Analytic Memos

From the dissertation: “For the current study, the qualitative technique of analytic memos will be utilized. Analytic memos are formal spaces that document a researcher’s process at different points in the study to capture the qualitative characteristics of the researcher’s experience (Saldaña, 2013). They can be helpful for the researcher as a way of organizing and cataloging thoughts, in addition to serving as a form of transparency of the analytic process. Systematically writing memos at different stages of the process can give a window into how the analyses occurred. The analytic memos are included on the study’s website.”

The analytic memos for this study are included below.

Date: 6/15/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Evan Ramsey

My first impressions… honestly, happy that the first one is relatively short and straight to the point. Of the 2 writings, the first feels more like a journal, while the second is a message to his school/town/the world. Even though the first one is more like a journal, he anticipated that he would be dead and that his journal would be discovered, so he addresses things that he felt other people would respond with (“I am not on drugs,” “I am not really depressed,” “I’m dead you guys are living”). There is a lack of certainty in his writing, through the genuine questioning (“I want people, the world, or maybe just Bethel, to know…”). This comes across more in the second note, as he says hoped “the shells hit more than 1 person,” which indicates that he was cognizant that things might not go as he hoped. He contradicts himself, saying he “usually” treated positively, then later saying “I’m sick and tired of being treated this way everyday.” Even bringing up that “usually” he is treated positively indicates a potential questioning of his own logic. His thoughts meander and jump around a lot. He says “LIFE SUCKS in its own way,” adding that last bit to capture the unique way of sucking that life takes on. He is attempting to be humble at the end, saying “I killed a little,” finishing with the certainty that he killed himself and that “jail isn’t and wasn’t for me, ever.” The most confident statement he made ended up not being true. But perhaps he was trying to convince himself that that was true, ultimately revealing to himself that it was not.

In terms of any emotional or personal reactions to reading this, I find myself feeling more sorry for this young person than angry, disgusted, etc. This is possibly because this occurred when I was too young to have been aware about it and don’t have a personal memory of this occurring, so it feels a bit more detached. Additionally, compared to the knowledge I have of later shootings that would occur this was a “minor” shooting. But that doesn’t feel right, because he did kill and injure people, and helped to build the foundation of the archetype of school shooter. It’s really difficult to detach myself from how bad things get when looking at the writings of an earlier shooter. But I’ll keep that in mind during future reviews.

Date: 6/15/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Luke Woodham

Having just read Evan Ramsey, this was a noticeable change of tone. Where they share a feeling of justification for their actions and their victimhood, Luke presents with much grandiosity that are possibly indicative of crippling low self-esteem. He repeats himself and really hammers in the points that he is full of hate because the world beat him, society shat on him, and he was never loved. His journal is written like a proclamation from a holy script, “Let these words ring through our heart, mind, and soul!” The first entry feels like a script for indoctrinating someone, trying to break them down to nothing in order to build something new. In his case, hate everything until you are nothing but hate in order to be able to live a new life in which you have control and peace, a new “true self.” A superman. But it’s a journal. Who is he trying to indoctrinate? Himself? He is writing these things like he is trying to convince himself. He says to “fill your heart, mind, and soul with hatred; until it’s all you know. Until your conscience becomes a firey tomb of hatred for the goodness in your soul.” There is a battle illustrated of hatred/conscience vs. goodness/soul that he is grappling with.

Then he goes into the entry of killing his dog. Of course this is a terrible description of something horrible. But a few things struck me. For one, this entry was so full of hatred that I was thinking about the indoctrination piece from the previous entry. He wrote about building oneself anew as if coming from a place of having gone through this process and achieved supermandom. However, the next entry shows the hatred, indicating that his last entry was a belief, an ideal, that he hoped for but did not acknowledge as such. The other thing that strikes me is how descriptive the entry is. Yes, that can show sadistic tendencies in a kid who would prove that he is a killer. However, something about it just feels detached. Feels almost like fiction. And I know that I am not trying to be the arbiter of truth in going through a narrative, but this is what stuck out to me in my first review. He goes into details about the sounds, sights, and excitement in the gruesome murder of the dog, in a way that is rather inconsistent with other aspects of the story. This could show his focus and fascination on the killing, but he goes through the trouble of telling the dog story as a story, first this then this, with scant details and written in a rather boring fashion. However, when he gets to the killing he starts to use words like “subdued little pooch,” “a hole developed in the bag,” “engulfed in flames,” and going into the details of “I hit her so hard the crusted burnt scar on her shoulder fell off… I knocked the fur off her neck.” He is focused on the details in a way that is less like trying to recall an incident as trying to illustrate, tell a story. Perhaps like this is the way he wants to remember it happening? I don’t know. Obviously this is speculative and has no place in the actual narrative analysis piece of the work, but this is where I’m exploring it. The last part of the dog entry that was where my flag went up was how he described throwing the dead dog in a book bag into a pond, saying “We watched the bag sink. It was a true beauty.” My first reaction was, “would that sink? Did they put rocks in it or something?” Ending it with it being a true beauty just feels like he’s really trying to emphasize the image of him being sadistic. Wanting that to be true. But, interestingly, killing the dog was not the original goal. Killing the dog only became an idea because he did not want to be caught if his brother took the dog to the vet. He decided to kill the dog out of self-preservation, not sadism. Final thought: for someone who felt like the world deserved his wrath because he was beat and shat on, he didn’t mind beating and shitting on a helpless being, according to his writing.

In the next entry he says implies that he was hurt by a “woman” and swears to never be in a position to let this happen again. Despite everything in his self doctrination, he still trusted humanity (a woman) and was proven yet again that humanity cannot be trusted.

In his “manifesto” he is quite defensive in saying “I’m not insane!” Later: “I am not spoiled or lazy,” because “murder is not weak and slow witted, murder is gutsy and daring.” (likewise: “It was not a cry for attention, in it was not a cry for help”) Who is he trying to convince? Even in his inevitable demise, his final act, he is concerned that he will be beat down and that his narrative will be altered, or that the people who beat him and put him down will paint a picture that he was spoiled, weak, etc. He goes on to clarify that he killed because “people like me are mistreated every day.” So he is the hero of the story now. He should be applauded, not painted as a villain. He continues to weave this part of the story: he had a love that was torn away from him. So this is a tragedy? In crafting the circumstances as a story, there is an inevitability to his actions. Since he is the hero, and society is the villain, the hero will vanquish the enemy in the end. While he acknowledges that the narrative (at least in the media) will not go that way (because they are part of society, part of the machine that has beat him), he tells a different story: the day “shall go down in history as the day I fought back.” This dramatic note would be where the movie dramatically ends, indicating that he was correct.

Date: 6/16/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Kipland Kinkel

My first impressions were, honestly, that this kid could have used therapy. He actually got therapy, and I’d be interested in seeing the notes (which are available, but I’m going to avoid to not cloud judgment). He is depressed and putting so much of his happiness on a girl and truly believes that he is hopeless because the girl will not accept him the way he wants her to. He goes on and on about this and it feels like some kind of validation would have helped him. But it’s easy to look at the circumstance, look at a teenager’s naked pain, and feel superior. I know that it is rough. I think I relate to his feelings because I wrote similar entries in my journal as a 15 year old. I guess it just bothers me that I can’t look back at my own experience to inform the internal experience of Kip because I did not do anything at all the way he did. So I’ll recognize there’s a judgment there.

Kip sets up his life as a romantic tragedy. If the girl accepts him, all will be well. But he is doomed, and here are all the ways. The heroes in a tragedy cannot control their circumstances, but he recognizes a way that he can. While he discusses wishing he were dead, he quickly turns it into paying everyone back for his experience. Killing people is a threat that he uses (to himself) as almost a bargaining chip for things in his life to improve. Maybe with God? If things don’t get better, I’ll kill people. Things don’t get better, so he follows through with it (after much thought).

He also personifies his feelings for guns. He talks about how guns “are the only things that haven’t stabbed me in the back.” In his Love Sucks essay he says “My firearms… will be the only things to fight my isolation.” He trusts his weapons of death to be the only comfort for his hopeless existence. This speaks to the strange message of valuing guns. Maybe too political? But worth talking about, right?

The Love Sucks essay and note written after killing his parents have clear audiences in mind more than the journal entries. The journal speaks to different audiences but not necessarily intentional specific audiences. Love Sucks, if it is in fact a school essay (unsure), is meant to startle his teacher. (Cry for help?) The note after killing his parents has telltale signs of the people who will want to explain his behavior. “It’s not their fault or the fault of any person, organization, or television show.” Also, “God damn these VOICES inside my head.” This is the first time he references voices in writing, which isn’t necessarily him specifically describing a psychotic episode but could be his own intrusive thoughts. Either way, it is notable that this is the only time this comes up and it is after he has murdered both of his parents. Even so, the end of the note seems to have a more general audience in mind. “But you know me I hate everything… I am so sorry.” Who knows him? This is like a monologue for an audience who has been following along the whole time.

Date: 6/17/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Dylan Klebold

I’m going to do a re-read and go through my thoughts more tomorrow, because I don’t feel like I can really get it all out there and I feel like I will gain more from another go through. I guess I was really struck by how much I liked Dylan? Liked meaning found him likeable, related to him, was almost rooting for him. It was a bit unexpected. I appreciated his metaphorical writing style, didn’t really find it to be psychotic or paranoid. But maybe that’s me painting a more pleasant picture than really exists. I’m interested how my takes on him will evolve over time.  

Date: 6/18/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Dylan Klebold (Pt. 2)

This is my first time going through a long(er) narrative and it is giving me a bad feeling about how things are going to be when I get to Elliot Rodger’s work. I feel like it’s going to be a bit more difficult for me to really encapsulate my feelings about Dylan’s narrative than previous ones due mostly to the length of the material, as well as the amount of metaphor and idiosyncratic language he used. I’ll do what I can.

Words/phrases/topics of note:


The Lost Highway (David Lynch)

“Piggy” “Hurt” The Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails)

The everything

The halcyon


The great hall (existence)—life is a room

Natural Born Killers or NBK (Oliver Stone)

Overdeveloped/undeveloped mind, ponderer, martyr


God of sadness/god

The cliff theory



It’s difficult for me to not feel like I’m already diving into this work because it is difficult to read his writing without diving into the meaning. On the surface he can sound psychotic if you do not have an open mind and follow his (fairly coherent) thoughts.

People are unaware zombies. Ignorance is bliss. Awareness is depression.

Dylan/VoDkA is aware/overdeveloped/a god

Thinking is “all my life is” 

VoDkA, or the current being inhabiting the body of “Dylan Klebold,” is not the same person as the person born Dylan. He is somewhat evolved, has been shed of the humanity.

“Girls I know… I can never have them, yet I can still dream…”

He does things to “cleanse” himself in a spiritual, moral sort of way. No matter what he does, nothing works.

Contradiction is a central part of Dylan’s existence. He hates everyone but wants to be accepted by them but would be miserable if they did accept him but he wants to find a soul mate but no one would ever love him because life is eternal suffering but thinking about certain girls brings him peace, but peace is torture because it can’t last forever and life is a punishment, but I don’t have to feel because I can transcend humanity in my thoughts and because of that I’m better than everyone, but it’s important that you care about my opinion, although if you couldn’t understand my opinion because you’re a brainless undeveloped zombie, but some zombies can have brains, but also they can’t.

“I’ve always had a thing for the past—how t reacts to the present & the future—or rather vice versa.”

“Infinite realities… yet these realities are fake—artificial, induced by… thought.” Awareness that perspective can shape experience.

He seems to be justifying feeling better than everyone, trying to convince someone (himself?). I feel different because I reject their lifestyle. I am superior. I don’t want to be them.

He is addressing his audience on 4-15-97, assumes people wouldn’t care.

He tries to decide whether he should feel like dying.

Good: nice family, good house, food, a couple of friends and possessions.

Bad: No girls, no other friends except a few, nobody accepting me even though I want to be accepted, me doing badly and being intimidated in any and all sports, me looking weird and shy… me getting bad grads, having no ambition of life…

“The battle between good and evil never end.”

“I don’t know why I wrong people… they are set out to hate and ignore me…”

Poem structure:

  1. Set out by determination and curiosity, knows no existence (awareness), nothing relevant to self…
  2. The petty declarations of others, everything on this world, he knows the answers to. They have no purpose to him.
  3. He seeks knowledge of the unthinkable, of the undefineable, of the unknown. He explores the everything… using his mind, the most powerful tool known to him… The everything is his realm.
  4. Yet the more he thinks, hoping to find answers to his questions, the more come up. Amazingly, the petty things mean much to him at this time, how he wants to be normal, not a transceiver of the everything.
  5. Then occurring to him, the answer. How everything is connected, yet separate. By experiencing the petty others actions, reactions, emotions, doings, and thoughts, he gets a mental picture of what, in his mind, is a cycle.

Existence is a great hall, life is one of the rooms, death is passing through the doors and the ever existent compulsion of everything is the curiosity to keep moving down the hall

“Thought is the most powerful thing that exists.”

The common man feels confused, empty, unaware

Happiness is a dream. The world is the greatest punishment. Life. The unrealness of thought is amplified by the punishment that is life.

“Dark. Light. God. Lucifer. Heaven. Hell. GOOD. BAD…. ‘people’ on the earth see it as a battle they can win.

I am God compared to these un-existable brainless zombies. Yet the actions of them interest me, like a kid with a new toy (admits yearning, but has to belittle it).

Abandonment Narrative

Best friend left him for girlfriend. Dead to me.

“I feel so lonely without a friend.”

Until 7th grade I did not know anyone like me, who appreciated me. Now, SHE has taken that away (not quote).

Romance Narrative

I am in LOVE! This must mean that… some people… aren’t brainless zombies? “I hope she likes me as much as I love her.” Soul mates. Unrealistic, over the top, out of the realm of “thinking.”

Betrayal. First his best friend “ditched me forever”, now this FAKE LOVE.

What else can I do/give up… I stopped the pornography. I don’t pick on people. Obviously at least one power is against me.

Narrative: I have always been hated. By everyone and everything.

People are alike. I am different.

God of sadness

Godliness is nothing… not physical, powerful yet not real… humanity is something I long for…

“Being made a human without the possibility of BEING human.”

“Hell and back… I’ve been to the zombie bliss side…” had a taste of what though wanted love, human care. Wrong.

Can only have phony love, wants real love. I hate everything but want love. Paradox. Downward spiral. I ‘should” feel happy but things bring me down.

Friend has a soulmate that he can be purely honest with (about suicide)

I am rejected for being honest (hating jocks)

“Awareness signs the warrant for suffering.”


Everything that the zombies consider real… just images, not life.

Hopeless narrative

Abandonment. Parents piss me off and hate me… want me to have fuckin ambition. How can I when I get screwed and destroy everything???

Cliff theory many people climbing up a neverending vertical cliff… Best friend found plateau to exist on. Walked up my back to get it.Nobody will help me… only exist with me if it suits them. I helped why can’t they?

Two love possibilities: Good can happen OR good can’t happen.

Good Can Happen Narrative: She waved at me on the last day of school.

Good can’t happen Narrative: I was delusional and thought she waved at me on the last day of school.

My happiness. Her happiness. Nothing else matters.

Zombies and society band together to destroy what is superior they don’t understand and are afraid of me.

Paradox it gets easier BUT IT DOESN’T, pure hell and pure heaven at the same time.

(some zombies are smarter than others) need to justify inconsistencies.

If I think about happiness, fate will destroy it.

Love letter—does he think he’ll send it? Anticipates what he can’t control. Illustrates his internal world, what he wishes would happen.

Romantic narrative: If I have hope (love) I will have a reason to survive.

Love can conquer all.

People are afraid of what they don’t understand.

I know everything, yet I know nothing. I am a true god.

7 months later…

Still alone. Just like a fucking zombie. Fate will decide when we should be together.

Apologize for porn/foot fetish? What is this moral crap? Being true to his lover (in his head)?

Abandonment narrative I know that I am different, yet I am afraid to tell the society. The possible abandonment, persecution is not something I want to face…

I guess being yourself means letter people know about inner thoughts, too not just opinions and fashions (awareness of audience?)

Love is more valuable than anything I know. To love is to enter a completion of oneself.

An Einstein stuck in an ant’s body

People will forever suffer and be mournful.

I will miss things. Not really (end)

Date: 6/18/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Dylan Klebold (Pt. 2)

This is my first time going through a long(er) narrative and it is giving me a bad feeling about how things are going to be when I get to Elliot Rodger’s work. I feel like it’s going to be a bit more difficult for me to really encapsulate my feelings about Dylan’s narrative than previous ones due mostly to the length of the material, as well as the amount of metaphor and idiosyncratic language he used. I’ll do what I can.

Words/phrases/topics of note:


The Lost Highway (David Lynch)

“Piggy” “Hurt” The Downward Spiral (Nine Inch Nails)

The everything

The halcyon


The great hall (existence)—life is a room

Natural Born Killers or NBK (Oliver Stone)

Overdeveloped/undeveloped mind, ponderer, martyr


God of sadness/god

The cliff theory



It’s difficult for me to not feel like I’m already diving into this work because it is difficult to read his writing without diving into the meaning. On the surface he can sound psychotic if you do not have an open mind and follow his (fairly coherent) thoughts.

People are unaware zombies. Ignorance is bliss. Awareness is depression.

Dylan/VoDkA is aware/overdeveloped/a god

Thinking is “all my life is”  

VoDkA, or the current being inhabiting the body of “Dylan Klebold,” is not the same person as the person born Dylan. He is somewhat evolved, has been shed of the humanity.

“Girls I know… I can never have them, yet I can still dream…”

He does things to “cleanse” himself in a spiritual, moral sort of way. No matter what he does, nothing works.

