Monday, April 16, 2007

Identity of Va Tech Asian Gunman: Seung Hui Cho

As we said, the shooter was 조승희 ...
An author of two plays ... (thanks, Rae)

Fingerprints, Korean government, and his own note have confirmed the identity of the Korean shooter

It's horrible news right after my class. At least 32 people plus 1 monster were killed - mostly shot, but some of them chose to jump out of the window - at Virginia Tech University. Dozens of additional people are injured.

The previous shooting at Virginia Tech - last summer - was the work of William Morva: check his background.

The tragedy has become the worst college shooting incident in the history of the world, much worse than a similar incident at University of Texas 40 years ago when "only" 16 people died.

It's so stunning to imagine that a lunatic suddenly enters Jefferson 256 - our physics classroom at Harvard - and shoots everyone in the class.

Learning about the identity

Our preliminary answers on Monday 1:15 pm were 95% correct but the text below was repeatedly updated and it became accurate on Tuesday morning.

Emily Hilscher (18), the girlfriend and the first victim. Click to see her web space. In 2006, she described herself as being "alone".

The killer was a 6-foot tall male East Asian individual staying at a campus. The main suspect, the "most official" boyfriend of the crucial girl, was a student from nearby Radford University (where they just canceled a celebration) but this Gentleman was found alive on Monday, questioned, and released. I believe that it is this man who was dumped by the girlfriend two weeks ago and it is this man who has received his visa in Shanghai before he arrived to San Francisco on August 7th.

On the other hand, the shooter was Seung Hui Cho or Cho Seung Hui if you wish (=Jo Seung Hwee if you hate romanization), a 23 years old South Korean national with a green card (residence: Centerville, VA), and an English major and senior at Virginia Tech. He lived on campus in Harper Residence Hall which are female dormitories (!!!).

Thirty-five days ago, he purchased two guns - one 9 mm caliber handgun (namely Glock 19) and one .22 caliber pistol (namely Walther P-22) - and he wore jeans, a vest or a black leather jacket - probably a bulletproof vest - with too much ammunition in it as well as a maroon cap. Tape showing how he is buying the guns exists: to make this story a bit fine-tuned, these tapes are stored exactly for thirty-five days.

Ryan Clark, the 2nd victim. Click to see his web space.

In the morning around 7:15 am, Mr. Cho went to her dormitory at the fourth floor of the West Ambler Johnston Hall. He shot "his" girlfriend and then the residential assistant, Ryan Clark of Martinez, Georgia who was bi- and who may have dated Hilscher. They thought it was a localized "home shooting" so they didn't shut down the university. Mr. Cho has thus rearmed and continued to look for a new boyfriend of "his" girlfriend or other unlucky people in the engineering classrooms of the Norris Hall - see the picture above - a few hours later.

Norris Hall

He didn't know the exact location, so he has visited a few classrooms and lined up all students against a wall. Around 9:20 am, he started with Norris 206 (probably a French course) and continued with Solid Mechanics 3154 in Norris 204. The instructor, a former NASA employee Liviu Librescu, tried to save the kids by blocking the door. But he was shot. One of the heroes of the day.

However, the worst massacre took place at 9:45 am in room 200 where the students were learning German 2105. He shot them one by one; yes, the professor, Jamie Bishop who was a son of science-fiction writer Michael Bishop, died first. My most profound condolences for his family, Jason Erik Lundberg, and other friends...

Finally, the calm animal who revealed no emotions whatsoever killed himself by a shot into his head once he was cornered.
Eyewitness reports
Less direct VA reports from BBC
MSNBC interviews (video)
Bryce's journal (a student in Virginia)
A boyfriend of Kate (who was injured)

The Asian guy above is just a photographer for a VT student newspaper, Shaozhuo Cui or Shao. The shooter looked different when the police got him: for example, a part of his face was already missing.

Other topics


  1. Was the sniper hoping for an experimental response more novel than that elicited from the 06 December 1989 École Polytechnique gendercide in Montréal? Was the sniper in real tight with Yahweh and sought to cleanse the Earth of those whose wishes were trivally granted through engineering absent tests of faith?

    Perhaps the sniper was crazy as a loon and will therefore be compassionately released to do it again. To be crippled is to be empowered at other's compensatory unlimited expense.

  2. "At any rate, it's a complete catastrophe. Shouldn't she have slept with him instead to save all these lives?"

    Not without AT LEAST 9 methods of birth control. The world didn't need any more of him.

    Seriously, I give your bandwidth an hour.

  3. Come on, Barbie, you're running the same blog - there is a whole Google behind it (a rather large company). While it's true that the traffic has doubled even since I visited your blog ;-), it's still OK.

