April 18, 2007

Breaking: Cho Sent Package To NBC Between Shootings

The time gap between the two sets of shootings at Virginia Tech apparently allowed Seung-hui Cho to gather writings and videotape and send it to NBC. The network turned the material over to the police and called it "disturbing":

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 sent NBC News a rambling communication and videos about his grievances, the network said Wednesday.

Cho, 23, a senior English major at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, killed 32 people in two separate attacks Monday before taking his own life.

Network officials turned the material over to the FBI and said they would not immediately disclose its contents beyond characterizing the material as “disturbing.” It included a written communication, photographs and video.

Brian Williams posted this at his NBC blog:

NBC News has indeed received what I would call a "multimedia manifesto" from the gunman. We received it today, and immediately handed it over to Federal law enforcement authorities. We are still going over our own copy -- its a lot of material -- we are talking with law enforcement, our own standards people -- and Pete Williams, our Justice Correspondent, will join me live on the broadcast to go through the material.

NBC now says that it will provide some of the material to its viewers at its 6:30 pm ET nightly broadcast. Law enforcement believes that the package was mailed at a point in time between the two shootings. They're looking for video from surveillance systems to confirm that he was the person who mailed the package.

What does this mean? It shows a lot more preparation and premeditation than previously thought. Again, the chains on the door are significant in determining this. He apparently had planned this event, although it's not certain he planned it for that particular day. Even if not, Cho had to have had this plan in mind and already had the material to carry it out.

UPDATE: Chris Matthews has Jack Thompson, whose blaming a videogame for the shootings even though he has no evidence that Cho played the game for the last four years. The creeps are coming out of the woodwork, and Matthews is rightly blasting the attorney for using speculation as fact.

UPDATE II: The package contained 23 Quicktime videos, some of which covered his hatred of the rich. There's also a shot that NBC is using on air that shows him apparently as he was dressed and outfitted for the second shooting spree. He's trying to look tough, but it almost looks like he's crying.

UPDATE III: Tucker Carlson -- "This is like pornography. Should we even air this?" FBI expert: "We're going to live this guy's fantasy for him. I don't like it."

UPDATE IV: NBC reports that none of the images or videos are of the earlier shooting, and only contains vague references to them -- "this didn't have to happen," and so on. It's mostly a rambling, profanity-laced manifesto about how Cho hated the world.

UPDATE V: The return address name was "Ismail" or "Ishmael".

UPDATE VI: He started compiling this package last week. It makes it clear that he premeditated this, and he didn't just freak out after the first shooting. Cho also apparently hated Christianity, and that makes the Ismail Ax reference more likely to be the James Fennimore Cooper theory that Hot Air noted.

UPDATE VII: Hot Air says that one of the pictures show hollow-point bullets.

UPDATE VIII: News agencies including NBC now have a detention order for Cho in 2005 for his mental illness, saying that he was a danger to himself and others. I have some experience in this, at least indirect experience, and I can tell you that such an order and a buck will get you a lousy cup of coffee at McDonalds. Unless someone can convince a judge that a disturbed person like Cho is so completely deranged that they cannot function at all, anyone with that kind of order will be able to get out within 72 hours. That's hardly the fault of Virginia Tech. They handled two stalking incidents, but neither student pressed charges, and they had no legal basis to remove him.

UPDATE IX: He mentioned the "martyrs" Dylan and Eric -- the shooters at Columbine. NBC also showed part of the photo with the hollow-point bullets, which Brian Williams called "almost artistic".


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Breaking: Cho Sent Package To NBC Between Shootings:

» NBC Pimps Cho Video from Webloggin
As expected, NBC will have more at it’s 6:00 broadcast and continue with more tomorrow morning. ... [Read More]

» Breaking: Cho mailed package to NBC News between shootings from Macsmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
The question, why the delay: “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 an... [Read More]

» MSNBC.Com: Whoring For Hits from Ed Driscoll.com
If you watch any football game (and presumably every other televised pro sport), if a liquored-up fan attempts to run onto the field, the television director in the control truck cuts as quickly as possible to another angle--any angle--to (a)... [Read More]

» After Virginia Tech, How to Prevent the Next Mass Killing (Updated) from GINA COBB
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting, the question of why? is rapidly being sorted out. Remembrances of some of the victims are here. The next, all-important question is how to prevent the next shooting. I've offered my thoughts on this befor... [Read More]

