Chapter 6

College Shooters

Random and Ambiguous Attacks

The targeted college shooters presented in the previous chapter had long-standing grievances with their universities and targeted specific people in their attacks. In contrast, the shooters presented in this chapter committed random or ambiguous attacks. The targeted attacks were heinous acts, but they were responses to real situations. The rationales for the random attacks are much less tangible. Charles Whitman, for example, had no quarrel with his university; he had an intense, long-standing quarrel with himself.


Charles Whitman

“As I look back over my past few adult years they seem so wasted. Will I ever accomplish anything I set out to do?”

Date: August 1, 1966

Age: 25

School: University of Texas

Location: Austin, TX

Killed: 16

Wounded: 32

Outcome: Shot and killed

by police

During his time in the marines, Charles Whitman trained as a sharpshooter and became an outstanding marksman. This was not his first exposure to guns, however. A photograph shows him at two years of age holding two rifles, both taller than he was. His father said, “I’m a fanatic about guns. I raised my boys to know how to handle guns.”[1]

Whitman’s father loomed large in his life. “A self-made man and proud of it, he used his money to buy what he wanted, unapologetically. Some acquaintances, however, found his pride to be monumental egotism; he provided very well for his family—and never let them forget it.”[2] Mr. Whitman gave his kids everything he could and then complained that they were “spoiled rotten.”[3] He indulged his children and yet was also strict and punitive, spanking them with a belt and a paddle. Mr. Whitman also beat his wife, so the children may have witnessed domestic violence. The family environment was an odd mix of prosperity and punishment.

Years later, when he was a student at the University of Texas, Whitman told a professor, “I just despise my father. I hate him. If my father walked through that door, I’d kill him.” When his professor said that Whitman didn’t really mean that, Whitman replied, “I certainly do.”[4] Whitman, however, seemed less bothered by the domestic violence than his inability to surpass his father’s accomplishments. During a session with the campus psychiatrist, Whitman “readily admitted that he lived for the day when he could consider himself his father’s superior.”[5]

Whitman was a show-off and a daredevil who got into various kinds of trouble. He poached a deer, took it to his dormitory, and was skinning it in the shower when he was caught and arrested. He had frequent car accidents and five traffic violations in just over two years. Once, while in a car with friends, he pointed a gun at a pedestrian. When the man appeared to reach for his own gun, they sped off in their car, with Whitman laughing.

He also laughed over a cruel practical joke he pulled with a friend. After they were in a car accident, he went to the dormitory looking bloody and ragged and reported that his friend had been killed. Their buddies were horrified; they even called the friend’s girlfriend in the middle of the night and told her the bad news. When the supposedly dead man walked into the dormitory, Whitman rolled on the floor with laughter. As noted by his biographer, Whitman “seemed to enjoy watching others squirm,”[6] finding sadistic pleasure in their distress.

Whitman’s most serious misconduct, however, occurred in the marines. He was caught gambling and threatened to kick out the teeth of another soldier for refusing to pay a $30 debt with $15 interest. Whitman was demoted from lance corporal to private and given thirty days’ confinement and ninety days’ hard labor. In another gambling incident, Whitman bounced a check for a debt he owed. When the man demanded payment, Whitman—who towered over the man—intimidated him, then promised he would pay the debt, but never did.

Whitman earned a military scholarship for college. Although intellectually gifted, he did not apply himself and lost the scholarship. He struggled academically and could not settle on a career path: “Within a period of less than five years, his plans shifted from mechanical engineer to career marine officer to architectural engineer to real estate agent and finally to lawyer.”[7] He wanted desperately to make a lot of money but couldn’t even finish a degree, instead settling for a series of menial jobs.

Not only did Whitman fail to outachieve his father, he was financially dependent on his wife, who sailed through college and quickly established herself as a teacher. His sense of failure compared to his father and wife apparently damaged his sense of himself as a man. According to his biographer, the notes Whitman left after killing his mother and wife indicate that, “The fact that he had never been financially independent bothered him more than the murders he had committed.”[8] A further blow to his manhood was his fear that he was sterile; this may have been related to the testicular surgery he’d had in eleventh grade.

Though Whitman professed to love his wife, he beat her on multiple occasions. He must have been fierce, because his wife told her parents she believed Whitman was capable of killing her—a perception that was all too true. At times, the couple talked of separation and divorce.

Despite Whitman’s dark side, his public persona was remarkable. A professor noted that Whitman deserved “all the standard appellations of a high school yearbook. He was easily the ‘Best Looking,’ ‘Friendliest,’ and ‘Most Mature.’”[9] Whitman’s psychiatrist said that despite Whitman’s hostility, “There was something about him that suggested and expressed the all-American boy.”[10] The day before committing mass murder, when Whitman bought supplies for his attack, the clerk did not ask him for identification because he seemed like “such a nice young man.”[11] Whitman was clearly good at impression management. His biographer described him as “a consummate actor.”[12]

Whitman was shocked when his mother decided to leave his father. After years of abuse, Mrs. Whitman had had enough. On March 2, 1966, Whitman drove from Texas to Florida to pick up his mother. He brought her to Austin, where she found an apartment. Whitman’s father called repeatedly, trying to salvage his marriage. The stress of dealing with the breakup of his family left Whitman depressed and agitated. He decided to quit college and leave his wife, saying she’d be better off without him. When one of his instructors—also an ex-marine—ordered him to continue his studies, Whitman acquiesced. He also decided to stay with his wife.

Eventually, however, Whitman decided to end his life amid a massive bloodbath. He carried out the murders of his mother and wife with remarkable calmness. He apparently killed his mother in her apartment by first strangling her, then bashing her head with a blunt object, and finally stabbing her in the chest with a large hunting knife. He then returned home where his wife was sleeping and stabbed her in the chest five times. Later that day, he bought his final supplies for his attack, went to campus, ascended the campus clock tower, and rained death on innocent people.