Contradiction is a central part of Dylan’s existence. He hates everyone but wants to be accepted by them but would be miserable if they did accept him but he wants to find a soul mate but no one would ever love him because life is eternal suffering but thinking about certain girls brings him peace, but peace is torture because it can’t last forever and life is a punishment, but I don’t have to feel because I can transcend humanity in my thoughts and because of that I’m better than everyone, but it’s important that you care about my opinion, although if you couldn’t understand my opinion because you’re a brainless undeveloped zombie, but some zombies can have brains, but also they can’t.

“I’ve always had a thing for the past—how t reacts to the present & the future—or rather vice versa.”

“Infinite realities… yet these realities are fake—artificial, induced by… thought.” Awareness that perspective can shape experience.

He seems to be justifying feeling better than everyone, trying to convince someone (himself?). I feel different because I reject their lifestyle. I am superior. I don’t want to be them.

He is addressing his audience on 4-15-97, assumes people wouldn’t care.

He tries to decide whether he should feel like dying.

Good: nice family, good house, food, a couple of friends and possessions.

Bad: No girls, no other friends except a few, nobody accepting me even though I want to be accepted, me doing badly and being intimidated in any and all sports, me looking weird and shy… me getting bad grads, having no ambition of life…

“The battle between good and evil never end.”

“I don’t know why I wrong people… they are set out to hate and ignore me…”

Poem structure:

  1. Set out by determination and curiosity, knows no existence (awareness), nothing relevant to self…
  2. The petty declarations of others, everything on this world, he knows the answers to. They have no purpose to him.
  3. He seeks knowledge of the unthinkable, of the undefineable, of the unknown. He explores the everything… using his mind, the most powerful tool known to him… The everything is his realm.
  4. Yet the more he thinks, hoping to find answers to his questions, the more come up. Amazingly, the petty things mean much to him at this time, how he wants to be normal, not a transceiver of the everything.
  5. Then occurring to him, the answer. How everything is connected, yet separate. By experiencing the petty others actions, reactions, emotions, doings, and thoughts, he gets a mental picture of what, in his mind, is a cycle.

Existence is a great hall, life is one of the rooms, death is passing through the doors and the ever existent compulsion of everything is the curiosity to keep moving down the hall

“Thought is the most powerful thing that exists.”

The common man feels confused, empty, unaware

Happiness is a dream. The world is the greatest punishment. Life. The unrealness of thought is amplified by the punishment that is life.

“Dark. Light. God. Lucifer. Heaven. Hell. GOOD. BAD…. ‘people’ on the earth see it as a battle they can win.

I am God compared to these un-existable brainless zombies. Yet the actions of them interest me, like a kid with a new toy (admits yearning, but has to belittle it).

Abandonment Narrative

Best friend left him for girlfriend. Dead to me.

“I feel so lonely without a friend.”

Until 7th grade I did not know anyone like me, who appreciated me. Now, SHE has taken that away (not quote).

Romance Narrative

I am in LOVE! This must mean that… some people… aren’t brainless zombies? “I hope she likes me as much as I love her.” Soul mates. Unrealistic, over the top, out of the realm of “thinking.”

Betrayal. First his best friend “ditched me forever”, now this FAKE LOVE.

What else can I do/give up… I stopped the pornography. I don’t pick on people. Obviously at least one power is against me.

Narrative: I have always been hated. By everyone and everything.

People are alike. I am different.

God of sadness

Godliness is nothing… not physical, powerful yet not real… humanity is something I long for…

“Being made a human without the possibility of BEING human.”

“Hell and back… I’ve been to the zombie bliss side…” had a taste of what though wantedà love, human care. Wrong.

Can only have phony love, wants real love. I hate everything but want love. Paradox. Downward spiral. I ‘should” feel happy but things bring me down.

Friend has a soulmate that he can be purely honest with (about suicide)

I am rejected for being honest (hating jocks)

“Awareness signs the warrant for suffering.”


Everything that the zombies consider real… just images, not life.

Hopeless narrative

Abandonment. Parents piss me off and hate me… want me to have fuckin ambition. How can I when I get screwed and destroy everything???

Cliff theoryà many people climbing up a neverending vertical cliff… Best friend found plateau to exist on. Walked up my back to get it.Nobody will help me… only exist with me if it suits them. I helped why can’t they?

Two love possibilities: Good can happen OR good can’t happen.

Good Can Happen Narrative: She waved at me on the last day of school.

Good can’t happen Narrative: I was delusional and thought she waved at me on the last day of school.

My happiness. Her happiness. Nothing else matters.

Zombies and society band together to destroy what is superiorà they don’t understand and are afraid of me.

Paradoxà it gets easier BUT IT DOESN’T, pure hell and pure heaven at the same time.

(some zombies are smarter than others) need to justify inconsistencies.

If I think about happiness, fate will destroy it.

Love letter—does he think he’ll send it? Anticipates what he can’t control. Illustrates his internal world, what he wishes would happen.

Romantic narrative: If I have hope (love) I will have a reason to survive.

Love can conquer all.

People are afraid of what they don’t understand.

I know everything, yet I know nothing. I am a true god.

7 months later…

Still alone. Just like a fucking zombie. Fate will decide when we should be together.

Apologize for porn/foot fetish? What is this moral crap? Being true to his lover (in his head)?

Abandonment narrativeà I know that I am different, yet I am afraid to tell the society. The possible abandonment, persecution is not something I want to face…

I guess being yourself means letter people know about inner thoughts, too not just opinions and fashions (awareness of audience?)

Love is more valuable than anything I know. To love is to enter a completion of oneself.

An Einstein stuck in an ant’s body

People will forever suffer and be mournful.

I will miss things. Not really (end)

Date: 6/22/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Eric Harris

I think the most interesting part of Eric’s collection of writings are the variety of types of writing and how this impacted his anticipated audiences. His online writings were different from his journals, his chats were different from his school papers, and yet they were all very much him. There was so much contradiction and so much desire for things to make sense and frustration and anger at things seemingly to not make sense. I started with reading the online posts and I honestly couldn’t stand Eric. I thought I was going to completely hate him. And there were times when I sort of did, when I was frustrated with his juvenile sensibilities and attempts at being edgy. But I was able to recognize this and place myself into the perspective of a frustrated teenager truly feeling all of the things he was describing and in the time that this took place 21 years ago. I was going to point out that a child born when Columbine occurred would be old enough to drink now, but I realize that my own younger brother was born a few weeks after Columbine and we just celebrated his 21st. I hadn’t thought about the proximity of his birthdate to these events until right now.

The last part I read were the school assignments, and I was skeptical that there was going to be anything of value in those writings. However, I’m glad that a) I included them in my reading and b) that I read them last, even though they definitely belong earlier/at the beginning of the narrative because of how much they inform the foundation of Eric. But I feel like I needed to go through his hateful writing before getting a more compassionate perspective of him as a person. It helped shape how he fit together for me.

I feel like I went a bit overboard with my Dylan memo, sort of using it as a dump of all of my thoughts. I tried to treat it the same way that I did the shorter narratives and it just didn’t work. I went into detail with the shorter narratives because I needed to flesh out the limited material. I have the opposite situation with these longer writings: I have to reel in the repetitiveness and acknowledge the overall picture without getting stuck in the weeds. This will be my attempt at that, and practice that will come in handy when I get to the really long ones in the future.

Rebel Blog (my own name for it)—The audience for this felt like anticipated combination of likeminded thinkers (people with “awareness”) and people who would not get it because they were the very people Eric despised. He favors the former over the latter and goes into detail at length about his thoughts and things he hates addressed mostly to them. However, he occasionally appears to try to justify himself in the face of potential criticisms, which are early glimpses of the desire he has for acceptance among the very people he “despises.” His hatred of racism on the blog stands out, as his journal shows his evolution to flat out calling himself a racist, saying America is for “whites,” and identifying with Nazism. Overall, the word narcissism comes to mind in reading his writings because of how grandiose and self-centered his perspective is. The things he hates and the reasons he describes feeling that most people/everyone deserves to be killed and humanity should be extinct are because the world at large is not aligned with his perspective of how things should be. I hesitate because I’m not trying to diagnose Eric with a personality disorder. However, I think it is important to consider what the narcissism describes and what about his narrative contributes to this. I’ll consider going through the literature and connecting this to an understanding of his narrative self understanding.

His chat with unnamed people (unclear if they are different, will try to research) shows a performative side of him. This is not to say that he is being false, as he brags about being with parents and therapists, but rather than he suppresses the aggressiveness that he lets out without censorship on blogs and journals. He makes clear attempts at trying to connect to the other person both in sharing of ideas/agreement and caring about their perception of him. This is most clear in the end when he is concerned that he offended or scared the person he was talking to by asking a “deeper” question about looking into the stars.

His journals are much more similar to his blogs, with the exception that there are moments of genuine emotional expression that are absent in the blogs. Most notably, there are many more instances of him clearly acknowledging desire for some sort of acceptance from “society.” Never as explicitly as Dylan. But he describes self consciousness about people making fun of him for his looks and being weak, describes having “practicaly no self esteem, especially concerning girls and looks,” talks about the importance of trying to get laid before NBK and how it doesn’t happen, saying “if people would give me more compliments all of this might still be avoidable… but probably not.” The last sentence of his last entry, 17 days before the shooting, he says “I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things. And don’t fucking say ‘well that’s your fault’ because it isn’t, you people had my phone #, and I asked and all, but no. no no no don’t let the weird looking Eric KID come along, ooh fucking nooo.” He also mentions wanting to leave a legacy, both in his chat earlier and in wondering if anyone will write a book about him. Additionally, he brings up how he would have been a “fucking great marine” when he gets his gun. As I know from reading Langman, his physical disability that leads to him not being able to become a marine impacts his self esteem.

The school essays are all about memories from childhood living in Michigan and upstate New York before age 10. His family moved around a lot because his dad was in the Airforce and he had to say good bye to many good friends at young ages. This was really tough for him. Now he knows that his audience for these papers are teachers, and he brags about being really good at manipulating, so one could argue that he is bullshitting in his sentimentality. However, it is also possible that he is channeling sentimental feelings that he does not let out typically and that this is intended to be a “false” presentation of feelings that are actually true suppressed feelings. Or he could just be honest and feel comfortable doing that in the context of an essay. It’s unclear. But the connections to early memories of playing war games with friend show his nostalgic association of gun play with childhood. They were battling nameless enemies, playing a role that he became comfortable with. He goes more into the pain of saying goodbye to friends multiple times in his second essay. “I felt alone, los, and even agitated that I had spent so much time with them and now I have to go because of something I can’t stop. It doesn’t take long to make a best friend, but it only takes 2 words so loose [sic] one. Those are, ‘We’re moving.’” His final essay is family memories about fishing and feeling connected with nature. His reverence for nature is likely related to his disdain for humanity and his connection with the idea of “natural” selection.

Date: 6/23/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Basement Tapes

I reviewed the Basement Tapes separate from the individual Eric and Dylan writings because it involved both of them interacting with one another and I wanted to go over it after getting their individual narratives out. An interesting thought about the transcripts (the videos themselves are not publicly available) are that they are simultaneously performing for an audience watching the video, as well as for each other. This should always be kept in mind in the way they portray things.

There are continuations of some of the themes that came up on the individual narratives of each. For Eric, he brings up how having to move at a young age 5 times made it difficult for him to earn respect from his peers and said that he always had to “start out at the bottom of the ladder.” This demonstrates that he would have liked respect from others, despite his writing downplaying the importance of other people in almost all ways. He also described how people made fun of: his hair, face, shirts; further indications of the hurt that he held onto about not getting the respect or approval from others. There are also moments of genuine emotion (potentially) shown from Eric. When talking about his parents he says “I wish I was a fucking sociopath so I didn’t have any remorse, but I do.” It is important for him to communicate to them that it is not their fault, recognizing that they will be blamed and will likely blame themselves. This is in contrast with the blame narrative of his family moving and such. There is also a scene in which Eric is recording on his own and he talks about wishing he could have re-visited Michigan and old friends, connecting with some of his writings about the friendships he lost form his moves. Eric also brings up numerous instances of the importance of being remembered, leaving behind a legacy, or starting a movement. He wants to have his writings published, the videos made available, and have a movie (or multiple) made about their story from their perspective. I can’t help but feel uncomfortable with the fact that I am continuing this “legacy” by retelling their story, but I think that his hope/intention was to have his perspective presented as truth, where I am exploring his perspective separate from any agreement or belief that his perspective was correct (and an honest belief that it was far from it).

Dylan brings up his beliefs about being superior, although he uses the word “God-like” instead of just saying he is a god the way he did in his writings, potentially indicating self consciousness about how proclaiming to be a god can sound. He later demonstrates self consciousness in describing himself as “fat” and saying that his outfit for the shooting make him look fat. Dylan also talks about how he felt like he was the “runt of the litter” in his family, discussing how his athletic brother “ripped him” and sort of describing blame for the reason he is so angry. This feels like he is playing off of Eric’s “rage” energy, as Eric was telling his story of his building rage based on his family history before Dylan began saying what he did. Another instance of Dylan potentially building off of Eric’s energy is when he begins calling girls Eric was referencing “stuck up little bitches” and “Godly little whores.” This feels performative compared with Dylan’s writings about being in love and focusing on love with girls, although also having anger at girls (or life) for not being able to be romantic with them. Eric was more likely to describe girls as whores. Dylan makes reference to going to prom with a friend, saying he is only going because his parents are paying for it. I am thinking that Eric not going to prom, not having a date, and his feelings about this could be involved in Dylan dismissing prom, despite the fact that Dylan seems like he would really like the idea of prom and potential of something more than “friendship.” Eric does not appear to respond to Dylan’s prom comment, possibly trying to change the subject… however, it is possible not all of the information is available.

Other thoughts: there are multiple instances of them talking about the shooting as if it will be like a game. This can be indicative of their need to objectify the people and think about them like a game because it is difficult to tolerate the acts that they are describing, despite the lip service they are putting to the importance of these acts.

Eric continues to show pride in his ability to make people believe anything he says. He brags on multiple occasions about times he almost got caught and his ability to get away with things. “I could convince them that I’m going to climb Mount Everest, or I have a twin brother growing out of my back. I can make you believe anything.”

Eric brings up the importance of being original again, which in part is his recognition about the perception of them after the shooting. He says that they have been thinking about and planning the shooting long before the recent shootings over the last year and that they are not copying them, also detailing why their plan is better. He has, in his writing, talked about how no one is original and everyone is copying something, and he has talked about his interest in multiple things (Timothy McVeigh, Waco, Holocaust) that undoubtedly had an influence on his plan. It can’t be denied that the fact that multiple shootings within schools occurred in the early 90s had some impact on the plan for the two to attack their school.

Date: 6/24/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Jeff Weise

After the last few longer narratives, this left me with a lot of questions. For one, would this even count as a narrative? I think there’s enough to have an idea of his world view, however he never really specifically talks about anything leading up to the shooting (which isn’t necessary for the criteria, but seems helpful). The closest to the shooting he writes is 2 months before and it is vague and cryptic. It makes me want to go a bit more in depth in learning about his story and background.

I found myself having similar feelings of being dismissive of his naïve perspective about Nazism (as a Native American person), but also recognizing that this is a troubled kid who had a suicide attempt in his early teens. He was clearly trying to seek an answer to understand life and did so in multiple ways (Nazism, stories, music, etc). He alludes to the futility of hope and change in his blog posts, specifically talking about “mothers choose their man over their own flesh and blood” and “others choose alcohol over friendship.” This was on his last blog post and knowing more about these circumstances would help provide an understanding of what he was going through/thinking and understanding his life. It is unclear if his Nazi beliefs still existed at that point (his Nazi forum posts were from the summer before), and he talks about being disillusioned from the things that were supposed to “be freedom.” “My biggest disappointment and downfall came from what was supposed to be the one thing to lift me from the grave I’m continuously digging for myself.” He goes from this to contemplating suicide again.  

So I’m here feeling frustrated, wanting to know more, feeling bad for the kid, and accepting that this might be all I have.

Date: 6/29/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Seung-Hui Cho

Nonstop anger. That’s what I’m left with after going through this one for the first time. Other shooters have been angry, but this was the first in which it is difficult to get anything from this except for anger. This was also the first deliberately delivered manifesto of the ones I am going through, meaning that he has a very particular audience in mind for his message. He says a lot, but what is he saying? Not a lot. There is a grandiose position taken in which he is telling people (a general audience) that they have wronged him and he is seeking justice. However, his language (and knowing that he was a writer) indicate that he was really mindful of how he was presenting his message in a very dramatic fashion. I was originally not going to read his fiction, but I think now that I have gone through his manifesto I will be interested in seeing how similar/different his writing is on his fiction from the manifesto, as there is a very performative element to his argument of how wronged he is and his need to use such colorful language and refer to the audience with different names and repeat images of language such as “raping my soul,” “spill my blood,” “vandalize my heart,” “commit emotional sodomy,” etc. that are likely to be noticeably over the top for someone familiar with English writing style (which he clearly is based on his background).

I could not help but note that the evildoers, the people who he is addressing this to specifically (although he knows this is going to a public audience via MSNBC), are devoid of specificity. Outside of their crimes against him and “weak” and “defenseless” people, they are rich and snobby liars who are either spiteful or oblivious to his existence. At one point he identifies with the poor that these rich people denigrate, but does not indicate that it is because of their richness, greed, corruption that they are evil. Their affluence is more descriptive than important in their supposed evil acts. The vagueness feels intentional, and possibly due to (speculating here) the fact that he wants to inspire a mass of people to do similar crimes and wants them to project the people they hate onto his descriptions. Getting too specific won’t do, as it can alienate people. Describing people as rich and snobby is fine because the vast majority of likely shooters would be people not as well off, or at the very least would identify people more well off than them and feel marginalized as a result.