» Breaking: Cho Sent Package To NBC Between Shootings from NoisyRoom.net
Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters: The time gap between the two sets of shootings at Virginia Tech apparently allowed Seung-hui Cho to gather writings and videotape and send it to NBC. The network turned the material over to the police and called ... [Read More]

» Virginia Tech: The Day After The Day After from Bill's Bites
The victims aren't even in the ground yet and already the moonbats are screeching for tighter restrictions on gun ownership. Isn't once enough? Now that the world knows that American college students aren't allowed to defend themselves, how long will i... [Read More]

Comments (27)

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 4:19 PM

Excuse me? What's with this headline?

Cho was more "pro-active" than the administrators?

He was able to do this, BECAUSE THERE WERE NO SIRENS!

Cho wanted to see sirens. He wanted to SEE this carnage played out on TV.

Obviously, the administrators at Virginia Tech did not.

SO you could picture it! Cho, expecting the violence to bring on the sirens, didn't hear any.

He then went to a plan that had him "taking videos, along with a grievance letter, to be shipped off to NBC." Ya think the postal worker could recognize him? Nah.

Post-fact-o, Dan-O.

Cho had way too much time to create the world he wanted to see.

The administration? Clueless.

If you've been following the comments, here?

At least it might give you a pause. And, some concern for "WHY DIDN'T ONE STUDENT PULL A FIRE ALARM?"

What are we teaching kids these days, anyway?

And, what did this story just blow wide open?

Kids weren't safe.

The whole hooey of "talking to lunatics" is a waste of time. And, the administrators, PAID to do better jobs, let Cho have a four-year-free-ride. That was coming to an end.

Where could the nut go?

Maybe, that's a clue?

He went after ACE students, and killed as many as he could. Including reloading times.

I just wish "Cho's walk to the post office," also included STUDENTS using cell phones, calling home! Calling the POLICE. I mean, really. How hard it is to dial 911?

Who taught these kids that the administrators could be trusted? Hello. They are schmucks. Ya just gotta learn not to trust those things.

And, even in spite of all the hooey that passes for a college education these days, this one will keep driving itself home. To your own doorways. You're gonna see it. Parents want something safer than the crap that passes for education, now, on college campuses.

When will I shut up? When the ROTC comes back!

You bet, it will take the sounds of those ROTC drums to let you know reasonable people took charge in academia.

Count Duke into this one, too.

We're not dealing with isolated cases; when the safety of American kids gets to be involved.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 4:50 PM

Video games are a red-herring.

If you want to see blood letting, all you have to do is walk through a museum. Hell got portrayed long ago.

And, for those who like to read? There's Dante.

Spitting Chrissy Matthews doesn't even reach enough people to be of influence.

And, if kids hated the video games the businesses would be dying.

If all you can show is ONE EVENT, while millions of kids play, however, you might want to analyze WHY.

Because today's kids are lied to by adults. So they look to release their rage at the PC garbage, in ways you're not controlling. Video games. Stupid monster-rock, or whatever it's called. Gangsta rap?

Kids love to annoy adults.

One way to make sure they won't stop is to start a campaign to stamp it out.

In other words? You can't stop a fire with spit.

And, since the kids are BUYING, there are parents who are paying. And, lots of them are just glad their kids are on the quiet side.

If the fascistic left goes on a rant that they'll stop the video gaming industry? Have I got news for them.

Heck, even the mullahs, in the most far away hills, can't stop their "yoots" from buying this music.

On the other hand? I which there was another word. Music, it is not.

But then I complain at Shoenberg. Not music to my ears!

Okay. So I make sure never to buy a ticket.

We really can control what we listen to, ya know?

Posted by Count to 10 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 4:53 PM

There is always a lot of talk about these mass murders happening be cause we are too violent (thus the vidogame violence talk).

What if these things happen becuase we arn't violent enough? Because we are too passive?

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:04 PM

According to other reports, Cho's hangups were more sexual, complaining in a note about "rich kids" and "debauchery." From what I've read, Cho was more like a traditional sexual stalker than a gamer. I think someone is just trying to fit their own anti-video-game agenda on top of this mess.

