BLACKSBURG, Va. - 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, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” said in a posting on the program’s “Daily Nightly” blog that the communication was received earlier Wednesday. He described it as a very long “multi-media manifesto.”
The network said it would release a statement shortly.
The Calgary Herald's print story headline today reads: "US Asks 'Why'?". I think some of those answers are already apparent considering all of the background information now coming out and this material will add to that knowledge. The next question should be: "What now?"
The Roanoke Times: Remembering the Victims
Update: MSNBC now has one of the 29 photos Cho sent to them posted on their site. I'm not posting it here because I don't want it staring back at me whenever my site loads. MSNBC has also revealed more about the contents of Cho's mailing.
The package included an 1,800-word manifesto-like statement diatribe in which he expresses rage, resentment and a desire to get even.
The material is “hard-to-follow ... disturbing, very disturbing — very angry, profanity-laced,” Capus said in an interview late Wednesday afternoon.
The material does not include any images of the shootings Monday, but it does contain “vague references,” including “things like ‘this didn’t have to happen,’ ” Capus said.
“You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today,” Cho says on one of the videos. “But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off.”
Among the materials are 23 QuickTime video files showing Cho talking directly to the camera, Capus said. He does not name anyone specifically, but he mentions “sin” and “spilling” his blood and talks at length about his hatred of the wealthy.
The package also includes 29 photographs. He looks like a normal, smiling college student in only the first two. In the rest, he presents a stern face; in 11, he aims handguns at the camera that are “consistent with what we’ve heard about the guns in this incident,” Capus said.
Other photographs show Cho holding a knife, and some show hollow-point bullets lined up on a table...
Bottom line: there were many warning signs.