What motivated Whitman? He hated his father and claimed to love his wife and mother, but he murdered the two women closest to him and made no effort to kill his father. Rage percolated in him for a long time, but it is hard to understand why it took the form it did. Two external events may have influenced Whitman. First, Truman Capote’s true-crime book In Cold Blood, about a mass murder, was reportedly the most talked about book of 1966. Then, on July 14, 1966, Richard Speck raped and killed eight student nurses in what was called “the crime of the century.” Gary Lavergne commented, “The power of mass murder to capture the attention of, to shock, and to break the heart of a nation could not have escaped Charlie.”[13]

Of course, Whitman had talked about shooting people from the tower before Speck had committed his murders. He’d told his psychiatrist about this idea back in March 1966 and had also mentioned it to friends. Perhaps In Cold Blood and Speck’s crime broke whatever barrier had been keeping Whitman’s rage in check. Or maybe it was more personal. In 1963 Whitman wrote, “As I look back over my past few adult years they seem so wasted. Will I ever accomplish anything I set out to do?”[14] Three years later, he still had nothing to show for himself. He was a wife batterer, just like the father he despised. He worked at menial jobs and couldn’t settle on a career. He was financially dependent on his wife. He feared he was sterile. He saw no future for himself. In the words of his biographer, “He climbed the Tower because he wanted to die in a big way; not by suicide, but by taking others with him and making the headlines. He died while engaging in the only activity in which he truly excelled—shooting.”[15]

* * *

Charles Whitman suffered from failed narcissism. He’d had big dreams that never materialized. He was a powerful, charismatic ex-marine, but he was dependent on his wife. He wanted to surpass his father in material success but couldn’t even finish a college degree. Eventually he found a way to make the world take notice of him. His psychopathic traits include his chronic disregard for laws and regulations, his lack of empathy, his impression management, and his sadistic pleasure in making others squirm.

After his death, an autopsy found that he had a brain tumor. Based on the autopsy, a subsequent investigation, and the opinions of numerous experts over the years, the consensus is that the tumor does not account for his rampage.[16]

Whitman may best be classified as an explosive psychopath. These are psychopaths who are “deeply frustrated by the futility and hopelessness of their lives.”[17] Rather than being chronically abrasive, they have discrete episodes in which their frustration and rage comes pouring out. They often abuse “safe partners,” people who come to symbolize their failures and serve as outlets for their rage. In Whitman’s case, his wife appears to have served this function. As Millon and Davis commented, “Because they are unable to resolve the real sources of their resentment and frustration, they come to feel that these symbols of futility and hopelessness must be removed from the scene.”[18] Also, for these psychopaths, “impotence and personal failure become the source of these aggressive acts.”[19] This fits Whitman.

Wayne Lo

“I have the power to bring the whole school down to its knees.”

Date: December 14, 1992

Age: 18

School: Simon’s Rock College

Location: Great Barrington,


Killed: 2

Wounded: 4

Outcome: Called police to

report himself. Prison

Wayne Lo was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States when he was twelve. He lived with his parents and younger brother in Montana. Lo’s father had been a pilot in the Nationalist China Air Force but had since left the military. After immigrating, his father opened a Chinese restaurant. Mr. Lo was a strict disciplinarian and “would beat Wayne with a riding crop when he disobeyed an order.”[20] Lo sometimes held out his hands and said, “Punish me.”[21] During his evaluation after the attack, Lo reportedly took pride in what he’d endured as a child, seeming grateful for his father’s strictness.[22]

Lo was bright and respected at school. He was also, however, narcissistic, “sometimes stubborn and arrogant, disagreeing with teachers whom he took to be intellectual inferiors, and refusing to complete assignments which he considered pointless.”[23] He could also be manipulative and deceitful. He once hinted to a teacher that he was suicidal, but instead of killing himself, he stole his mother’s car and drove out of state to spend five days with a girl.[24]

When Lo attended Simon’s Rock College, he became known for his bigotry. Extreme prejudice is often seen in people with sadistic personalities who enjoy being hostile toward minority groups. For example, Eric Harris admired Hitler and made racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and homophobic comments. Similarly, Lo and his friends made public comments against African Americans, Jews, and gays.[25]

Lo also made frequent comments about wanting to kill people at school. A peer said, “It’s not like we haven’t been afraid of Wayne and his friends. . . . My friends and I had been talking daily about how scary he is.”[26] A friend of Lo’s said, “Wayne often spoke about getting an automatic weapon and going into the cafeteria and shooting people at random.”[27] Lo also gave a female student unwanted attention, to the point that she told her faculty adviser and Lo was told to leave the woman alone.[28] Overall, “The students at Simon’s Rock disliked him and feared him. Girls felt stalked and harassed by him.”[29]

Eventually, Lo did what he had talked about—he committed a rampage attack. During the assault, his gun, however, kept jamming; if it hadn’t, the number of victims could have been much higher.[30] After shooting multiple people, Lo called the police and announced that he was the shooter. He said, “the people at Simon’s Rock needed to be taught a lesson.”[31] When apprehended, “The officers were surprised by Wayne’s calm manner and polite attitude. He wasn’t sweating, shaking, or hyperventilating.”[32] This lack of emotional arousal in the wake of murder is striking.

Lo claimed that during his attack he believed he was on a mission from God. This, however, appears to have been a lie. The night before the shooting, he told a friend that he was writing out the Book of Revelation to give people the impression that he was crazy.[33] In addition, Lo called the police after his rampage, demonstrating that he knew he had committed a crime; if he truly believed he was on a mission from God, why call the police? Furthermore, while in prison, Lo exhibited a narcissistic delight in fame and a psychopathic interest in deception. According to court documents, “the defendant talked about the killings with other inmates and told them that he was excited that he was getting attention from the news media and that he hoped to be on television or have a movie made about what happened. The defendant also discussed the insanity plea and asked the inmates ‘if there was any way to fool . . . the shrink.’”[34] A reporter for the New York Times who interviewed Lo seven years after the attack was struck by Lo’s remarkably smooth presentation, noting he “often spoke with disarming frankness. He was also manipulative, controlling and so eager to portray himself in a positive light that it was sometimes impossible to believe he thought he was telling the truth.”[35]

Why did Lo go on a rampage? Maybe he was trying to prove something. He was on the short side at 5’5” and, according to a friend, Lo was very sensitive about it.[36] It seemed vitally important for Lo to be seen as masculine. His friends used to joke with him: “We’d be like, ‘How tough are you Wayne?’ And he’d say, ‘I’m tough.’ . . . It was just ridiculous.”[37] After the attack, one of his friends said, “This is a terrible thing to say, but it was almost as if Wayne did those shootings to impress his friends.”[38]

Was there a triggering event for Lo’s rampage? He had no long-standing grievance against the school, but he did have a run-in with the administration shortly before his attack. Over Thanksgiving break, all the students who stayed on campus were moved to a single residence hall. Lo complied but then moved back to his regular dorm room without permission.[39] He was fined for this, but there were no serious consequences. Nonetheless, Lo’s response to the fine was startling: “If I’d known you were going to throw the whole book at me, I would have gotten my money’s worth. I have the power to bring the whole school down to its knees.”[40] Approximately two weeks later, he did just that.