Posted by Jon Prichard [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 5:53 PM

As to Update VI:

I'm not so sure a hatred for Christianity and these acts by Cho translates neatly into the J.F. Cooper narrative. Actually the symbolism, violence, hatred and a multi-media package for viewing after death seem to mesh better with the Islamic narrative of Ismael the son of Abraham, who in the Koranic telling 'won out' in society over Isaac. I have no idea if Cho was Islamic or sympathized with that religion but his actions mirror those of the modern terrorist suicidal, ahem, martyrs.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:02 PM

UPDATE III: Tucker Carlson -- "This is like pornography. Should we even air this?" FBI expert: "We're going to live this guy's fantasy for him. I don't like it."

Then send it over to CNN. They have no trouble airing snuff films, like the ones they got from their terrorist pals a few months ago.

People's right to know, right?

Posted by Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:11 PM

"We're going to live this guy's fantasy for him. I don't like it."

Now, there's a real problem. If it bleeds, it leads.

The vid's are material evidence, what the hell is NBC doing airing it? Hoping to create sudden-pseudo(copy-cat)-Nutso/Jihadism?

Posted by Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:13 PM

There's one thing I really don't understand about this whole incident. Considering the long history of writer suicides and poet suicides (I just tumbled over the movie about Sylvia Plath browsing Netflix yesterday), why do we still allow majors in these dangerous areas of study? How many innocent minds must be destroyed by the exposure to alien (mostly French!) critical systems and nihilistic themes? What is THE major theme of modern literature if not the hopelessness of living?

It's puzzling that the, um, liberal media isn't comdemning this, err, liberal art as a threat to "the children" when it's demonstrably involved in dozen of high-profile suicide or murder-suicide incidents. What's more, it very often ABOUT such.

Instead they harp on about the threat of computer games!

The linkage between English studies and suicide and murder is MUCH closer and has persisted MUCH longer than that between computer games and these incidents. (And I suspect a lot more people play computer games than read or study fiction or poetry or drama too, so the "per consumer" ratio of these incidents is probably much higher with English Studies.)

I don't get it. If the latter is so darned dangerous, why not the former? Somewhere there seems to be a disconnect.


(then maybe with scarcity mine will gain some value)

Posted by Jon Prichard [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:31 PM

Dan S - The issue of suicide among the uh 'poet class' is nearly legendary but I think that's just it...they generally commit suicide or act in concert with another in a Romeo and Juliet scenario. These days the loners on a mission want to take as many people as possible with them. And its not as if guns are more accessible these days. Something in the culture changed sometime during the 70s when the retailing of mass murder really took root. So what's the great underlying issue? Probably not video games, they are but a symptom of societal ills.

Personally I believe we simply no longer demand public morality and refuse to make judgements about people and their 'sins'. There was once a time when mentally ill people were locked up. Unfortunately the places they were sent to were horrific. During the Carter administration the asylums were opened en masse and most of the 'patients' became homeless vagrants. The point is back in the day a mentally ill guy like Cho would have been taken off the streets. I don't think video games have anything to do with any of this. The society has generally lost its will to adhere to the social compact.

Posted by naftali [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:46 PM

Dan S,

There's a movie about Sylvia Plath browsing Netflix? Sounds like a yawner. But I agree that there is a relationship between existentialism, nihilism, passivity and terror. The Yin and Yang of postmodern society.

I understand the tongue-in-cheek nature of Eliminate English Majors--or at least require each student to take anti-depressants before going to class. And yet there is a real solution to this. People have to begin to write novels with life affirming meaning. They have to be good novels, and those who aren't writing them have to buy them and read them. This will have two obvious effects. One is that the quality of literature should rise, the second is that English professors (the Dementors, for Harry Potter fans) will blow a few mental circuits trying turn books that clearly have life affirming meaning into existential tracts. Just like the media which is divided into old and new, so should literature morph into defunct and salutary.

By the way, who took the pictures? Might there have been an accomplice or handler? And yes indeed, there is a similarity between his exit photoshoot and those of homicide bombers.

Posted by lexhamfox [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 6:51 PM

I think we are all setting up the next sad event by covering these events the way we do... just a pet theory but I think the rolling coverage and national attention (understandable of course) will feed and sustain the next person who feel aggreived to the point of indicriminate murder and destruction.

As for the gaming thing... when will these guys give up. The countries with the highest number of kids playing games for the longest periods have a fraction of the problems we have with violence (schools or otherwise) here in the US.