    Maybe the guy would be nice if she loved him. Can you prove that he was inherently an evil person?

  4. I'm an undergraduate. I can't prove much of anything :), but my gut undergrad spidey-sense tells me that yes, he was in fact inherently evil.

  5. Dear Barbie, I of course agree with you even without a proof. It's just hard to believe that such things can't be avoided.

  6. If security and profs had guns they wouldn't do this.

    Why don't people rush him instead of running? they would never shoot that many people if they just rushed him.

    They know better than to do it at sports games.

    Too much nanny state? Let the government do it they'll be here in 2 hours...

  7. I always forget about these slow comments here.

    genslub3, the reason the students didn't rush him is because they were all liberal pacifists. ;-)

    Lubos and barbie, she probably already slept with him and found him quite inadequate. This probably damaged his ego to the point of mass murder. And I'm waiting for people to start defending him by saying that he was a poor autistic genius who shouldn't be held responsible for his actions. ;-)

    Sorry for these insensitive sounding comments, but I'm only trying to show how the liberals will begin to speak of this tragedy when their crocodile tears are dried. Of course, they will demand more gun control too, which is ridiculous because laws don't stop insane, evil people.

    Without doubt, my sympathy is with all the victims and their friends and families. Don't let my satirical comments above mislead anyone. Let's not blame the victims and question why they didn't stop the guy. Some of them really tried and were killed. What would you do with a gun in *your* face? And let's not blame the police because they aren't psychic enough to know that a maniac is going to storm a building and kill indescriminately.

  8. The boyfriend from the nearby college was the foreign student from China?

    A white girl from Virginia dating a FOB from Shanghai? Doesn't make sense.

  9. Thank Allah he didn't just buy $1 worth of gasoline and burn Norris Hall down to the ground after he chained the doors. If he had done that, the death toll would be staggering, and we wouldn't know about it, because the MSM would ignore it. Arson isn't quite as flashy as a shooting rampage. Thank Allah more didn't have to suffer.

  10. Rae Ann said:

    "What would you do with a gun in *your* face?"

    If the gun was 20 feet away pointing towards me I might not be able to do any thing. If the guns is right in my face, that would be much easier. You just suddenly drop down your head while quickly grab one end of the gun tight and push it way up. He might shot but it won't hit you. Mean while, right below, kick hard on the testicle of the guy. You don't care if he can still have offspring under that situation. Once you have done that, there are plenty of people around to help you.

    Wonder why none of the victims acted calmly. There was a similar shoting incident on Penn. State campus some year ago and the gunwoman was overpowered by a male student with naked hands who spotted her in the bush.

    Craig you are a racists.

  11. I scanned the reviews of Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder (Ethiopian undergrad who committed murder suicide):

    "It is a well known fact that some of the more infamous murder/suicides in recent years involved antidepressants. Kip Kinkle, Springfield, Oregon, who killed his parents and several class mates at his high school, was in Prozac withdrawal. Eric Harris was on Luvox, a Prozac type antidepressant, when he went on his rampage at Columbine High School. Jeff Weise was on Prozac when he killed ten people, including himself, and wounded seven at Red Lake, MN high school.

    The fact that Sinedu wrote to people she found in the phone book is another clue to her antidepressant use. People who report going manic on their antidepressant often mention writing long letters to perfect strangers.

    This book is excellent reading for trying to come to grips with what is happening in our country regarding antidepressants and murder-suicides. "

    More information about the VT shooter is coming out, this from Chicago Tribune article

    "Investigators believe Cho at some point had been taking medication for depression. They are examining Cho's computer for more evidence."

    The monstrous nature of the murder-suicide could be explained by drug effects.

    From the Iris Chang suicide:

    "On Tuesday, November 9, 2004 at about 9 a.m., Chang was found dead in her car by a county water district employee on a rural road south of Los Gatos and west of California State Route 17, in Santa Clara County. Investigators concluded that Chang had shot herself through the mouth with a revolver. At the time of her death she had been taking the medications Depakote and Risperdal to control convulsions and mania"

    It was reported that this came as a shock to her parents & husband, she was being treated for clinical depression. Drugs is the only explanation.

    Another candidate for blame: DRUGS

    My theory is that drugs exacerbated the problem. There is also the controversy of "drug payola" by pharmaceutical companies (FDA scandal) compromising the validity of prescribed drugs (incl anti-depressants VIOXX, et al). References 0, 1, 2

    "But even as the new safety board was being announced, more possible drug dangers are being suppressed at the FDA, at least according to FDA scientist David Graham.

    Graham, the associate director for the FDA's Office of Drug Safety, blew the whistle on his bosses before Congress last fall for silencing him and his colleagues on the risks of Vioxx and other drugs."