* * *

Wayne Lo had a belligerent, intimidating presence, but not in all settings. There were no reports of disruptive and disrespectful behavior in class, as there were with Robert Flores. Apparently, Lo was skilled enough in impression management to control himself to fit the setting. His comments about faking mental illness and his ability to succeed in doing so with mental health examiners after his attack provide further evidence of impression management. In addition, he was sensitive about being small and eager to prove how tough he was. He was also angry about school personnel exercising power over him.

These factors suggest that Lo was a reputation-defending antisocial. Such people are extremely sensitive to slights to their social standing and “need to be thought of as invincible and formidable persons.”[41] To prove how tough they are “may require acts of aggressive leadership or risk-taking behaviors, often of a violent or criminal nature.”[42] Lo also showed signs of being an unprincipled psychopath in his deceitfulness and manipulation of people.


Unlike the targeted attackers, Charles Whitman and Wayne Lo were not chronically abrasive people who made enemies wherever they went. Whitman generally presented well, with no reports of disrespectful or disruptive behavior in class. Though Lo was belligerent with peers, he presented well elsewhere. He also demonstrated his impression-management skills after the attack, both with mental health professionals and reporters. Whitman’s and Lo’s ability to deceive people distinguishes them from the abrasive psychopaths who engaged in targeted attacks.

Finally, both Whitman and Lo experienced violence in the home that may have been traumatic, though neither shooter accused his father of abuse. Nonetheless, although they were psychopathic, they may also have had at least one aspect of the traumatized shooters: physical abuse. Unlike the traumatized shooters, however, Whitman and Lo neither grew up in poverty or squalor nor with criminal or substance-abusing parents. Neither did they come from broken homes or have changing caregivers. Thus, even if they had been abused, their histories do not match those of the traumatized shooters.


Seung Hui Cho

“Oh the happiness I could have had mingling among you hedonists, being counted as one of you.”

Date: April 16, 2007

Age: 23

School: Virginia Polytechnic

Institute and State University

Location: Blacksburg, VA

Killed: 32

Wounded: 17

Outcome: Suicide

With all shooters, we seek to answer the questions of who they were and why they killed. These questions are particularly challenging with Seung Hui Cho. Why did he go on a rampage against random people? His advances had been rejected by three women, two of whom reported him to the campus police for harassment; the officers told Cho to leave the women alone.[43] He could have targeted these women or the officers involved, but he didn’t. Similarly, Cho had been removed from a poetry-writing class because his behavior had unnerved the students and professor.[44] He could have targeted his classmates or the instructor, but he didn’t. In yet another incident, Cho had become enraged during a meeting with Professor Carl Bean, his instructor in technical writing, who had suggested Cho drop the class.[45] Cho could have killed Professor Bean, but he didn’t. Instead, he killed strangers. He first murdered two students in a residence hall and then attacked random students and professors in another building. Why? To answer this question, we have to look not only at who Cho was but also at who he believed he was.

The day of his rampage Cho mailed a letter to the English department that was signed “Ax Ishmael.”[46] He also sent a manifesto to MSNBC, in which he wrote, “I am Ax Ishmael. I am the Anti-Terrorist of America.”[47] When his dead body was found, the words Ax Ishmael were discovered in red ink on his arm.[48] It appears that Cho committed his attack as Ax Ishmael, the Anti-Terrorist of America.

Was this a name he consciously adopted, or did he really believe he was somebody else? It is my opinion that he likely believed he truly was somebody else. Evidence suggests that Cho was out of touch with reality and struggled with his identity: when he contacted a female student anonymously and she asked him who he was, he wrote back, “I do not know who I am.”[49] Later on, he left a Shakespeare quotation on the whiteboard on this student’s dorm room that included the line, “I know not how to tell thee who I am.”[50]

In fact, Cho became known as “Question Mark.” He signed in to class with a question mark instead of his name,[51] his Facebook name was “?”[52] and sometimes he “introduced himself as ‘Question Mark,’ saying it was the persona of a man who lived on Mars and journeyed to Jupiter.”[53] On other occasions, he introduced himself as Cho’s nonexistent twin brother, “Question Mark,” and asked to speak to Cho.[54] Perhaps this could be viewed as a prank, but by all accounts Cho was without a sense of humor.

Cho claimed he had a supermodel girlfriend named Jelly who lived in outer space and called him Spanky. He occasionally asked his roommates to stay away because Jelly was visiting.[55] For a writing class, he wrote a short story called “The Adventure of Spanky” and signed it “Spanky I.,” with “Seung Cho” underneath in parentheses.[56] Maybe he thought he was Spanky, maybe he knew he wasn’t, or maybe he wasn’t sure. Interestingly, in the story, Jelly tells him that they cuddled and made out the day before, but Spanky has no memory of this and is very confused. He cannot tell what is real and what isn’t. Perhaps this expressed Cho’s own confusion about reality.

Whoever Cho believed he was by the time of his attack, his manifesto reveals his delusions of grandeur: “Like Moses, I spread the sea and lead my people—the Weak, the Defenseless, and the Innocent Children of all ages that you fucked and will always try to fuck—to eternal freedom.”[57] Cho also compared himself to Jesus: “Thanks to you, I die, like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the Weak and Defenseless people.”[58]

Furthermore, Cho envisioned a global revolution in the wake of his attack, writing, “the vendetta you have witnessed today will reverberate throughout every home and every soul in America and will inspire the Innocent kids that you have fucked to start a war of vendetta. We will raise hell on earth that the world has never witnessed. Millions of deaths and millions of gallons of blood on the streets will not quench the avenging phoenix that you have caused us to unleash.”[59]

Besides grandiosity, the manifesto reveals Cho’s extreme paranoia. He believed he was facing annihilation, writing, “Don’t you just wish you finished me off when you had the chance? Don’t you just wish you killed me? You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today, but you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option.”[60] Another prominent theme in Cho’s writing is the extraordinary sense of victimization he described. He wrote about being fucked, raped, crucified, buried alive, vandalized, emotionally sodomized, and destroyed. What he meant by all this is unclear. His most upsetting experience at Virginia Tech appears to have been his meeting with Professor Bean. No one was torturing him or trying to harm him. It was all in his head, but was no less real to him for all that.

The manifesto also contains references to hedonism. On the one hand, he was bitterly contemptuous of hedonists. On the other hand, the first sentence says, “Oh the happiness I could have had mingling among you hedonists, being counted as one of you.”[61] He hated them, but he wanted to be one of them, perhaps hating them because he knew he couldn’t be one of them.

So who was he, and why did he kill people? It appears that he thought he was Ax Ishmael, the Anti-Terrorist of America, and that he was avenging all the horrible wrongs that he and other weak and innocent people have endured, that he was leading a global uprising of the oppressed. The reality is that instead of protecting innocent people, he gunned them down in cold blood. He was the killer, the annihilator.