His use of “we” throughout is his way of manufacturing a movement, despite the fact that he is alone. He feels vindicated by this imagined mobilization of people into this revolution (as he refers to it) in which he is the defacto leader. In that regard, this manifesto serves as a hero’s speech leading into battle against the great enemy, or perhaps the leader of the evildoers. This gives the dramatic flair of his writing a bit of sense, as he is almost writing a scene in which the hero is confronting the nemesis with the long list of crimes. But the crimes, too, are so vague that it isn’t even clear that he truly identifies with a specific harm being done to him. His extreme use of metaphors make it so he could be talking about anything. Maybe his teacher “raped his soul” by giving him a C on a paper. Maybe a classmate “vandalized his heart” by laughing in the distance, leaving him feel like he was being mocked. Maybe people “spilled his blood” by not becoming friends with him. None of these possibilities are completely unlikely. More important than him actually experiencing vindication of real felt injustices, he is setting himself up to be a leader of a revolution. Perhaps this was a goal? Possibly. I don’t know, just what has come to mind.

Some moments of hinted genuine emotion… “as the time approached, I wished for a last minute miracle and discard this mission you’ve given me. Heaven knows I wouldn’t hurt a single leaf of a flower.” Perhaps just that. It could be manufactured, but it struck me as I first read it as possibly indicative of some real feeling. There’s also this moment: “So grand for you to fuck us 24/7 for fun, but we can’t have a single minute of harmless playtime, only suffer.” Something about that feels more than “this is unjust” and is more emotional.

Overall, the repetitiveness of the text and his lack of clarity partly feel insincere because he is essentially saying that people are beyond saving, beyond understanding, it’s pointless to say anything, and yet he continues to do so. The presentation of his material as a packaged book hint at this same idea of creating the image of substance. He presents the evildoers as people who inflict pain but think they make up for it by providing a towel, toilet paper, a bandaid, without recognizing that these items are soiled. Not quite. It’s more that they have plausible deniability for their wrongdoing because they gave the cleaning item, despite the fact that they are soiled. “How could you so I did wrong when I gave you a bandage?” This is tied with the hypocrisy of people identifying as Christians and being evil, etc. Ok.

I’ll last just emphasize how much this is about him trying to inspire other or become a figurehead. He gives himself names of the Anti-Terrorist. He says he is like Jesus Christ, starting a revolution. He says he is a martyr like Eric and Dylan, specifically tying himself to the people that were inspirations for him. His communication is less of an explanation for why he did what he did and more of a narcissistic attempt at becoming famous. This is the model the Elliot Rodger, others follow in the “copycat” vein.

Date: 7/1/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: James Holmes (and kind of Robert Hawkins)

I didn’t write yesterday, although I did review Robert Hawkins’ 2 suicide notes. They were both pretty simple and straight forward and I found myself not being motivated to do write afterwards. Perhaps a weird sense of disappointment with having less material to work with for him. I noted a few things: his use of “mommy” as a 19 year old, his identification with depression but trying to take on a hero role with his death, and noting that he recognizes the potential for him to become “famous” as a result of the shooting. Lastly, I want to figure out his P.S. note on his friends suicide note, as it could be interesting/there could be more to it? Or not.

James Holmes…

It’s surreal to jump to this one. This is the first mass shooting that felt somewhat personal to me. I did not know him or anyone who did (although a good friend of mine with to UC Riverside at the same time as him, but there was no connection). But I worked at movie theaters for 6 years of my life, 4 of those years as a manager. As a 19 year old, when I first became a manager, I had this fear in me that being in charge and having responsibility was a lot to handle and feared some type of horrible event occurring on my “watch.” Nothing of that sort ever happened, although I dealt with plenty of interesting issues (stories for another place). But I feel like I knew that something like what happened in Aurora could happen and that there was really nothing that could be done. Movie theaters were uniquely vulnerable, dark spaces with people sitting with their attention directed in one place. But alas, I never thought too in depth about it. I had turned in my 2 weeks notice a week before The Dark Knight Rises came out, preparing for a change in my life that was leading me to the direction of psychology. I did not immediately hear about the events that transpired while working at the theater. I had that Friday off and was elsewhere when someone asked if I had heard about the shooting at the movie theater. I immediately pictured how horrible it could be (and was). I felt connected to that event. I worked at busy theaters for many similar big midnight premieres and who knows what kinds of things could have happened. My last week working in movie theaters I got a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes panicking theater executives and movie studios were doing to try to convince people that theaters were still safe places to be.

Anyway, that all came back to me as I generally reflected on James Holmes. His writing separately is its own thing. Reading his writing is an experiment in trying to understand his mind, which is difficult because he is clearly mentally ill. That is not to say that it is nonsensical, but rather that it goes in a lot of different directions with questionable logic at times. I still tried to follow his logic and tried to get where he was coming from, as much as possible. He was obsessed with understanding the meaning of life in the most literal sense. Life = ____. Fill in the blank. And he tried, quantitatively, philosophically, etc. He just continued to come back to the idea that life and death are not so different, with the addition of his belief that perhaps life could have meaning if you took the life of others. And from there he goes. He does not go much into his life, although at the end he describes his experiences with mental health workers and admits that he first tried to not come across as weak when he saw one as a kid. He references falling in love as a mistake in the battle between his “biological” self and his “thinking” self. He tied meaning to justice and the concept of justice was an important grounding element into good vs. evil and striving for good or evil. It’s a lot. I don’t really feel like I could get into breaking down all of my thoughts on it here, as I don’t know that I have thoughts any more clearly than Holmes did. But I’ll need to prepare for this mind rollercoaster when taking a deeper dive into the writing next time. I’ll probably use a transcribed version of it, as his handwriting also makes my eyes hurt.

Date: 7/2/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Adam Lanza (pt. 1)

Sandy Hook is a particularly difficult event to swallow. To add on to the difficulty of reading the thoughts of the person who would commit such an act, his writing (and thinking) are quite difficult to get a handle on. He is extremely logical and literal. He was clearly on the autism spectrum, and the rigidity of his thinking is evident. Most of his writing is written like an argument, often because these writings were written in online interactions or for the purposes of interacting with people online in the form of an argument. He maintains assumptions about truth and reality that he bases all of his opinions on and, in the name of logic and reason, shuts down any questioning of his line of thinking because he sees it as the only way. He reminds me of a young person I did a psychological assessment on in a juvenile hall. This young person fancied themself a “logician,” following popular figures like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson who try to argue controversial points in the name of logic/reason and shut down anyone who disagrees with them as arguing against facts/logic/reason. This young person was in trouble for making a joke about committed a school shooting at their school. My role was not to diagnose this person, nor did I feel that they were necessarily on the autism spectrum; however, the idiosyncratic way of approaching talking about things felt surreal. Like speaking to an alien who had thoroughly studied human activity and was able to do a pretty good job, but was missing a slight, subtle detail that created an uncanny feeling. In this particular interest I gave the clinical opinion based on the evidence I had and the role that the person did not appear to pose a threat and was not dangerous. However, I felt it was important to highlight the necessity of some type of intervention involving a mental health professional with specific consideration of this presentation and how interacting with others could lead to certain social “misses” of which there were a number of examples in the person’s past that could lead to a build-up of frustration/aggression for the individual (not necessarily a violent attack, but a need to seek retribution in some form along with a frustration of being misunderstood). Note: I realize that my brief, vague description of the person can come across as saying that following Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson is in and of itself pathological. To be clear, I am not saying this.

I bring all of that up because I got that same feeling reading the longwinded posts of Lanza in his attempts at justifying controversial views of “pedophila is ok” and “women are different than men because ______.” I could follow his logic and see exactly why he felt the way he did, but also recognize that if I were to point out discrepancies or missing factors to his logic he would (as he did preemptively in most of his writing) argue that these are arbitrary, unrelated, or nonsensical. Some part of his was incapable of recognizing that he is not a neutral being, no matter how hard he tried to denounce everything he inherited by being a human. He denounced culture and misogyny without a recognition of his position on his logic and philosophy was based on an assumption that he is speaking with a male who is likely white. His reasons for rejecting these things are based on all of the ways people are born into something and don’t have a choice and that most people just assume the cultural factors they are born into because it’s all they know. This isn’t an idea without substance. However, he does not have a valid alternative. What is a world without culture? How would there be distinctions from one individual to another. How would people relate in a bigger group. How would they do this without it being the creation of culture. Same with his belief that children should be able to “choose” to be sexual with adults because they should have the same human rights as adults. He freely admits that he is equally perplexed by “normal” adult sexuality as he is with any type of sexuality, including pedophilia, and thus feels that it is all equally uninteresting to him. However, in admitting he has no interest or experience with sexuality, his argument of there being no difference between a doctor touching a child’s genitals for medical reasons and an adult touching a child’s genitals for sexual reasons, as he fails to understand the difference between sexual touch and any other type of touch. And with all of this, he fails to situate himself in the context of consequences that have led to the exact position we’re in. He speaks like a conspiracy theorist stating that people are being forced into things being one way or another without acknowledging that at one point none of these things existed and that there are reasons they were implemented. There are reasons that children are treated differently than adults and are not considered to make decisions in the same way as adults, just like there are reasons that cultures exist and the benefits that people get from such identification. Being a white male in New England his entire life, he never had to personally deal with culture.

If you can’t tell, I have a lot of frustration with Lanza. It’s a good thing I split him into 2 days in planning this.

It’s going to take a lot of work to really get exactly where he is coming from. Most of his writing are from posts, as mentioned before, and sometimes what exactly he is addressing is a bit vague. Luckily, there is someone who has devoted a ridiculous amount of time to studying all of the details of the Lanza case, Matthew Nolan, and both his book The Sheltered Storm and reaching out to him could provide great resources for this similar to Dave Cullen’s Columbine book. (Lysiak’s Newtown book does not have as much research put into it, as it was written a year after the event by a journalist and serves more of a narrative chronicling of events with some interesting information about Adam and his mom, but Nolan’s Sheltered Storm takes a much deeper dive into these topics and more.

Reading Lanza’s thoughts about children having the same rights as adults and failing to see significant differences between children and adults makes me think that murdering those children likely felt not different to him than he would have felt murdering only adults.

Date: 7/7/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Adam Lanza (pt. 2)

So today I went through Lanza’s posts on Super Columbine Massacre RPG forum and a transcript from a phone call he had into a radio show that he built up on his posts on the forum. These were interesting. His posts were over a 2 year period and there is a sense of his personality in the posts. There was a sense of an actual sense of humor and playfulness, as well as passion about his beliefs. It all culminated into a final post (that was 10 months before Sandy Hook) in which he responded to someone who was saying that Columbine is not representative of society and that school shootings are declining; Lanza gave a thorough response of the history of mass murder that is enviable from the perspective of someone doing a dissertation on the damn thing. He clearly spent his life on the internet and was able to do this type of research without issue. Reading the radio show transcript afterwards worked out, as it was a few months before his final post on the forum and was about a topic that he discussed much on the forum.

Lanza was obsessed with the story of “Travis the Chimp,” a monkey who had been raised as a human or “civilized” and was playful and calm until one day out of nowhere he attacked a human and was killed. Lanza viewed Travis’s story as no different than any mass shooter or any person who was rejecting things as they were and refusing to go on as if things are “normal,” the reason that Lanza identified so much with mass murderers well before he became one. Travis the Chimp was forced to live a “civilized” life and when he wanted to do something different he was demonized and blamed for his actions because he was an “animal,” which Lanza saw as not the point. The point is that all humans are Travis and they are indoctrinated but that if they don’t act the way they are supposed to people can turn them into animals. It’s an interesting concept and I think that this story (and his telling of it) works well as an overarching narrative that Lanza has about life, particularly his own, and how he understands it. There may even be something in all of that that explains a bit about what led to Sandy Hook, as unlike many of the other shooters his writing was not specific nor close enough in time to the shootings to give information about that.

His posts show how he is comfortable online, but it can be clear how uncomfortable he could be outside of that. While he has playful interactions with some board members, some of his serious responses are demonstrative of his inability to communicate outside of his rigid perspective, never able to give up on the premise that things should not be the way they are and that anyone who does not see that needs to be reminded of it constantly. For instance, he wrote to someone who asked a question about asking someone before kissing them and he turned it into this long spiel about how there is no context and that no one could possibly answer this question, that there are no universal answers and even with extreme detail people could still be wrong because things are so varied. It was over the top.

Speaking of over the top, on his final post in talking about mass shooters he described mass murdering as “so ridiculously over-the-top of a response that very few people are prone to do it under any circumstances.” I’m curious what made him different, or how he viewed himself as being different, despite recognizing that not everyone or most people would not be able to do that.

Date: 7/8/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Geddy Lee Kramer

Geddy Lee Kramer’s narrative materials (for now) are short, so I actually spent most of my time doing things other than reading it. I transcribed his 2 suicide notes into one word file, as his handwriting and the quality of the picture of his handwritten note were difficult to read. Additionally, I looked into the “journal” he referenced in one of his notes and went down a rabbit hole of trying to access this information. I created an account on to see if I could get some extra assistance. Perhaps this is because I am currently watching the docuseries “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” on HBO and Michelle McNamara got assistance through a similar online forum in her own writing about a murderer. As of now I have nothing, but I’m hopeful.

As for Geddy, his note reminded me of some of the early 90s killers whose incidents happened when Geddy was a toddler. It is short, tries to set the record straight about what DIDN’T cause the shooting, and just rambles a bit. It is said that his journals specifically reference Dylan of Columbine. Additionally, he references not being able to have sex, which thematically leads the way for Elliot Rodger, whose attack is less than a month afterwards. Interesting. I don’t feel much more depth to this than that so that’s it.

Date: 7/9/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Elliot Rodger (pt. 1)

I split Elliot Rodger into 3 parts already knowing this was going to be a huge undertaking. I happened to split the narrative into 3 parts because it was too thick (front and back) to be stapled otherwise. They just happened to be roughly even and ended on actual part breaks in the “story.”

I don’t want to (or have time to… it took a long time to go through just the first part!) take too much time on this. I’ve skimmed through his narrative before and read some articles specific to going over his account, so I’m generally familiar with him. It’s tough to read. The reason it is so long is because of how grandiose Rodger is and how important he thinks every detail is. There are more than enough moments where it’s clear he’s just putting something down because he’s sure he remembered it and not because it is relevant. But that’s what he wanted it to be. He talked about his “superior” memory and I found it amusing that I was able to catch a mistake in his memory. He remembered watching Finding Nemo in a hotel when he was 10, which would have been 2001. However, my weird (“superiorer”) memory knew that the movie wasn’t released in theaters until May 2003, let alone a hotel. It made me wonder what other areas he made mistakes…

But my overall first impression, or first impression during this current process, is that he is a hard person to like. He has such an inflated ego and is melodramatic about how horrible his life will become, almost every other paragraph saying “little did I know my life would turn out so terribly years from now” or “if only I knew that girls would reject me for the rest of my life.” It’s tiresome. I did feel a bit more compassion for him than in the past, since I slowly went through his narrative to ensure I immersed myself in it. I relate to some of the difficulties he described in being young an feeling pressure to be a certain way, how people are thinking, if you’re doing things right… but in the end, he clearly blamed other people and held himself as a victim of a cruel world (“Twisted”).

I highlighted every time something he said was boastful or elitist. I don’t know if that will become something in my study but it is interesting.

Until part 2…

Date: 7/10/20 & 7/14/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Elliot Rodger (pt. 2)

I started reading part 2 the day after part 1, and then continued days later. It was grueling and the third part is the longest. However, there is a lot of interesting information. I don’t like the idea of Elliot Rodger hypothetically being happy with getting his story analyzed to such a close degree, but his writing is perfect for reviewing through a narrative lens. Between his obsession with movies and games that have an interesting parallel to his understanding of life to his highly structured way of recounting his entire life, there’s so much here. What I need to remember is that he would want to be viewed as a sympathetic hero who is wronged, where I’m looking at him as a flawed person who felt that no one could be happy if he could not be and became a monster as a result. Tomato, mass murder-o.

I purchased some composition notebooks to take more indepth notes for the longer narratives, especially Elliot. I feel like I need to go through my margin notes and more thoroughly put things in there, using the analytic memo as more of an inventory of my feelings. I’m feeling pretty depleted and the idea of writing a thorough response to all of these 40 or so pages honestly feels terrible.

My overall feeling is just how entitled he feels to have happiness served to him on a silver platter in the form of friendship and sex. He becomes so afraid of girls that he refuses to talk to them or be in their presence, but is angry that girls don’t walk over to him and request sex. He blames the world angrily for the fact that he does not trip and fall into social glory, despite his best efforts to avoid any social interactions. And because he avoids social interactions, the few that he has are either uncomfortable/awkward OR unconsented bullying. When this becomes his only experience, his narrative is that IT IS ALL THERE IS! He is angry at teenagers as he gets older and sees younger people having sex or socializing saying it’s not fair, but he: begged to go to an all boy’s school freshman year, refused to go to the co-ed public school after a few weeks sophomore year, and spent 3 hours a day in class in continuation high school, speaking with no one, for the rest of high school. He gave himself no opportunities for socializing, but blames others. Then he expects that girls would just walk up to him when he is likely presenting as very unwelcoming due to his discomfort. Finally, he thinks people deserve to be punished because their experiences are not the same as his. He does not try to make practical changes in life, but rather feels angry or sad and cries (not an exaggeration; he describes crying dozens of times through adulthood). Not to make fun of him for having emotions, I think it’s important to recognize that his emotions were not being expressed in a healthy way and he was not finding ways to have alternative experiences. He also felt too good for things like a retail job, which is another opportunity to be around others his age and make friends. His image is more important than this opportunity. Since he was not getting any sense of community in school after high school, he was not going to have many opportunities to socialize. From my experience in community college, I made few friends that lasted from one semester to the next, and most of my meaningful relationships during my time there either pre-dated community college or were from work, what I did with my time when not at school.