There is something to be said about failed artist syndrome... I'm still a little perplexed that nobody was able to jump this guy. I once saw two unarmed cops tackle a shooter in London without any thought for their own safety without the guy being able to hit either of them. I am of course saying this without knowing anything of what those poor people went through. Very sad.

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:05 PM

I turned NBC's coverage off. I'm sick of it already, looking at that killers face again and again. As far as his perverse writings in his creative writing class,Shakesphere too wrote some morbid works, it doesn't always mean the author will go on a shooting spree.These killings weren't societys fault, they were Cho's and nothing else.

Posted by Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:08 PM


The relationship is NOT legendary. Especially not when compared to the number of gun-murder incident compared to total gun ownership. I could whip you up a list of 20 or so poet suicides in the 20th century with a few minutes of research. Let's see, off the top of my head: Berryman, Plath, Baudelaire, Millay, Crane, Teasdale, Lindsay, Bishop, Jarrell (well, suspected, hit by a car in questionable circumstances), Lowell, Roethke...

And we can throw in Woolf, Thompson, Hemmingway as writers in the same period, and I know there are more of those too.


(Better not bring up other arts either, must keep focus...)

Posted by Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:20 PM

I think the failure to teach real rigor (due partly or mostly to the need to build self-esteem, or some such rot) in thinking is behind a lot of this really pathetic analysis. And, unfortunately, the liberal arts, as taught now, are a warm-and-fuzzy bed of that sort of fuzzy logic (in the OLD sense).

So we see all this false causality bandied about as if it were some sort of real argument. "Guns kill!" Yeah, right, using that "logic" it's bullets that kill, not guns!

What's worse, we start doing it ourselves, even when we know better, because it's so darned pervasive!

I should have retained more of my Latin, then I could quote the aphorism about how just because something happens before something else does not mean it's the cause of what follows.

But I'm sure they're right. It's the computer games! (and not the violent television, or too much sugar, or global warming, or the ozone hole, or a lack of self-esteem, or some other cause celebre this time.)

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:40 PM

Hey! Stop picking on English courses! I liked mine... because, in comparison, organic chemistry was light, fun and downright comprehensible!


Posted by Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:47 PM

I'm allowed! I took enough of them!

I stopped with the chem track before organic, but I heard the horror stories... err, yeah, heard, I don't write those. Honest!

Posted by nickess [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 8:45 PM

post hoc ergo propter hoc.

Dan, no one's mmentioned Dostoyevski . . ..

Posted by BD [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 9:50 PM

I'll be interested to see how much play his hatred of Christianity gets (given the media's template is that only Christians are "haters").

My guess is that, after the initial mention, it won't be discussed much at all - or if it is, it'll be in the context of Christians "bringing it on themselves."

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 10:08 PM

English majors can't make a living. Many of them drive taxis.

Yeah. I know. There was a stretch where Captain Ed drove a taxi.

And, just like waitressing; it teaches you lots and lots of stuff about human character.

So in a sense? Being a taxi driver teaches you more hands on experience that any class where you hear lectures.

Just like at the symphonies. Where you get pretty music. A lot of people just drop off and go to sleep.

Can't do that in a dhem class, though.

Part of the "rigor" of science is that if you're not paying attention, the classroom begins to stink. And, the professor worries if you're about to blow up everything in the room.

Sometimes, chemistry professors take you aside. And, whisper in your ear. That you're not cut out "for this stuff."

Hurts a lot, if your dreams were to get into medical school, though.

While others? Are just gifted. They can take to this like a duck takes to water.

But, no. I'm not recommending that colleges just teach math and science. Too many people who do go; need the softer stuff.

And, what's at stake? We've opened the system to crazies. Some coming here ON PURPOSE to commit terror.

And, ya know what else? There's a lot of pleasure that you can get from books. Especially the treasures we've gotten lined up as literature. It's not dull and/or boring.

Also, if you took the telescope, and looked at it through the eyes of the professors? For many teaching was a calling. And, they, too, learn to cope with disappointments.

The real breakdown occurred when standards were dropped.

How did Cho pass through four years?

It's good that there's lots of coverage, by the way.

The biggest mistakes made by the administrators, to sit instead of calling in the cops, came about because they wanted to keep this incident a secret.

Cho doubted his story would get out!

That's why, instead of hiding, he toodles to the post office.