Who was he really—not as Ax Ishmael but as Seung Hui Cho? He was a profoundly shy, scared, inhibited young man who could not function socially. He struggled with women, failing in his attempts at finding a girlfriend and being twice told by campus police to stop harassing women. Shortly before his attack, he hired a woman from an escort service who met him in a motel room. She danced for him briefly before he tried to force himself on her, but she pushed him off and left.[62] Even with a hired woman he was a failure.

His sense of self may have also been hurt by his older sister’s outstanding abilities. She was accepted into both Yale and Princeton, graduated from Princeton, and was hired by the State Department. She was the epitome of success, and he was a “loser.”

Cho was the outsider looking in on everyone else living happy lives. He expressed this in a short story about a student named Bud who planned a school shooting. Bud looked into a classroom where “everyone is smiling and laughing as if they’re in heaven-on-earth, something magical and enchanting about all the people’s intrinsic nature that Bud will never experience.”[63] Cho wrote a poem called “Loser” in which he laments his inability to have a life like other people:

In his dream, he lives two lives,

because in this world he has no life . . .

Only if LOSER could live his lives.

Something LOSER can’t ever do!—live those lives

and be normal and actually have a life.[64]

In a piece of writing found in his room after the attack, Cho had written, “Kill yourselves or you will never know how the dorky kid that [you] publicly humiliated and spat on will come behind you and slash your throats.”[65] How did Cho see himself? As a loser, a dorky kid who could never live a normal life like everybody around him.

Was there a triggering event for Cho’s attack? Perhaps. In fact, the same event that seems to have most enraged him may also have determined the date of his rampage. The previous year, on April 17, 2006, Cho had a disturbing episode with Professor Bean. Cho, who usually stayed silent or spoke so softly that he was barely audible, actually yelled when Bean recommended that he drop his class.[66] Of note is that Bean had a particular interest in the Holocaust. A year later, the day of Cho’s attack, Cho mailed a letter to the English department complaining about his treatment by Bean. Cho said five times said that Bean “went on a holocaust on me.” The letter indicates the significance of the incident to Cho and demonstrates how his paranoia distorted reality. “When he realized that I’m a weak and defenseless kid,” Cho wrote, “the color of his face changed and his eyes and lips turned Satanic. Impulsively, he viciously tore me apart like a beast, wickedly laughed in my face, completely desecrated me over and over in multiple ways and tried to smother me out. He went on a holocaust on me, and he seemed to enjoy every moment of it.”[67] This incident occurred on April 17, 2006; Cho’s attack was on April 16, 2007—one day short of the one-year anniversary. Why one day away? Why not on April 17? Perhaps because the incident with Bean was on a Monday and Cho wanted his counterattack to be a year later to the day. Or perhaps, more importantly, April 16, 2007, was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Bean was interested in the Holocaust, and having felt like he was a victim of Bean’s committing “a holocaust on him,” perhaps Cho timed his own holocaust accordingly.

* * *

Though Cho was never diagnosed as schizophrenic during his lifetime, the severity of his psychosis suggests that he was schizophrenic. His paranoia inflated negative events into experiences of crucifixion, rape, and murderous attempts to annihilate him. As with several other psychotic shooters, Cho created an ideology that supported his attack. He even created a new identity for himself: Ax Ishmael, the Anti-Terrorist of America.

Steven Kazmierczak

“You can write a book about me someday.”

Date: February 14, 2008

Age: 27

School: Northern Illinois


Location: DeKalb, IL

Killed: 5

Wounded: 17

Outcome: Suicide

Steven Kazmierczak was an outstanding student in sociology—the golden boy of the department. He impressed his professors as a rising star with a great future in the field. So how did he go from golden boy to mass murderer?[68]

Kazmierczak was an enigmatic person with an unusual life history. By the time he was eighteen years old, he had been hospitalized nine times for suicide risk or attempts. In addition to the hospitalizations, he was in and out of residential treatment programs due to his chronic depression and psychotic symptoms. Eight years before his attack, “Steven acknowledged that he was paranoid and claimed to have ‘special powers.’ He claimed to hear voices that continually commented about what he was thinking and how he behaved. It was reported that Steven suffered auditory hallucinations and on at least one occasion had a visual hallucination.”[69] Kazmierczak reported that he could “see” a former girlfriend and that he could read minds. He said he had always had this ability but that it had become stronger with age.

Despite his mental health problems, Kazmierczak completely turned his life around, becoming an academic success at Northern Illinois University (NIU). He impressed the faculty not only with his intellectual ability but with his personal qualities, too. “He was exceptional as a student, one of those who was definitely a standout,” the postattack report says. “He was every professor’s and advisor’s dream come true, a very respectful student who was polite and so dedicated and conscientious. Nobody had anything bad to say about him.”[70] This was an astonishing recovery from suicide attempts and psychosis.

Though his professors described him in glowing terms, his peers saw him differently. He talked obsessively about Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Hitler, and the rampage at Columbine. His preoccupation with serial killers and other murderers apparently alienated people, and he was given nicknames such as “Strange Steve” and “Psycho.”

Kazmierczak had an older sister, Susan, who reportedly was “more compliant, better behaved, and more successful academically than her brother.”[71] Kazmierczak did not get along with her, and in eighth grade he once chased her from the house with a knife. Following the shooting at Northern Illinois University, Susan expressed surprise that Kazmierczak had not tried to kill her instead of students he didn’t even know.

Kazmierczak had an erratic work history. He was fired several times due to behavior problems, poor attendance, or both. On September 20, 2001, Kazmierczak joined the US Army. To get in, however, he’d provided false information and did not report his extensive history of mental health treatment. This was discovered, and he was discharged on February 13, 2002.

Kazmierczak graduated from NIU in May 2006 and began graduate school in sociology there the following fall. When the department underwent changes, however, he transferred to the University of Illinois. Things seemed to fall apart for him at this time. His mother died in September 2006, he didn’t handle the transition to a new school well, and he had difficulties with his girlfriend. Kazmierczak’s functioning further deteriorated over 2007, and during the early weeks of 2008, he became less social, isolating himself more and more. Then, on February 14, 2008, he returned to the building where he’d had his first class at NIU and gunned down strangers.

As always, the question Why? demands an answer. Kazmierczak complained that at NIU there were “a lot of well-to-do and uppity people.”[72] He reportedly had a preoccupation with, and intolerance of, people he considered overprivileged. Was this an issue of status and envy? Did he strike out against those he felt threatened by?