Anyway, there’s definitely more, but as I said (despite the fact that I’m so long-winded, still true): I’m wiped. This is a mentally exhausting read and I’m just over halfway through. I will note this for future work.

Until Part 3 (final!)

Date: 7/15/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Elliot Rodger (pt. 3)

I finished. I read it all. Yes, admittedly, towards the end as he became extremely repetitive and went through excruciating detail about every instance of believing he a girl would possibly walk up to him and find him attractive only to have his hopes crushed, believed he was going to win the lottery this time, no this time, no this time (literally 6 or more times in which he described at length how he was certain that it was his destiny to win the lottery and that the next ticket would be it). I think it is helpful information to know that he repeated and wrote the things that he did because it shows just how caught up he was and how much he really believed what he was saying and how important it was. However, it made for a tiring experience.

Some things I noticed about this final part, ages 19 through 22, was how as he lost hope he became more explicitly racist and misogynistic in his language. He always had hints or moments of both, but his use of words slut, bitch, and cunt increased dramatically in these final sections, as well as his reference to the ethnicity of different men that he felt superior to them, usually comparing himself favorably against them with reference to his whiteness, European/British ancestry, or Eurasian identity in comparison to “full blooded Asians” that he could not fathom why they would have better luck with women than him. Words like low life, scum, thug, and references to ugliness of men from different backgrounds became frequent ways that he expressed his disgust at how they were having success particularly with white blond girls. He was always attracted to and expressed his attractions towards blond girls, but he began referring them more and more as “blond white girls” as he described guys from different backgrounds with them. These things, as well as his use of “enemies” and descriptions of being attacked or at war, all served to dehumanize the others and make him capable of going through with his planned “day of retribution.” He became so delusional that his plan was supposed to involve killing his younger brother because of the possibility that he would someday have success with women and therefore have something Elliot could not have and therefore be an enemy. This was one of the most delusional tangents his thoughts went on.

I noticed as I was nearing the end of the manifesto that he did not talk much about his younger sister Georgia for most of the manifesto, outside of descriptive mentions of her being on trips with them and such. There is no mention of any type of relationship until towards the end. The 2 instances that come to mind towards the end are 1 in which he admits to calling his sister when depressed after a particular incident, where he makes a big deal to mention that he was so lonely he even called his sister, as if this was not something he would have typically done. The second thing is when his sister has a boyfriend and he finds out that she is sexually active. He has a creepy moment of listening to his sister have sex with her boyfriend with anger and describes hearing “the sound of Samuel plunging his penis into my sister’s vagina through her closed room door, along with my sister’s moans.” He mentions that his sister is 4 years younger than him and that since he is still a virgin this upsets him, however he quickly turns his rage onto her boyfriend, trying to have his mother ban him from the house and becoming angry that she refuses to. Despite his sister being a female and allowing another boy access to sex, his does not refer to his sister as an enemy or part of the problem. He plays mental gymnastics to keep his family outside of this. Perhaps the only reason that he feels able to kill his younger brother is because he is a half sibling?

Rodger also mentions seeing a psychiatrist, at least one psychologist, and a number of “social skills counselors.” He does not mention any of this until later, where he first mentions being referred to a psychiatrist but does not detail anything about seeing the psychiatrist, and then later describes being described risperidone but refusing to take it after researching online, saying he would never see the psychiatrist again. He refers to seeing a psychologist when he was 22, saying he had seen him when he was 13. He does not discuss in detail what happened in therapy at 13 or 22 other than that he got drunk after his later session. These omissions bring questions to me about what he thought about therapy and how engaged he was or was not in therapy. As for the social skills counselors, this was something I also was curious about. I’m unsure of what roles these people had, as some of them were his age and in college. He described them as being “paid to hang out with” him, which seems that they were either not mental health workers or they were extremely loosely mental health workers. I’m curious more about this. From his descriptions up to the point of discussing these various mental health workers, it sounded like his parents were grossly negligent about their incredibly depressed son who demonstrated clear indications of dysfunction from a young age (at least middle school), but if he first saw a psychologist at age 13 it is possible that he simply glossed over this part and did not find it helpful.

Looking back at this manifesto, there is more than enough information for there to be a dissertation on Rodger. I know that there have been many articles focused on his manifesto and I can see how this has been so much work. I’m concerned about and curious about how to attend to the same narrative elements of his story as I do with the others without disproportionately focusing on Rodger and giving him more space than others, privileging his quantity of words over others who had equally difficult circumstances leading up to their shootings but did not or were not able to construct their stories in such verbose ways. I think that a major aspect of going through Rodger’s story is to condense it into the bare story, which I think will significantly reduce the amount of material to cover, since much of his writing is either ruminating repetitively on the same ideas (often repeating the same sentences over and over again to emphasize his experience throughout) or really fixated on unnecessary details potentially due to reminiscing or showing off his detailed memory (much of his childhood was filled with these types of recollections). However, in narrative fashion to keep in mind that I don’t want to be the “expert” and authority in determining what should be included and what should not (as much as my instincts tell me to), I must not forego going through the entire narrative even after I have separated certain elements as more essential to the main narrative than others. It will be tricky.

His final video transcript does not provide anything new in terms of information/story. However, he has a particular audience in mind for the video that is potentially different than that of his manifesto. His manifesto is written to a sympathetic audience, with the assumption that he is the likeable hero and that people will accept his perspective. The video is addressed at “his enemies,” and is essentially a declaration of war. The information he says are the same as various points he made throughout his manifesto, but he is finally communicating with the people that he has never been able to communicate with before. As someone who was incapable of conversing with girls or the guys that he was jealous of, this is the first and only time that he will be able to address them. It’s important because he is clearly performing in a particular way, trying to be menacing. Since I don’t know how he normally spoke it is unclear how different this video was from his regular presentation, but he definitely seemed to be quite careful about his word choice. I would be curious to know if he had multiple takes or if he just did it once. Maybe we’ll never know? The point is that he had control over the presentation of this final image and he sent it out to the world right before his attack.

Final thought (maybe)- perhaps it was in my head, but I sensed a theme of “games” around this final “chapter” of his life. He entitled the final part “Endgame.” He began it with his exploration of the Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) books series. He also mentioned seeing The Hunger Games movie (premiere) and really enjoying the book series. Additionally, his main hope of a future was to become rich playing the lottery, a “game” of sorts. Something abou this relationship with games feels relevant to his perspective on life. While games are “played” and considered nonserious activities, his relationship with games are very different. First there was his relationship with World of Warcraft (the theme of his 2nd “chapter” by my definition), a game that is actually a “world” that he submerged himself into and lived his entire life essentially for years. In that game, which became a reality, his life (or world) was centered around war(craft). His existence was about battling. Then Game of Thrones, or ASOIAF, a series that is about the corrupting influence that power has over rulers and how lives and destinies are moved around like pieces in a game. The Hunger Games is additionally a satirical use of “game” in the context of a literal battle for existence, in which young people battle to the death in order to maintain a system of power that they are not a part of. There is a sense in all of these “games” of a futility in the endless “playing” of these games, games which are stand-ins for life. Rodger used these stories to draw on his influence of how he viewed his own existence, the way life was “fair” or not, the way his destiny was toppled, the way other people were winning. As a player in the game, there are certain limitations. His WoW character could only go up to the maximum level available with any given expansion. However, as a creator of his own game, or a writer of his own story, he had the power to impact the game. He wanted to be a writer as a means of getting success that would lead to sex, but he failed because that route would take too long to achieve, had risks, and would be difficult for him to do while depressed daily due to his lack of sex. However, he recognized that if the story had a different ending, in which instead of getting sex he gets revenge, his means and end could become united: retribution. Characters in the stories he was a fan of typically won the games by changing or breaking the rules. This was the only thing that made sense to Elliot.

I don’t know if Rodger had read A Handmaid’s Tale, although I’d venture he did not as I feel he would have explicitly addressed it, but his “final solution” is extremely reminiscent of this story. Ironically, the story is a cautionary dystopian future that is supposed to be an extreme example of how things could go terribly wrong. For Elliot Rodger, it would have been a utopia.

That’s it. I will have much more to say in the future.

Date: 7/16/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Dylann Roof & Nikolas Cruz

After Elliot Rodger I got through both of these with a breeze. Not to take it lightly—Roof’s writing is some of the most hateful of all of the narratives. But I can’t help but feel that it was impacted by following Rodger.

Roof’s writing is an evolution of the racism Rodger showed in his hatred for the men that were more successful with women than him. Roof’s entire narrative is essential the story of his own indoctrination. He talks about how he was essentially radicalized from websites when looking into news on Trayvon Martin. Within 3 years he went from an interested internet surfer to a white supremacist hellbent on starting a race war. While he does not go into detail about how he learned each of his thoughts. However, it can be ascertained that he had the narratives held up until that point changed in the way that he is attempting to do through his writing. His writing is an effort to radicalize others in the way that it can be assumed he was. He wants to blow people’s minds by the fact that the stories they have been told are not true. His assumption is that his audience are white people who were pre-radicalized as he was and open to his opinion. After all, why else would anyone be reading his work? It wouldn’t matter. Roof’s narrative is the most blatant example of whiteness that is present in all of the shooters (except Cho) in this sample.

Cruz is hardly a narrative. However, as the most recent of the group he is a fitting example of the extended story between all of the stories, as he addressed himself as “the next school shooter of 2018.” There are a few things about that. By saying he is the next, he is acknowledging the presence of others and the awareness of the story of what a “school shooter” is. Additionally, by saying “next school shooter of 2018,” he is also acknowledging that he is the next in a series that could continue afterwards. And he was right—Dimitrios (who did not leave a narrative) was after him. This being a part of a group—a story—is a fitting end that occurs only because of time. Like Arthur Frank defines, stories are not finalized. The school shooter story is not finalized. There will be more shooters. There will be more people influenced by these narratives. This is not over.

Date: 8/11/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Evan Ramsey (2nd review)

In response to my second read through of Evan Ramsey, I did a free write in response to Frank’s 6 forms of interpretation, which are: 

Translate the story into images

Notice which details were expected and which were omitted

Translate the story from the perspective of a marginal character

Attend to differences between storyteller and analyst

Slow down

Appreciate the story and the storyteller


(Translate story into images— in my case I visualized as a movie) Note 1: Shotgun aimed at camera. Explosive gunshot. Cut to graphic, exploding head with absolute silence, hearing the pieces and blood splatter hit the ground. Cut to over the top fantasy of teenager firing a shotgun at people, enjoying himself, with people screaming. He is aiming specifically at people he hates and firing intentionally. Mid gunshot freeze in time. To camera: No, I’m not on drugs… (beat) cigarettes, that’s all. (He continues to address the camera, putting down the gun and walking towards the camera, in a soliloquy of sorts, all with chaos of school frozen. I want people/the world/or maybe just Bethel to know how fucked up and cruel the world can be, [what I experienced that others were blind to or ignored. The people who were supposed to take care of us {children} were negligent. People have died, if you need proof.] It’s not the superintendent’s fault— she showed me genuine kindness, not the kind that is bought and performed. She was motherly. I don’t want her blamed for me or the school’s failure. She did everything right. [I hope that my word is enough]. You should be happy. (a. because I’m dead, b. because you’re alive, c. both). [This is addressed to people who were not killed, so not people targeted in his attack. They are ignored because they are presumably the people who harmed him]. Unfreeze. Turns gun to self, fire. Cut to black.

Note 2: Image of the note, alone, left. Then fade into teenager writing the note. “Hey Every Body!!” I feel rejected, rejected, not so much alone, but rejected [and I need to reiterate this because appearances can deceive. I was not alone, there were people. But internally I felt rejected. The day-to-day treatment was usually positive, but when it was negative it is like a cut, it doesn’t go away really fast. A wound, even.] “I figure by the time you guys are reading this…” crying adult reading over note. [I told everyone. No one stopped me. But since everyone knew about it I had to follow through with it. I hope it goes the way I plan it. If the 12 gauges kick too hard I will look weak. I won’t be wrong enough. I’ll make a mistake. If the shells don’t hit more than 1 person, not everyone will have gotten their punishment. I’m shooting people I’m angry at. Mr. Ron Edwards was going to get away with {what he did to me}, but I’ll make sure that he is properly punished the way he deserves to be punished. I did this because I was sick of being treated this way everyday {by Mr. Edwards?}. I was treated this way everyday. No one thought I’d do anything about it. They thought I was one thing but I was something out. People say “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s true, it’s why people didn’t expect this. They don’t really know me. They don’t know anyone. They act like they do (say the same about everyone). This is their neglect. This is what they do wrong and have done wrong. I don’t think I’m a good-hearted person. {did someone tell me I was good-hearted? Why did I think this needed to be qualified? Why is this not true?} LIFE SUCKS, in its own way. It doesn’t suck in a way you’d expect. It’s unique. So I responded in my own unexpected way. Life won’t suck for people as much if I kill a little (just those who deserve it) and then kill myself. NOT because I’m depressed, because I’m not. But because I don’t want to be in jail. Jail isn’t for me. It wasn’t {past tense, I’m dead now} for me. Ever. {last word} I’d rather cease to exist than be a prisoner. This is a freeing experience, bondage is not a solution.

A few random notes

Genre guess… romance, hero saving the day from cruelty/unfairness and righting a wrong 

“…” indicates the passing of time. Beat. Absence of words momentarily.

Details omitted—> How was he treated poorly? What did people do/say?

Marginal perspectives—> 

William- Why am I different? We had the same hardships but I didn’t resort to this. If I knew maybe we’d figure this out.

Superintendent- This boy was in need and I stepped up to the challenge to give him a chance. He was terribly depressed. He could not let people in. I tried (and maybe I failed?)

Mr. Edwards- I didn’t treat him any differently than any kid. After years of doing this work I know when to be a hard ass. This kid needed some tough love to strengthen him out. 

Difference between storyteller/analyst—> I (Jon) know I’m depressed. I don’t take pleasure in harming others… by but maybe you didn’t either? You’re so detached from the acts (only directly describe your actions as harming others at the very end). I guess I could say I don’t believe malevolent actions are justified because of malevolent treatment. But I get the anger and the yearning for expression. That part I identify with. 

Appreciation—> I appreciate the insight into the scattered thoughts of someone going through an unimaginably difficult time. 

Date: 8/13/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Evan Ramsey (2nd review)

Narrative (based on memory, putting together ideas)

Before the shooting, Evan wrote to notes. He crumbled up and disposed of the first one, indicating he was not happy with it. However, the notes provide different but complementary information. Evan brought a shotgun to school by putting it into his pant leg on the bus. He had told people to go to a balcony where they would have a view of something that was going to happen. He would go on to kill two people and wound two more.

Evan’s father was in prison for most of his life due to an attempted attack on a newspaper company. He was into conspiracy theories. He did not harm anyone and was arrested. Evan’s mother began drinking excessively and neglecting her 3 sons. Child services took them to foster families. His most recent foster parent was the local superintendent. She was not home often and had many foster children, so did not provide the best supervision. His older brother got in trouble with the law and was arrested and charged multiple times. In recent years three students died. Two were suicides and one was a construction accident. Given that these all occurred in a small town, this was likely impactful on the student body, regardless of how close any of them were. (Evan referenced this in his initial letter).

Evan had past suicide attempts and reportedly originally planned to commit suicide at school in front of everyone. One of his friends gave him the idea that shooting other people would make him famous, turning the task into something more meaningful. This is indicative of an already existing narrative around mass murderers. Although Evan’s story is an example of one of the earlier school shootings that would evolve into the phenomenon we now know, his plan was more targeted at shooting particular people who he felt deserved it for one reason or another. He did not appear to want to instill fear in others, but rather saw others as potentially enjoying the spectacle, hence telling people to get a good view. One of the friends who knew he was going to commit the shooting had been planning on taking photos of the shooting, and this is the type of reaction he was expecting from most of the people who did not “deserve it.” 10 days before the shooting, Evan received a phone call from his father telling him that he was free from prison after a decade.

Evan said that he was not depressed or on drugs on his first letter. However, given his history of suicide and the fact that he was originally considering simply suicide, it’s curious that it was important for him to state that he was not depressed. Perhaps he felt that this was a stereotype or narrative about mass shootings that he did not want to be lumped in with. He wanted to be seen as a unique individual. I am not like just anyone, I am me.

Date: 8/26/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Luke Woodham (2nd review)

Core narrative

Humanity sucks. People are mistreated for no reason. (Dad left at age 7).

Pearl  town of 22,000 mostly Christians

Grant  older kid with influence (the “accomplice” in the dog story)

Grant’s parents were deeply religious, Grant put on an act

Every man has hatred in heart, not visible. “I” embody that (Luke)

Typology Gain power over those who’ve hurt

Humanity = everyone – Retribution, we shall overcome

Never want to be hurt by woman force of desire

Fear being perceived as weak

(“murder is not weak” “this is not a cry for help” etc.)

Narrative Habitus NIN “Heresy” – “God is dead” / “Terrible Lie” “Why am I seething with this animosity?”

Why are things so terrible. It’s all a lie!