    "she has been urging Congress to adopt safety legislation in memory of her husband, Tim.

    His doctor prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft, sold by New York-based Pfizer, after her husband had trouble sleeping. Tim took the pills for five weeks, then hung himself in the garage, Witczak said in an interview. She sued Pfizer."

  12. Genslub and Rae Ann
    They might not have been so sheeplike.
    While the one report leaked from a "playing dead" survivor had no resistance, descriptions of the scene described problems identifying personal effects as they were strewn all over. This might well be a version of what a school was castigated as teaching grade school children about throwing everything you have at the perp in the hopes that you injure them or drive them off.
    Passively awaiting your execution would not leave that scene behind. Nor would abandoning all your stuff and playing "moving target" for the psycho with the gun.
    They might have resisted and the survivor feels guilty and is denigrating what her classmates tried. Survivor's guilt.
    No aprobation from me, as long as she stops shading the truth and tells it true. Her classmates deserve that much from her at least. She survived a situation that others didn't, and her potential contribution I doubt would have added to nothing but the body count.
    If they did the "throw everything but the floortiles at the gunman" gig, the effectiveness of that defense does need to be reevaluated 'tho.
    DJ Felix
    a gallon of gasoline wouldn't do much but set off the sprinkler system. A 55 gallon drum of mixed accelerant and combustibles is a different story. That is a fairly fire safe construction building with a sprinkler system (at least one photo seemed to have a sprinkler head in the hall ceiling)
    gas fumes are very fast burning, and might burn up and go out before igniting anything else flammable enough and massive enough to set the building on fire to that degree.

  13. Question Marks

    "This didn't have to happen", Cho Seung-Hui said, after brutally murdering thirty-two people at Virginia Tech University.

    And this terrible tragedy of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers didn't have to happen, if we'd only listened.

    But we never listen.

    We never listen to those that are different from us- the outcasts, the lonely, the homeless, the ones that are unspoken for. We don't try to understand. We shun them and put them out of our minds because of our fear that we will become like them.

    And these people become more and more lonely and alienated in their isolation.

    Words like "creep", "deranged misfit" and "psycho" devalue this killer's humanity so we don't have to face how similar he is to us. Cries of "how could he have been stopped" are uttered by media quick to sensationalize and gain market share, when the words "how could he have been listened to" are never considered.

    Because we don't want to listen.

    We don't want to hear about loneliness and alienation when we're all so busy with our lives, making money and making friends. And the unpopular, the ones that don't fit in, the lonely ones are ignored or made fun of because we don't care to understand anything about them.

    As a boy, Cho Seung-Hui "was picked on, pushed around and laughed at over his shyness" (Associated Press). When he started college, according to the Guardian, "his mother took his dormitory mates to one side to explain about her son's unusual character and implored them to help."

    And he clearly needed help, devaluing himself so much that he called himself "Question Mark".

    There are more "Question Marks" out there. There are millions of them. And if we don't listen to them, they will follow the same path again and again, because people are not connecting. We are becoming more and more disconnected from each other, creating more and more "Question Marks" every day.

    Most "Question Marks" don't become murderers. Some just kill themselves. Most harm no one and live just as we do, needing antidepressants to appear what we call "normal". They may be someone you know, someone you love.

    This "Question Mark" was once a little boy, who cried, and smiled and loved, He wanted to fit in just like you and I. But that desire to fit in transformed itself into anger towards a society that shunned and ignored him.

    How many more times will we shun and ignore the one that doesn't fit in, the one in the corner, the one that's different? When all we have to do is listen, before it's too late.

    But we won't.

    Thirty-two human beings who did not know Cho Seung-Hui were murdered.
    They were sons, daughters, fathers and mothers, with dreams of futures that will never come and children that will never be born. The thirty-two leave behind people that love them. People that are now scarred for life by this horrible day of death.

    To most of us that have not been directly involved, this tragedy will become a memory and fade like all the others that came before.

    And the "Question Marks" will appear with more frequency, again and again, because we don't listen.

    We never do.


  14. The problem with you greengos is that you always think that what happens in the u.s. is news worlds, wake up and don't be so ego maniacs,cause in Mexico the virginia tech killings were on the last page of almost every newspaper, so please don't bore us with your tragedies, there are more important things going on right now in the world, specially in Iran,Irak,Afghanistan and also in Mexico(specially with the cartel war that is going on right now, and I wouldn't advise no one to come and take a vacation to Mexico right now cause is really very dangerous specially for greengos turistas cause they are a very good source of income for the narcs cause they will hijacked you and ask for ransome).

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