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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Rumor of a jilted lover debunked; Cho a possible stalker

Ever notice that when it comes to a mystery that the deeper you dig, the more questions start to come up? The Virginia Tech massacre supposedly started over a sort of domestic dispute between a young lady, and her supposed ex-boyfriend, right? Wrong says her best friend and roommate:

They were roommates and best friends and they were planning to meet in their dorm room Monday morning to go to chemistry class together. Emily Hilscher got there first and was killed. Heather Haugh arrived minutes later and became a key figure in the chaos unfolding on the Virginia Tech campus.

Even before she entered the building, Haugh said today, she was pulled aside by police desperate for clues. The information she gave was accurate, but it inadvertently led police to pursue Hilscher's boyfriend while the real shooter was setting up for another attack.

In an interview with The Times, Haugh said she knew of no connection between the killer and her roommate, or any reason why Cho Seung-Hui would have launched his deadly rampage on the fourth floor of West Ambler Johnston Hall."I've never seen him," she said. "I don't know his name. Emily didn't know him, as far as I know."

Haugh said that speculation that the killing spree was triggered by a domestic dispute likely stemmed from the fact that Hilscher's boyfriend was an avid gun user. She said that when she was first questioned by police, "they asked if her boyfriend had a gun or something."

She said she told the authorities that the boyfriend, Karl Thornhill, did have guns and that she and Hilscher had gone to a shooting range with him just a few weeks earlier. But she said she also told police that Hilscher and Thornhill got along well.

"The police asked if they had any problems, and they definitely don't," Haugh said. "He's just torn apart by all this. He's not a violent person at all."

Haugh's account helps to fill some gaps in the events at Virginia Tech -- in particular why police may have thought they had the situation under control -- but it leaves other gaping holes, including why Hilscher was one of the first victims and what Cho's motive was.

"I have no idea," said Haugh, 18, a human nutrition and exercise major from New Jersey. "I was asking myself the same question."

Haugh described her roommate as "a sweetheart. Definitely the best friend I ever had here. She has good friends, a perfect relationship with her boyfriend. She loved her family and talked to her mom all the time every day. I'm going to miss her so much."

Haugh said she and Hilscher typically spent Sunday nights with their boyfriends, but met at their dorm on Monday morning to head to their 9 a.m. chemistry class. Hilscher typically arrived shortly after 7 a.m., while Haugh tended to make it back an hour or so later.When she returned Monday, "I noticed all these police cars outside. They told me something happened on the fourth floor. I asked if I could call my roommate and they said no, that they would have a detective come talk to me."

Haugh said the first round of questioning focused on Hilscher and her boyfriend. When police asked if Thornhill owned firearms, she asked whether her roommate had been shot and "they said yes. I asked if she was going to be OK, and they said they didn't know."

Haugh said she was allowed to leave, only to be summoned back later that afternoon when police were pursuing a different suspect. "They didn't know who [the shooter] was and they just asked me if [Hilscher] had any fights with Asian people and I said no and that I don't know anyone who would want to hurt her," she said.

She said the dorm room she shared with Hilscher was in an out-of-the-way location behind the elevator bank in the residence hall, an unlikely place for somebody to wander into at that hour of the morning.

"Maybe he followed her up," Haugh said, noting that Hilscher would have been arriving at the dorm around the time that Cho is believed to have entered the building. Haugh said she had no evidence that this is what happened and noted that police did not share any theories with her about Cho's choice of that dorm.

First, the initial question by police of Thornhill does explain a great deal about why they thought the situation under control. I'm sure in their minds they believed they had a suspect in hand, and there was no danger. Imagine their surprise when reports started coming in about more shooting later that morning; this is also likely why the press believed there were two shooters on the campus. Remember that the media kept placing that as a question to viewers awaiting news updates, which led to some confusion on the public's paret because they beleived only one shooter was involved. Apparently we were right, and the MSM, naturally, got it wrong again.

As for the fixation on her or why he chose her to be the first victim. That is a question that's more than likely on more than just a couple of minds. I've got no theory about that, other than the possibility of a stalker-like scenario. Can I confirm that? Do I have proof? No. Call it a gut instinct. I've done some reading regarding stalkers, and a couple of friends have have been pursued by stalkers. Depending on how nutter they are, it could be something mild, like little love notes left for them, or it could be rather deranged; worse yet, it could "mutate" into a sort of derangement.