Kazmierczak left no messages about his attack. We don’t know what reasons he thought he had for doing what he did or why he chose the place he did. Because he had transferred to the University of Illinois, he had to travel three hours to get back to NIU. Thus, it was not a location of convenience. He not only traveled to NIU but went to the lecture hall where he’d had his first class and many of his subsequent sociology classes. This was the place where he had turned his life around, where he had recovered from his mental health problems and established himself as the star student in the sociology department. Since then, however, his life had gone downhill. He was in a new school, he was no longer the star, and it probably seemed like his life was unraveling. Maybe he envied those who were on the same path he had been on, so he went back to his beginnings at NIU to kill those who were following in his footsteps and were likely to succeed where he had failed.

* * *

Steven Kazmierczak left no manifesto or evidence that his attack was driven by ideology. He was, however, attracted to ideologies, including the Nazis and Nietzsche. (As a teenager, Kazmierczak had a business card from the KKK and drew swastikas with spray paint.) He also was fascinated by role models for violence, including Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Hitler, Harris and Klebold, and Seung Hui Cho. He had a history of psychotic symptoms, but it is not clear that his psychosis drove his rampage. His symptoms were significant enough to suggest schizophrenia, but if he were schizophrenic, the symptoms were episodic, not chronic. Like other shooters, status seemed to be a concern. Also, as seen among other psychotic shooters, he had an older sister who outperformed him and whom he hated.

Matti Saari

“You’ll be sorry.”

Date: September 23, 2008

Age: 22

School: Seinajoki University

Location: Kauhajoki, Finland

Killed: 10

Wounded: 1

Outcome: Suicide

Less than a year after Pekka-Eric Auvinen’s rampage, Finland was again shocked by a school shooting. Matti Saari followed in Auvinen’s footsteps—not just by committing a school attack, but by deliberately modeling himself on Auvinen.[73]

Saari got off to a rough start in life. As a toddler, his growth and development were slow, and he had frequent illnesses and hospitalizations. Physically, “his height-weight curve was lower than expected. He remained slight in build for a long time but later gained weight. His height was below the average for Finnish males.”[74]

In terms of temperament, “He has been described as lively and happy as a baby but shy, withdrawn, and quiet as a child and later in his life.”[75] Saari’s parents separated when he was a year old. He had an older brother who suffered from a congenital illness and died when Saari was seventeen, which reportedly was a devastating loss for him. The family relocated twelve times due to the father’s work, resulting in six school changes for Saari in nine years of primary and secondary schooling.

In school, his peers reportedly assaulted him, threatened to break his moped, spit in his face, and drew caricatures of him on the blackboard.[76] His mental health records begin at age thirteen and indicate problems with anxiety and panic attacks, as well as depression and suicidal thoughts. In 2007 he had an episode of depression or psychosis in which “he lay motionless and apathetic in his bed, refusing to eat or drink anything.”[77]

Long before this, however, he had thought about murder. According to a friend, in 2005 Saari had talked about “going on a shooting spree in a restaurant in his former hometown.”[78] This means that Saari was fantasizing about a rampage two years before Auvinen’s attack.

Saari joined the military, but he struggled to fit in and was picked on. His fellow soldiers described him as “weird and silent.”[79] He lasted less than two months. Saari also had an erratic educational history as a young adult. He dropped out of upper secondary school, a vocational school, and yet another school.[80] He eventually attended the culinary-arts program at Kauhajoki Polytechnic where he completed the first year satisfactorily and began his second year in September 2008.

In Saari’s later school years, he got involved with “petty theft and intoxicants.”[81] His behavior seemed to become increasingly odd, and he disturbed people by the way he played with a knife. He also made reference to suicide and expressed admiration for Auvinen’s shooting in Jokela the previous autumn.

His drinking became more problematic, and “His intoxication was occasionally accompanied by aggressive behavior, fisticuffs, and language his friends considered frightening.”[82] While drunk at a party in a restaurant, he talked about school shootings with women he was trying to pick up; when rejected, he commented, “You’ll be sorry.”[83] When an employee of the restaurant intervened, Saari reportedly seemed “strange,” did not make eye contact, and did not respond to the employee. Similarly, he did not make eye contact when he met with a nurse specialist about his depression. In the summer of 2008 there was an unexplained incident on a ship where Saari was “imprisoned” because he had become violent toward a friend.

His friends noticed a change in his behavior. Though some people saw Saari as a typical young man, others thought he was “abnormal.”[84] He became obsessed with guns and school shootings. Shortly before the attack, a brief relationship with a girlfriend ended. Also, several acquaintances of his were killed in a car accident. The impact of these events is unknown.

In Finland, people must be interviewed to get permission to buy firearms and then must present the weapon to the police before they are allowed to use it. Saari’s behavior when he presented his gun to the police on September 2, 2008, was noteworthy. According to the post-attack report, “The policeman was bothered . . . by the perpetrator’s [Saari’s] odd behaviour. For example, he had been giggling and snuffling while presenting the gun. . . . The policeman who had performed the inspection did take the matter up in the police department later that day, saying that he hoped this was not the next school killer.”[85]

On September 19, it came to someone’s attention that Saari had posted videos online about shooting. On September 22, the police interviewed Saari, who stated that there were lots of videos online about shooting. The officers did not confiscate his gun or conduct any further evaluation. The next day, he committed his attack.

While Saari did not leave a manifesto, he did leave behind a note saying that the attack was due to his hatred of humanity and was also revenge for bullying. As retaliation for bullying, however, the attack did not make sense, as “There are no records or references indicating that the perpetrator had been discriminated against or bullied at Kauhajoki Polytechnic. His studies went well there. The perpetrator had told his mother and friends that he liked it in Kauhajoki. He also had a few friends at the polytechnic, with whom he spent some of his leisure time.”[86] The official report concluded, “There is no indication of the act being an act of revenge.”[87] Also, as noted above, three years earlier he had talking about committing a rampage attack at a restaurant; considering this, revenge for mistreatment at school was not the motive.

