Apr 17 2007

Massacre Details

Published by at 12:11 pm under All General Discussions,VA Tech Massacre

Reader SallyVee points us to some extremely detailed articles on the killer and his first two victims. The first article has a lot about the morning incident and the victimes – including pictures. Looking into the eyes of the young lady killed is like looking into my 22 year daughter’s eyes. It seems Cho has been in the US for 14 years and his family lives up here in Northern VA (Centerville). This makes the terrorist angle even less likely. Apparently he first had the argument with the young lady and the RA, left and then came back with the gun to kill them both. If this is accurate I can see this forming up to be the acts of a emotionally disturbed and unstable person.

He was a South Korean citizen who has lived in the United States since 1992, said U.S. immigration spokesman Chris Bentley. He and his family lived in Centreville, Virginia.

Reports in the US suggest that on the morning of the massacre Cho Seung-Hui was involved in an argument with his girlfriend – possibly Hilscher – and stormed out of the dormitory building.

A counsellor – believed to be Clark, who was also a resident advisor – was called to calm the situation at the West Ambler dormitory.

The gunman returned at 7.15am and shot his girlfriend and Clark. U.S. media reported that Clark had been shot in the neck.

The second story highlights a very strange phrase written on the arm of the killer: “Ismail Ax”. Not sure what this is in reference to yet, but I am sure someone in the blogosphere will unravel the mystery. The second story also highlights there were warning signs and an increasing intolerance to women.

The note included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words “Ismail Ax” in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.

Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.

A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against “rich kids,” “debauchery” and “deceitful charlatans” on campus.

The combination of seeing women as some form of evil and the markings on the arm could point to what drove the killer.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Massacre Details”

  1. crosspatch says:

    If this kid was into the “goth” culture, that could be a name he used in that context or the name of some other figure in that culture (such as Shadow Ax and others).

    I am also begining to understand how he could have blamed the American culture on his problems. Maybe he hooked up with a girl who grew up in a family that had more than he did. Maybe she had sex with him. Maybe he was very attached to her but she dumped him. Maybe she was now having a sexual relationship with her new boyfriend. He could see our culture as enabling that kind of behavior and he went on a rampage. We aren’t likely going to know.

    But … the kid went through out school system since elementary school. He was on a student visa because he would be too old to be on his parents’ visa any longer. But he would not be able to “go home” to Korea because he probably didn’t know squat about Korea … this was his home as much as anyone else growing up here. I believe it is likely that he would not have considered going to Korea an option at any point in his life and might have felt “stuck” between two cultures. Not really a full member of our culture where he had grown up, but not really a member of the Korean culture either. Sort of an outcast.

    He went to the dorm and argued. Something in the course of that argument made him decide to come back and start killing. He obviously didn’t initially go to the dorm with the intent to kill anyone, he came back and killed the TA and the student. I am guessing at that point he realized this his goose was cooked and decided he was going to go out in a blaze of glory.

    As for that tattoo, I would do some digging and see if he was involved in the goth subculture. The tattoo might be nothing more than that.

  2. SallyVee says:

    Another article has a bit more on Cho’s “troubling” behavior…

    [SNIP] Professor Carolyn Rude, chairwoman of the university’s English department, said she did not personally know the gunman. But she said she spoke with Lucinda Roy, the department’s director of creative writing, who had Cho in one of her classes and described him as ”troubled.”

    ”There was some concern about him,” Rude said. ”Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it’s creative or if they’re describing things, if they’re imagining things or just how real it might be. But we’re all alert to not ignore things like this.”

    She said Cho was referred to the counseling service, but she said she did not know when, or what the outcome was. Rude refused to release any of his writings or his grades, citing privacy laws.


  3. DaleinAtlanta says:

    AJ: here is one explaination of “Ismail Ax” from a blogger called the “Bangkokker”:

    The Meaning of Ismail Ax
    For those of you still searching for meaning in this phrase, written in ink on Cho Seung-Hui’s arm and also how he signed his infamous note, it starts with the story of Ibrahim’s Ax (Ibrahim = Abraham):

    After making sure that nobody was left in town, Ibrahim went towards the temple armed with an ax. Statues of all shapes and sizes were sitting there adorned with decorations. Plates of food were offered to them, but the food was untouched. “Well, why don’t you eat? The food is getting cold.” He said to the statues, joking; then with his ax he destroyed all the statues except one, the biggest of them. He hung the ax around its neck and left.
    –The Koran

    Ismail was Ibrahim’s son. It was Ismail that Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice for Yahweh (with an ax).

    A reader pointed out that “Ismail” is also a variant on the narrator in Moby Dick, and although Cho was an English major, the relationship between Moby Dick’s Ismail and an ax/e is less clear.

  4. crosspatch says:

    I have also seem poetic references to Ishmael’s Axe.

  5. crosspatch says:

    Was this written in pen/ink or a tattoo? If written on his arm, then yeah, it was something he decided to do on the spur of the moment. He obviously decided that his life was over anyway at this point and he was going to exact his revenge on the world.

    I am pretty convinced that he had decided he was already as good as dead (or might as well be) at that point so someone was going to die. There would have been no stopping him from killing others and/or himself.

    It wasn’t terrorism, it was someone who was very angry at the world, had lost hope, and decided to make a stain that the world would remember for a very long time.

  6. DaleinAtlanta says:

    Crosspatch: at this point in time, I’m inclined to agree; despite that fact that initially, I thought a SJS/Jihadi angle was “possible”.

    Whatever Islamic implications, “Ismail Ax” turns out to have, IF any at all; this was a nutcase, who was spurned by a girl, and couldn’t handle it, and decided to go crazy just to make everybody pay!

    Anything else, at this time, is coincidence, or, he decided to give it more import than it deserves, in those last two hours of his life, he was in his room, reloading/writing the note, and trying to make his miserable life and the horrific actions as meaningful as possible, at least in his twisted mind.

    I’ll be interested to find out, IF there was any Child/Sexual abuse directed at him, based upon that crazy “play” he wrote, that is over at The Smoking Gun!

    That’s a more likely angle at this point…

  7. crosspatch says:

    The kid was probably in a really crappy position in his mind. He probably felt he could be subject to deportation for something as small as getting a DUI or something. He probably always had weighing on his mind a worry that he could be sent “back” to a country he didn’t even really know and he wasn’t really a “full fledged member” of this country either, even though he spent pretty much his whole life here. Not really American, not really Korean. And it sounds like he was having trouble with the women too.

  8. Terrye says:

    I knew a lot of strange guys when I was in school. If they had locked up every stalker on campus, half the male student body would have been in the slammer. I think the age makes it difficult for people to know if they are dealing with the usual rebellious crap we see at that age, or if the person is really sick.