I listened to Michael Medved read some of Mr. Cho's musings today. He was an English major, and despite the sad writing ability of the man, you can clearly gauge a picture of what might have been unfolding in his mind. I like to say we're only human, and only a step or two away from snapping ourselves. It's clear to many people that he snapped so hard that there was no turning back for him.

It's speculation by investigators that after he shot and killed Emily Hilscher and Ryan Clark, he probably returned to his dorm to write the "good-bye" note that investigators found. Additionally, this is probably when he loaded himself up, and put on the tec/bulltproof vest to begin his rampage. Remember, up until this point, he had murdered only two people. Something happened when he shot them both that led him to his next move which was to take his anger and aggression out on an unsuspecting campus. How can the investigators come to that conclusion? According to them, it is a ten-to-fifteen minute walk from the dorms to Norris Hall. He had to have been doing something during that time, and with the campus police running down the possible lead of Thornhill, it gave Cho plenty of time to prepare himself.

I want to note for our readers that we do feel sorry for those who lost loved ones in the shooting, and we pray for the souls of the departed as anybody else does. But we're not dwelling on that. It's not callous to think this way. There are quite a few unanswered questions, and as information trickles out, little has been answered. We still don't know for sure why he chose Hilsher as his first victim. The point of this post is simply to inform, and connect a couple more dots.

Publius II

UPDATE: Here's a link to an ABC News piece that talks about Cho, and his writing. Lucinda Roy, a faculty member at Virginia Tech, talks about him, his behavior, and his writing. She states in the piece that she urged him to seek counseling. This guy was not stable, based on what's said int he piece. Of course, I can't state for certain he was unhinged because they don't have full pieces that he wrote available. They have snippets, and while those do help understand a disturbed mind, it's not definitive.

We know the media likes to stir things up. But again, I listened to the first hour of Michael Medved's show today where he discussed the massacre, and read some of Cho's writing. Violent is an understatement when it comes to his writing.

Publius II


Anonymous EDD said...

This bit of information received odd billing on the LA Times website as a mere human interest element to the story regarding the roommate of one of the victims. ("Student recalls day when roommate was killed in dorm.") Yet this story unfolds, I predict that the subject-matter of this article will become the basis for a well-founded argument that Virginia Tech failed to adequately protect its student body from likely harm on April 16.

If, as the LA Times article suggests, the VT police had focused much of their investigation on the boyfriend of the first female victim, then the basis for the deficiencies in their response to the first shooting become somewhat clearer, as you suggested. What I predict will be argued in the upcoming days, however, is that the VT police and universtiy administration felt safe enough in their pursuit of this lead that they failed to adequately notify students of the potential risks to which they could be exposed by attending class the morning of April 16, even accepting the administration's arguments regarding their limited resources.

Forget about the 2 hour delay for the moment. Let's focus on the content of the 9:26 am email.

"A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.

"The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police at 231-6411.

"Stay attuned to the www.vt.edu. We will post as soon as we have more information."

Keep in mind that this was the message that those responsible for VT security decided on sending after meeting for some time to discuss the content of such a warning, among other topics related to the ongoing situation. What is noticeably lacking from the e-mail--and thus from the consciousness of students who received it--is any sense of urgency. Not the urgency of the risk of a unprecedented mass shooting, of course. But the VT police had merely detained a "person of interest" based on limited information, and had no apparent reason to believe that they had affirmatively contained the party responsible for a double homicide deep within the interior of a college dorm.

If VT indeed had an effective text message alert system, and had sent out exactly the message contained in the 9:26 am e-mail to all VT students and faculty, there is a high likelihood that many of those individuals would still have attended class in a building a half a mile away from the scene of a "shooting incident" where police were "on the scene" and about which they were merely to be "alert" and "suspicious." The University had no reason to firmly believe that they had contained the killer, and thus made a risk analysis that is horribly flawed in hindsight, and which very well may have overestimated concerns about public image and order at the expense of a tangible risk of even just one more death on the campus that day.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous edd said...

Correction--my quotation of the e-mail was correct while my paraphrasing was slightly off. As you can see, it tells students not to be "alert" but rather to be "cautious." Same difference.

10:19 PM  

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