Saari, like Auvinen, admired Harris and Klebold. He also admired Auvinen. He traveled to Jokela and took photographs of the school where Auvinen committed his rampage. He bought guns from the same company as Auvinen. And, like Auvinen, he not only shot people but set fires in the school as well. On the day of his attack, Auvinen wore a shirt that said, “Humanity is overrated.” Several days before his attack, Saari got drunk and said to people, “Humanity is overrated.” Furthermore, Saari’s “hair and dressing style had undergone a change during the summer preceding the incident. He now combed his hair back and wore a black leather jacket, which attracted attention. His new style was reminiscent of that of the Jokela school killer”—Auvinen.[88] Though Saari left no manifesto like Auvinen’s, he did leave two suicide notes that resembled Auvinen’s writings, including the comments, “I hate the human race, I hate mankind, I hate the whole world, and I want to kill as many people as possible.”[89]

* * *

Matti Saari, like Auvinen, appears to have had an avoidant personality that evolved into schizotypal personality disorder. Identifying Saari as psychotic is tentative due to insufficient information. Nonetheless, as is common among schizotypals, he behaved in strange ways and struck people as odd. In addition, schizotypals frequently exhibit inappropriate affect, as Saari did when he presented his gun to the police. He also did not make eye contact the way most people do. He was anxious, depressed, and unable to function socially. Like other psychotic shooters, he seems to have used Auvinen, Harris, and Klebold as figures he could mentally attach himself to and imitate, thereby experiencing a sense of power.


Seung Hui Cho, Steven Kazmierczak, and Matti Saari differed from the psychotic shooters who engaged in targeted attacks. Those shooters, in addition to their psychotic symptoms, exhibited narcissistic, demanding, and abrasive behavior. Cho was clearly an odd young man, but he did not act entitled or demanding. He was profoundly shy and anxious, not arrogant and abrasive. Similarly, Saari was a shy, anxious young man who struck people as odd, but he was not chronically rude, condescending, or obnoxious. In contrast, Kazmierczak’s professors saw him as a model student and a wonderful young man.

In comparing the targeted and random college attackers, some generalizations can be made. The shooters who carried out targeted attacks had belligerent personalities that alienated and frightened people around them. This is true of both the psychopathic and psychotic-psychopathic shooters.

The targeted attacks were the culmination of long battles between the perpetrators and their universities. In contrast, the random shooters had no long-brewing battles with professors or departments, no e-mail campaigns about grievances, and no lawsuits against their universities. Cho wrote a manifesto, but the content had nothing to do with Virginia Tech. Whereas the targeted shooters could point to external events that in their minds warranted a violent response, the random shooters seemed to be driven more by their own internal dynamics. There were, of course, external stresses, such as Whitman’s parents’ separation or Cho’s conflict with Professor Bean, but there is no logical connection between these events and their rampages.

The external situations of the targeted shooters were more desperate than those of the random shooters. Lu was unemployed despite sending résumés all over the country; he was poor and pessimistic about his prospects. Fabrikant was fighting for tenure, and if he failed his career would be in serious trouble. Flores was struggling financially, his wife had left him, and his academic failures devastated his economic and career prospects. Odighizuwa’s wife had left him, and he was desperately poor, a law school dropout with student loans to repay. Bishop had lost her fight for tenure, sending her career and entire identity into a tailspin. Halder was poor, isolated, and without prospects.

In contrast, Whitman was being supported by his wife. Both Lo and Cho were supported by their parents. Saari was doing well in school and had no known financial concerns. Kazmierczak had a brilliant academic career. None of the random shooters had children, whereas four out of six of the targeted shooters did, which resulted in added financial strain. Overall, the targeted shooters had greater responsibilities and more significant life stressors to deal with than the random shooters.


Edward Allaway

“They had control of my being. They were giving commands.”

Date: July 12, 1976

Age: 37

School: California State


Location: Fullerton, CA

Killed: 7

Wounded: 2

Outcome: Called police,

turned himself in.


Edward Allaway accused his first wife, Carol, of being unfaithful. He believed that men entered his bed while he slept and had sex with her. To prevent this, Allaway put a lock on the bedroom door and kept two loaded guns under the bed.[90] His wife convinced him to get inpatient psychiatric treatment, so he spent time in Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan. Despite his mental health treatment, Carol divorced him, and Allaway moved to California.[91]

Allaway then married a woman named Bonnie. He threatened to slice her face with a penknife if she ever cheated on him.[92] Eventually, however, he believed that Bonnie, too, was having affairs. He also thought she appeared in pornographic movies that were filmed in the building where he worked as a custodian at California State University.[93] Allaway believed that his coworkers forced Bonnie to participate in pornography and then tortured her.[94] Some employees did watch pornographic films at work, but there is no evidence they ever made any, with or without Bonnie.[95]

The sexual focus of Allaway’s delusions is interesting in light of other facts. He was severely upset by obscene graffiti in the restrooms he cleaned. Additionally, he said that sometimes men had homosexual encounters in the bathrooms and even invited him to join them—perhaps seriously, perhaps teasingly.[96] Furthermore, Allaway said he was dishonorably discharged from the marines because he contracted venereal diseases three times.[97] Assuming this is true, it suggests that he visited prostitutes, which makes his report of feeling disturbed by sexual graffiti seem odd. Perhaps he had profound guilt or distress related to sex that was exacerbated by his psychosis.

Not much information is available about Allaway’s early life. He was the youngest of four children, with three older sisters. He had a “rocky relationship with his father, an alcoholic factory worker.”[98] He reportedly attempted suicide, but no details are known.[99]

Allaway had an erratic work history, with numerous jobs that didn’t last long. In some cases he was fired for fighting with his coworkers.[100] A tense situation developed at the University of California, where Allaway had a hostile attitude and angry outbursts. Though some people became afraid of him, his paranoia caused him to be afraid of others.[101]

His marriage to Bonnie went well at first, but one night neighbors heard such screaming from their apartment that someone called the police. The couple separated over Memorial Day weekend, 1976, just six weeks before Allaway’s rampage.[102]

Besides his delusions about his wife’s affairs, Allaway reported auditory and visual hallucinations. He believed that certain men “urinated on Bonnie and sodomized her. They used her as their whore.”[103] He began having bizarre experiences:

One night he claimed he saw a woman standing in the doorway outside his apartment. She cupped her hands to her mouth and blew, instructing Allaway to breathe in. When he did, Allaway became disoriented and stumbled back inside.