Cultural evangelical town

Dialectic God/Satan, Satanic worship

Discourse of truth/deceit, sane/mad

Relationships: dog, brother, Grant, “girlfriend” (“no one ever truly loved me”)

What would the girl (Christina) say?

-I don’t have feelings for you

-I’m sorry that you’re hurt but I can’t change how I feel

Mom is missing in text—just “no one” truly loved me

Limiting story this is the truth!

No depth to discussions on others, attempts to understand them in a complex way

Sparkle story feels like he is trying to change the narrative or memory, make it more cinematic

Stake was freedom killing dog was practical decision, maybe wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t feel he “needed” to

Very caught up in own story. Loved Christina but does not give space for her personhood.

Narrative visualization:

Cartoonish “if I was a teacher” essay, despite serious violence. So over the top, does not connect with reality

Loud music “Terrible Lie”  into a hard rumination into anger, that’s all I feel. Darkness. Brokenness. Elevate above it all through reading. Power=superman.

Cut to black. Voice over: “On Saturday… I made my first kill…” Real world but with B-movie overthetop level violence, like someone trying to make it fun (Tarantino). See bag go into pond, sink, bubbles come up. Then stop.

Cut to stormy, thunderous night. “I shall never be in position to be hurt by a woman again.”

Then rushed, sporadic jotting on paper. Cuts to preparing things. It’s real. “Think about all of the ‘abuse’”. Picks up knife. Gun. “I will do it with a bullet.” Black. Gunshot.

Date: 9/1/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Kip Kinkel (2nd review)

(free write based on narrative)

Alone. Always. Who am I? Confusion, diffuse, unstable. Hate self for what I’ve become.

People mean nothing (but I know they could/should?). You make me sick. I wish I was dead. I should be happy.

Me= alone; who am I? repulsive; strong; broken head

Others= Don’t know; make sick; weak

Her=Hope; but she tears down; I don’t know—ambiguity

I am so consumed with hate all of the time. I am so full of rage I could snap at any moment!

“Everyone thinks this way sometimes”  dismissive narrative, this does not make it any easier to actually experience this

Shooting at school = taking the easy way out (narrative)

Blowing up schools (Unabomber, narrative of bombings)

One person could help me. But she won’t.

She can never love me. I don’t know why I try.

I asked her to help me (I should have known better). She shot me down.

Think of people reading, judging, laughing. Not just an image. I will kill them for laughing. Destroy them and their family and friends. Annihilation.

Please someone help me I want a sign, action to come and take care of me, take away the pain. If does not happen, then destiny is telling me to kill. Challenging the universe

Heart (love) being ripped open/apart (not capable)

It is clear that no one will help narrative that is is obvious how things have to go

Why did GOD want me to be in misery?

Omniscient, benevolent being who could take away pain and give happiness instead wants the pain and absence of happiness!

Why aren’t I normal?

Help me. Call goes unanswered because the line is disconnected. I will kill every one of you.

You=people + “her”

I see your face, heart is shot with an arrow.




Already confused, her lack of clarity is even more scary

I want you to feel this (love/pain), taste this (love, pain, sex), kill this (love, pain). Kill me.

Will I see it (life?) to the end? What kind of dad would I make? (Dad=measure of a man)

I want to give pain without a cost. Cost is avoided

No such thing as God/cost? Want to be saved without a cost.

We kill him—we killed him long ago. Anyone who believes in God is a sheep. (I don’t want to be a sheep. A sheep is weak. Sheep get slaughtered. I am the butcher).

Only hate remains. Abandoned by God.

Conflate construct of love with feeling of love for narrative that love sucks

Something is always taken away from you

People in the movies are better than you=disilluisioned

It is easier to hate than love. Because there is more out there. Look at “history” (selectively)

I do believe in hate at first sight. Never experienced love (not true love?)

Love does more harm than good. Love makes things kill and hate. (Contradicts self proclaimed lack of experience, can indicate hiding feelings).

I plan to live in a black hole = a void of nothingness, good nor bad. Want to stop feeling because it is unbearable.

Date: 9/16/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Kip Kinkel (2nd review)

No reference to sister.

Reference to being a dad but not to his dad.

Parents are a unit.

Anyone who believes in God is a sheep, but also “why did God do this to me?”

Romanticized death/life being unbearable without love (very Romeo and Juliet).


-I’m alone and I don’t want to be alone.

-I have hope that things can get better

-I have hope when I talk to her. She can make everything better.

-Everyone is against me. God isn’t real. None of this is real. Except my rage.

-my guns are the only thing I can trust (inanimate, but give power)

-After trouble with school, guns are taken/everything is lost.

-Life is overkill dad. Mom can’t take itkill mom. I want to feel good before I dieschool shooting. I have no other choice.

-I wish I made my mom proud.

Love vs. hate

Weak vs. strong

Love vs. lust

Hope vs. no hope

Life vs. death

Big vs. small

All vs. nothing

Normal vs. weird

Know vs. I don’t know

Good vs. evil

Misery vs. peace

Mom vs. dad

(boy vs. girl)

Direct address: “You all make me sick.” “That is how I will repay all you mother fuckers for all you put me through.” “Please. Someone, help me.” “I will kill every last mother fucking one of you. The thought of you is still racing in my head [the girl?].” “Every time I see your face [the girl], my heart is shot with an arrow.” “I want you to feel this, be this, taste this, kill this. Kill me. [The girl]” “I hate each and every one of you.” “I can tell you one [thing] about love. It does more harm than good.” “But you know me I hate everything.”

Guns are reliable because they give me power and do what I demand. Parents want to take away power.

People betray. Guns don’t.

All humans are evil. I’m human. I’m evil.

People say you should love everyone but that’s impossible. Conflates hard with impossible.

Love makes things hate. Love is the reason for hate. Without love there would be no hate.

I have no other choice.

Free write

His writing is confused. On the one hand his writing about “VOICES” feels a bit on the nose and directed towards the audience that he expects will find the note. On the other hand, there is a very disconnected quality in his “internal voice” of his writing. He goes back and forth between first and second person, directly addressing the audience as particular people at different times. It feels more chaotic than poor grammar (although that is also a factor). He is confused and trying to make sense of pain. His narrative habitus Romeo + Juliet, the Baz Luhrman film and the soundtrack. Music of NIN and Marilyn Manson, loud and angry music that speaks to the raw anger/rage he feels. And other shootings and bombings. Examples of people expressing their rage, taking action. “The Reflecting God” “When I’m God everyone dies.” “No salvation, no forgiveness.”

I want to be careful about walking the line of discussing narrative habitus and getting into the territory of people blaming media for school shootings. To be clear, the narratives of this material is not a cause of influence, but a resonance. Young people relate to the stories and reinforce the stories. Their pain is reinforced by repeating the feeling that, if they did not feel through repeating the story (listening to the music), they would find someone other way of expressing. Who am I trying to convince, myself? But maybe that’s important. I’m trying to differentiate myself from the shooter. I can listen to music that I can relate to the rage without feeling the need to do more than listen to the music. But it’s the intersection of narratives that is different. The feeling that life is miserable, being all alone, made fun of or different from others. Resonate with this music. And then see people taking things into their own hands (shootings, bombings) and feel like that is a solution. These things fuel each other. But the problem isn’t the influences, it’s no alternate story or facilitation of an interpretation of the stories. Trying to put all of that together for himself was difficult and confusing and lead to feeling like maybe that is the solution.

Date: 9/16-9/29/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Dylan Klebold (2nd review)

Themes: Existence, the everything, cycle/Lost Highway/Downward Spiral

His older brother is missing from his journals

Missing is privilege (he drove a vintage BMW)

The everything state accessible through mind, life is merely one part, knows means little but still wants contentment within the life realm.

“the petty things mean much to him” admits to want the things he claims to be above. “He wants to be normal”

“Everything is connected yet separate.

Representations of “average” people, majority of the planet: zombies, jocks, humans, unexistable, normal

Representations of self as superior: god, overdeveloped, true existor, “an Einstein in an ant’s body.”

Concept that distinguishes superior vs. inferior (kind of like red pill/blue pill, but predates the Matrix): awareness, knowing, thought/mind

Life= mortal existence bound by physical realm. Cyclical Lost Highway, Downward Spiral

Meaning of life= love, be loved, pure bliss, halcyon, happiness


Thoughtzos 3-31-97

Starts out philosophizing generally, free flow, about perception and reality.

How thoughts aren’t “real,” experience is a lie (or illusion)

“I’ve always had a thing for the past.” Looking back, reflecting with rose-colored glasses

Mind/existence problem- existential questions. Assumes everyone is different by looking (what he observes in others) but also acknowledging how his external does not reveal the truth of his true experience.

But recognizes how he is “missing” true human nature, the natural experience that he sees in others.

Suicide=hope control

NIN “Piggy” (“Nothing can stop me now cuz I don’t care anymore” not quoted in writing but lyric from song)

The Lost Highway – David Lynch (in theaters at the time of his first reference)

Hoping that people can accept me, that I can accept them.

Da ThoughtZ Jeah 4-15-97

Why is he (God) such an asshole?

I want to die really bad right now.

Pro/con list


Nice Family

Good house


Couple good friends



No girls

No other friends except a few

Nobody accepts me (and I want to be accepted)

Doing bad/intimidated by sports

Look weird

Act shy

Getting bad grades

No ambition in life

Good feel like things “he knows” are good but doesn’t “feel”

Bad feels like focus on others’ opinions + not being accepted

Last 2 (grades/ambition) sound like parental messages

The battle between good and bad never ends.

I don’t know why I do wrong by people (mostly women). They are set out to hate/ignore me [externalize blame for his difficulties]

One man, in search of answers, never finding any, yet in hopelessness he understands.

Straddling the line between completely confused and understanding/getting it all

Plot points

Themes: ignorance is bliss  knowing is a curse

I want to find love, humanity.

Betrayal downward spiral, life is deterioration.


Different want/don’t want acceptance

Duality/dialectics, contradictions

Starts out with thinking=life (rumination)

Spiritual “cleanse” limiting drinking, not making fun of people (later porn/masturbation).

“I am in eternal suffering,” but suffering is the product of thought so isn’t real. If I stopped thinking, I’d stop suffering. But I can’t stop thinking so….

“I’ve always had a thing for the past.” Reminiscing=thinking. “How/when I got so fucked up with my mind?” Feels like a shell of the person from his past

“I’m on such a greater scale of difference than everyone else assumes his own uniqueness

-narrative I’m different, people don’t get me, what works for others doesn’t work for me.

I don’t fit in—thinking suicide gives me hope. Be at peace, not deal with things, etc.

School, scared+nervous, hoping to be accepted and to accept them.

Recognizing truth does not take away need to be accepted in “fake” human existence. This is his “curse”

Human life=bad/worthless

Only saving grace=romance/love

Life is fucked, punished by “god”

Weigh good vs. bad to justify narrative of being bad/worthless

“Do bad” with women- first mention of importance of “love” (doesn’t use the word)


Wants to be normal. “Petty things mean much to him”

“thought is the most powerful thing that exists.”

The opposite of life=true bliss. Life w/o bliss=punishment

I am God compared to others

Feel thinking/knowing/understanding makes him BETTER than others (un-existable brainless zombies) but their “actions” interest him.

Betrayed “best friend” choosing gf over him. Someone he finally related to, now lost.

Finds possible bliss, quickly turns into LOVE, SOULMATE

Betrayed again FAKE LOVE, no truth to “love,” meanest trick played.

Suicidal=I want to die/use a gun on Vodka (self) “want more can I do/give” bargaining with God/fate

“I want to find love”

A “god” who wants humanity but can never have it.


I’ve been to the zombie bliss side=?

I hate it as much/more than awareness

For possible gf? Will give up phony shit for TRUE love.

Zach admits suicidal feelings while Dylan gets rejected for admitting he hates jocks.

NOT FAIR need honest outlet

Awareness signs warrant for suffering

Zombies get what he wants

True existor (awareness)=solitude

Wishes he could experience life without awareness

“with all your life fucked up around you”

Feel abandoned by everyone

Cliff theory climbing up neverending vertical cliff. Nobody will help me. Others “walked up” me to get to a plateau, leaving me behind. Everyone moves up, I stay the same.

I have lost feelings”Hurt”

The meaning of life to be loved by your love and be happy with yourself.

It gets easier. But it doesn’t. Pure heaven, pure hell. Cycles/duality/dialectics.

The cycle never ends, but love is always there.

Society tightening grip. Will have revenge on society, then be free (death, human realm)

Happiness is slavery. Gods are slaves to zombies. Aware people must put up with humans.

Didn’t want to be a jock. I hated the happiness they have. Jock represents state that can be accessed.

Love think might not be enough. Human things (belittling)

Worried fate will take away happiness if he tries to appreciate it as a human.

Love letter you seem a bit like me: pensive, quiet, observer, not wanting what is offered here (school, life), almost seem lonely….. If you love me, that’s the only reason to live.


I LOVE HER! To infinince. Finding soulmate is part of awareness journey.

My human side is putting up a wall to prevent me from calling her (nervousness, self consciousness, self esteem) due to human-physical realm

Fears/doubts zombie based thoughts

Human/zombie self protective makes nervous to not experience happiness


Ups and downs of fate are forever. Lost highway/downward spiral have no end

I’ve passed thru this much of the ever existence, this is almost a checkpoint. (end of an era, complete level, etc)

Zombies prepared to climb over Dylan (cliff theory) but he doesn’t care because he will float away on the halcyon. The zombies will pay.

I know everything yet I know nothing.

My infinite memories, thoughts, perceivations, come a lot more with her

I can never be a zombie even if I wanted to. Things are so simple now that infinitely complicated. Fate is my only master.


This shit again. Writing (doing like a fucking zombie). Lately can’t change mind from deeds of zombies. Earth, humanity, HERE that’s mostly what I think about

I want toe be free. I thought it would have been time by now. Still here, still alone, still in pain. So is she.

Fate will decide.

I love her and she loves me. I know she is tired of suffering as I am. I exist as less than nothing without her.

My humanity has a foot fetish and bondate extreme liking sorry for pornos. Yet the masturbation has stopped.

Thinking of her for brief moments. That’s how I know the everything is true. (experience feelings of love=know that the everything is true)

Hate not thinking stasis, stuck in humanity. Maybe NBK is way to break free (needs Eric to break free).

Framework of society stands above and below me. Hardest to destroy yet weakest that exists.

I know I’m different yet agraid to tell society—possible abandonment/persecution – not wanting something I want to face

I guess being yourself means letting people know about inner thoughts, too (insightful, if only he understood how this could apply for him?)

I have someone who is me in a way. I will have love… possibly through this life, maybe another (wants to love self through another?)

Love is more valuable than anything I know. To love is to enter a completion of oneself. Love is greater than life.

As I look for love I feel like I can’t find it. (Knows love in its absence. Where does narrative of love come from?)

Potential love- will find Dylan, feels as he does- I feel it, we will be inseparable. Nothing will stop us.

Final doc

Humanity of here and now clouds all that I can see. Yet the me, the one, can now control the pain and it is done.

God=true controller of existence (not Christian god, makes clear and blasphemes)

Human things will be lost, but thoughts will be eternal

People say I’m crazy or childish/dumb

Every thought we conceive, we have finished the race.

“An Einstein stuck in an ant’s body.”

Zombies were a test to see if our love was genuine. I love you, love. I’m in my human form, knowing I’m going to die. Of course I will miss things. Not really. (Denial). Will= fucking human thing to do.

Attempt at summarizing plot

Genre: romance/tragedy

There’s being human and then there’s being aware. Awareness is beyond earthly needs. Dylan has found this, but also cursed with this. He is describing the isolation of discovering self and feeling alone. Everyone else seems to be ok but I’m the only one like this. Comes to terms with life of suffering, as long as he can find love.

Dichotomy of feeling above human needs (good/bad, etc) and caring about it. Wants to be normal, but can’t take back awareness. Hates zombies are content. Love is what makes hum want to be human. But what is love? What narrative informs this?

FAKE LOVE cruelest trick, played with vulnerability. Wants connection like what Zach had.

Cliff theory clinging onto small rocks on a cliff. Zach and gf walked over him to get to plateau, leaving hum. Nobody will help, hanging on rocks (hobbies/doings)

Meaning of life loved by love, happy with self

Cycle never ends (Lost Highway/Downward spiral)

Gods are slaves to zombies (can’t be happy in solitude)

Believes will find contentment in next “life” or room in the everything/existence hallway.

Fate decides (he is not in control of any of it).

I exist as less than nothing without her.

Tries to take (moral) actions to appease (God/fate)

Admits he knows he is different byt feels he will be abandoned/rejected for telling anyone.

Gives up/accepts things in human realm. I love you, love. Hope in such a horrible act.

Date: 10/1/20 – 11/4/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Eric Harris (2nd review)


  • Hypocrisy
  • Natural selection/worthiness
  • What do you think when you look at the stars?
  • Everyone is a follower/no one is original
  • Self awareness/superiority
  • Questioning constructs that “everyone” accepts
  • No such thing as… justice, laws, Good/Evil
    • Moral relativity
  • Pure human nature/instincts
  • Things used to be… WWII, pyramids, etc
  • Nature/appeal to nature
  • It’s only tragedy if you think it is
  • Life isn’t fair
  • Human nature/equation leads to downfall
  • Oh well
  • Wonder if someone will write a book on me


Focused on how other people who inconvenience/don’t align w/ him and are outside of his control

-person walking slow, people standing in the middle of hallway, people don’t watch where they’re going, etc

LOVES schadenfreude, karma, people getting what they “deserve”

Snobby rich kids wrecking new car, “stupid” kid blows off his hand because doesn’t know hot to use firecracker

First described love of natural selection

            “best thing that ever happened on Earth”

            “getting rid of… stupid/weak organisms… but it’s all natural”

Assumes he is superior and would not be killed off by natural selection

But does not extend appeal to nature far, as he is obsessed with computers and weapons that are not “natural”

Hates liars, specifically people who lie to impress others. These lies are seen as pathetic. His own lies are different.

