Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The V. Tech Killer Wrote a Play

The Smoking Gun:

Virginia Killer's Violent Writings
Play told of pedophilic stepfather, murder of 13-year-old boy

APRIL 17--The college student responsible for yesterday's Virginia Tech slaughter was referred last year to counseling after professors became concerned about the violent nature of his writings, as evidenced in a one-act play obtained by The Smoking Gun. The play by Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, was submitted last year as part of a short story writing class. Entitled "Richard McBeef," Cho's bizarre play features a 13-year-old boy who accuses his stepfather of pedophilia and murdering his father. A copy of the killer's play can be found below. The teenager talks of killing the older man and, at one point, the child's mother brandishes a chain saw at the stepfather. The play ends with the man striking the child with "a deadly blow." (10 pages)

The Smoking Gun has posted the play in its entirety.

The New York Times Blog The Lede has more:

Ian MacFarlane, who now works for AOL and graduated from Virginia Tech in 2006, according to his Facebook profile, introduced the plays in gripping fashion:

"When I first heard about the multiple shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday, my first thought was about my friends, and my second thought was 'I bet it was Seung Cho.'"

And goes on to describe how the rest of the class felt during peer-review sessions:

"When we read Cho’s plays, it was like something out of a nightmare. The plays had really twisted, macabre violence that used weapons I wouldn’t have even thought of. Before Cho got to class that day, we students were talking to each other with serious worry about whether he could be a school shooter. I was even thinking of scenarios of what I would do in case he did come in with a gun, I was that freaked out about him. When the students gave reviews of his play in class, we were very careful with our words in case he decided to snap. Even the professor didn’t pressure him to give closing comments."

The Lede also links to two of his plays.

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