Then a man crashed through the apartment window. Allaway thought he heard Bonnie screaming for help. The mysterious assailant lunged toward Allaway, forcing him to say he wanted Bonnie to suffer. Allaway heard voices outside the door ask if Bonnie’s nipples should be cut off. Allaway, under pressure, agreed to let them “just cut one.”[104]

On July 12, 1976, Allaway went to the university library where he worked and gunned people down at close range. A fellow custodian heard Allaway mutter, “I’m going to kill all these SOBs for messing around with my wife.”[105] He shot a photographer, a media assistant, a graphic artist, and a retired professor. He also shot two fellow custodians who were said to have been among his few friends at the university. One of these was Deborah Paulsen, a woman he wanted to marry or move in with. She reportedly liked Allaway initially but eventually rejected him.[106] This could have been a motivating factor in the attack, but nothing Allaway said before, during, or since his rampage has confirmed this. Ten years after the rampage, Allaway insisted that there was nothing connecting his victims. He blamed the voices he heard, stating, “They had control of my being. . . . They were giving commands, and I was being punished.”[107]

After his attack, Allaway fled in his car, seeking out his wife at the hotel where she worked. From there he called the police and said, “I went berserk at Cal State Fullerton, and I committed some terrible act. I’d appreciate it if you people would come down and pick me up. I’m unarmed, and I’m giving myself up to you.”[108]

* * *

Edward Allaway was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic;[109] this appears to be an accurate diagnosis. He had both hallucinations and delusions. He also developed an extreme sensitivity to sexuality reminiscent of Alvaro Castillo’s severe discomfort with sex. The timing of Allaway’s attack appears to have been related to his life circumstances, coming six weeks after he and his wife separated. He also was unhappy at work and wanted to transfer to a new position. His rampage, however, appears to have been a direct result of his psychosis.

The attack is considered ambiguous for several reasons. First, he made a comment about killing the “SOBs” whom he believed were having sex with his wife. Whether or not he had specific people in mind is unknown. Second, he claimed years later that he was shooting people randomly. Despite this, he did not go to a random place at the university but instead chose the building where he worked and knew people. And finally, shooting the woman who rejected him may not have been random.

One Goh

“My entire life, I cannot do things other people do.”

Date: April 2, 2012

Age: 43

School: Oikos University

Location: Oakland, CA

Killed: 7

Wounded: 3

Outcome: Fled scene.

Picked up at supermarket.


One Goh’s life was a series of financial and familial losses and failures.[110] Goh came to the United States from South Korea, arriving at a young age with his parents and two older brothers. His brothers made successful transitions to their new country; Goh did not.

Goh had a series of jobs but was never financially stable. He had federal tax liens against him totaling more than $23,000.[111] He owed $10,377 to a bank, had been sued over a credit card debt, and had been evicted from an apartment for failing to pay his rent.[112] In Virginia, Goh owned a construction company that failed. He also had a failed marriage, leaving behind an ex-wife and twelve-year-old daughter when he relocated to the West Coast.[113] In California, Goh was fired from his job as a food deliveryman because of his hot temper.[114] He also had several run-ins with law enforcement, most commonly due to traffic violations, but with at least one arrest for misdemeanor assault and battery in 1993.[115]

Besides lost jobs, lost money, and the loss of his relationships with his ex-wife and daughter, Goh lost a brother and his mother. Just over a year before Goh’s attack, his brother, who was a decorated US Army veteran, was killed in a car crash.[116] Not long after that, Goh’s mother, who had returned to Korea, died.[117] At age forty-three, Goh apparently was without friends, without a girlfriend or wife, living with his father, and attending Oikos University where he studied nursing.

Though Goh complained that his classmates made fun of his poor English skills, a university administrator challenged this and pointed out that most of the students—who are immigrants from around the world—do not speak English well.[118] Also, though some reports in the aftermath of the attack stated that Goh had been expelled from the school, he apparently withdrew voluntarily.[119]

What, then, was the trigger for his attack? Goh’s biggest issue with the university was financial. When he withdrew from his classes in November 2011 he sought to get his tuition reimbursed. He had a series of meetings with administrators in which he demanded his full tuition back, and when they refused, he became angry.[120]

After his attack, Goh revealed that his primary target had been Wonja Kim, who had been the assistant director of the nursing program. By April 2012, however, she was no longer employed at the university.[121] Goh did not know this and during his attack searched for her in order to kill her. Not able to find her, he unleashed his rage on ten people he did not know; he later told police that he wanted to kill as many people as he could.[122] He then fled the scene, called his father from a supermarket, and said he had done “very bad things.”[123] A clerk overheard this conversation and notified store security, who detained Goh and contacted the police.

What was wrong with Goh? After his attack, two psychiatric evaluations concluded that he had paranoid schizophrenia.[124] He reportedly had both hallucinations and delusions. His hallucinations included voices talking to him and seeing faces in mirrors. His delusions involved “the battle between God and Satan and his role in that battle.”[125] Goh’s symptoms were severe enough that a judge ruled him to be mentally unfit to stand trial.[126]

* * *

One Goh’s attack was ambiguous because he reportedly was after one specific target but, not finding her, shot people indiscriminately. Even if he had found his target, he may still have shot random people. Also, he reportedly disclosed that he had intended to kill as many people as possible.[127] If true, then he intended to commit a mixed attack involving one specific target and multiple random targets.


Both Allaway and Goh were psychotic. Both were the youngest children in their families and apparently the only ones who struggled with mental illness. They both had failed marriages and problematic work histories. They both fled the scenes of their attacks and telephoned people to confess what they had done; Allaway called the police and Goh, his father. Finally, both were picked up by police without a struggle.

The trigger for Goh’s attack apparently was his financial dispute with the university. Thus, like the college shooters who engaged in targeted attacks, money was a key issue. Allaway’s attack appears to have been driven by his psychosis, though he was also unhappy with his work situation and was looking to leave it, which may have contributed to the stress that led to his attack.


Gary M. Lavergne, A Sniper in the Tower: The Charles Whitman Murders (Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1997), 5. All the information on Whitman in this chapter is from his biography.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 2.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 3.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 68.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 71.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 53.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 256–67.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 109.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 24–25.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 70–71.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 91.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 21.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 81.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 48.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 269.


Lavergne, A Sniper, 268.


Theodore Millon and Roger Davis, “Ten Subtypes of Psychopathy,” in Psychopathy; Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior, ed. Theodore Millon et al., 166 (New York: Guilford Press, 1998).


Millon and Davis, “Ten Subtypes,” 167.


Millon and Davis, “Ten Subtypes,” 167.


Jonathan Fast, Ceremonial Violence: A Psychological Explanation of School Shootings (New York: Overlook, 2008), 84.


Gregory Gibson, Gone Boy: A Walkabout (New York: Anchor Books, 2000), 257.


Brian Melley, “Lo Described by Psychiatrist as Suffering from Delusions,” Union-News (Springfield, MA), January 27, 1994, 12.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 84.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 87.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 90.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 90.


Gibson, Gone Boy, 159.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 91.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 91.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 97.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 100.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 100.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 92.


Commonwealth v. Wayne Lo, 428 Mass. 45 (1998), 2, available online at


William Glaberson, “Man and His Son’s Slayer Unite to Ask Why,” New York Times, April 12, 2000,


Gibson, Gone Boy, 226.


Gibson, Gone Boy, 226.