Expresses anger as violent extrem, descriptive attack that is over the top and likely a “joke”

Love free speech. Hate  freedom of the press

My reaction to his “mistake” is to point it out and make fun because he is a particularly petulant person that I have strong negative reactions to.

Goes on rant about hating people who don’t take care of their hygiene but specifies he’s not talking about poor people who can’t afford it  some indication of caring about people

Hate (overt) racism strongly early on, later opinions shift with Nazi sympathies

Addresses audience saying if he offended you you are someone he hates

This brings up fact that this writing is public so there is a performative element (over the top violence). Everything is written with an audience in mind

Hate  people mean to animals, passionately describes hurting people that would harm animals

Hate ska, rap

Love techno

Hate homosexuals. “It’s just plan WRONG”

Retards “it is just a waste of time, money, effort, energy, space.”

Possible whole “you know what I hate” bit is taken from MadTV sketch.

REB Missions

Philosophy: “If I say something it goes. I am the law. If you don’t like it you die.” If I do something incorrect, oh well. Dead people can’t do many things.

America: refers to racists and dares anyone to call him a hypocrite (has someone called him that or is he having his own internal clash?) Identifies with America, hates people who burn flags, Middle Eastern countries that “hate the US”

-I may not like our government or the people running things but the physical land and location I DO fucking love!

-a strange justification for contradictory thoughts/beliefs

NARRATIVE: that America is great, that hating on America is bad, that racism is bad, etc. These are stories that likely came from somewhere else (and he later feels that his “beliefs” changed over time).

Society: more about hating snobs and liars

All people with set standards you have to go to college, be smart, have a job, pay taxes, blah blah blah DIE.

I don’t care what you think is “right” or “wrong”

Maybe if Natural Selection took its course all of the fat ugly retarded people died and maybe some good people human race can finally be proud of itself

-human race can’t be proud of self

Human race can’t be proud of itself

Nothing meaningful has happened since WWII

Put everyone ins DOOM and see if they can even pass level 1 some kind of meaningful measure?

Describes over the top fantasy of NBK

Don’t blame anyone but us  not parents or stores that sold equipment (aware of narratives after these types of events).

Don’t want laws changed because of his action (understanding of how the political narratives will go)

Don’t put cops all over the place (at school), recognizes that they are a select case and it would not help all schools (also wrote an essay on this in school)

Fantasy if escape go to exotic place or crash a plane into NYC

Just something to cause more devastation.

Online Chats

Chat 1

The audience is just one person more individualized

Love is different for everyone

Want love so much we exaggerate our feelings and romanticize them

Eric admits never had deep conversations (especially with females) in real life

Hate people at school because they only think about social life instead of “life life”

What do you think when you look at the stars?

Based on Girl 1, talking about life outside maybe they’ve found and observed earth and found it so unsatisfactory they don’t contact

People who use more than 10% of their brains are called crazy or stupid

Chat 2

Describe essentially prison cell, all alone, like everyone else has been dead for centuries

Says would want 1 or 2 people AFTER other person says so. “It would be tough to decide who” doesn’t feel genuine, maybe just trying not to seem as lonely

Want us to go extinct

I don’t want to “bring a child into this world.”

Want to leave behind legacy like pyramids, stonehedge, but nothing today is worth leaving

Only capable of making things that “look” neat, nothing has depth or meaning.

Chat 3 (Jen)

Dream/day dream

Military gear  stars “watch out for the flares and have a swell time.” Launch into space

What do you think when you look at the stars. Question  deeper



Hate the world because too many people, diverse thoughts…

But I’m different self-awareness

We have been watching YOU PEOPLE, awareness of audience

People who are said to be brave or courageous are usually just STUPID


Everything is so corrupt power outside of control, imbalance

Everyone is a follower, no one is original (including EH)

I know I will die soon.

People copy things from “TV or in film or in life” (narrative habitus)

No matter how hard I try not to copy someone, I still AM

Except this piece of paper, (this is my act of originality, my storytelling is unique)

People only know what they need to know in society/school

Ask people “Why?” and eventually they’ll be stumped

“not real life science.”

People that only know stupid facts should be shot

 this is somehow natural selection?  kill all retards, brain fuck ups, drug addicts, people who can’t use a lighter (not people who can’t spell) “spelling is stupid.”

Basis of killing retards he ain’t normal. (normality as basis for worthiness to live “waste of time or money.”


Self awareness is a wonderful thing

I know what all you fuckers are thinking

I always try to be different but I always end up copying somebody else

-upset people think he is a hypocrite

PROBLEM= people telling me what to do/say

-telling me what to do makes me not want to do it

Wants to be original, make decisions, do what he wants. Feels need to explain this because people don’t see this.

“I wish I was [God]” not confident he is God.

Having everyone “officially” lower than me.

Knows current only in his head that this is the case

I already know I’m higher than most people in the world in terms of universal intelligence and where we stand in the universe. Doesn’t explain in what way he’s not higher.

If you (audience) think I don’t know what I’m talking about…

Isn’t America the land of the free? How come I can’t take someone’s things when they’re stupid? NATURAL SELECTION

Angry at people born into money thinking they’re better than him.

(not natural selection?)

Sorry is just a word, doesn’t mean SHIT to me this happened after apology letter

Measure of worthiness is ability to survive in a military/videogame world that EH has experience in

No one is worthy of this planet, only me and who I choose

-things are not his way, everyone is wrong

No respect for anything than their parent/boss


School=turn young people into robots/factory worers

-that’s not how the real world has to be

One thing that separates us from animals is we carry actual thoughts

-why can’t things be different?

There is no such thing as an actual “real world.” Humans change things they don’t like

“you” (audience) don’t, I would – you just whine/bitch

Stanislaw Lem report/quote

Just because mom/dad told you violence was wrong, you believe

Only science/math are truth. Everything else=man made.

Doctors want meds to stop thinking about so many things and stop getting angry

-anyone who isn’t thinking like me is bullshitting themselves

Audience (fuckers)  try to think about why you’re here? I bet you can’t think that deep

-audience after NBK? Manifesto-like thinking (awareness of the Future-Past).

How dare you think we are the same species. You aren’t human, you’re a robot.

-NBK actual line “you and me, we’re not even the same species. I used to be you. Then I evolved. From where you’re standing, you’re a man. From where I’m standing you’re an ape.”

You=everyone without self awareness

Don’t take advantage of capabilities given at birth, just go through life without questioning

To self aware to stop thinking and go “back to society” because what I’m thinking isn’t “morally” acceptable/right

I will sooner die than betray my own thoughts.

References: “before this is discovered” anticipating throughout this entry that this riting will be read by people after NBK.


Society, job, work, school smother out human nature, delete instincts

People should be using their brain on more important things

WWII was the last time humans did things to make us proud

 complains about worthless, pointless media/politics – everyone obsessed with Hollywood (doesn’t acknowledge his own interest in this)

Parents instill values of right/wrong even if you disagree

If you stick to natural instincts= cast as psychos, lunatics, strangers/crazy/weird

If humans lived naturally it would be chaos and wouldn’t survive but that’s how it should be

Pure human nature= opposite of society/government

Essentially id is correct, superego must go


Human race not worth fighting for, only worth killing.

Nothing means anything anymore. (implies things used to be meaningful)

People say don’t be different but different is good.

I don’t want to be like you. Almost impossible- original copycat.

I expect people to criticize different

People surprised not going to college makes him angry.


I have figured it out

People strive to bring more good and be rid of bad

-anyone who thinks otherwise is unusual/weird/crazy

People want to be part of a group, less about individual

Protesters in past because dominant people/class were not working out/failed

People don’t change. Just better technology.

Why not be racist? Blacks started at bottom, why not keep them there? (benefits EH so why not?)

It took centuries to convince “us” they are equal but they still use their color as excuse/discriminate against us because we’re white

–upset discriminated because white, feels justified to be racist because racial equity negatively impacts him

Gays… not human. You don’t see bulls/roosters trying to fuck

(where does this narrative come from?)

Women always under men—seen throughout nature. Animal instincts. (Appeal to nature)


Nazi: final solution for Jews. EH: final solution for all mankind.

We all live in lies. Utopia doesn’t exist. It is human to have flaws.

Why should I have to explain myself to survivors? (address to audience, angry that they won’t understand/agree with his message. Recognizes that he’ll be labeled as crazy).

Powerless to fact that people reading by definition means people are alive and he believes they should be dead.

What is the POINT? If only some people see what I’m saying, if not everyone, it’s pointless.

No true good/evil = relative to observer. It’s just all nature, chemistry, math. Deal with it.

Since knowledge/intelligence is not innate, people don’t deserve

“when in doubt confuse the hell out of your enemy” – Fly


Saw tech program and momentarily had pride in being American

-had to catch himself, recognize perspective and different sides to the story.

(this could have been an opportunity for a lesson about multiple stories and different perspectives in life).

Turns into the fact that I see this means I’m superior (“I see all”) while others are under control because of limited perspective/inability to have insight

Human race is still doomed because able to balance world view back to  all this good only distracts from the bad and no one sees it but me

Sees self in God-like role in having power to wipe out everyone but a few “tribes of natives”


Fleshing out ideas about relativity of moral constructs and justification for ignoring it all because nature minus human world

Humans can do whatever they want

-no “laws of nature” that prevent making choices

“it’s only tragedy if you think it is.” And then it’s only tragedy in your own mind. You shouldn’t expect others to think that way (saying tragedy is not a fact, is interrelational, but not acknowledging that that is true of all existence).

(Trolly problemish: crash bus and kill kids BUT save old lady, it is a “miracle” she was not hit

Anything and everything that happens is just that, a HAPPENING. Take away emotional projection as these are not universal

Try to have “universal law/colde” that isn’t correct

We should be allowed to do that—(who judges this?) just because top of food chain we are not judges of nature

You can think/judge/behave how you want, you are still wrong!

“morals” is just another word

I think we are a waste of natural resources

Humans choose, I’m human, I choose to kill, nature allows.

“Only nature can stop me.” “it’s my fault- not parents, friends, bands, games, meda… MINE!” already recognizes growing media narratives.


Addressing audience: “What were they thinking?”

Goal destroy as much as possible to I must not be sidetracked.

Acknowledges sympathy, mercy

Force myself to believe everyone is a monster from DOOM

I have to turn off feeling – admits to having feeling/difficulty, BUT also knows audience reading, crafting narratives

I want to kill everyone except 5 people to be named later (same message as in chat except he did not originally have a number that high).

If you’re reading this I wanted you dead. Wnts audience but doesn’t want audience to know

Trying to offend/impress  n-word, pity that hot chicks could have been good fucks

Life isn’t fair.

Imagine that everything on fire. Beautiful.


I lie a lot to everybody.

I don’t think I’m doing this for attention. (not 100%) As some people may think (base on other shooting narratives?)

I know I hate liars and I am one myself. Oh fucking well.

It’s ok if I’m a hypocrite but no one else because I’m higher than you people

And I am one racist motherfucker slurs. Unless they are “cool”

Some folks begging to be shot, while fucks are the same. I hate you all.

(hates everyone, racism more of a way to offend others, does not necessarily like whites more). There are probably around 10 fuckers that I don’t want to die. Trying to justify (to himself) that he is better, right, etc.


Like the early Nazi government, my brain is like a sponge, sucking up everything that sounds cool and leaving out all that is worthless

–acknowledges own indoctrination and is ok with it.


Brady Bill issues, pissed off can’t easily access guns

Everyone is making fun of me because of how I look, how I’m weak

-I will get you all back- ultimate fucking revenge

You people could have shown more respect, treated me better, asked for my knowledge/guidance more

-treated me like a senior

And maybe I wouldn’t have been ready to tear your fucking heads off.

I make fun of people who look like me. I just want to rip on myself…

That’s where a lot of my hate grows from.  Have practically no self esteem. Especially concerning girls/looks and such.

People make fun of me constantly.

110 killed isn’t enough!

(reflecting on piled on experience of feeling inferior, making angry=want to kill people) (rip on self without knowing=killing self)


I’m so full of HATE and I love it!

I hate and I guess I want other to know it.

More about being racist

It’s a tragedy, the human nature of people will lead to their downfall

Human nature=individuality, inquiry, difference, war/violence

Human nature gets people killed, happened before

Not just school shootings like in Minnesota.

Nazi I love their beliefs and who they were, what they did, what they wanted. For a while there is looked good.

Showing too much of myself (Nazism), need to be mindful (of potential leakage)

Thinks about hard to “hold out” until April, put up with injustices in the moment

If people would give me more compliments all of this could have been avoidable… probably not. Whatever I do people make fun of me, sometimes directly to my face.

Then again, it’s human nature to do what you did (bullying), I’m attacking the human race.

Nazism would have been great (for him, a white person).

Maybe I need to get laid.

-goes into details about sexual desires/fantasies and violence

Message of being inferior/made fun of compounded w/ girls not giving attentnion = practically no self esteem.

Uses word “rapist” but describes sex that is rought but not necessarily rape (but could be… not making excuses).

I want to fuck like an animal  NIN “Closer”

Animalistic/id instincts, sex=violence.

Not necessarily violent/assault, but drive for

Think of violent stories/movies/games expression is natural extension.


We have guns.

It’s all over now- the point of no return.

It became real when they were finally able to do this

Fun at gun show. “I would have loved it if you were there, dad. We would have done some major bonding.” Addresses to dad, somewhat vulnerable.

Followed by: “Oh well.” Dismissive.

whenever reaches thought that could possibly lead to another path, gives up oh well.

I fucked up trusting others (ratted him out), flask fucked him over big time

Not careful enough, not going along with his lying/superior manipulative ways

If I have to cheat and lie to everyone then that’s fine

I don’t feel like “punching from a door” because of flask deal

Realization of plan (NBK) helps regulate emotions

I feel more confident, stronger, more God-like.



–good at lying, multitasking to achieve NBK

Only had flask 3 weeks, barely used it

-felt good to have around (idea of it, what it means, what it represents).

That argument was a real bitch, I could have won an Oscar (complimenting ability to take on a role)

I would have been a fucking great marine. It would have given me a reason to do good- blame others (Marines not letting him in) for the path he’s going down

And I would never drink/drive

(random stream of consciousness about morality, ability to do good, turn things around)

Right into it will be weird (to kill people essentially)

Thanks to Brady Bill interest/knowledge in policies around guns important.


Never have to take a final again!

Feels good to be free! I love Hobbes/Nietzche

Without any fucking Jew finding em back to offensive shock language

I wonder if anyone will write a book on me

-thinking about interest in hum but also life as a story

Ton of symbolism, double meanings, themes, appearances, vs. reality shit going on

Oh well.

Better be a fucking good book if written

(either assuming person writing would overtly agree with his views or a descriptive history of hum would inspire others the way history books on Nazis that were not ideologically aligned with Nazis inspired him.)


KMFDM new album “Adios” coming out in April

I ripped the hell outa the system

Gunshop almost gave him up. Good thing “I can BS so fucking well”

“13 n-words” offensive/shock value.


Final month

Trying to get fucked. “Why the fuck can’t I get any?”

I’m nice and considerate and shit. I think I try too hard.

I kinda need to considering NBK is closing in .

Dramatic irony and foreshadowing

Feels like a goddamn movie sometimes. Get a few extra “frags” on the “scoreboard’

I hate you people for leaving me out of so many fun things (addressing people, anticipating response, feeling bad on self and focusing on negative)

“Don’t say ‘well that’s your fault’ because it isn’t. you people had my phone number, I asked and all. Don’t let the word looking Eric KID come along ooooh fucking nooo. (last words in journal)

Autobiographical schoolwork


I miss from childhood playing “guns”, shooting imaginary “bad guys”

The woods left so many memories in the mind it’s amazing, found memories

Countless “missions” hunting enemy troops, stopping invasions

Always someone injured

Unrealistic, but we were just kids!

Imaginative war/violence (seemingly age appropriate)

As I finish them off, back to the real world.

One of these days I’m going to see if Sonia still remembers me. See if the woods are still there (wonder if he ever called?)


The last 3x I left behind some of the greatest friends ever

It’s always hard to leave close friends behind. I will probably never see them again. Memories I have left behind

Woods/MI “most fun ever had in childhood.”

I had to say bye to my first best friend for good

At first I had no friends. Even had some help from my brother

The best friend I ever had. Made it our mission to make Jens a normal American kid

Fireworks explosions “right over our heads”

Kris moved to GA. “That was hard to swallow. We had spent more time together than we did with our own families and now he was gone.”

“When I left Jesse and when Kris left, I had a lot of feelings. I felt alone, lost, and even agitated. That I had spent so much time with them and now I have to go because of something I couldn’t stop.

It doesn’t take long to make a best friend but it only takes2 words to lose one. Those are “we’re moving.”

Losing a friend is almost the worst to happen to a person especially in childhood years

Although memories stay with you, the actual friend doesn’t

I have lost many great friends and each and every time I lost one I went through the worst days of my life. It isn’t something I’d like to feel for a long time.

Date: 11/5/20 – 11/11/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Basement Tapes

Dylan Basement Tapes:

Quite aware of how others will be impacted

-people involved will be blames by law

-family/close friends will blame themselves

Addresses police directly, telling them not to arrest people. This is an interesting train of thought, that police will privilege their requests, that there can be fairness/justice in the world.

