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Thursday, April 19, 2007

V-Tech Update: Location ID'd for manifesto pics; WaPo has minute-by-minute breakdown of rampage in Norris Hall

Some people MOST people, we hope, found the manifesto sent by Cho to NBC to be rather macabre. I mean, come on: This guy was far from stable, and that manifesto was simply chilling. NBC is still airing bits of it. They did so this morning on the Today show, and anyone who thinks the media simply dropped the whol thing ought to rethink that. The media knows enough people through morbid curiosity alone will keep watching. It's sort of like watching a car crash over and over again.

Anyway, Allah was hard at work last night diggin up the newest info, and boy does he have some doozies. On Joe Scarborough's show, one of Cho's suite mates believes that Cho might have taken some of the pictures in the dorm:

Karan Grewall, one of Cho’s roommates, said Wednesday night that Cho appeared to have shot the videos in their shared home.

“It looks exactly like our common areas where we hang out every day,” Grewall told MSNBC-TV’s Joe Scarborough. “I can’t be sure, but the walls look exactly like our suite.”

It's a distinct possibility that she could be right. But to do these photos and these rambling diatribes, he would have needed time where he wouldn't be interrupted. I mean, if he's doing this in the common area, and one of his suite mates walks in, the jig's up. They're going to report him for waving his guns around. Remember, the campus was a gun-free zone. Easiest way to expulsion would be to get caught with those.

The other theory posited is that he could have shot some of this in his family's hgome in Centreville. Well, Centreville is 200+ miles away, near Arlington, VA. So if he shot any photos there, it was done long before the day of the shooting. This, of course, lends more credence to the premeditation point, which is also backed up by the package itself sent to NBC.

Another point that a Hot Air reader made was about his rampage in Norris Hall. Norris Hall has a couple of entrances. On the south side, at the base of a hill, there's a first floor entrance. But on the northeast side, at the top of the hill, is a second floor entrance. Cho went through the second floor entrance. Allah points out that had he entered through the other entrance we might have had a different turnout from what happened. (Yes, we might have, and he might have been stopped by those in the first floor classrooms, too.) The speculation that Allah makes is that the post office was located to the north and east of Norris Hall. That's not true. After a quick check of MapQuest, the post office is to the northwest. Oneof Allah's readers named Geoff sent these two items to him:

The main Blacksburg post office is actually located to the north and west of Norris, about a mile to a mile and a half away. However, if Cho used a vehicle to get to the post office, he most likely would have parked on Old Turner St., which you can see is right behind Norris. While this parking lot is reserved for faculty, I am sure getting a parking ticket was not on his mind. Since I have not heard anything about him owning a car [He may have. — ed.], I will assume he walked/biked to the post office and to Norris. There is one minor entrance to Norris that I did not tell you about, and that is the entrance that is located directly below and to the left of the 132 on the map. Looking at the map, this would seem to be the easiest way to enter the building if you are coming to Norris from the west/northwest. However, the map does not show that there is extensive renovation going on to Burruss Hall, which is directly next to Norris. The entrance next to the 132, and the rest of the walkway between the two buildings, is usually blocked by construction workers, pickup trucks, and construction materials in the morning hours. While it is possible to enter Norris at this entrance, it is just easier to keep walking and enter through the tunnel. I also think that you should know that the first floor of Norris is more like a basement then a 1st floor of a building. Since Norris is built on a hill, there are not many windows or classrooms down there. The one big classroom that is on the first floor is being renovated this semester, and therefore was empty. This is me speculating, but I assume he didn’t kill anyone of the first floor because no one was down there. The second and third floors are where most of the classrooms are. Again I am going to speculate, but seeing how it now seems that this was not some sort of a hunt for a lost lover, I think Cho chose Norris for a reason. It is one of the only campus buildings that I can think of that has less than 4 exits, and most of the classrooms are not on the first floor. These two facts make it a hard place to get out of in a hurry, especially if you chain shut the doors.

As I said before, the main Blacksburg post office is to the northwest of campus. However, there is a small post office to the east of campus and several mini-post offices inside of several dorms that are closer than the post office to the northwest. I don’t think he used these post offices though because if he went east, he would be walking right into most of the on-coming police officers. Both the Tech and Blacksburg Police Departments are located to the east of West AJ, where the first murders took place, and Harper, Cho’s dorm.

So, that pretty much ends the questions of why he chose the second floor entrance. What isn't speculation, however, is this piece from the WaPo which is incredibly detailed as to the events that unfolded on Monday. And when I say detailed, that's exactly what I mean:

The teacher and his dozen students had heard too much, though they had not seen anything yet. They had heard a girl’s piercing scream in the hallway. They had heard the pops and more pops. By the time the gunman reached the room, many of the students were on the window ledge. There was grass below, not concrete, and even some shrubs. The old professor was at the door, which would not lock, pushing against it, when the gunman pushed from the other side. Some of the students jumped, others prepared to jump until Librescu could hold the door no longer and the gunman forced his way inside.

Matt Webster, a 23-year-old engineering student from Smithfield, Va., was one of four students inside when the gunman appeared. “He was decked out like he was going to war,” Webster recalled. “Black vest, extra ammunition clips, everything.” Again, his look was blank, just a stare, no expression, as he started shooting. The first shot hit Librescu in the head, killing him. Webster ducked to the floor and tucked himself into a ball. He shut his eyes and listened as the gunman walked to the back of the classroom. Two other students were huddled by the wall. He shot a girl, and she cried out. Now the shooter was three feet away, pointing his gun right at Webster.

“I felt something hit my head, but I was still conscious,” Webster recalled. The bullet had grazed his hairline, then ricocheted through his upper right arm. He played dead. “I lay there and let him think he had done his job. I wasn’t moving at all, hoping he wouldn’t come back.” The gunman left the room as suddenly as he had come in.

It's a virtual account of the way Cho pulled this off. Oh, and remember yesterday when I asked people you all to file a complaint with the media? Michael Welner, the forensic psychologist ABC spoke with yesterday to determine Cho's mental attitude, had this to say about NBC's decision to air the package materials:

The videos of Seung-hui Cho, the man who fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech on Monday and then killed himself, shouldn't have been released because they don't offer the public any greater understanding of the gruesome crime, said Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist and ABC News consultant, on "Good Morning America" today.

"If anybody cares about the victims in Blacksburg and if anybody cares about their children, stop showing this video now. Take it off the Internet. Let it be relegated to YouTube," Welner said. "This is a social catastrophe. Showing the video is a social catastrophe."

Publius II


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