Making this story even more outrageous.

Well, what do you expect, Sherlock, when the dogs don't bark?

Posted by Captain Ed [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 10:18 PM

Yeah, I drove a taxi, but I wouldn't recommend it to *anyone* -- even if someone wanted a lesson about human character. There's got to be a better way to get that kind of an education. ;-)

Posted by Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 10:41 PM

English majors do fine. It's the creative writing majors that have problems :)

A lot of lawyers have undergrad English degrees, I hear. Good writing skills are important for many areas, and the exact degree you have really doesn't matter much after you have a few years of job experience.... unless you're in one of the hard sciences.

Advanced English degrees are less useful though (guilty!) But again, once you have a resume, it's sorta moot. It is fun to see the raised eyebrows at times... "You're an English major?"

Posted by Kevin [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 12:12 AM

"News agencies including NBC now have a detention order for Cho in 2005 for his mental illness, saying that he was a danger to himself and others. I have some experience in this, at least indirect experience, and I can tell you that such an order and a buck will get you a lousy cup of coffee at McDonalds."

Being committed to a mental institution is a disqualifying condition for purchasing a firearm. So how did he buy a gun from a dealer? Doesn't Virginia report this kind of rather significant event to the database the FBI queries for NICS clearance?

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 12:50 AM

Hollow points. What are their use? Hope the vender has good liability insurance.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 4:06 AM

unclesmrgol wrote (April 19, 2007 12:50 AM):

Aside from hunting, they can be used to stop madmen like Cho.

One armed citizen with one concealed weapon who fired one round might have saved many lives at Virginia Tech. We'll never know, of course.

Posted by Sgt. Mom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 7:45 AM

"People have to begin to write novels with life affirming meaning. They have to be good novels, and those who aren't writing them have to buy them and read them."-Naftali

I've written a couple of pretty good life-affirming novels of the historical variety, and so far I can't get arrested by any literary agency. I think they're all looking for violence and disfunction...

Posted by MrSpkr [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 10:54 AM

Hollow points are good for putting down mad dogs. They are a self-defense round.

I don't think I would want to use one for hunting, though. They aren't as accurate at range and tend to splinter upon entry (which can be problematic if you eat what you kill).

As to liability on the vendor's part -- what did the vendor do wrong? I saw an interview with him yesterday. He described what steps he took to comply with Virginia law regarding the sale of handguns. Given that selling ammunition is legal, and that the vendor took the proper steps when selling the handguns, I fail to see how he has any liability.

Posted by Dan S [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 12:56 PM

Hollow points are good for killing pests you just need to be rid of. As MrSpkr says, they are a bit less accurate (but that's only a significant issue at very long range) and they fragment, which increases the chance of a kill, but harms the edibility to some degree. I've eaten lots of birds that I shot with a .22 hollow point. Occasionally an unexpected lead fragment turns up, but fewer than bird shot when using a shotgun. No big deal.

They are often used for big game too. You want to KILL a bear, and worry less about eating it. Even with deer, fragmentation isn't that big a deal for the meat because the animal is larger. I've used them for deer hunting without much harm to the meat, except the heart was sort of missing. It's very hard to drop a deer. A jacketed bullet is also more dangerous to unintended targets. They go through the target more, and can do harm downrange. They also tend to ricochet more, rather than shatter.

So they do have very legitimate uses. And a LOT are used for those uses.

How's suing the manufacturer or vendor for hollow points different from suing Cho's parents, his country of origin, the UN, Hollywood (for making violent moving), NBC for "accessory after the fact" in promoting Cho's motive (he clearly wanted to get those tapes and manifestos before the world)?

How's suing the manufacturer or vendor better than suing the "progressives" that wrote laws that coddled him when he was showing so many different warning signs?

Don't be silly. One person is responsible here, and he's beyond punishment (in this life).

Not so long ago the furor was over teflon-coated bullets that could penetrate armor and did not fragment. They were called "cop-killer" bullets, as I recall. Now it's bullets that can't penetrate armor and do shatter on impact? I guess these should be called "student-killer" bullets?

The anti-gun know-nothings should just say it flat out: "We're against all guns. We don't want anyone to have them. We're more scared of them than of losing our freedom." Which they will lose very shortly after their wishes are granted. Ask Chairman Mao about the importance of guns (and of ensuring the common citizen doesn't have them).