If you could see all the anger I’ve stored over the past 4 fucking years

Narrative: brother was popular/athletic. He and his friends constantly “ripped on” DK

Other than parents, he was treated like “runt of the litter.”

You made me what I am. You added to the rage.

-recalling stuck up kids at daycare.

Being shy didn’t help. I’m going to kill you. (present tense expression not from perspective of after NBK).

You’ve been giving us shit for years.

Amused that they did so much under the nose of their family.

Perspectives of talking

Historical/Past Tense from time of narration

Present moment of narration

The Future Past Tense from time period after NBK has happened/they’re dead

The Future

Builds off Eric, Christian, Godly little whores!

What would Jesus do? What the fuck would I do?

Brings up “most deaths in US history” as a goal that somewhat inspires/foresees future shooting goals. (250 at least).

Take on parent’s future feelings: if only we could have reached them sooner or found this tape.

They gave me a fucking life. It’s up to me what I do with it.

Parents taught him to be reliant. “I appreciate that.”

Directors will be fighting over this story. I know we’re gonna have followers because we’re so fucking God-like.

We’re not exactly human. We have bodies but we’ve evolved into one step above you.

We have fucking self awareness.

We did what we had to do.

Eric Basement Tapes

Recognizes difficult to be so fake with his family in circumstances leading up (as opposed to fake that he normally is).

-doesn’t want to bond so that NBK won’t be harder to do

I’m sorry I have so much rage you put it on me  BLAME

Moving so often, always be new kid, bottom of “food chain” no chance to “earn respect” from peers. Hated how people made fun of: face, hair, shirts.


 no opportunity to experience difference

Timeline: Historical/Past, Present, Future-Past, Future

I could convince people anything. I can make you believe anything. (addressing audience in the Present moment)

Build on talking about people they don’t like.

Shut the fuck up.

…After DK brings up religion, builds off “Jesus Jesus shut the fuck up…”

Go romans, Thank God they crucified that asshole. – more attempts at being offensive/edgy

Very important that they are not copying other shootings. “We had the idea before the first one even happened.” Our plan was better.

Those kids were trying to get accepted by others. (as opposed to him not getting respect, being made fun of?)

We need a fucking kickstart (humanity?)

Religious wars, oil, something.

We need to get a chain reaction going

Address people: you guys will all die.

BUT how can someone watching in the future be dead.

You all need to die.

I hope people have flashbacks.

Isn’t it fun to get the respect we’re going to deserve.

We don’t give a shit (really? Why bring it up?) because we’re going to die doing it.

Apologizes to mom, acknowledges she’s been thoughtful. If only we would have searched their room. If only we would have asked the right questions.

My parents might have made some mistakes they were not aware of.

Wants movie to have a lot of foreshadowing and dramatic irony.

About gun, addresses, camera/audience

You’re lucky it doesn’t hold more ammo

Addressing: people watching and people represented by the recorded document.

You are lucky to be alive vs. you will be lucky…

Talks about sending out/publishing journal- awareness of a potential audience

Acknowledges impacts on parents.

“My fucking parents are the best fucking parents I haave ever known. My dad is great.”

I wish I was a fucking sociopath so I didn’t have to have remorse

-knows what separates a sociopath and does not identify as one

-also saying this to camera knows will be reviewed

Addressing parents: there is nothing you guys could have done

Understands/expects narrative of self blame

To all you coolios out there still alive, sorry I hurt you or your friends

Feels beliefs (per journal) have changed somewhat over the course of the year/since he’s been writing.

It’s weird knowing you’re going to be dead in the next 2.5 weeks.

Says he wishes he could have re-visited Michigan and “old friends.”

My mom and dad will be shocked beyond belief. I’m sorry all right. I can’t help it.

Date: 11/11/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Jeffrey Weise

What really strikes me is that Jeff was within a year of my age. He was writing in his livejournal in January 2005 listening to John Lennon. I also was writing in a livejournal in January 2005 and listening to John Lennon.

I also found an interesting video by a guy named Keith Rock who made a mini documentary on Weise. He is native and identified w/ many of the described experiences of Weise, including suicidal, homicidal feelings and hopelessness living in reservations. Also nativist feelings in his past about Native people and mixing. I’m glad I found that video, because I think it gives me a good reminder about cultural aspects of the difference here, as Weise is the first shooter on the list who is not a white guy.

There are only 3 short livejournal entries that really fit the bill of being autobiographical, and they’re extremely vague. However, they give the most insight into Weise’s experience 2 months before the shooting.


“The instrument of my resurrection was supposed to be freedom.” Freedom was supposed to “resurrect” me, or my desire to live? “But there isn’t an open sky or endless field to be found where I reside, nor is there light or salvation to be discovered.” No freedom, no open sky or endless [strawberry] field [forever?]. No salvation. I’m doomed.

“Right about now I feel as low as I ever have.” This is the worst I’ve ever felt, things were supposed to get better but they’re worse.

“I don’t think it’s a big secret why, really.” Don’t know why this is… It should be obvious?

“My biggest disappointment and downfall came from what was supposed to be the one thing to lift me from the grave I’m continually digging for myself.” The thing that was supposed to lift me from the grave, give me life (or reason to live) ended up being my downfall. But what is this thing? This “what”? Does it matter?

“Nah, never. Only the worthy are saved, y’know.” I’m not worthy. I was never going to get saved. This is an expected outcome, or it should be.

“I don’t know, but what I do know is I’m a retard fuck for ever believing things would change for me.” I’m stupid and foolish for having hope. Things are hopeless. “I’m starting to regret sticking around, I should’ve taken the razor blade express last time around…” I should have completed suicide last time. “Well, whatever, man. Maybe they’ve got another shuttle comin’ around sometime soon?” I’m considering killing myself again.


“So fucking naïve…” “Always expecting change when I know nothing ever changes.” Nothing ever changes. And yet I still had hope. This lesson needs to be drilled in. Nothing changes.

“I’ve seen mothers choose their man over their own flesh and blood, I’ve seen others choose alcohol over friendship.” As proof that nothing changes, proof that I should know better, I’ve seen so much betrayal, so much backwardness. I have seen enough evidence. There’s no need to convince me.

“I sacrifice no more for others” This is a promise. “part of me has fucking died and I hate this shit.” The last bit of me with will to sacrifice for others is dead and all that is left is misery.

“I’m living every man’s nightmare and that single fact alone is kicking my ass, I really must be fucking worthless.” Once again, curious about what it is that is every man’s nightmare. But regardless of the ____, what it is causing is “kicking” his “ass.” He is beat up and feels like he’s being punished. He must be worthless. “This place never changes, it never will. Fuck it all.” I’ve seen how things have gone, I know how things will always with. There’s no need to put up with any more.

Nationalist forum

What is behind the support of Nazism? Strength, nationalism, pride, control of masses for the good of their people. Regardless of who those people are, the IDEAS are relatable. If you translate Indigenous for German and it fits in with a mentality Weise can get behind. Purity, power, and courage to stand up to majority (the rest of the country against indigenous people). Sees this as courage for Hitler to be able to lead his people in this way. Communism is more like native beliefs, family, society, community. Believes this is the downfall of his people, responsible for all the problems. The “lies” about Nazis are akin to the ways indigenous people are portrayed in American literature. But people assume that the mass accepted belief is right and won’t even listen to you. They are brainwashed but think that I am. People are trying to destroy the image of a man who “deserves great respect.” Conspiratorial, but some understandable elements to his justification (strangely…)

“Once I commit myself to something, I stay until the end.” Loyalty. Also, indoctrination. But commitment as the opposite of the betrayals he has witnessed elsewhere.

“Why are people so closeminded?” Why won’t people agree with me? Frustration about other people not being open.

Because of my size and appearance people don’t give me as much trouble as they would if I looked weak. (I already had a fist fight with a communist not too long ago over me being what I am (I also won), but it was worth it). This is interesting. Interviews said that he did not get into fights or anything. But sure. He is posting on a forum. He is trying to create some part of an image of himself (maybe). “I don’t try to hide what I am from anyone…” “I’m not backing down, nor am I hiding.” “I try not to be aggressive in most situations…” “I’ll defend myself if someone tries something but other than that I’m a peaceful person.” What changed?

Wants to become more of an active member, learn the ways to possibly accomplish something. Part of a community, but one that is based on abolishing “communism.”

Cares about purity of blood, not mixing. The problems of Natives are taking in too much of other cultures (music, styles, etc)

Feels “silenced”, messages are “propaganda”, people are “brainwashed.”

Curious about owl story

I was on my way back from mental health clinic after a suicide attempt… (casually)

I saw something that I thought was severely out of place.

White owl, in the middle of the day, sitting next to the road

Grandma story of a friend who saw an owl in the middle of the day and died later that day. Scared.

They pegged me for a school shooter. I “happen to be ‘no so popular’, gothic, and happen to be an emotionally disturbed person, if you could call me that.” It’s really no problem slapping a label on someone because they fit the stereotype.

Date: 11/15/20-12/5/20

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Seung Hui Cho

Seung Hui Cho is the only foreign born shooter included in my study (other than Elliot Rodger, who was technically born in England). I think it’s important to start out with an acknowledgment of this difference, as he does not fit the same “typical” mold of mass shooter. English was not his first language, he had to assimilate at age 8, there are doubtlessly cultural factors at play in his being raised in the South as an Asian kid who was learning English that contributed to some of his early troubles and snowballed into his later self. These things are extremely important to think about because I can write about and make all kinds of assumptions about Cho’s experiences and I will never truly know in a way that is different for every other shooter. Cho could not speak English before age 8 and by the time he left his manifesto (age 23) he was an English major who wrote an entire manifesto in English. This is not a comment on his inability to command the language, but rather an acknowledgment that he was living with the duality of being bilingual and from a different cultural and putting words to his feelings/thoughts to an American audience. So I just wanted to get those thoughts out.


  • Rape
  • Clean the slate
  • Christian Nazis, descendants of satan, apostles of sin, charlatans
  • Snobs/elite – caviar, cognac, 2 million dollar house, BMW, Mercedes, inheritance
  • Soul (rape), emotional sodomy
  • Retribution/payback (right back at you)
  • Spill my blood
  • Vandalizing my heart
  • Piling on (nothing was enough (for the hedonists))
  • If you could have been the victim of your own crimes (you’d understand)
  • Weak and defenseless people (others like him) – poor, weak, children, innocents, etc
  • Jesus Christ, Moses
  • Hypocrisy, pretend
  • Anti-terrorist
  • By destroying we create
  • I had to/you made me
  • Not allowed: playtime, speak

“oh the happiness I could have had” What could have happened?

You hedonists (pleasure seekers)

“being counted as one of you” I was not counted as one of you, I was rejected

“only if you didn’t fuck the living shit out of me” – rape, humiliate, take everything he has

Ask yourself what you did to me to have made me clean the slate—lesson, reflection

If you could be the victim of your own crimes

-if only… you wouldn’t have done it? Things would have been different? Oh. You would have “brute restrained your animal urge to fuck me”

You could be home eatings caviar/cognac

-it’s your own fault for raping my soul

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Can you feel the pain?

All the shit you’ve given me, right back at you with hollow points.

“don’t you wish you finished me off when you had the chance?”

-almost gloating? Like you didn’t expect me to respond like this or else you would have destroyed me

“you had a hundred billion chances” to avoid today but you decided to spill my blood

-what is spilling his blood? What particular attack for him is spilling his blood?

You forced me into a corner [YOUR FAULT][I HAD NO OPTION] Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off you Apostles of Sin

Vandalizing my heart wasn’t enough for you

Raping my soul wasn’t enough

Committing emotional sodomy wasn’t enough

-piling on damage, one thing after another

Congratulations you succeeded in extinguishing my life

-addressing audience of “sadists” who took pleasure in watching his failure/defeat

To you I’m dogshit/pathetic, void life

BUT-> thanks to you I die like Jesus Christ to inspire generations of Weak & Defenseless people

More of gloating, surprise reveal

Wanting to will this inspiration idea into being

All we/us beyond this point—

Like Moses I lead my people to eternal freedom

I set the example of the century

-indication of thinking about fame over actual message

“my children” to follow

No matter how strong your dedication to put these people down, they will rise and you will fall

By power “greater than God” we will hunt you down

You fuck us and pretend to be devout Christians

 defile and pretend to help w/ soiled garments

Perpetuate endless sessions of crucifixions, holocausts, on our innocent life then go to church and praise Jesus? They think they are Jesus Christ but we are Jesus Christ

There is no pain they can inflict that they haven’t already done

We take up the cross, our guns, knives, hammers, take no prisoners + spare no lives until our last breath and last ounce of energy

WAR, destruction, payback even if it means our lives (especially)


By destroying we create

-create feeling in you what it’s like to be victim

-create and raise new breeds of children

By giving you pain we attempt to show you responsibilities and meaning of other people’s lives

We can’t have a single minute of harmless playtime

We’re not allowed to even speak, only be raped

Never felt pain in your hedonistic lives

Won’t give up BudLight, cognac, half drop of precious blood for another human being

There can be no lighter penalty for masqueraded Democratic Terrorists

Nowhere you can run

(can’t escape)

You will always live in fear. You will never be able to go to school or wor or rest or sleep

Detailing punishment people “deserve”

Your heart will always pound nonstop

Sin-ridden soul will eat up your “conscious”

Do yourself a favor kill yourself clean

We have no sympathy in killing humans who have no respect for other people’s lives

Now that you have the world’s attention- what are you going to do?

Are you going to… act like victims to the world- suck in millions of donation money to turn the situation into a profit

Your 2 million dollar house wasn’t enough?

BMW not enough?


You have to fuck and steal from poor and weak

What are you going to do w/ blood money? Buy Mercedes? To always stay in power

Fat surpluses

Children of Ismael

The blood of the innocents should never be shed but the wicked we shall… strike

The vendetta you have witnessed today will reverberate through every home and every soul in American and inspire innocent to start war of vendetta

We will raise hell on earth that the world has never witnessed. Millions of deaths and million dog gallons of blood… will never quench the avenging phoenix that you have caused us to unleash

Generation after generation, we martyrs like Eric and Dylan will sacrifice our lives to fuck you thousand fold for what you have done to us

We martyers=there are many of us

I am like Eric and Dylan

We have a shared mission

Pain of every atom between air/water, sky/ground, heaven/hell, life/death, wouldn’t begin to explain the experience that we went through

-in his over the top poetical presentation he almost chepans the actual suffering he did experience, making it easy to dismiss

(because I kind of want to dismiss it)

What did you expect—you violators of human rights?

I wished for a last minute miracle + discard this mission you’ve given me

 your actions created a call to action

Heaven knows I wouldn’t hurt a single leaf of a flower

But I had to

You never know that a human being is capable of doing until you fuck him to the edge

If you have conscience, integrity, heart… you will kill yourself

Can you see:

All that used to be

All that could have been

All that is to come

Sadistic charlatans

All of you (with similar experiences), you are in my heart.

We’ll soon be together.

Let the revolution begin!

Ax Ishmael

You have gone on a 9/11 on my life like fucking Osama

Fucked your own people like Kim Jong Il

Are you happy now?

A judgment you shouldn’t be happy

You should be ashamed. You should reflect. All you’ve done, take a look at yourself

You should be humiliated.


Story- I have been humiliated, neglected, left as nothing to die. Treated like shit. This is injustice that Descendants of Satan put on innocent children like me. They will continue to do this until they are stopped. The innocents need a hero to save them, like Jesus or Eric/Dylan. I must become a martyr ecause my life is destroyed. Only thing left to live for is to die for the cause. When I inflict pain on the Apostles of Sin, they will finally recognize how terrible they have been. They will know in their final moments, that they deserve to die.

There are no actual relationships identified, just IDEAS. Symbols.

Communicating pain. But not going into personal space.


I: Could have

To you, I May be nothing

Thanks to you, I die like Jesus Christ

I spread the sea

I set the example

I say we’re the Jesus Christs

I say there is no pain they can inflict they haven’t already inflicted

I say they can’t fuck us more

I say there are no lies

I say fuck you

I say we take up the cross

(pages 9-16 no “I”)

As the time approached, I wished for a last minute miracle and discard this mission you’ve given me.

Heaven knows I wouldn’t hurt a single leaf when the time came, I did it. I had to.

All of you who have went through what I went through.

I am Ax Ishmael. I am the Anti-Terrorist


We: the children you have fucked will rise

We will hunt you down

We will kill you

Do they want… (whole paragraph addressed to “us”)

We’re the Jesus Christs, etc.

We create the feelings in you of what it is like to be the victim

We create and raise new breeds of children

We can’t have a single minute of harmless “playtime”

We’re not allowed to even speak, only be raped

You will never know when we will strike. You will never know how we will kill you

We have no sympathy in killing humans who have no respect for other people’s lives

We will raise hell on earth

We martyrs, like Eric and Dylan, will sacrifice our lives to fuck you thousandfolds

We’ll soon be together.


You: hedonists; counted as one of you

You could have been great

Ask yourself what you did to me

If you could have been the victim (you’d understand)

You could be home eating caviar and cognac had you not raped my soul

All the shit you’ve given me, right back at you w/ hollow points

Don’t you wish you finished me off

You had a hundred billion chances to avoid but you had to spill my blood

You have blood on your hands that will never wash off

Wasn’t enough for you

Sadistic snobs.

You: raped my soul, torched my conscience, vandalized my heart, committed emotional sodomy.

You may stand steadfast on battlefield of life’s dedication to eternal terrorism.

You love to pretend but you will never know the feeling of giving up your life for a cause

Are you going to admit the truth or stand resolute on your mission to eternally fuck the weak/defenseless

Your 2 million dollar house?BMW, Mercedes,? Bratty, snobby

Steal from poor, weak, defenseless

What did you expect me to do, you violators of human rights?

