Category Archives: Virginia Tech

A trip through the mind of a young mass murderer.

Some of you might already of read Cho Hui’s play he wrote for a college course over at TheSmokingGun. But if you haven’t, please be forewarned: It is grisly and very twisted. What does this show us about this young man? Well, as the write-up at TSG states:

The college student responsible for yesterday’s Virginia Tech slaughter was referred last year to counseling after professors became concerned about the violent nature of his writings, as evidenced in a one-act play obtained by The Smoking Gun. The play by Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, was submitted last year as part of a short story writing class. Entitled “Richard McBeef.”

I am the parent of a troubled young man that tried to commit suicide on Thanksgiving 3 years ago when he was living in AZ. I do not wish to fan the flames of sensationalism. I write this as a way to show how little we, as humans, pay attention to those among us that are emotionally or mentally scarred, for whatever reasons. They walk and live among us as ticking time bombs, which can go off either internally, as my son did, or externalize their problems on a chilly spring day in southern VA, on a campus of 26,000 students with results so devastating the entire country mourns for those affected. The play, “Richard McBeef”, tells the story of a 13-year-old boy who accuses his stepfather of pedophilia and murdering his father. The teenager talks of killing the older man and, at one point, the child’s mother brandishes a chain saw at the stepfather. The play ends with the man striking the child with “a deadly blow.”

IF this is just from his mind, his musings so to speak..what kind of mind thinks of these types of things? If he suffered some type of brutality in his youth, how could he hide something of this magnitude? I cannot feel hatred towards this young man, he was sadly very sick. Of course, I wasn’t personally affected by his killing spree either. A blogger friend of mine is a Dr. of Psychology; he goes by the name of Dr. BLT. I asked him to read Cho’s play and give me his opinion. Below are his brief thoughts:

It is tempting to automatically jump to conclusions but I never make diagnoses on patients I have had no direct professional contact with. I will say that, given the profound loss of control, and the devastating violence that was unleashed on the students as a result, and given the content of the play, it appears as if he could have been the victim of severe sexual, emotional and physical abuse. This would suggest that environmental factors may have played a huge role in his loss of control in this circumstance. But of course, environmental factors go hand in hand with neurological and genetic factors. For example, psychological trauma produces distinct neurological changes in the brain.

Of course it is possible for a creative person to generate fiction that does not directly correspond to his/her own personal experience, but in many cases, the writer uses the particular creative writing medium as a cathartic way of releasing pent-up emotions and projecting onto the various fictional characters disturbing aspects of his/her own personal experience.

I realize this post will probably go over like a lead balloon, but I will try and make it short for you, the reader’s sake.

This young man planned this mass murder make no mistake about that. He bought the Glock roughly 5 weeks before he carried out his last act as a living being. He purchased several 15-round clips for the gun. The second weapon was purchased less than a week ago. Both guns were purchased legally. Witnesses have said he loaded the Glock so quickly; it was as if he was a professional. He chained the doors so that students could not escape his rage and anger at Norris Hall.

But he was a young man with a tortured mind and soul and above all, he was a ‘loner’. Even his dorm-mate said he didn’t know him. No one so far has claimed to really know or to be a ‘friend’ to Cho. The thought of someone spending most of his life without a close friend is sad indeed. It is no accident that very few of the several dozen students questioned in the dorm where he lived knew Cho according to some articles. According to two who were aware of him, he was quiet, serious and, in the words of one, “gloomy.”

Cho, who arrived in the United States as boy from South Korea in 1992 and was raised in suburban Washington, D.C., where his parents worked at dry cleaners, left a rambling note in his dorm room raging against women and rich kids. The Chicago Tribune reported on its Web site that the note railed against “debauchery” and “deceitful charlatans” on campus. ABC, which has a fairly in-depth write-up, citing law enforcement sources, said that the note, several pages long, explains Cho’s actions and says, “You caused me to do this.”

VA. Tech has a larger population than the city I graduated high school and college from. As one of the bloggers on my local newspaper blogspace wrote today: “Some Universities are essentially Cities without services or inadequate services.”— We can’t even protect women from rape on college in the blue hell can we protect students from something like the Virginia Tech mass murder?

Sadly, the answer is..we can’t.

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Cross-posted at The Blue Republic