Gibson, Gone Boy, 227.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 92.


Fast, Ceremonial Violence, 92.


Theodore Millon, Disorders of Personality: DSM-IV and Beyond, 2nd ed. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996), 452.


Millon, Disorders of Personality, 452.


TriData Division, System Planning Corporation, “Mass Shootings at Virginia Tech: Addendum to the Report of the Review Panel” (Arlington, VA: TriData Division, 2009), 23–24, available online at


TriData Division, “Mass Shootings,” 23.


TriData Division, “Mass Shootings,” 25.


Seung Hui Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s Letter to the English Department of Virginia Tech,” mailed on April 16, 2007, author’s personal collection.


Seung Hui Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s ‘Manifesto,’” n.d., 4, available online at


Sari Horwitz, “Va. Tech Shooter Seen as ‘Collector of Injustice,” Washington Post, June 19, 2007,


TriData Division, “Mass Shootings,” 46.


TriData Division, “Mass Shootings,” 46.


Matt Apuzzo, “Gunman’s Writings Were Disturbing,” Huffington Post, April 17, 2007,


Amy Gardner and David Cho, “Isolation Defined Cho’s Senior Year,” Washington Post, May 6, 2007,


N. R. Kleinfield, “Before Deadly Rage, a Lifetime Consumed by a Troubling Silence,” New York Times, April 22, 2007,


TriData Division, “Mass Shootings,” 42.


Kleinfield, “Before Deadly Rage.”


Seung Hui Cho et al., “Cho’s English Department E-mails,” fall 2005–spring 2007, available online at


Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s ‘Manifesto,’” 1.


Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s ‘Manifesto,’” 1.


Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s ‘Manifesto,’” 3.


Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s ‘Manifesto,’” 1.


Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s ‘Manifesto,’” 1.


“Report: Cho Hired an Escort Before Rampage,” ABC News, April 24, 2007,


TriData Division, “Mass Shootings,” 50.


Cho et al., “Cho’s English Department E-mails.”


Sari Horwitz, “Paper by Cho Exhibits Disturbing Parallels to Shootings, Sources Say,” Washington Post, August 29, 2007, A01,


TriData Division, “Mass shootings,” 50.


Cho, “Seung Hui Cho’s Letter.”


Northern Illinois University, “Report of the February 14, 2008, Shootings at Northern Illinois University,” (DeKalb: Northern Illinois University, 2008), available online at Unless otherwise noted, the information on Kazmierczak in this chapter is from this source.


Northern Illinois University, “Report of the February 14, 2008, Shootings,” 24.


Northern Illinois University, “Report of the February 14, 2008, Shootings,” 34.


Northern Illinois University, “Report of the February 14, 2008, Shootings,” 21.


Northern Illinois University, “Report of the February 14, 2008, Shootings,” 39.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting on 23 September 2008: Report of the Investigation Commission,” translation of the original Finish report (Vantaa: Ministry of Justice, Finland, 2010), 54, available online at Unless otherwise noted, the information on Saari in this chapter is from this source.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 56.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 54.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 55.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 56.


Tomi Kiilakoski and Atte Oksanen, “Cultural and Peer Influences on Homicidal Violence: A Finnish Perspective,” New Directions for Youth Development 33, no. 129 (2011): 37, available online at


Nick Allen, “Finland School Shooting: Gunman Matti Saari Made Phone Call during Slaughter,” Telegraph (UK), September 26, 2008,


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 55, 61.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 55.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 57.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 57.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 57.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 52.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 56.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 149.


Finland Ministry of Justice, “Kauhajoki School Shooting,” 57.


Nick Allen, “Finland School Shooting: Gunman had Contact with 2007 School Killer,” Telegraph (UK), September 24, 2008,


Jane Applegate, “10 Years after Murderous Rampage, Campus Killer Says He Is Now Sane,” Los Angeles Times, July 6, 1986,


Nicole Smith, “History of a Cal State Fullerton Killer,” Daily Titan (California State University, Fullerton), December 29, 2008,


Smith, “History of a Cal State.”


Smith, “History of a Cal State.”


Nicole Smith, “The Quiet Custodian,” Tusk Magazine, May 15, 2006, available online at


Applegate, “10 Years after.”


Applegate, “10 Years after.”


Applegate, “10 Years after.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Jeffrey Perlman, “Doctor Says ‘Other Force’ May Have Guided Allaway,” Los Angeles Times, August 25, 1977, OC1, 7.


Smith, “The Quiet Custodian.”


Nicole M. Smith, “Blood Spills in Library Hallways,” Daily Titan (California State University, Fullerton), May 16, 2006,


Smith, “History of a Cal State.”


Matthias Gafni, Thomas Peele, Joshua Melvin, and Matt Krupnick, “Oakland University Shooting: Accused Oikos University Shooter One Goh Was ‘Troubled,’ ‘Angry,’ Said Those Who Knew Him,” Oakland Tribune, April 3, 2012, available online at


Elizabeth Flock, “Who Is One Goh, Oakland School Shooting Suspect?” Washington Post, April 3, 2012,


Terry Collins, “One L. Goh, Oikos University Shooting Suspect, Was Upset about Being Teased over Poor English Skills: Police,” Huffington Post, April 3, 2012,


Gafni et al., “Oakland University Shooting.”


Gafni et al., “Oakland University Shooting.”


Jaxon Van Derbeken and Henry K. Lee, “Oikos Shooting: Shooter’s Apparent Target Revealed,” SFGate, April 6, 2012, available online at


Gafni et al., “Oakland University Shooting.”


Collins, “One L. Goh.”


Norimitsu Onishi and Malia Wollan“Troubled History Emerges for Suspect in Fatal Oakland Attack,” New York Times, April 3, 2012,


Matt Krupnick, Kristin J. Bender, and Paul Thissen, “Oikos University Reopens Three Weeks after Gunman Killed Seven,” San Jose Mercury News, April 23, 2012,


Candice Choi, Terry Collins, and Garance Burke, “One Goh, Oakland Shooting Suspect, Didn’t Show Violent Signs: Official,” Huffington Post, April 7, 2012,


Van Derbeken and Lee, “Oikos Shooting.”


Onishi and Wollan, “Troubled History.”


Van Derbeken and Lee, “Oikos Shooting.”


Terry Collins, “One Goh, Oikos University Shooting Suspect, Deemed Unfit for Trial,” Huffington Post, January 7, 2013,


Demian Bulwa, “One Goh Incompetentin Oakland Masscare,” San Francisco Chronicle, January 7, 2012,


Collins, “One Goh, Oikos University.”


Van Derbeken and Lee, “Oikos Shooting.”

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