Are you happy now that you have destoyed my life?

Stolen everything you could from me?

Not allowed to speak yet he hardly spoke, spoke softly. He blamed others for his difficulty w/ speech.

Playtime call back to child-like state, not able to have?

Blood on hands Lady Macbeth?

Date: 12/6/20-1/1/21

Most Recent Data Reviewed: Robert Hawkins (second readthrough)

I felt the need to get a lot of background information about Robbie (his preferred name/what his family called him) to supplement his suicide notes. There isn’t truly a narrative here, in the most traditional way. However, I am not relying on things being obvious/clear stories in order to be considered for this research. Cho’s writing was not really a manifesto either, but I can feel that there is more because of its length. This privileging of his intention of publishing his writing, getting a very particular message out there, over the communication of a person to a select few is not fair for the purpose of this study.


The first thing that struck me about Robbie’s writing to his friends is… who are his friends? At first I mean it in the kind of shocked way of not knowing much about him and who he considered friends, but also in the more genuine wanting to understand, who were his friends? What were these relationships? He cared enough to leave a message to them. He felt the need to apologize, to blame himself, and to end it with some type of clarification about something. Who were they? Maybe I’ll find out, maybe not.

“To all of my friends… I’m so sorry for what I’ve done to you and put you through.” Specific to this shooting, or in general? He sort of answers that with the next line, but just wanting to clarify. What I’ve done to you seems like a statement that is more direct, really taking on responsibility of pain or damage, and really blame. There is a self-deprecating aspect to his writing that my first instinct from reading multiple manifestos is that is performative. But after taking a pause, I can recognize that he was not necessarily (that is known) trying to get this message out there.

“I’ve been a piece of shit my entire life it seems this is the only option.” That is, suicide. Dying. Not necessarily killing—he brings up later that he just wants to “take a few pieces of shit with me” and that seems to be his main justification for actual murder. It’s interesting that he says he wants to kill “pieces of shit” and refers to himself as a “piece of shit.” There’s perhaps an identification with the people he is trying to kill, a sort of moral task of cleaning the world of other “pieces of shit” or “burdens” like him. Not that he says as such, and not going to try to overinterpret. But this is just the first that I’m noticing that aspect.

“I know everyone will remember me as some sort of monster but please understand that I just don’t want to be a burden on the ones that I care for my entire life.” Here there is a recognition of a narrative that is outside of his control after he is dead, the narrative of who he is. And he is right—all that is really known about him is that he had “anger problems,” was “manipulative,” and had traumas that possibly explained some of his earlier behaviors and the ways that his environment fueled his difficult early experiences of aggression/violence. There is acknowledgment that there is a reason that he became a monster, but still a focus on him being a monster. And he killed 8 people randomly in a mall in December—there’s good reason for people to feel hatred for him. I won’t pretend to understand why he felt killing people (seemingly randomly) was creating any kind of benefit. If anything, it seems more like he had murderous impulses his entire life and since he intended to die, why not give in to some of these impulses. After all, what is the reason not to if everything’s going to be over? Consequences, morality, all of that is out the door. The logic is there in a mind of someone certain they are about to die. Murder-suicide is the key component, not just the murder. This is what makes someone like Robbie different than people who gave in to the police or had second thoughts. His killing spree was contingent on his certainty that he was going to die.

As for the not wanting to be a burden piece, it’s difficult to really separate the information I know about his upbringing and antisocial tendencies with his explicit stating that he is doing this to unburden those he cares about. But let’s privilege his words, his narrative. He has been a burden on his family. I don’t know to what extent he was a burden to his friends, but he had a childhood of messages that he was a burden (living in residential treatment instead of growing up w/ family) so it’s not out of the question to consider that he would feel this way.

“I just want to take a few pieces of shit with me.” Just. He is stating that this is an afterthought, not his main objective. In trying to abstain from going with my instinct to call bullshit, I’ll continue down the train of thought of what I was thinking. Murderous impulses most of his life. Never followed through with them. Suicide offers an opportunity to have one last chance, a murder-suicide.

“I love all of you so much and I don’t want anyone to miss me.” It’s difficult to believe he would say in a note in which he discusses becoming famous and acknowledges the public component of his narrative to also not want people to miss him. But even assuming that his language is a bit insincere/manipulative, what would be the reason to say that he doesn’t want people to miss him? He continues to have this low opinion of himself and wants people to know that he doesn’t think people should miss him, even if at the same time he clearly wants people to miss him. After all, he is going to be “fucking famous” right? Both of those things are being held at the same time in this statement.

“Just think about how much better you are off without me to support.” To support is an interesting way to put it in a letter to his friends. This sounds more like something that would be said to his family. How were his friends supporting him? Emotionally? Financially? My curiosity is was this terminology used in relation to his friendship with him in the past? Maybe someone described feeling they were supporting him, or him feeling like he was overly relying on his friends and used this terminology (similar to the “burden” language from earlier, if he’s relying on their support he is being a burden, etc.). This is once again him telling people to think about how they are better off without him, while also acknowledging that they were supporting him, something that requires care/love that give reason and meaning to the hardships of putting up with such a “burden.” So he is telling them they are better off without him, believing this in some level, but at another level recognizing that they would not agree with that and that he would not want them to at another level. But an easy thing about writing is that you do not have to deal with the nuances and complexities of language and emotions, you just state things. The narrative that his friends will be better off without him make his actions acceptable because he is leaving his friends that he cares about. He is doing them a favor by killing himself.

“I want my friends to remember all the good times we had together.” Don’t miss me, but remember all the good times. Once again, language is complicated and his ideas are clearly contradictory. But I see this more as a reference to the earlier part about remembering him as a monster. Don’t remember me as a monster, remember the good times. But also I don’t want to be a burden and you’ll be better off without me, so it’s ok that I’m gone. This can also be a comforting “I know you’re going to miss me because I’m gone, but we had good times and those won’t go away” kind of message.

“Just think tho I’m gonne be fuckin famous.” He can’t really stay on track. And he can’t help himself. This is a thought that he would have to consider, considering his knowledge of the fact that the deadliest mass shooting in the United States occurred earlier this year, he knows people will know who he is. He would be lying if he did not acknowledge this. This statement could kind of come out of nowhere, or it can be seen as a logical connection of him trying to comfort his friends. Don’t miss me  you’ll be better off without me  Just remember the good times  And after all, I’m going to be famous. I’ll be fine. So this isn’t necessarily a statement of “hey, I’m doing this to be famous” anymore than his earlier statement about “taking pieces of shit” with him is not a statement that this was the reason he was doing it. Are there indications of narcissism, grandiosity, etc.? Not that I’ve seen. This being famous piece is more of a fact about how these things go, but also a consolidation for his friends. Don’t worry about me.

“You guys have always been there for me I’m just sad that I’m gonna have to go this alone.” This acknowledgment of people being there for him is similar to his message about the support of his friends. He acknowledges sadness, that he wishes he did not have to be alone. But he has to, as he says. It is not an option to involve others. He is killing himself and that by definition is leaving everyone else behind. There is also an understanding that other people stop suicide, they don’t encourage it. It has to be alone.

“You guys are the best friends anyone could ever ask for.” More affirmation for his friends that they did all they could, that this is not their fault, that they are great. Even if he is not as selfless as he portrays himself or even thinks, this is still clearly about his friends.

“That’s all I have to say is that I fuckin [love?] you guys.” This last bit seems rushed, like he wasn’t thinking much. He was just trying to end things quickly “that’s all” but combines the all with “all I have to say is that…” and then leaves out the verb (which naturally would be love). “I fuckin you guys” leaves that open, is sloppy. This gives some insight into how much thought he was putting into these words.

And then the postscript. “P.S. I didn’t eat that fuckin sandwich or the toielet [sic] thing either!” This was added after the fact (P.S.), is written bigger, separately, rushed. It seems somewhat impulsive. But it is important for him to clarify something and have the final word on whatever this is referencing. Some type of embarrassing incident in which people thought he ate a sandwich from the toilet, or 2 different things? Something that was important enough that it bothered him and he felt the need to clarify, and have the final word on, before he died. Even if it was the last thing he said to his friends, it needed to be said. Shame seems present in this strong desire to clarify this and state it strongly at the end. It is also a bit of an admission that something was bothering him, that he was hurt, by something that his friends felt/thought/said/believed. He didn’t state it explicitly, but his ending things with that he could air out this grievance, and he did it in a way that was not at all blaming. Still indicates very much mindful about his impact on his friends.


This part is interesting. His family is interesting.  

Okay, I admittedly just went down a rabbit hole. I was doing research to identify who the family members he listed on this note were. I could have gone with my strong assumption of who they were, but I was able to identify them as: his mother and father (obviously “mommy” and “dad”), his 2 half-sisters (via mom’s 2nd marriage), his biosister, his stepbrother (via stepmother), half-sister (via father/stepmother), and his stepfather. The only person missing is his stepmother, who he hated. That fits.


“I’m so sorry for what I’ve put you through.” So much here. HE was put through so much, early trauma, separation, neglect, etc. Then he acted out and was sent to a residential facility at age 4. He was sent back at age 12 after threatening his stepmother and stayed there for 4 years. There is no indication of his relationship with his various siblings, other than that he told his sister he didn’t care if he didn’t see her (while in residential) and he didn’t care that his younger stepbrother was upset by family fighting. His biomother was out of contact with him for years but came back into his life around the time he left residential.

“I never meant to hurt all of you so much and I don’t blame any one of you for disowning me.” This is pretty explicit and seemingly out of character for the person who blamed his stepmother for everything (although she is conspicuously absent from his list of people he loved). However, similar to the way he was trying to cater to the feelings of his friend in that suicide note, this could be an instance of him not wanting his family to blame themselves for the fact that he is taking the actions that he is taking. They could easily do this, between his many abandonments and traumas. But he explicitly says “I don’t blame you for disowning me.” That’s a huge thing to lift off of family that very much contributed to his trauma. But in the context of a suicide note, it was impossible for him to tell them that it is not their fault.

“I just don’t want to be a burden to you and my friends any longer.” This is the same statement as with his friends, painting himself as a burden and ensuring people that they will be better off without him. In fact, the next line is “you are all better off without me.” He doesn’t go through as much effort to convince his family that they will be better off and go into the ways. Instead, he apologizes again. “I’m so sorry for this.” Taking on the blame.

“I’ve just snapped.” This is a line that has been focused on in some circles relating to the fact that if someone “snaps” they don’t sit down and write something, plot it at least a day before, case the location before going through with a plan. There are too many moments in between in which reason can come back in and convince a person to “snap out of it.” However, this is a language issue more than a blatant manipulation. Rather than saying his reasoning ability has completely gone and he is a different person, he is describing how the forces that have kept his anger (and possible murderous desires) at bay just feel like too much and he finally feels free to just give it all up and end his life. That’s why his next statement is “I can’t take this meaningless existence anymore.” He is not trying to make a legal argument or an argument relating to mass shooter statistics and things that define shooters, but rather saying that it is too much for him and he can no longer take it.

“I’ve been a constant disappointment and that trend would have continued.” Being a disappointment is a focus on how others feel or respond to his actions/failures. It’s not just that he has not been good enough intrinsically, but he has constantly disappointed others. No matter what he has done, how much he has actually tried, he has continued to disappoint and felt that he would not be able to avoid this continuing well into the future.

“Just remember the good times we had together.” Just like the statement to his friends, he does not want them to remember the narrative that they are going to hear over and over again, but rather to remember what they had. That can’t be taken away.

He ends with his I love you messages. The order is interesting. He starts with his mom, the person who did abandon him for many years and was a part of his early traumas, but he has reunited with. Then dad. Then 2 half sisters on his moms side, indicating perhaps he felt closer to them than his own biosister, who is named next. Then younger stepbrother, not related to him by blood and related to the stepmother that he hated. Then his half sister from the same marriage. And finally his stepfather. Interestingly, he adds “p.s. I’m really sorry” next to the final stepfather, who is the person who owned the gun that he stole to kill people. He felt a final need to apologize to his stepfather, knowing that he would be blamed for his ability to access the firearm. But his apology was not explicit, it was added in the end, in parentheses. It was meant for his stepfather, not the world.

As mentioned, stepmother is absent. Not a surprise. He maintained his hatred of her. For many years she was afraid he was going to try to kill her. If anything, if he were truly committing violence for violence sake and trying to commit a murder that would have some actual meaning to him, a type of vengeance, then killing his stepmother would have made the most sense. But he chose to kill random people on a public stage before killing himself in the same way.

I need to watch some of the assumptions I make and where they are coming from. For instance, my assumption that he harbored murderous desires is likely inspired by the portrayal of him in the Investigation Discovery documentary about him, which did portray him as a dark person with murderous thoughts. This is not explicit anywhere and I should preface my feelings with as much information.


Finally, he left a “will.” That is, he left a statement and signed it, denoting that it is official and he believed people had to follow his will. “I’m giving my car back to my mom.” Perhaps this was something they had discussed and he wanted to make right by the situation. He drove to the mall and merely wanted to ensure that his mother got it even though he did not leave it easily accessible to her. “and my friends can have whatever else I leave behind.” He didn’t go into more specifics, but wanted his intentions to be clear. It was a final act of charity, friendship, love to his friends. “Have my stuff. I’m giving this to you. [not an actual quote]” To demonstrate his absolute sincerity in doing this, he signs it and includes his social security number. This will says a lot about what he is communicating in ways that I did not originally appreciate, as I did not review it on my first review. But it is absolutely important, it further demonstrates a level of sincerity in his writing, or at least a desire for a level of sincerity. Perhaps.

Date: 1/3/21

Most Recent Data Reviewed: James Holmes (second read through)

I vacillate between feeling that I understand and/or can relate to James on a human level, and thinking he’s full of shit. Between feeling that his journal is a true window into his thinking or that it was all performative for his psychiatrist, the person he sent the journal to. I know the truth probably lies somewhere in between, and that is just something that I have to live with in all of these narratives. But I keep feeling a lot of extremes with James.

I also keep wanting to pathologize him. Maybe it’s because of his own strong desire to pathologize himself, and the fact that multiple mental health workers (psychiatrists he saw before shooting, psychiatrists/psychologists who evaluated him for court, etc.) had different diagnoses based on various nuances of his personality and I feel drawn to throw my hat into the ring. But I’m glad that I have a boundary I can limit myself to in just foregoing the effort to even begin pathologizing, because it is just feeding into this desperate attempt to put him in a box and feeling that that can provide a level of understanding. No such box exists. No diagnosis makes his actions, thoughts, beliefs, etc. understandable. Nor would any diagnosis help to identify aspects of other shooters. They are all unique. James is nothing like any of the shooters before. Even if his writing is performative, it is not performative in a grandiose way like Cho’s. Nor is he expressing outright disgust with mankind like Eric/Dylan (or Cho). Nor is he really communicating suicidal thoughts, even if he somewhat reported that later.

I think one thing I find interesting about James’s writing is that it feels like he is trying to figure things out in real time. He’s writing in a scientific notebook that is not right for true narrative style writing. He’s creating formulas and scribbling things out in terrible handwriting. Everything about it feels like someone really trying to solve an equation. And he literally is at points. That’s why it’s difficult for me to really feel that it is performative. Sure, some of the stuff at the end (detailing his psychiatric history) could be, but it feels like we are seeing him try to figure out how to make sense of his thinking and that is remarkable.

Of course, I can’t forget that he’s a terrible person who did an unspeakable thing. I had worked at movie theaters for over 6 years when this event happened and I know it was a nightmare scenario. Although everyone knew that the likelihood of a copycat style attack was highly unlikely (like schools that practice lockdown drills), I know everyone was worried about it happening. And how helpless the situation would be. It was diabolically evil genius. I had already turned in my 2 week notice by the time this even occurred (coincidentally, as I was making a transition in my life that far predated the events), so I only had to live with those thoughts for a few more days. But that was one of the first shootings that truly brought these types of events home to me.

I’m really curious about James’s obsession or insistence that there is a numerical value to the “value” of a human life. It is as if the concept of value is concrete for him and a person’s value has to be quantifiable literally as a number in order to make sense. Further, that death gives a life no value, makes a life obsolete, regardless of the value of the life before death and ways that the death of a person of value can impact others. Not that I’m trying to beat James in a philosophical debate, although I find myself wanting to scoff at him at times (Dr. Reid’s book on James described his writings as “sophomoric philosophy” and I think that adequately covers it). Does his fixation on value and trying to quantify lead him to believing that killing will help him, or was he trying to justify an already ingrained belief/desire/fantasy to kill?

“Why does the value of a person even matter?” He asks. Good question. He tries to demonstrate that it should not: value creates injustice because not everyone has value (or some “evil” people have negative value), so therefore death evens things out. But the only reason evil people have negative value is because he labels it as such. If he were to step back and say moral definitions are meaningless, then that would even things out. He created his own moral quandry.

Analytic Memo Geddy Lee Kramer 2nd Readthrough

I’m putting a lot of work trying to find his journal entries. I feel like if he actually killed anyone there would have been more effort to find out about Geddy. His lack of success made him less important rather than the fact that he almost committed the same crime as so many other people.

He wants to much to control the narrative. He wants to tell people why things happened, why they didn’t, etc. He can’t let his bad spelling go by without acknowledging that he knows he spelled the word incorrectly but he just does not care. He defines himself as a sociopath. He foregoes his previous suicide note because “it was gagging to read.”

He “want[s] it to be known that I attempted to get help” from therapists, drugs, and prostitutes. Sex was important.

Define the urine problem as a fetish, possibly to make it seem less something to be made fun of (or am I reading into it? I am. But it’s also what I think).