maybe some other day that guy was going to snap. We are stuck in a never ending war because the people we are fighting are willing to die for what they believe in.

Anonymous said...

Last night, I was shocked to see the video recording and messages from the V-Tech killings. It really struck a cord with me, maybe its because my sister is having the time of her life in college and I can't image something like this happening on her campus. Or possibly, its the fact that the media has been so irresponsible with internal conflicts, the Iraq war and I was optimistically thinking that media coverage would improve. However, I just posted the following message (below) on nbc news' message board. I encourage other people who are outraged to do the same.

I have felt nothing but outrage and anger after viewing the video clip of the killer, as much outrage of the killing itself. The decision of NBC news to show the video, the front page newstories with photos of Cho, the endless coverage about him... It ridiculous. The media is simply immortalizing a killer and giving him exactly what he has craved his whole life, notoriety. At least Cho had mental insanity as a defense, what is media's excuse? It is obvious that American media is more obsessed with ratings and greed, then common decency and general sensitivity.
In lieu of the current media focus, I would have much preferred to learn more about the victims and their wonderful ambitious and achievements to date. Professionally, I’ve worked with adolescents and I recognize the challenges they face in finding an identity. My biggest fear is that socially displaced and isolated adolescents (and adults) will identify with this killer and crave his notoriety. It is not too late for NBC news to cease any further broadcasts of Cho’s statement. Cho does not deserve any more attention then he is currently receiving. Instead the attention should be refocused on the victims, recovery and preventing events like this from reoccurring.

Excalibur said...

So much of what you said and what the anonymous comment brings to light are the realities of this country.

On one hand I think that situations like these are unavoidable, on another I think the mentality that it won't happen here creates the type of enviroment that such individuals thrive on.

We never thought someone could pull of something the scale of the 9/11. We never thought that a Columbine type situation would happen.

Do we learn from these types of situations is my biggest question? You can't prevent, but you can deter. A pickpocket is going to go after the person that's not paying attention moreso than the person that's holding their wallet securely. Well that's 9 times out of ten. The other 10% might like a challenge. So we teach things like don't put your wallet in your backpocket, be aware when people bump you in a crowded space.

I think that such incidents are wake up calls to the people that say XYZ ethnic groups would never do, or it can't happen here.

We can preserve our way of life and still be mindful of what the dangers are.

T1 said...

Im going to copy my last comment into my blog and continue but so much of what al said and then your response is what I have been thiking about all day.

On some level-it had to be preventable. But then obviously it could not be prevented. Put aside the roomates comments who suddenly had such great insight- but bear in mind that there were actual complaints. Bear in mind there was a HUGE time lapse between killing- that second round of killing-the worst part of it should not have happened.

Oh- and tell al- if i were into chicks i would so dig her she finds the perfect clinton bashing ops anywhere.

Excalibur said...

T1 I'm going to comment on Hellaine's Kid too, I pretty much agree with what everyone has said over the course of these discussions.

You and Al are on the Clinton hating front, LOL. I still love him though, but what can I say Amy and I have Leo Power, you two have Clinton rage.

Al said...

t1 - I love your comment, heh heh. It seems up here in liberal Mass (about which I really can't complain, because I admit it, I am liberal as hell with some exceptions most of which make it impossible to be a true Democrat, which is FINE WITH ME!) everyone loves Bubba. VOMIT!!! It's good to hear from someone who doesn't think the man is the second-coming. Oooh, I feel a dirty joke in there somewhere, LOL. I don't think that the Clinton-bashing is enough to power up against the Leo duo, but it's pretty damn good ;)

Excalibur said...

Clinton is still pretty much a god in the blue states. I love the man, as he represents someone that rose to the top from an unfavorable background.

And he still had sex in the oval office, not with his wife, LOL.

I'm sure George W. is just as nasty. Five dollars to the person that can come up with the funniest Bush dirty talk convo.